The Fruit Fly and the President

By Michael Willard

I have no idea the emotional intelligence of a fruit fly but recent events suggest that our President’s level is somewhat lower than those double-winged creatures.

In this regard, I am not being unkind, snide or even partisan. I would be happy to see Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican, in the fray, which is not to say he would get my vote, though surely my gratitude.

The world needs relief these days, other than the comic kind.

I am not principally referring to the Ukraine “quid pro quo” scandal to obtain dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. I’m not even referencing Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds.

Or even his pushing for his own resort as a venue for the next G-7 gathering of world leaders, prior to yielding to common sense and outrage at the mere suggestion.

Those were, let’s agree, horrendous misjudgments. But, going back to the lowly fruit fly, research in 2014 from the University of Oxford suggest the little buggers actually think before they act.

They appear, the research showed, to accumulate information before committing to a course of action. Compare this to the Leader of the Free World who believes briefing books an anathema.

I am noting here the President’s clumsy attempt to have a dramatic television “Apprentice” moment at the White House with the parents of a teenager killed in a UK traffic accident and the driver of the car.

The parents of the victim had come to America to get justice for their son, Harry Dunn, 19, who died in August when his motorcycle was struck by a car driven by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat.

Unbeknown to Harry’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, who were invited to a White House meeting, Ms. Sacoolas was waiting in another room. The President wanted to have a surprise encounter.

One can assume he pictured a teary gathering in which the family and the car’s driver hugged and all was forgiven in this made-for-television act of closure. The audience, of course, would applaud.

The facts are that Ms. Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into the youth. While she was at first cooperative, she claimed diplomatic immunity and skipped the country.

It was a careless accident. In England, one drives on the right, and, one can project, an American could momentarily forget. On occasion, I have narrowly escaped being crushed in London stepping off a curb without looking.

But, in a lucid moment, can one with an inkling of emotional intelligence believe that a family whose son was killed have a kumbaya reunion with a woman who left the UK to avoid charges.

The family refused the meeting.

One account (Time magazine) quotes the family as saying their refusal to meet was met with aggression by national security advisor Robert O’Brien. He told them Ms. Sacoolas would never return to the UK.

“It became quite evident that he (Trump) was hoping we were just going to say, ‘Oh great, okay’”, said the boy’s mother. The family said they would only meet Ms. Sacoolas on UK soil.

Compared to worldwide calamities of the Trump administration, this one is simply one family’s tragedy. It hardly registers on an open-ended Richter scale of judgmental malfeasance where hundred die.

But, what do you think? Does the fruit fly have more emotional intelligence than the man in the White House?

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Willard family on Kyiv’s Maidan on the Eve of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution

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