Las Vegas Sun

March 19, 2019

Currently: 67° — Complete forecast

Where I Stand:

Saying something positive about the president is a challenge

I have been challenged.

A longtime Las Vegan and supporter of the Las Vegas Sun Camp Fund, let’s call him Don, has thrown down the gauntlet. He will donate $10 every time a story appears in the Sun that is positive about President Donald Trump.

Monday our country celebrates the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and we will honor his memory by doing something good for others. So I have been thinking about all the positive things I can say about our president. At $10 a pop from Don, we can send hundreds of worthy young kids to summer camp for what can be a life-changing experience. And that is what I call doing good for others. (By the way, if any of you would like provide a young child a week away from the sweltering heat of Las Vegas this summer for an experience of a lifetime, go to and do what you can).

So, I thought all week about what I could say that would be positive about President Trump.

I almost had a story when I watched him conduct a meeting with Republican and Democrat congressional leaders about how to fix the mess he made when he withdrew support for the Dreamers. Those are the young people whose parents brought them into the United States illegally when they were infants or very young. They have grown up in the United States and know no other country.

Without congressional action right now, they all face deportation back to countries they do not know and away from the only families that they do know. An overwhelming number of Americans want the government to fix this problem now.

President Trump’s meeting looked like it could be a good start toward making that happen. That would be positive. Then, of course, he blew it by reverting back to his stump speech during the campaign and demanding that a wall be built — while holding the Dreamers hostage to that campaign promise.

Still trying to do my best to find something positive — other than the tax cuts that benefit the very wealthy at the expense of those who need it most — I expected to hear about something great when the president met Thursday with congressional leadership about more immigration issues.

What has been reported widely and confirmed by people — Republicans and Democrats — in the room is that President Trump, the leader of the free world and the embodiment of all things America — referred to African countries as “shitholes” and questioned “why we need more Haitians” in America.

As you might imagine, and I am certain most of you have heard by now, Trump’s outrageous comments have not been well-received. Well, except by a small minority of fringe haters who seem to hang on the president’s every white-wing word.

What has been incredible to me — not Trump’s racist rants since, unfortunately, we are getting used to them — is that as of Friday afternoon I had not heard an apology from the president to those countries and those people who were the subject of such un-American rot.

It should not be lost on anyone today that Pfc. Emmanuel Mensah was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest award for valor during noncombat operations. Pfc. Mensah entered a burning building at least three times to save the lives of four people trapped in that fire. He died during those life-saving efforts.

Why do I mention this brave young man? He is from Ghana — one of those “s…hole” countries the president was railing about. Pfc. Mensah represents what being American is all about — service to others and courage in the face of danger. He set a bar for bravery that very few of those in Trump’s America will ever surpass.

I would like to have written something positive about the leaders of the United States’ co-equal branch of government, the Congress, and its leaders responses to what Trump said. Alas, crickets. I think Speaker Paul Ryan thought the comments were “unhelpful and unfortunate.” Really?

I also was expecting some of Trump’s biggest supporters — both politically and financially — to have spoken out against the president’s racist remarks. But, alas, nothing.

You know, it is hard to find something positive to say about President Trump. Even when he does something good, which happens, albeit rarely, but it is always undercut by his own Twitter rants and raves.

Maybe I am just not looking hard enough for all the positives in this administration. For sure, I would like to find something to say about which I am positive.

Wait there is one thing.

And that is that President Donald Trump, all on his own and by his own words and deeds, is trying his best to drag America into his own kind of “shithole.”

Heaven help us!

Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun.