…and perhaps it works as a guide to how to live your life.

Be nice.  Help when you can.  If you can’t be nice or help, at least don’t be a jerk.

I’m sure this is just stolen from someone else in some way or another.  But, in the last 3 years or so, it’s solidified itself as the way I think the person in charge should act.  The person in charge of the federal government is the Donald.  And Donald Trump is a jerk.  It’s bad enough to be a jerk in your life in general, but it may not affect too many people.  But when your jerkishness is the guiding principle for how you run the government of a pretty big and powerful country, it’s a different story.

There are so many Republican policies where this principle would apply, but it’s especially applicable in the age of Trump.  Take immigration.  Democrats would look for a comprehensive solution to the complicated problem of undocumented people in the country and the increased influx of migrants and refugees at the southern border.  Republicans have, in the past, supported a comprehensive plan, but they prefer to focus on border security and don’t want to offer a path to citizenship.  Under Trump, however, no comprehensive plan and lets cage people at the border and take kids away from their parents.  That’s the jerk move.

Or take Trump’s tendency to call his political opponents names.  Seems like it would be better to kill them with kindness.  Or if you can’t possibly manage to be nice, at least don’t call everybody names.  Just don’t be a jerk.

I think this principle is especially helpful in international diplomacy.  For some reason, the Donald cozies up to autocrats and feuds with America’s traditional allies.  He’s got it backwards if you ask me.  But even aside from that, the Orange one goes out of his way to be difficult and adversarial when he doesn’t need to be.  Be nice.  That’s going to work most of the time.  But even if you can’t be nice, why be a jerk?

So, I figure I’m going to try and hold the Democratic candidates to this same standard in the primary.  Amy Klobuchar may have a strike against her based on rumors about her treatment of subordinates.  And I’m keeping my eyes open for jerkishness from the other Democratic candidates as well.