Our president doesn't accept criticism well.  When criticized he goes on the attack.  Name calling, intimidation... I suppose when you are a master of 'the deal' you do anything to keep your opposition off kilter while you go in for the kill.  It's not very nice, but evidently he has found it effective.  For years we watched Mr. Trump utter what became his catch phrase week after week telling some hapless hopeful with a grim look and pushing a finger forward for emphasis, "You're fired."  Blunt, but effective.  So why is any of his current behavior a surprise?

My problem with Trump-era politics is that the very people who excoriate him for this style of dealing with people are just as bad or worse than he is.  The brouhaha over a picture of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a bloody Trump head effigy is a case in point.  It was a gruesome, tasteless picture that really only amounted to visual name calling.  How is that better than what Trump does?

It's hard to focus on anything important these days with nonsense like this going on.  Griffin has made a career out of being a bully, dissing celebrities for what she evidently thinks is comic effect.  She certainly met her match this time.  But it is hard to find sympathy for her as she first defended the picture, then almost immediately followed it with a tearful apology, followed by some pitiful whining about how Trump retaliated by taking away her career, and now the inevitable celebrities coming to poor Kathy's defense.

Is this interesting to you?  I suppose it is in the 'can't not watch a train wreck even though it's awful' kind of way.  Bullies don't normally attack other bullies because their skin is too thin for the push-back.  So I guess it is interesting because this time one bully attacked another and the attackee is the most powerful person in the world at the moment, so if the attacker had any sense she might have spoken out on the issues in a way that makes her case in the national debate instead of slinging an insult.  Or not taken him on in the first place.

Again, how does this incident move the national debate forward in any constructive way?  Now one of Trump's sons is saying that Democrats aren't even people.  I think that might be a surprise to some of the Democrats I know.  It is another thin-skinned response to... nonsense.

"I've never seen hatred like this, and to me, they're not even people," Eric Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity Tuesday night. "It's so, so sad, I mean morality is just gone, morals have flown out the window. We deserve so much better than this as a country. You know, it's so sad. You see the Democratic Party — they're imploding. They're imploding. They have no message."

Well, I've seen hatred like that.  Rewind to our last president and all the horrid things, including the current occupant of the White House, said about him.

Never a fan of President Obama's policies, I did admire him for being just about the only American in the two presidential elections he participated in who refused to make it about race, favoring actual issues instead.  In today's world, what a concept!  Making it about things that matter to Americans.  It is incredible that he even got elected.

Here's the thing.  I have friends who are Democrats and friends who are Republicans (I am neither).  For the most part I like them.  I think they like me because they assume I am a (fill in Republican or Democrat) and speak to me accordingly.  This may come as news to Mr. Trump (the younger), but to my knowledge they are all people, whose opinions deserve to be respected if not agreed with.  Knowing that makes me less likely to call them names when I disagree with them.  At risk of sounding trite or politically correct, objectifying and demonizing people seems to make it OK to be nasty to (or about) them.  But it's not OK.  Because they actually are people.

Come on, these are Mom lessons.  Everybody is supposed to know this.

Griffin gave Trump a gift.  At a time when he is making profound changes in American policy and The United States' relationships with the rest of the world, this little slug fest distracts the public from what's really happening so actual debate about policies is buried in the noise.  Those who are not distracted are simply drowned out by the reality-show shock and awe that most of us hoped we'd grow out of after high school.

The other big story was what was probably a typographical error in a Trump tweet.  Aside from the obvious fact that a tweeting president does little to maintain the dignity of the office of President, how do the incessant new reports, social media posts, and endless memes do anything to help people or the country?  Honestly, if all you want is entertainment, watch reruns of 'The West Wing'.  It was well written, well acted and directed, and a lot more fun than 'covfefe'.  You'll get older either way, but 'The West Wing' is a classier experience.

Actually I would maintain that it would be better if the fictional President Bartlett were the actual president, but in that show was that Bartlett was not an effective president.  Appealing, but not effective.  So I suppose it is best that he is fictional, after all.

If you've made it this far you probably have gleaned that I am not a Trump fan.  But I am repulsed by the hateful, raw, nasty things that are being said about him by his opponents, just as they (and I) were repulsed by the nasty things that were said about Obama.  Why isn't it OK when it was directed at their guy, but it's plenty OK to sling it at the other guy?

Trump, in particular, seems to have brought out the worst in a lot of people I like, who are now addicted to Trump bashing.  This does not make me want to be in conversations with these people that I like.  Here's some advice to people I like: less is more.  Argue the issues, leave the mud slinging to (actual) pigs.  Piling on insults doesn't make a worthwhile argument stronger.  It diminishes you, and since the object of your scorn can't hear you, it doesn't affect him in the least (or my opinion of him).

Today's social politics is like an aggressive game of dodge ball with spiked balls.  Everyone gets hurt.  Nobody wins.  And the things that are really important are drowned out in the childish screaming.  Policies that may help people get trampled.

One thing is clear.  America isn't so great at the moment.  And nobody -- not Republicans and not Democrats and not people who are not Republicans and not Democrats -- is doing anything substantive to make it great again.  We're all back in high school calling names and fiddling with Twitter.