I may start jumping around in this post about the level of incompetence in this administration because I frankly do not know where to begin or end.
Trump is a disgrace as a President. There is just no other way to describe it. He has insulted people, he has attacked people, and his administration is the most corrupt in recent history. How do you even begin to analyze such a travesty.
But let’s give it a try.
Foreign Policy. Trump is a novice at diplomatic relations and it shows. But what is worse about this particular President is that he doe not even try. He ignores protocol – he shoots his mouth off with the least amount of provocation – and he thinks he can just make agreements on the fly. After declaring that North Korea was “no longer a threat”, we soon realized that Kim went about his nuclear business much the same as he had before, but now he has recognition of the United States as part of the world community. They got what they wanted, Trump got nothing – and still does not even realize that.
Immigration. Trump thinks of himself as a strong President on immigration. He is going to build that wall and end the flow of illegal immigrants “across our porous borders”. What he has no intellectual curiosity about is that border crossings were already down; and what he is tackling right now is the normal asylum seeking process of people who have been threatened in Central American countries. This tragic separation of families was completely unnecessary. There can be little doubt that Trump’s get tough policies are simply a means of stopping “brown people” from becoming US citizens or legitimately seeking work visas. A wall would be a lasting monument to that bigotry.
Corruption. There is virtually no question that Trump is constantly in violation of the emoluments clause in the US Constitution. He did not divest himself from his business and many of his actions occur for the main purpose of enriching his company. Republican donor money is used to pay for using Trump facilities. And then there is the Trump Foundation – a supposed charity that has simply become a slush fund for Trump to use for his own purposes. The list of Trump cabinet members and staff that have stolen from the US treasury is getting to be too numerous to mention. It is so commonplace that Congress has taken to ignoring these things as something they do not have time to investigate. (But her e-mails is a different story).
Trade. Trump likes to play the trade game. But the problem is that he knows virtually nothing about how international trade works in reality. He has no historical context about how dangerous tariff wars can be. He has little idea about how bad a protectionist policy can be in a global economy. And he thinks that threats are the best negotiating tool. He is just bad at international relations and still believes that real estate negotiation applies to every other type of deal making. And he only consults with people who will agree with him on this stupidity.
Russia. It is becoming all too clear that Trump was willing to accept and collude with Russian interference in our election. As with everything in his life, he was absolutely willing to cheat to get what he wanted. And since Russia offered to do the cheating for him, all he had to do was play the game their way. He still refuses to protect the American election system. If we have elections in the manner Putin is accustomed to, then our votes are almost irrelevant and subject to a foregone conclusion. Robert Mueller has been getting the full picture. He has not made much of it public yet, but what has been discerned is ugly and treasonous. There are so many players on this front, it is difficult to keep them all straight. And already, we have a number of them pleading guilty and cooperating with the Special Counsel. This web is a vast conspiracy. I tend to make fun of conspiracy theories. They are generally made up to fit a targeted narrative. But this is a real conspiracy which will have real conspirators convicted. How much damage will Trump do before he is stopped?
Environment. Hidden beneath all the headlines is a quiet dismantling of decades of environmental protections that have slowed the progress of climate change. Much of that is gone now. Businesses do not have to deal with as many regulations as before – but that means that our clean air, clean water, and land are all in danger. It is no accident that the most corrupt person in the Trump orbit was Scott Pruitt and he was put in charge of the EPA. When polluters get a free ride while Flint Michigan still has lead in its water, tells you all you need to know. Our planet had been moving toward consensus on turning back man made warming issues – but in the US, that is gone.
Military. Trump likes to think of himself as a beloved commander that is worshiped by his troops. He thinks that because he is willing to throw money at the Defense Department, he doesn’t need to anything else – just bask in the adoration. But everything else he does is contemptuous of the troops. He is blocking reforms at the VA. He disses John McCain, a war hero. He denigrates and criticizes our intelligence community. He is letting Russia dictate Syrian terms. He has contemplated private contractors for Afghanistan. He is allowing ISIS to regroup in different territory. He essentially is sanctioning Assad to take back full power in Syria (at the encouragement of the Russians). He has weakened the NATO alliance for unknown reasons (although again Russia has to be part of it). His North Korea policy is a very bad joke. His one sided policy in the Middle East has doomed the two state solution. He has negated the Iran treaty and reopened the Iranian threat to the world. He is a dangerous man in dangerous times.
Economy. Trump thinks that he created this economy. He has been in office for about 17 months now and pretends that he, alone, has turned a bad economy around. But numbers do not lie. Trump has maintained rather than built economic growth. Current numbers are very similar to the final years of Obama. Essentially, Trump is being propped up by an economy that has managed to work in spite of his policies. Trade tariffs, deficits, increasing debt….all of these things will eventually produce a negative economic effect. We are living in the Trump bubble and there will come a reckoning. Trump is oblivious to it all. He could take steps now that will lessen the impact of a recession, but he has this ridiculous belief that as long as he is President, we will never have another economic downturn. It is the thoughts of a fool.
Well, I have managed to depress even myself with all of this. Day in, day out – things get worse not better. The only glimmer of hope is that in November we can at lease add one check against Trump’s power. Take back the House was never a more important mantra than now.