COLUMN SUDDEATH: If you don’t have anything nice to say … | Opinion

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My parents offered me some friendly advice when I was a kid.

“Daniel, you should consider moving.”

In fact, it was a little later in life. Sorry, sometimes those childhood memories go together.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

Yes, that was it. Wise words, simple in their expression, deep in their meaning.

Many of us have been advised to bite our tongues when we only have something negative to offer in a conversation. My parents told me to keep quiet if I did everything I could to be mean.

It’s a wonder how sometimes not saying anything can be so difficult.

These days we all have something to say. This is an opinion piece, so I’m definitely not one to claim that we shouldn’t interfere with our subjective beliefs every now and then. Opinions are important as long as they are offered as a means to improve a situation.

But too often opinions are expressed just to stir the pot, or to make someone angry. For example, we should look no further than our former president.

Donald Trump just couldn’t help himself, as usual, after Colin Powell’s death on Monday. On Tuesday, Trump released a statement to Fake News Media that he hates (there’s a thin line between love and hate) taking a tee shot against the former four-star general and the first black secretary of state. American.

He begins the statement by berating the media for paying tribute to Powell, who Trump says “made big mistakes on Iraq” and weapons of mass destruction.

Then there is the kicker.

“It was a classic RINO, if not that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made a lot of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace! Trump said.

Wow.

Let’s start with a fact. There has not been a president in recent memory who has been as disrespectful to the military as Trump. Whether it’s making fun of the late John McCain, quarreling with the Gold Star families, or assimilating his ability to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases with Vietnam, Trump has a long history of insulting veterans. and their sacrifices.

Obviously, his problem with Powell lies more with the late general’s vocal support for President Joe Biden in the last election than his involvement in Iraq. If anyone dares to suggest that Trump is anything but perfect, he will never let go, even in death.

It is undeniable that mistakes were made in Iraq. Powell and the administration of former President George W. Bush have misled the American people about weapons of mass destruction, although it is still not clear what Powell really knew about other members of the cabinet.

Of course, we don’t have to look too far back to find another presidential administration that has misled a nation during a crisis.

Trump told us in February 2020 that COVID-19 would magically disappear one day. He said warmer conditions in the coming spring would choke the spread of the coronavirus.

Although the United States has been slow in implementing the tests, Trump has claimed the country is leading the way in the COVID-19 response.

Trump told us that 99% of COVID-19 cases are harmless.

Trump has said we are approaching the virus turn before last winter. Hundreds of thousands more Americans would die from COVID-19.

The list is lengthened increasingly. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research (no, seriously).

As of Thursday, there were more than 720,000 deaths in the United States attributed to COVID-19. That’s more than those who died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Trump is not responsible for all of these deaths, just as Powell is not responsible for everything that happened in Iraq. But if Trump suggests that Powell’s bogus claims about Iraq are damaging his reputation, then Trump’s bogus claims about COVID-19 certainly do the same.

But Trump’s statement on Powell was for revenge, not accountability. It was mean and inconvenient. None of us are perfect, and when we die someone can easily find something negative to say about us.

Yet Trump still doesn’t get it. His lack of control is the reason he lost the presidency. Trump just can’t keep his mouth shut, and insulting Powell will likely hurt him more, just as his Twitter rants hurt him before he was banned from the platform.

We don’t always have to offer our opinions, especially when they accomplish nothing but spread negativity. Sometimes it’s better not to say anything.

Suddeath is the editor of the News and Tribune. He can be reached at 812-206-2130, or by email at [email protected]

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