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In God We Trust - Established 2008


July 11, 2018



by John H. Butch Preston


John Butch PrestonJohn Butch PrestonIt has become common knowledge now that President Trump doesn’t read or won’t read. This is something that should not be dismissed out of mind, for it is an important clue into his mentality: he doesn’t comprehend what most school children know significantly—that reading is fundamental. Reading is crucial for developing a well-balanced brain. Mental growth is not only important to growing minds but is something that should be a lifelong pursuit. How else can one develop one’s intellectual ability to discern—that is: one’s capacity to effectively deduce the consequences of the many decisions one has to make in life? Especially moral decisions. In this respect, a strong background gained from reading is one’s most helpful guide in considering critical choices.

Where else can wisdom be found if not by reading?

But yes, one can become quite savvy, even very successful in life without reading, but it comes with a price—simpleminded, one dimensionality. To dismiss reading as unnecessary leads to a very shallow life indeed. A prime example of Trump’s shallowness is his use of the esteemed power of the Presidency of the United States to bully private citizens via the Internet; this sets a new standard for superficiality, and a new low for Americans.

Reading is the most effective means of obtaining information and knowledge, bar none. All great civilizations have depended on a public that reads. It wasn’t until the Greeks developed an alphabet that they created the world’s first working democracy. (Something one learns by reading). Christ himself wrote something in the dirt with his finger according to John 8: 7, some mysterious message that we will never know—although John undoubtedly had mastered the ancient art of memorization in order to turn over his knowledge of Christ to the scribes, he was obviously illiterate so Christ’s message remains in the dust forever.

It’s not too late: Trump needs to start where most adolescent youngsters start their serious reading, with Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and a good biography of Lincoln. It appears that Trump’s only link to Lincoln is in fulfilling the second part of Lincoln’s famous dictum: “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time.” It does seem that Trump is a master at manipulating fools.

But here is the main crux of the matter. Had Trump decided in his youth that reading was worthwhile and then enjoyed reading widely, he may have come across the stage play Night of the Iguana, in which the main character, a Catholic priest, assesses humanity with the remark, “NOTHING HUMAN DISGUSTS ME EXCEPT DELIBERATE CRUELTY.”

Had Trump read this play (or seen it) and taken this to heart, perhaps he wouldn’t have created the awful tragedy at the Mexican border. Deliberate cruelty is cruelty with malice of forethought. One has to lie awake and dream up such heartlessness. And for what? People can argue over this until the cows come home but there is no, none, absolutely not, never ever, no matter what, excuse for the deliberate cruelty he inflicted on these precious children. Jesus is watching you Mr. Trump!



John Butch Preston is a retired college English teacher living on a farm in Lawrence County. He has been published in national journals and has three books on Amazon and local book stores: a novel titled Where Everything Important Happens on a Hillside, a short story collection, Ten Miles from Clay City and Other Stories, and The History and Tales of the Paintsville Stockyard. His play Kentucky's Richest Man, the story of John C. C. Mayo recently premiered at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. He is currently working on a new play and a new novel. Preston’s main source of pleasure is gardening.


0 #9 Oh yes yes !! 2018-07-15 02:30
Well said Bet T.
+1 #8 Just Me 2018-07-14 16:03
You can always tell when someone has lost an argument...they resort to insults and name-calling.
0 #7 Diane 2018-07-14 10:23
I have a solution for the problems of people fleeing their countries due to poverty and drug cartels.
There are educated people in the USA who should do a one-to-one exchange with the citizens of those countries. Load themselves up on a bus and cross the borders into those countries and use their education, professional skills and US constitutional rights to correct those countries problems.
Trump may not be everyone's cup of tea but at least (when you listen to him and not the media twisting his words) he makes perfect sense. Ah, the advantages of a college education. I know my three Bachelor of Science degrees have been a blessing to me.
My greatest blessing is reading the 1611 King James Version of the Authorized Holy Bible.
I prayed for Jesus to move from Obama's head to his heart. I pray for Trump's salvation and will continue to follow scripture and pray for elected officials. (Tennessee Williams? Really?) How about quoting John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me" Jesus giving a directive, which works even today.
What a blessing those US citizens would be to give themselves a living sacrifice for all those people who are living in abject poverty and under the tyranny of drug cartels!
+1 #6 lmao 2018-07-12 20:58
Sounds like maga works for fox news. Did you graduate from college or drop out before you learned how to do real research?
-1 #5 Whatever... 2018-07-12 20:34
"MAGA" - I guess you and I are a couiple of the "fools" this so-called writer is referring to. Judging by the results of the presidential election, Mr. Preston, I'd say the fools outnumber your side. Who ever told you that Trump doesn't read? True, he's not an apologetic, dishonest butt kisser like the last guy in office, but that's no indication of his intelligence. I think you only read what the liberals write for you.
0 #4 Bet T. 2018-07-12 19:50
lol on so many levels. How about using the "power of the Presidency to bully" everyone into purchasing overpriced healthcare?? (which, btw, is unconstitutiona l. Not to mention the fact that the contractor for the website just so happen to be one of Michelle's college friends). Again, LOL at your sanctimonious and supercilious attitude (as well as quoting scripture) re: 'moral decisions' and 'cruelty at the Mexican border'. As in how our men were left to die in Benghazi (all because of a video, ya know) or the unaccompanied children in CAGES? Or does your selective anger refuse to let you admit that it was the PREVIOUS administration guilty of the aforementioned two instances? You exhibit a blatant disregard for the truth, hypocrisy, and selective anger which disgusts me. Lastly, you are proof that simply because one may read (or study scripture) does NOT make them morally nor intellectually superior to another.
+3 #3 Shari Moore 2018-07-12 15:07
So true, Mr. Preston! The quote by Reverend Shannon (from "Night of the Iguana") reminded me of the quote from Blanch DuBois (yet another of Tennessee William's characters): "But some things are NOT forgiveable--de liberate cruelty is not forgiveable. It is the ONE unforgivable thing, in my opinion, and the one thing of which I have never, NEVER been guilty." Those MAGATS who are upholding Trump in all his hateful, EVIL machinations against innocent children have literally abandoned their humanity to support a treasonous puppet of Vladimir Putin. These MAGATS shouldn't pretend their racism and contempt for the poor is some form of patriotism, anymore. Their hateful actions are simple-minded imitations of Trump--just ignorant white people trying desperately to feel superior about something--ANYT HING. And these MAGATS are willing to torture and kill innocent children to accomplish that. I would say: "Shame on you," to them, but that would be a waste of breath. Upholding a clueless, moron intent on destroying the US economy and our standing in the world, means they are helping him destroy our neighbors, our country and maybe even the entire planet! There is enough deliberate cruelty in Trump and his MAGATS to have Tennessee Williams (and every Allied Soldier from WWII) spinning in their graves. Many of us won't forget what we have seen and heard from these MAGATS, in the past 20 months. By GOD, we are not going to sit idly by and allow hatred and deliberate cruelty to destroy everything our forefathers fought and died for--we will vote in November and we will remember!
-3 #2 MAGA 2018-07-12 12:47
So tired of all the anti-Trump rhetoric. Also glad I didn't have this "teacher" in college! This "teacher" has evidently not done his own homework, only reading articles that are anti-Trump. Garbage in, garbage out. I did my homework and voted for Trump. The problem with the border would be greatly lessened if people had respect for laws & start coming in legally. Trump didn't "create" the problem on the border. People are using photos and news from the Obama years to blame Trump for the problem. #Walkaway #DoYourHomework
+1 #1 YES! 2018-07-12 01:33
Well said Mr. Preston.

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