Work of Art: Show us your hairline, Trump

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By Art Trujillo

Birther. It must be awful to be identified by only one term: birther.

By definition, a birther ought to be 1) someone who creates birth, 2) someone who bears a child, 3) someone like a midwife who catches babies, 4) a bad speller who offers choice sleeping accommodations to another on a Pullman train, or 5) the male child of another bad-spelling mom who expected a girl, whom she would have named Bertha.

But this one-issue group calls itself birther solely because its members fail to believe that President Obama really was born in the U.S. Now, with Hawaii and Alaska as the newest kids on the U.S. state block, having been admitted in 1959, Obama’s legitimacy as president might have justifiably been brought into question. Especially for birthers who failed Basic Math, U.S. History or got only as far as 48 states.

Both Alaska and Hawaii joined the union in 1959, so for Obama, that was close. Whew!

Drive to Santa Fe one of these days, look right, and you’ll see a big sign urging Obama to tip his hand. It reads, “Where’s the birth certificate?” The resident birther wants all to see that in his/her opinion, Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. at all, but possibly Kenya. Kenya imagine that?

Our constitution requires an American-born president. For most of Obama’s tenure, birthers have screamed for Obama to produce proof of his place of birth.

A clever editorial cartoon recently showed a slew of newborns in a Hawaiian hospital ward. One of the babies, with a dismaying similarity to the grown Obama, is hoping all things are in order. He admits a proper birth certificate is imperative, in the event he wants to run for president in a few decades. So let’s take care of it before the newborn even leaves the nursery.

I admired Obama’s refusal to satisfy the birthers. Almost daily, Rush Limbaugh hypes the argument that, since nobody on the political right has seen the piece of paper, that’s proof he was born in Kenya, just like his father.

Yes, it was enjoyable observing Obama’s failure to show the document. We liked the suspense: being too eager to comply would end the mystery and intrigue.

But he released the document — the long form — last Wednesday; still the birthers are claiming victory. Billionaire Donald Trump, the most vocal of the birthers, says he’s won because he was able to accomplish “what nobody else could.” And ultra-right-wing talk show host Limbaugh, along with many ditto-heads that he’s Limbaughtomized, now praise Trump for “forcing Obama’s hand.”

I believe Obama’s best tack would have been to bargain with Donald Trump, who’s planning a run for the office Obama holds. Obama could have simply said, “I’ll show you my birth certificate if you show me your hairline.”

A recent poll showed that a chunk of Republican members of Congress refuse to believe Obama was born in the U.S. That erroneous but persistent rumor appears to have come straight out of the Fox News playbook.

One observer said the birther issue — upon which much of Trump’s presidential posturing is based — made chumps of the Republican Party, which is now saddled with this narcissistic showman, as so many people bought into the canard.

But the issue isn’t settled yet. Watch for charges of a forged birth certificate. Ah, will the truth ever set the birthers free?

Oh yes! Jay Leno of The Tonight Show weighed in on the birther issue when he revealed “some good news and some bad news” — The good: Obama was born in the U.S.; the bad: So was Donald Trump.

• • •

Maybe she’s right.

Interim superintendent for East Las Vegas Schools Sheryl McNellis-Martinez has hinted at directing a performance of the “East Las Vegas Schools Shuffle” by possibly moving some teachers around the district.

The logic appears to be that the staff at Paul D. Henry Elementary School — the only East school to acquire AYP status, could help boost student success at the other, lower-performing schools.

Every educator swears by the catechism, “We need to do what’s best for the children.” This could be their opportunity: let teachers who have enjoyed success spread their expertise. A teacher contract guarantees employment, not necessarily a particular school building.

McNellis-Martinez appears to have the right idea, but before we start declaring all the schools winners of that prized (but nebulous) Adequate Yearly Progress award, let’s realize that kids don’t necessarily respond to that one-size-fits-all deception.

Kids are different. Parents count. Teachers aren’t miracle workers.

• • •

Remember a few weeks back when radio stations aired PSAs about testing going on in the schools?

The announcement implored parents to make sure their kids got plenty of sleep and ate a nutritious breakfast before heading for school on testing days.

Great idea, but why such urging only during testing periods? Adequate sleep and healthful food ought to be part of everyone’s daily regimen.

• • •

Nobody likes deep, mess-up-your-car manhole covers, the kind that show a drop of more than an inch from the level of the roadway

But come with me to a couple of such covers that are welcomed only by tire sellers and those who perform front-end automotive work. By Mills Plaza, going west, drivers need to watch carefully in order to straddle the first manhole, close to the Alco store. But as you’re wiping the sweat off your brow and saying “whew!” your car is now lined up with a deeper depression that’s hard to miss.

If you try to straddle that one, that action takes you nearer to  the lane on your left, bringing you close to a sideswipe.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some clear pattern to the way manholes are lined up?

Art Trujillo is a copy editor at the Optic and a contributing member of the newspaper’s Editorial Board. He may be reached by calling 425-6796 or by e-mail to artbt@rezio.net or atrujillo@lasvegasoptic.com.