Peter Cavanaugh

She may not have worked for him, but Trump could’ve learned something from her: respect

In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, singer Aretha Franklin performs during the BET Honors at the Warner Theatre in Washington. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, singer Aretha Franklin performs during the BET Honors at the Warner Theatre in Washington. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at her home in Detroit. She was 76. Associated Press

Donald Trump’s opening thought acknowledging the passing of Aretha Franklin?

“She worked for me on numerous occasions.”

Shortly after this revolting, yet revealing, public utterance, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, fabulously fashionable as usual in her ZZ Top-inspired pearl necklace, allowed that this wasn’t quite right. In fact, Ms. Franklin never “worked for” Trump at any time in any fashion. Who knows what the president was thinking?

On your plantation, Mister President?

It was fitting that Aretha Franklin was the first female artist voted into Cleveland’s prestigious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

It has long been my contention that the essential component of rock ’n’ roll is pure attitude, the music itself being an important expression of same – but not alone, nor primary in such distinction.

There was real life, raw bone, red-hot attitude exploding with highly energized, wondrous excitement every time Aretha played and sang. From her early roots in gospel and rhythm and blues, “Sister Rea” came to define soul music as its unchallenged, unequalled Queen.

Recipient of 18 Grammy awards, including lifetime achievement, Ms. Franklin was a registered Democrat, leaving an estate valued at over $60 million and hundreds of millions of loving fans around the world.

Passing at 76, Aretha Franklin will live forever through her masterful music and timeless majesty.

Then there’s Trump – unfit to wipe Aretha Franklin’s shoes with his hilarious hair or let them walk on his big fat head.

When the New York Times carried its Sunday story about the extensive testimony White House attorney Don McGahn supplied Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Trump tweeter went into conniptions. Our Thief-in-Chief twitted that McGahn was not a “John Dean type RAT” and had been “allowed to testify” along with “all others.”

How Donald might possibly know what McGahn did or didn’t share with Mueller’s team is highly suspicious, along with the outrageous suggestion that the president’s permission is required for his staffers to tell the truth. Otherwise, it implies they should perilously lie or professionally die. Little Miss Pearl Necklace is clearly accomplished at the art.

Trump’s characterization of the Watergate hearings’ star witness, John Dean, as a “RAT,” capitalizing the mob word, also provides critical insight, if not comfort.

Dean had been a Nixon administration attorney who dramatically helped bring down the president by revealing the existence of an enemies list used to discredit and punish critics of Nixon, a copy of which he furnished to the Senate Investigating Committee.

So North Korea is reportedly back to building missiles, China is responding to Trump-initiated tit for tat (an old English saying meaning “equivalent retaliation”) tariff terror and Turkey’s thinking about kicking us out of Incirlik Air Base. We have 5,000 troops there. It’s the home of the 39th Air Force Wing from which we launch attacks against ISIS.

Then there’s Trump pulling security clearance away from former CIA director John Brennan while threatening dozens of others with a similar fate for leading “the rigged Russian hoax” – offering ironic, moronic proof of the president’s own screaming insecurities.

It was Retired Admiral William H. McRaven who successfully planned and supervised the killing of Osama Bin Laden. McRaven just published an open letter to the president stating he would be honored joining Brennan in having his own clearance removed so he could “add (his) name to the list of men and women who have spoken out against (Trump’s) presidency.”

Congressional Republicans? Tom McClintock? At long last, is it not finally time to simply and honestly THINK?

“Let your mind go, let yourself be free” – “Think” – Aretha Franklin (1968)