Small man in a big job

In 1951 Bill Veeck (rhymes with wreck they used to say) signed Eddie Gaedel to a major league contract with the St. Louis Browns. Veeck already had a reputation as a showman, and the signing of Gaedel, everyone knew, was a publicity stunt, for Gaedel was three feet, seven inches tall. On his only day in the major leagues, Gaedel popped out of a giant-sized cake and, a few minutes later, went up to bat. To nobody’s surprise, he walked; then he was replaced by a pinch runner; then he never appeared in another major league. Eddie Gaedel was a small man. I thought of him today: our president is even smaller.

Trump’s appearance at the Boy Scouts’ Jamboree yesterday is all the proof any rational human being needs of his pettiness. His language in front of the scouts, his self-aggrandizing and self-promoting speech, and most of all, his attack on his predecessor merely add to the body of evidence (already massive) that Donald Trump is not fit to lead a nation, or negotiate with foreign nations, or compile a grocery list.

But that envy of Barack Obama is hysterical: Trump is so jealous that he can no longer contain himself. And it must bother him even more that Obama ignores him—just lets the big oaf flail away and look more idiotic every time.

With the Scouts yesterday Trump roiled the crowd by reminding them that his predecessor had not attended the last Jamboree, then reveled in the subsequent boos for Obama. What the halfwit failed to add was that, at the time (2013), the BSA were embroiled in a case dealing with the acceptance of gay boys to participate in Scouting while maintaining a ban on gay adults. I suppose we can assume that Trump’s speech at the 2017 Jamboree is proof that he has put his imprimatur on gays in scouting. It would be nicer if the halfwit had any idea he was doing it.

Trump is petty and vindictive (goodbye Mr. Sessions) and his mania with loyalty is a ruse: he’s been loyal to no-one. Let’s not forget, for instance, Ivana Trump’s rape allegation. But his jealousy of his smarter, fitter, more knowledgeable, better educated predecessor is something to behold. It’s the kind of childish and asinine blind hatred that will do him in faster than any Russia investigation.

The attack on the previous president (and often his family) annoys me, but if this lunacy constitutes a step on the way to Trump’s disappearance from our daily lives, and if Obama can stomach it, so can I.

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Chuck Radda

I'm a former high school English teacher, currently a literacy volunteer and novelist. I invite your responses right here or to You can also follow me on Facebook and on Twitter—where I tweet annually at @chuckrad45.

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