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by Ron Cruger
The Starbuck's Seven Meet Again
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        Dick, who was the acknowledged “Point Man” of the Starbuck’s Seven, came to the coffee shop early and was setting up the chairs and tables when Mary and Helen arrived.
        Mary is in her early40’s, a small town girl who avoids hard-core arguments but enjoys the back and forth banter of the discussions. Helen is in her mid 50’s, reserved, observant and intelligent. Sixty three years old, Dick is the senior citizen of the group and usually leads the discussions to conclusion.
        Aimee and Steve went directly to the counter and ordered their coffee – cafe Americano for Aimee and an expresso for Steve. Aimee is nearing 50, Asian and daughter of one of the richest men in Hong Kong. A conservative, Steve is 42, black, smart and athletic - a Harvard graduate.
        Carrying their coffee and heading for the discussion area in the rear of Starbuck’s, Helaine, 48 years old, attractive, smart, enjoys the challenges of the Starbuck’s Seven discussions. I was the last to arrive and carried my large decaf coffee to the discussion area.
         “Well, folks, we have a hot topic to discuss this morning. Let’s just call it “Trump, Our President – Or Not!”
       Helen, obviously irked, pushed he chair from the table and offered, “What do you mean, Dick. We had an honest election and Donald Trump won.”
       “Yeah, we had an election, fair and square, but how this Trump guy got elected is beyond me. He said and did things during the campaign that were an embarrassment,”
emotionally barked Helen.
       Steve raised his hand, but began speaking before he was acknowledged. “Do you remember the things Trump said when he campaigned?  He actually said he’s going to build a giant wall between our friendly neighbor Mexico and get them to pay for it. He said the Environmental Protection Agency might disappear. He said he’s going to get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something “terrific.” He also said he would heavily surveil mosques in the United States and he’s open to the idea of closing some mosques. And to add to our embarrassment he said, “that rather than throw the Chinese president a state dinner, ‘”buy him a McDonald’s hamburger and say we’ve got to get down to work.” Can we really respect a president who has ideas like this and talks like this?”
       Aimee’s face flushed. “Dick, that isn’t all that the Trump guy said would happen if he was president. He would get rid of Common Core. He brags that “No one is going to touch us because I’m so unpredictable.” He was trained in the art of real estate and reality television. He shows little interest in or is he familiar with governmental policy. He’s never served his country. He would deport undocumented immigrants without a fair hearing. He has loudly doubted the U.S. birth of President Obama and threatened to prosecute and imprison our former Secretary of State. Trump has reached the basest thoughts and fears of many Americans in a way that has never been done before. He titillated millions of Americans, inviting them down a dangerous, crude and un-democratic road. With that Aimee sat down and took a deep breath.
       Pretty Helen stood up, leaned both palms on the table top and began a quiet, but emotional response.
“The man got elected by listening to what is in our citizens’ hearts. He honestly wants to stop terrorists from destroying our country. He wants to get other countries to pay their fair share of things like N.A.T.O.
       We are in the midst of a people’s revolt. The people want a Congress that works for them. Mister Trump wants to build equality. He wants to have the middle class grow and thrive. People have lost their trust in Senators, Representatives, even with our president. Mister Trump wants to bring honesty back to government. He wants to fight for the rights of the little guy. Nobody else can lead this country back to be the shining city on the hill. Donald Trump can.
       Mary, a small town girl. The shiest and generally quietest of the group, fiddled with her pen, took a deep breath and said, “I think Mr. Trump wants to do good for the country. But I also think he has no idea of what it means to be president. No idea of what it means to have a definite policy and how to drive its way through the Senate, House and Supreme Court. His term will be a learning experience for him and probably those around him. I will say this, it’s going to be interesting to see how people like Paul Ryan and John McCain react to the goings-on of the new president. I’m all for giving Trump a chance to do what he promised.”
       At this juncture I stood and offered, “I’ll give the guy a chance too, but it’s going to take a lot to disregard and erase from memory the boatload of things that President Trump said and did during the campaign, Some of his declarations are pure Trump phantasms, some can be achieved. If nothing else, we, the citizens of this country, are in for an interesting four years – or so.”
       As I sat down, Dick stood, pushed his chair behind him and said, “Well, we certainly don’t agree on much about Mr. Trump. We can agree on the fact that this was the most unique, foul, interesting, rough and dizzying presidential campaign and election held in our lifetimes. So, with that please stand, push your chairs under the tables and shake hands. We will notify you of the next meeting of the “Starbuck’s Seven.”