I know that we are only four months into the Trump Presidency, but I also know that I have seen enough in that short period of time to categorically state that it is time to admit that we have picked the wrong guy.
I detested the way he ran his election campaign and I cringed, louder than I had ever done during the worst moments of ‘W’ rambling utterances, every time he went on his rants to whip up the emotion of the crowds attending his rallies. But, after he got elected in spite of all of that, I felt that we all had to give him a chance to prove himself in his Presidency. After all, he was legitimately elected under the rules of our constitution and I have always felt that, in our governance system, enough checks and balances are built in to keep a President from doing any irreparable harm. But now I know that, unthinkingly or subconsciously, I have always presumed that any President who has taken the oath of office will act maturely, rationally, and always with the best interest of the nation, and not his huge persona or his business empire, in mind.
I now believe that I was wrong making that presumption.
This is not a matter of political preference. I have no qualm with major elements of the Trump agenda:
· I do agree that Obamacare did not cure the ills of our healthcare system and needed a major overhaul, if not a repeal. It was ill fated from the day President Obama decided that he could push a bill through Congress without support of a single Republican.
· I do agree that a tax overhaul is long overdue (so is entitlement reform).
· I do agree that immigration reform should be high on the nation’s priority list.
· I do agree that, after 25 years, it is time to reevaluate NAFTA and try to bring it up to speed with the changed global environment and the altered needs and realities of the American labor force.
· I do agree that over-regulation is stifling our economic growth and putting up unacceptable hurdles to the renovation of our infrastructure.
· Nothing wrong with waking up NATO to the new threats to our liberal order and making sure that the burden of preserving freedom is proportionally shared.
I do think that the solutions the Trump administration is proposing for addressing these issues are not necessarily the best choices, but if they can withstand the scrutiny of Congress, the media and the judicial system, they deserve to be taken seriously. It is true that elections have consequences and it should be that way.
But, just like it happens that the Browns pick the wrong guy with their first draft pick, so can it happen that the voting public of the United States of America picks the wrong guy as well. And when that is the case, we may as well admit it and face up to it. Because, just like the failing draft pick gets his shortcomings unmercifully displayed on TV for all to see, so do we get confronted with a failing spokesman for and leader of the nation every day and every time we turn on our TV.
How long can capable and responsible Americans like Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, H.R. McMaster or John Kelly stand at the podium to clarify or rectify the utterances of the commander in chief, only to be undercut and contradicted by their President? How long can Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell keep their troops from turning their backs on disaster and run for safety?
With every word he utters, if it isn’t written for him by some competent staff writer, he opens our great nation and system up for ridicule or worse. The transcripts of his recent interviews with Associated Press https://www.apnews.com/c810d7de280a47e88848b0ac74690c83 and The Economist http://www.economist.com/Trumptranscript show a picture of a man, so incoherent, so self-aggrandizing and so rudderless, that it is hard to understand that the White House allowed these transcripts to be released to the media. A picture that is brought in sharper focus by the barrage of, mostly bizarre, tweets coming daily from his uncensored communication devices. A loose cannon for sure, as Representative Sandy Levin characterized our President in response to Trump’s sharing of classified information with his Russian visitors in the Oval Office.
His fumbling of the ball when it was time to admit that he had made a mistake picking Mike Flynn as NSA, his maneuvering of Steve Bannon in and out of the National Security Council, and his unceremonious dismissal of James Comey, who was investigating him and/or his team for crimes potentially committed against the national security, are all signs of flawed judgment and boundless overestimation of his own capabilities and authority.
Most worrisome of all is his complete disregard for the sanctity of his office, demonstrated by his refusal to build an unbreachable wall between the White House and Trump Tower (as the seat of his business empire). It is evident that Trump sees the Presidency as a tool in the toolkit for the marketing of the Trump name and organization and as a place where he can deploy his usual antics of bluster and intimidation. But he and his entourage conveniently ignore that the conflict of interest is undeniable and undermining the integrity of the Presidency. Bringing his daughter and son-in-law into the White House has further exacerbated this blatant disrespect for his professed ‘America First’ motivation.
This is the man we have entrusted with the awesome responsibility to lead and defend our nation and its people.
It is time we fess up to the fact that we have made the wrong choice and that we do everything within our power and our legal means to correct our error. The mid-term elections of 2018 will provide us the tools to remove the political shield he currently enjoys and abuses. Hopefully we can bring up the patience to let the democratic process play itself out. The longer rope we give this President the better chance we have that he will hang himself (if he hasn’t roped up himself yet by his interference with the Russia investigation and his dealings with James Comey). He is likely to give us further cause as we go along. Let’s hope no irreparable damage gets done before we have a chance to execute the only ‘repeal and replace’ that matters. If everything else fails, we always have the tools of impeachment and the 25th amendment.