Thursday 18 May 2017
Only in America.
Where else in the world would people deliberately elect as their President a man who is an acknowledged racist, sexist, a sexual predator, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a conspiracy theorist, a bully, an imposter, con man and would-be dictator.
This of course raises the obvious question as to why then are people surprised when things go pear-shaped on a daily basis.
A person like Trump, so used to others agreeing with his every word, finding it difficult to accept real world facts. Liars don’t always have good memories and it brings them undone. Trump’s answer to a lie is to tell another or multiples of others so that the preceding ones are diminished or forgotten.
When uttering the words “Donald Trump” we in Australia are apt to cringe for we see a sick, deluded man of no redeeming features. He is a crash through politician with a ubiquitous mouth. One full of racial hatred, bile and misogyny. A deluded, pathetic liar unsuitable for the highest office in the land, if not the world. He is a creature who sees complex problems and impregnates them with populism and implausible black and white solutions.
We ask ourselves how naïve the American people are. Or was it just absent-mindedness that they chose an ignoramus as their President? However, to give them the benefit of the doubt, more likely perhaps, in their own unique way, electing him was a form of protest that went dramatically wrong.
We sit before our televisions and watch his antics and ponder at the gullibility of the American people and say, “only in America.”
From the day he set foot in the White House controversy has followed his every decision. His unpreparedness for the highest office showed up in the disaster that has been his first 100 days. From the selection of his cabinet to his juvenile tweeting.
Following his sacking of FBI director James Comey he then threatened to reveal tapes of his conversations. The man is a thug in the mould of Nixon who taped everything. With Trump we don’t even know if he does tape or just a bluff. It’s how his mind works.
Then according to a set of notes taken by the former FBI director following a February meeting with President Trump, the president brought up the counterintelligence investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, and urged Comey to drop the investigation.
Experts say he may have obstructed justice but proving intent would be difficult although Comey’s memo offers a plausible case that the president obstructed justice
It gets more Nixon like all the time. On top of all this we have the saga of Trump legally but not advisedly sharing classified information with the Russian senior statesman Sergei Lavrov. It is alleged that he “boastfully revealed to Russian visitors his knowledge of highly classified reports about threats by the Islamic State.”
He responded to the criticism by his normal method, tweeting that he had an “absolute right” to share facts. That maybe correct but it had made the security agencies hairs stand on end, particularly as it contradicts administration officials who went from denouncing The Washington Post’s report as false to either confirming or declining to challenge nearly every key aspect of the account.
The Oval Office has become like the center of a three-ring circus with Trump the senior clown.
Remember the Twitter assault on Hillary Clinton over her use of emails:
“Crooked Hillary Clinton and her team were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. Not fit!”
Republicans who called Clinton “reckless” may find themselves in an awkward position in the wake of all these disclosures.
David Brooks writing for The New York Times had this to say:
“At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big-business corporatist.
But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things.
At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.
First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a seven-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. Trump’s answers in these interviews are not very long – 200 words at the high-end – but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him.
By Trump’s own account, he knows more about aircraft carrier technology than the Navy. According to his interview with The Economist, he invented the phrase “priming the pump” (even though it was famous by 1933). Trump is not only trying to deceive others. His falsehoods are attempts to build a world in which he can feel good for an instant and comfortably deceive himself.”
There are so many shifting lies emanating from the mouth of Trump and because they change direction so many times that it’s hard to keep up but they certainly don’t pass what we Australians call the pub test (trusting one’s instincts). And now he wants to do away with White House media briefings and do them himself every couple of weeks. He is a clown.
Since coming to office some four months ago hardly a day has passed without a tweet contesting the truth as only trump sees it, or a scandal of sorts, or a sacking, or insulting lawmaker, the media or the pushing the boundaries of presidential behaviour.
Impeach the bastard.
Even prominent Republicans like McCain are asking if his erratic behavior and impulsive decisions are threatening his Presidency.
Lawrence Tribe professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School writing for Fairfax:
“Ample reasons existed to worry about this president, and to ponder the extraordinary remedy of impeachment, even before he fired FBI Director James Comey and shockingly admitted on national television that the action was provoked by the FBI’s intensifying investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia.
Even without getting to the bottom of what Trump dismissed as “this Russia thing”, impeachable offences could theoretically have been charged from the outset of this presidency. One important example is Trump’s brazen defiance of the foreign emoluments clause, which is designed to prevent foreign powers from pressuring US officials to stray from undivided loyalty to the United States. Political reality made impeachment and removal on that and other grounds seem premature.
No longer. To wait for the results of the multiple investigations underway is to risk tying our nation’s fate to the whims of an authoritarian leader.”
As I wrote above; “Trump is a crash through politician with a ubiquitous mouth.” But he remains an incoherent mess who bounces back after each disaster thinking he has been impressive while those around him are laughing their heads off. Entertaining in a uniquely American way he might be to the hillbillies but leadership requires worldly character.
If character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of life, governing moral choices and personal and professional conduct. Donald Trump is devoid of it. He is nothing more than a walking talking headline for all that’s unscrupulous about American politics.
Character is also an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of a president drowning in his own self-indulgence. His transparency is there for all to see. We sit before our televisions and watch his antics and ponder at the gullibility of the American people and say …
”Only in America.”
My thought for the day.
“Current experience would suggest that the American people need to take more care when electing its leaders.”