|Posted on December 25, 2018 at 9:55 AM|
You’re welcome to. I’m not really interested. Yes, in spite of what happened, but perhaps more accurately, because of what happened.
You see, when Donald Trump won the presidency, it was November of 2016. He quickly took to Twitter and said something mean and stupid about someone else. I quickly took to Twitter and replied that, as President, he should behave in a presidential manner – and that, basically he should “shut up” and not use Twitter as a platform for – whatever he had on his mind. He continued to use Twitter, and I continued to reply that he shouldn’t. I’m pretty sure he never ‘blocked me’ on Twitter: I’m frankly a pretty tiny fish in the sea of Americans who didn’t like him and didn’t want him to be our President. I’m sure he’s gotten, by now, hundreds of thousands of tweet replies that say, basically, what I have said in mine.
What I did do, however, was happen to mention on Twitter in a tweet or tweet reply that if he wouldn’t stop being so stupid, I might have to run for President in 2020 myself, seeing as I was certainly more qualified than he was to be President.
It’s all there if anyone wants to see it. My Twitter handle/name is: @pelicanposts. This was back at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, as Trump began his presidency. I know: you’re too busy. And I am too busy - to look back at this material: life and important events rush forward and priorities carry us on to the next day and important issue to address. Like many, I have used links to interesting and important stories and opinions to share my own concerns and requests for action - on Twitter. My focus has been on the environment, responsible budget management, responsible tax policy, responsible public administration, responsible human rights and rule of law participation points. You get the picture.
In the Spring, I often go to Florida these days. There, I visit my sister and my aunt and uncle and generally get my fill of sunshine and warmth, returning to Norway after the birch pollen season ends, with my sinuses thankfully intact and saved from the experience.
That explains why, on May 31, 2017, I was boarding United Airlines Flight 1631 from Tampa to Newark, with a continuation ticket to Oslo that evening on Scandinavian Air. We were scheduled to take off about 2 p.m. I had been seated at a seat of my usual choice, an aisle seat about half-way back on the plane on the right. Before the plane took off, I was approached by one of the airline stewardesses: I was going to have to move – I declined. She said I could not choose not to move, and I would be seated in the back row, right, with a window seat. I told her I did not want a window seat and was fine where I was. She said she was sorry about it, but I could not stay seated there. I was re-seated – against my wishes.
Shortly after the plane took off, the seat next to me, which was empty, was filled by an overly gregarious guy from the front of the plane. He said he was with his wife and just wanted to take a break from sitting up there. She came back a few minutes later, bringing him two bottles of red wine. He asked me if I would like any and I said no. I was not interested in talking to this man, but he was very interested in talking to me. I tried to read and he continually interrupted me. He simply ‘had’ to know where I was from and where I was going, expressing amazement and delight over nothing at all. He also simply ‘had’ to show me all of his Facebook photographs, which oddly were materializing on his cell phone, despite the fact that we were flying through non-internet connected space. He had to talk to me about how he met his soul mate in - why, yes, Bradenton, and how she had a son from a former relationship but they all got along very well. I asked him at one point what he did for a living and he told me he actually spoke to women on the phone - for money – that’s right: they were lonely and he would hear them, ‘console’ them, you know, it was lucrative and they called and he would talk to them. Not get involved, but yes, help them feel better. He said he was spending part years in Florida and part years in Greece. And, oh, by the way, he and his lady friend were on a trip to New York to attend a wedding. So he said. I didn’t ask whose.
Eventually this man who insisted on scrolling through hundreds of photographs of the Greek Islands, all of which looked like every other person’s photos of the Greek Islands, steered the conversation towards politics. Would your antennae not be up at this point, reader?
I asked this man, who said his name was Andreas, (but who could not produce his Facebook front page showing me that the name Andreas appeared there), if he wished to continue to chat, wouldn’t he please send me a friend request on Facebook. I had, as I told him, both a personal page and a business page. He said he would definitely do that.
He then insisted on discussing Donald Trump, not pejoratively, but to question what he was about, so to speak and get me to comment. I declined to engage. He then asked me what I would do – wouldn’t I like to change the Republican party. (I was a Republican candidate for office in the past, in the Chicago-Oak Park, Illinois area during the 1990’s on two occasions.) I did not ‘bite.’ By this time the two bottles of wine were empty and he’d had to let me fall into my own solitude, on and off. But before the crew announced that we would be starting to descend to our Newark destination, he asked me if I’d ever had an interest in running for President. I declined to engage with him on this. Then he turned to me as he stood and said something to the effect of, ‘Well, I think it’s pretty presumptuous to assume that someone can run for President just because they don’t like the way things are going. (I had not mentioned my Twitter comment of months earlier to him.) I said nothing in the form of a reply, although I may have said, ‘Oh, you think so.’ He then said, ‘Yes, you wouldn’t want to do that now, would you?’ I could hardly believe my ears. I believe I may have said, ‘What?’ He repeated himself quite firmly as he stood to leave and return to his seat up front, ‘You wouldn’t want to do that now, would you?’ I answered softly after a brief pause, ‘No.’ His last glance at me held no amusement, and his jolly demeanor was already gone.
The flight landed and that was the last I heard from or saw ‘Andreas.’ By the way, there is no Andreas matching this man’s age and description located in Bradenton, Florida on Facebook. So here are my questions:
• Who was this man?
• How was he able to bump me from my plane seat and re-direct the way in which I would spend the flight?
• On what pretext was he able to secure the cooperation of United Airlines in what basically turned out to be a hazing situation related to my expressed interest in running against Donald Trump as a Republican for President in 2020? A hazing that, given its intent, was undertaken specifically to get me to give up my right to freedom of speech and expression, in part, as well as my right to freedom of association and the free will to be involved in determining what I will do, why and when.
• Who would do this? And why?
• Who paid for it? And why?
I think these are good questions and may lead to discovering that this sort of thing has happened to others, others that expressed disdain with President Trump’s demeanor and direction and were told, by someone at some moment, not to even get serious about it.
Who would that be? I would say, the most refreshing of the dismal possibilities is the Republican Party itself. In that case, who paid for it? Where is the paperwork? Why would they do this? Are they not open-minded about what Republicans think about President Trump? We now know that they are not only not open-minded, but that the Trump organization, only a week ago, enlisted the Republican party in creating a single entity that will go forward towards the 2020 election on Trump’s behalf. And that is plain scary.
The next possibility is that the Trump organization itself was handling this – perhaps through their national security apparatus, which was, as we also now know, ‘compromised’ during the beginning of Trump’s term. Was one of these compromising agents involved in the little escapade to shut me up? In any one of these cases, perhaps the FBI, or even Mr. Mueller himself, is interested in my story.
You see, it’s not alright to treat people like this for speaking their mind in America. That goes for all the people of the United States. We must stand up to this sort of behavior, and we must do it now.
I hope someone is interested in tracing down what occurred to me on that plane, who this man was, who sent him, why, and who paid for it. I will help as much as I can. I think it’s the least we can do for the little man or woman who might, someday, want to run for President of the United States – the one who should NOT be told that they “better not even think about it.”
American attorney, living and working in Norway