I’m an avid college football watcher. One of the shared experiences of any fan is being hopeful that when a talented player goes out with injury (which is a lot in football) that the damage won’t be that bad. Inevitably, you think, “maybe we can overcome this.” But you almost never can. A stout defensive tackle is no longer there to stop the run. A receiver is not available to stretch the field and give the QB a second option to throw to. An entire season can go from contender to losing record based on a “role player” getting injured.
Our starting QB is injured and it’s SOOO much worse than I even feared. We’ve become desensitized to Trump. The level of ridiculousness has grown so much that his most egregious foul ups barely can hold a full day’s worth of headlines, because there’s something else he’s f*ing up. I mean, we’re almost half a year into his presidency and he still can’t go two days without multiple major foul ups.
And in some ways, that’s what makes him so hard to bring down. You don’t know where to start. I LOVE articles that explain Trump’s thinking. For instance, here’s a great article about why Trump is attacking London’s mayor after a terrorist attack, which on the face of it…what the FUCK?!!! Now, I have no idea how credible that article is, but I’m entranced by it, because at least it means the President is not a complete quack job. There’s SOME KIND of logic to what he does. Please let it be true.
But the scary truth is, even when there is logic, it’s almost worse than if there weren’t. Here’s my attempt (one of many I’m sure) to try to quantify the horror that is Trump’s presidency, and in order to do so, I’m going to have to stay away from specific examples, because otherwise this would take several volumes.
We’ve completely abandoned reason in the White House. Forget whether there’s actually logic or consistency. We have a president that believes:
- Global trade and international cooperation is bad
- Global warming is a hoax
- Vaccines cause autism
- Exercise is bad for you
- Sleep is bad for you (serioiusly, look it up)
- Asbestos ‘got a bad rap’
It’s as if we let someone’s Fox News Hannity watching grandpa run the country. No literally, it’s exactly like that. Except, maybe it’s worse. I mean, this is full on Alex Jones Infowars type of stuff. If you don’t know who that is, that’s because you’re not hiding in a fallout shelter in Montana with 6 years worth of canned goods and enough ammo to take on the state National Guard. It’s crazy frickin stuff.
He has surrounded himself with idiots and “yes men.” His two most trusted advisors are 1) his son-in-law, whose chief accomplishment in life other than being born to the right parents was to lose billions of dollars on a skyscraper, and 2) a former fringe right wing publisher who wants to burn down the world order. That should be a little scary to people even if they don’t know what the world order means. His “reputable” staff apparently don’t like him and the feeling is mutual. Mind you, these are the people that were willing to work with him KNOWING what his background was. This is only going to get worse, as nobody wants to board a sinking ship, especially when the captain might shoot you out of spite.
Even when he does have good staff, he doesn’t listen to them or heed their advice. Apparently the big speech that threw NATO and our closest allies under the bus was not only not vetted but the President himself yanked the line out of the finished, vetted speech without even telling his national security staff.
We have a president is is contradicted by his own staff on a DAILY BASIS. Not the unintentional kind either. We’re talking “the president doesn’t really mean that” in quotation marks type of contradictions. The smart people in the room, and let’s be clear, there aren’t many left in that room, think the president is bonkers. Trump is a child emperor demanding people’s heads be cut off, while his staff busily tries to distract him and shake their heads at the prisoner’s guards to indicate “he didn’t really mean that.”
He’s monumentally insecure. Combine this with stupid and you have a dangerous cocktail for the person in charge of the nuclear codes. You think I’m being hyperbolic. But think to yourself, could you see Trump getting into a fracas with Iran or North Korea or China and all of the sudden there are nukes involved? I’ll grant you it’s not likely. But I would also bet it’s in single digits chance, which used to be measured in tens of decimal places. For instance, he wants to put nukes in South Korea. What could possibly go wrong? Also mind you, this is the president that aides have had to convince multiple times that we should not use nukes, and has said some pretty scary things about them, including questioning why we make nukes if we’re not willing to use them.
And of course, he’s got a lot power without going nuclear. As an insecure man, he feeds off praise and seeks it wherever he can find it, hence his move to the FAR right of politics where they eat up his policies. But here’s where it gets scary to me. The only time in his presidency that his approval ratings ticked up even close to 50% was when he bombed Syria. Nevermind that it didn’t work and only emboldened Assad. I fear what happens when Trump thinks missiles = happy voters.
If I were to put together a list of qualifications you need in a good president, regardless of political beliefs or party, I would say:
- Knows how to surround himself with good people
- Knows how to incorporate advice to make better decisions
- Is cautious and even tempered, but decisive when required
- Knows how to build alliances and draw lines in the sand when necessary
- Can inspire the people to action through rhetoric
I’m sure I could think of a few more. But even of these, the only one that Trump gets is acting decisively. But acting decisively in consistently the wrong direction is even worse.
There’s been some very real debate about impeachment lately, with lots of people urging that we put the brakes on, because this could be bad for everyone in the long and short run. But I also get how democrats are beside themselves trying to find ANY WAY that we don’t have to have 3.5 more years of this (I can’t even fathom 7.5 at this point).
The damage that’s being done is so pervasive, that America will likely never regain its leadership position and soft power around the world. It could be decades before the domestic damage is contained. They always say that the most popular guy on the football team is the backup quarterback. Pence would be a terrible president, but at least he’s a more normal kind of crazy. At what point do you put him in, even if you’re republicans, because they’ll be remembered as the party that enabled this, both domestically and around the world.