Conversations about the future plans of Donald Trump are beginning to dominate news media. Will he run for a second term? Will he quit before 2020 out of frustration?
The administration is only six months old, even though it feels much longer because of never-ending internal conflict and alleged scandal. Exacerbating the situation is the on-going investigation by special counsel relating to inappropriate interference of Russia in our election process and any other issues that tempt Robert Mueller.
The New York Times interviewed 75 Republicans “at every level” and sensed great uncertainty about “whether Trump will be on the ballot in 2020 . . .” Leading the parade of G.O.P. presidential aspirants at this point are Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse along with John Kasich, the Ohio governor. And then of course there is Vice President Mike Pense.
Most are respectful (overtly) about Trump’s prerogatives as the incumbent president, aside from Kasich who is much more “defiant.” Of note, Pense has been trying to elevate his status with the party by meeting with conservative groups and large donors. But The Times reports that Pense has respected his boss in every public forum.
Everything about Trump defies tradition. He took down seventeen Republican “luminaries” in the 2016 primaries as an outsider with no government experience. His unabashed campaign style was a winning tactic for the election. The continuation of his abject defiance of tradition and protocol after he took office has greatly infuriated a wide swath of Americans and people around the world.
Sophomoric tweets about political opponents, uncooperative world leaders and even his own party members have turned Washington upside down. Using social media to communicate with the electorate may be the high tech way to campaign and govern in the future, but Trump’s obnoxious attitude has rubbed many the wrong way.
The irony of Trump’s individualistic approach is that many still believe in his vision. What supporters, and former supporters, object to is the president’s policy of turmoil and change. And there is no end to alleged scandals related to himself and his sycophants.
America has woken up to the fact that good behavior is something we want in our president. Our leaders need not be so sensitive and ready to fight about every comment by the opposing party and the unfair and unkind press.
Yet, Trump has eliminated burdensome mandates imposed by his predecessor. This has improved business conditions for many corporations in diverse industries. Related to this is the surging stock market, which has been bolstered by positive economic expectations to record highs.
And fewer businesses have dared to move operations abroad frightened of being exposed publicly by the president in a tweet or a speech. In fact new investment in America is happening every day.
Huge international dilemmas face the Trump administration representing both a challenge and an opportunity. The most important of which include nuclear showdowns with North Korea and Iran. Russian sanctions have been escalated, based upon aggressive actions by Vladimir Putin. Terrorism is increasing worldwide despite some success relating to ISIS. Trade problems abound. Climate change is up in the air, so to speak.
There is still plenty of time for Trump to excel by managing problems. Congress may even begin to act more professionally and cooperatively because of the impending midterm elections. Trump’s unpredictable governing style could bear some fruit moving forward especially with other leaders who are as defiant as he.
However it is difficult to believe that Trump wants another four years of hell in Washington. And it’s more difficult to believe voters will sign up for another four more years of hell with him in the White House.