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Groucho Marx and I discuss President Trump

June 14, 2017 GMT

Well, Groucho, as you know by now President Donald Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. Some sources list numerous examples of proof that the president does not even understand what the agreement says. He apparently has simply picked up a few snippets of information from television, and that’s it.

Groucho: “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

Yes, I catch your drift. It seems like President Trump’s lack of reading ability results in a string of screw ups. Like his misinterpretation of the London mayor’s quote after the recent terrorist incident there, when it was easy to see what the mayor meant.

Groucho: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

Then every time he tweets something that’s proven to be inaccurate, he tries to cover his tracks with a follow up tweet saying what he meant to say, as if he wants the media to …

Groucho: “Quote me as saying I was misquoted.”

Exactly. After Trump stated his reasons for pulling out of the Paris agreement, several news sources clearly showed, point by point, how each reason he gave was simply not true based on the actual wording of the accord.

Groucho: “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

Sure seems to be true in politics. So if you were Trump, how would you explain to the American people your handling of the decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement?

Groucho: “I sent the club a wire stating, ‘Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.’”

That works. Later, Trump quipped, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Say what? Polluted Pittsburgh? Does Trump think that the accord requires him to serve as mayor of Paris or something? Does he completely misunderstand the accord?

Groucho: “A child of 5 would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of 5.”

Besides, Hillary Clinton won Pittsburgh with 75 percent of the vote in 2016. So why would he say that?

Groucho: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

The president may be having a hard time relating to the average working man or woman since his family was wealthy. He also was given a large sum of money to start his real estate business. How did your life compare to his?

Groucho: “I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.”

I guess it’s not surprising that Donald Trump takes risks when it comes to making big decisions and worries about the consequences later. Even when those consequences can harm future generations of the U.S. and the world. After all, he states, “You can’t be scared. You do your thing, you hold your ground, you stand up tall, and whatever happens, happens,” in his book “The Art of the Deal.”

Groucho: “Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book, and does.”

It seems that the president’s principles are difficult to pin down, making it hard to figure out what exactly he stands for. How do you think he would respond to that observation?

Groucho: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them … well, I have others.”

The James Comey hearing was interesting. How do you think Comey felt after that rather tense dinner he had with the president where Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty?

Groucho: “‘I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.’”

Some observers of the White House wonder if Trump’s age is the cause of his rather bizarre behavior at times. What do you think about suggestions that he is too old to be president?

Groucho: “A man’s only as old as the woman he feels.”

OK, I’m not going to go there. But since you brought up the subject, why do we never hear from the first lady? Is Trump preventing her from speaking publicly? Does he fear that she will embarrass him?

Groucho: “Women should be obscene and not heard.”

Based on some of Trump’s past statements and actions, the president may at one time have agreed with you. But lately he has stated that he respects and understands women.

Groucho: “Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot.”

The latest Time magazine has an in-depth report on some shady real estate deals involving President Trump. The implication is that he and his family are using the presidency simply as a means to garner more wealth. Do you think Trump can be trusted?

Groucho: “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest — ask him. If he says, ‘Yes,’ you know he is a crook.”

Hmmm, sage advice, my friend.

Mike Murphy of Pocatello is an award-winning columnist whose articles are syndicated by Senior Wire. He recently published a book titled “Tortoise Crossing – Expect Long Delays,” which is a collection of 100 of his favorite columns. It is available on Amazon.com.