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Auchter's Art: Do you learn from your mistakes, or are you Donald Trump?

Oct 14, 2016

It's getting to be an archaic reference, so for you kids out there: Back in 1975 when Gerald Ford was president, upon arrival on a trip to Austria he stumbled down the stairway when exiting Air Force One.

He had some other mishaps caught on video tape -- an avid golfer, on a couple of occasions he sent errant shots into galleries.

But what really cemented the clumsy reputation was the first season of Saturday Night Live in which breakout star Chevy Chase played Ford as a bumbling, stumbling idiot.

Ford was a little incredulous about all this, but he handled it with grace and humor.

In 1986 he hosted a symposium at his new presidential museum in Grand Rapids titled, "Humor and the Presidency." Not only did he invite Chase, but he also invited columnists and editorial cartoonists, including Pat Oliphant who had mercilessly drawn Ford throughout his presidency with an oversized cranium and a band-aid or two prominently on the forehead.

Ford was nothing but genuinely charming about it all.

When you fall down, do you get back up, learn from your mistake, and move forward with thoughtfulness and graciousness? Or are you Donald Trump?

So my cartoon isn't entirely accurate (most of them aren't).

Another shared trait between Gerald Ford and Donald Trump is that they are both flawed. Obviously the nature of the flaws matter a great deal. But maybe what matters even more is what is done with those flaws.

When you fall down, do you get back up, learn from your mistake, and move forward with thoughtfulness and graciousness? Or are you Donald Trump?

John Auchter is an editorial cartoonist. Views expressed in his cartoons are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.