IWe all agree that Donald Trump is a different kind of guy. He’s driven by adulation, ego and the urge to win. The president continuously boasts about his accomplishments using “est” words. “The Trump administration is the greatest in history.” “The tax cut was the biggest ever.” “The wall will make the US the safest country in the world.”
Since his inauguration the president has been talking to himself. Only the most naïve and least informed Americans think the man is the best in any regard.
Another dominant character trait so many Americans find disturbing is that every controversial situation is a fight to the death. There are never problems that he and others can agree upon without resulting in bad feelings.
Even more disconcerting, Trump is a very bad winner. When he gets things done he gloats and celebrates victory by denigrating those who opposed him. Smart politicians mend fences after a tough fight, to position themselves for the next confrontation.
Trump is not a statesman, even though he should appreciate that America wants this quality in its leaders. Every time he goes on a crusade, he begins by threatening his counterpart.
Sometimes Trump uses a strategy that is so obvious that other leaders snicker behind his back. Putin, Xi, Macon, May and others start out being the president’s bffs, and when they push back, they become enemies of America. This radical, inconsistent behavior befuddles other leaders. They can’t trust Trump when he commits to something in negotiations. And Trump’s perspectives about what took place in private talks are always exaggerated.
The president is definitely a phenom. He was a successful businessperson, disliked by most, who managed to become president. He did so by relentlessly attacking the status quo and convincing many voters that politicians were all crooked, lying and incompetent swamp creatures. This ploy worked swimmingly through the election. However, Trump never pivoted and tried to patch up old wounds.
No president can be successful without support of Congress. If the opposition controls the legislature, the president must find common ground, or he won’t be able to accomplish anything.
Obama is a perfect example of this. He alienated congressional Republicans and was stymied for the balance of his tenure. Trump is facing the same dilemma in the wake of Democrats gaining control of the House in 2018. If Trump had built bridges with Democrats, our government would be able to operate in spite of philosophical differences. Trump’s next two years are going to be a living hell for him and all Americans.
This brings me to the point of this essay. If you live by the sword, you’ll die by the sword. Republicans are embarrassed that such a brute is the leader of the party.
His behavior and quirky decisions make Republicans cringe every day. They pretend to support the president, but they don’t. Like many average Americans, Republicans thought Trump would change his spots once he moved into the White House. He didn’t, and now Republican leadership is in jeopardy.
Trump cannot employ experts to help him develop new policies good for the country. Backstabbing, leaks among the members of the administration and Trump’s style of management are making it impossible to govern effectively. As soon as a new person assumes an important position, he or she is planning to leave. It must be very difficult to work with such a mercurial person.
And finally, the Democrats. With control of the House they will waste time and money denigrating, investigating and antagonizing the president. The House majority will make it impossible to develop and pass new legislation. It makes no difference if initiatives are good for America. Obstruction, the Democrats believe, is the path to a Democratic presidency.
Most importantly the opposition will continue to dig into every misstep by Trump and his sycophants. They will look into his business dealings and reopen scabs of the president’s sordid past. It will be very ugly and unproductive.
So why, one would ask, would a self-proclaimed billionaire put up with all this sh–? I believe, even Trump won’t be able to deal with such treatment for the next two years. I predict he will abandon efforts to run for a second term.