Back when Eddie Murphy started making movies he started out red-hot: 48 Hrs., a stand-up special called Delirious and Trading Places.
Then he made a movie called Best Defense.
If you never heard of it, you’re in a very large club. It wasn’t well-received and when Murphy was later on a talk show he asked why someone didn’t tell him not to make the movie and – if memory serves – added: “I have friends.”
Your friends are the ones that are supposed to tell you that your new haircut makes you look like a dipshit, that dress makes you look fat and that movie script sounds awful.
I have often fantasized about dying my hair pitch-black like I dipped my head in a bottle of India ink and walking around for a few days to see how many of my friends say something. If a “friend” ignores my new look, they get taken off the friend list.
“You were going to let me walk around like that?”
We all have acquaintances – and those people get a pass – but your friends are supposed to call BS on you when necessary.
On to Donald Trump.
Our current president has the reputation of being insecure, needing constant praise and getting rid of anybody who doesn’t provide it. That was OK when you’re hosting a reality show.
Not so much when you’re in the Oval Office.
Bob Woodward wrote a book (can’t remember which one it was and I’m too lazy to look it up) that made a point worth remembering; when there’s a debate in the White House the president is usually the least-informed guy in the room.
Anyone who got themselves elected president knows a lot about running campaigns, but may not know all that much about defense systems, history of the Middle East or in this case, stopping the spread of a virus.
A president of either party needs to be surrounded by experts who present him with facts and options, some of which might be painful.
It now sounds like the political yes-men surrounding Trump are urging him to ignore the medical experts and get people back to work by Easter so the economy looks better on election day.
So Trump can listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci – an immunologist who’s saying uncomfortable things like “You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline” – or a bunch of political hacks who keep their jobs by saying what Donald Trump wants to hear.
And that’s the problem with yes-men.