by Ralph Scharnau
Donald Trump has managed to make a mockery of the presidency. His lack of holding any federal governmental elective or appointive office surely contributed to the chaos evident in his administration.
He often approaches governing as a performance spectacle. On public policy issues, Trump displays an alarming amount of ignorance. He has little interest in the nuances of decision-making. He prefers briefings and pronouncements to analyses and readings.
Some journalists state that Trump likes to get news by listening to oral reports and watching “Fox and Friends” on television. They note that he lacks curiosity, seems bored by analysis and reads very little.
Addicted to the realm of twitterdom, Trump has released a bewildering array of demeaning, contradictory and incoherent tweets. In his tweets and in person, Trump often comes across as rambling, fiery, boastful, and jocular. His critics, especially women, are targeted for slurs and insults, dismissed and denigrated.
White House bureaucracy has gone through a massive exodus of experienced personnel and internal resistance.
Beyond Washington, foolishness abounds at the state level too. In mid-December of last year, Tennessee banned citizens from carrying hand held signs into the state legislature. State officials argued that the signs “represent a serious safety hazard.” But they had no reservations about allowing people to bring their guns into the statehouse.
Commentary on the economy is a daily occurrence. The media, politicians, and corporations judge the nation’s economic health by Wall Street’s index of stock prices. Since nearly all stock is owned by the richest 10% of the populace, these figures only reveal how the wealthy fare. The general measurement of the ups, downs, and sluggishness of stock prices are reported as the Dow Jones Industrial Average. We need a “Doug Jones Average” that measures pay and benefits for the vast majority of American workers. Despite record high stock prices, working and middle class folks struggle to achieve decent wages and living standards.
When it comes to immigration, Trump prefers those from northern and western Europe. He wants more Norwegians rather than those from Haiti and African “shit hole” countries. His mid-January vulgar remarks evoked a firestorm of criticism among Democrats and Republicans. Haitian President Jovenel Moise denounced Trump’s words as racist.
\This was not the first time that Trump used racist language. Before becoming president, he promoted “birtherism,” a debunked conspiracy theory that President Obama was an illegal president because he was born in Kenya. Trump has referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, called for a ban on Muslims, and was slow to disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke Trump has condemned African-American athletes protesting police violence by kneeling during the national anthem. Representative Cedric Richmond, (D-La), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called Trump’s comments “racially insensitive and ignorant,” reinforcing the view that the president’s slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’ is really code for ‘Make America White Again.’”
Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, Trump refers to himself as a “very stable genius.” He worships money, wants unquestioning loyalty, and craves public adulation. He often acts with authoritarian impulsiveness, creating turmoil among his staff, advisors, legal team, and cabinet officials. He is undisciplined, unprincipled, and unconcerned about precedent or propriety.
On the vital issues of the day, Trump stands exposed as ill-informed at best and incompetent at worst. If only we had an experienced, thoughtful, reflective, and knowledgeable chief executive.