THE CODE TALKERS' LESSON:
Steer Clear of Donald Trump's White House
“DO NOT go there,” I said to Cat. “Do not go inside.”
“Where?” Cat said.
“Nothing ever good comes of it," I said.
“Phoebe, what are you talking about?" Cat said. "What people? Shouldn’t go where?”
“It always ends badly. It’s simply too dangerous. It’s very likely to end badly,” I said.
“WHERE? WHAT?” Cat yowled. “What are you talking about?”
“The White House,” I said. “The Trump White House.”
“I don’t think that’s anything we have to worry about,” Cat said. “Trump doesn’t even like animals – there are no pets in the Trump White House. And talented as we are as writers and photographers, when it’s all said and done, we still are just a cat and dog.”
“What about the annual White House Holiday Party for the media?” I said. “It starts at 2 p.m. on Friday – that’s just the day after tomorrow. What are we going to do? I mean, since we write this blog about national politics, I would think that we’d be expected to show up.”
“No worries,” Cat assured me. “It’s an invitation-only party, and unless you scared off the mailperson with your insane barking, I can say with great confidence nothing’s been dropped in our mailbox indicating that the “On Trump’s Trail” staff is on anyone’s invite list.”
"BUT LET'S SAY we were – or are – on the list, Cat, then what?” I asked.
“I’d say maybe we should have our nails trimmed and our coats cleaned and brushed, and that we send out that foul green collar of yours – you even sleep in the disgusting thing – to the cleaners,” Cat said.
“That’s idiotic,” I said. “Why would we even consider such a thing? Why would we, why would any sentient creature with a semblance of free will give it a second thought?” I said. “Why would we voluntarily be in the same room with a man like that?”
“Because he’s the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief, leader of the Free World, all the usual reasons," Cat said. "Betcha’ the First Lady has the place decked out for the holidays; probably made the Holiday Tree decorations herself. It’s history, and Christ’s birthday.”
"BUT LOOK WHAT happened with the Code Talkers,” I said.
“You’re talking in code, now,” Cat said.
“You slept through another big story, didn’t you?” I said.
“Day before yesterday, Trump had some of the few living Navajos over to the White House, honoring them for outfoxing the Japanese during World War II by sending messages to U.S. Marines in their language, which the Japanese couldn’t understand.”
“Seems like a nice gesture,” Cat said, “Especially for a guy who generally likes to hang with his fellow white people.”
“Nice gesture?” I said. “Out of nowhere, Trump brings up ‘Pocahontas’ – that’s his put-down name for Sen. Elizabeth Warren – and it's a name that happens to be considered by many Native Americans as a slur. She had nothing to do with the Code Talkers. But seeing a bunch of Native Americans, who popped into Donald Trump’s mind but Pocahontas.”
“And here’s the kicker,” I said. “The ceremony took place in front of a painting of President Andrew Jackson.”
“Well, it is the White House – you’d expect picture of historic presidents,” Cat said.
“Jackson is a despised president by Native Americans, Cat,” I said. “He signed the Indian Removal Act, which was used to force Native Americans to leave their lands, including the horror-filled ‘Trail of Tears’ during which thousands died.”
“And it happens all the time with Trump. There’s no occasion when he won’t insult someone, turn a happy moment into a disgraceful one.”
“But he IS the president,” Cat said. “And the White House is where presidents do their thing. People – generals, cabinet members, Senators, members of the House of Representatives, Russian ambassadors Wall Street tycoons – anyone who does business with presidents, have to go to the White House.”
“Agreed,” I said. “But ordinary people don’t have to go to the Trump White House. You don’t have to go to the Easter Egg Roll, a Holiday Tree lighting, a White House concert, a Medal of Honor ceremony. If you're a tourist, go to the Smithsonian. If you’re on a college championship team, go for a run, but not to the White House. If you are a Girl Scout, a Young Republican, or a retiring astronaut, don't go to the White House. If you’re a cat being honored on National Cat Day, you don’t have to go to the White House, go to PETCO.”
“Actually, National Cat Day was celebrated last Oct. 29, so it’s not an issue right now,” Cat said.
“This man dishonors America every single day with his attacks on Muslims and kind words for white nationalists, his war on the media, his poisoning of the air and the water, his traitorous embrace of Russia and Putin. And beyond being mean, he may be unstable. He is still doubting the authenticity former President Obama’s birth certificate and now he even is saying that the “Access Hollywood” tape in which he boasted about grabbing women’s vaginas may be faked."
“I think he said ‘pussies,’ which isn’t necessarily a bad word,” Cat said.
“With Trump, it always depends on the context,” I said to Cat, “the setting, the place. And when you are anywhere near Donald J. Trump, you are in a very bad place.”
"Meaning the White House," Cat said.
"A very bad place," I said.