Americans Must Choose Revenge Or Progress

In a previous blog post, I said that it would be wise to put the Trump experiment behind us. This was not to say that the president shouldn’t be investigated for crimes associated with tax fraud and abuse of power.

The reason why I expressed this opinion is that America needs to heal, and political vendettas should be set aside for the good of the country. My experience talking with liberal individuals is that they along with many left-wing politicians in Congress and radical reporters in the media want to draw and quarter the president in the public square and that there is no punishment too extreme for Trump alleged “crimes against humanity.”

I agree illegality needs to be prosecuted, but it should be investigated by the Department of Justice over time, not by Congress who should be ensuring a timely distribution of Covid vaccines, caring for the fragile economy and keeping an eye on our enemies and terrorists that would do us harm.

Righteous liberals are wishing the worst for Trump. Infect him with Covid, put him in jail for life, and even execute him, they say. So many of these loving, empathetic and peaceful individuals are relishing the destruction of a man and president of our country for the purpose of settling a score.

When Richard Nixon was under siege in the 70s for felonious actions, Gerald Ford, who succeeded him, pardoned him so that Americans could end a very terrible moment in history. This action saved the US from the pain and embarrassment of the moment and may well have save the Republic. And it also cost Ford his reelection. It was a brave deed.

The mad dogs in Congress led by impeachment mongers are looking for approval of their unsuccessful efforts to prove anything in earlier days of the Trump administration. They should be more worried about our country, not putting notches on their belt for bringing down a US President.

I’m tired of talking about Trump. I’m tired of saying that he’s toast and will be forgotten the day after Biden’s inauguration. Of course, that assumes Pelosi and the liberal press give us all a break and focus on more serious threats to our life, country and liberty.

So libs, continue to say Trump was a bad guy, and he deserves a slow death. This will drag out a sordid tale indefinitely while our neighbors are dying and the world is crying out for leadership.

Walk Away, Mr. President

The president, who was defeated earlier this month, has indicated that he might not turn over power to his opponent. This inane and defiant attitude personifies the principle reason Trump was not elected for another four years.

Mr. President, you did a pretty good job governing the country. Our economy grew, and you made us more secure. But your inability to build bridges with those that oppose you or even suggest alternative actions was/is abominable. In the corporate world, the board of directors would say your business judgment is good. But keeping you on in any capacity is not worth the anxiety that you create. So, it was with the American voters.

Many people hate you to the point that they wept for joy when you were declared the loser of the election. Just imagine the emotion and vitriol that would have arisen if you won. Radical liberals would have protested, rioted and destroyed major cities throughout the country. This is not to say that I condone violent protests. I don’t.

Many households were torn apart when parents supported Trump, and their children voted for Biden. I hasten to point out that millennials are replacing baby boomers as the greatest political force in America. This group wants equality and the end of racial, sexual and religious bigotry.

You may believe in these ideals. If you do, you have a strange way of showing it. By not speaking out against white supremacists and the pervasive growth of gun ownership, you lost important groups of voters. A more measured response to sensitive issues would have made you a winner on Election Day.

You did solve a number of important problems. You promised to cut taxes, and you did. You promised to abrogate unfair trade agreements, and you did. You promised to clean up the Washington swamp, and you did. You made progress with Blacks, Latinos and other minorities economically. You restored the reputation of the US in the face of global anti-American sentiment.

The problem is that you rubbed our faces in all of your successes. You are the most un-humble leader the country has ever had. You are not the greatest. You are a liar. You twist and distort the truth. The press has a field day reporting on your misstatements and exaggerations daily.

I’m puzzled why anyone would vote for you. Of course, Americans have the right to pick who they want to govern our country. But you lost this time. You are a bad loser and a bad winner. Therapy might be helpful.

Mr. President, you are our elected leader and it hasn’t worked out, with the advancement of the pandemic, the hostile and unfair media and a bunch of vicious politicians on the other side of the aisle.

You have an opportunity to do a good thing. Walk away and begin to rehabilitate yourself. It’s never too late. Americans want a peaceful and effective transition of presidential power. You should make it happen for the good of our republic.

Power and Personal Ambition

What motivates leaders of our country? Clearly, power is an aphrodisiac savored by most politicians. When do the personal objectives of people in power interfere with the needs of the many? The answer should be never, but it is frequently the case.

Most politicians believe their ideas and solutions to problems are more valuable than others. Too often, they turn a deaf ear to constructive suggestions. And so, there are two major political parties who espouse different ideologies that hopefully will give us peace, prosperity and equality. But the road to a good life is only made possible through compromise, something that can be very difficult to orchestrate these days.

Donald Trump is the best example of a man who wants the best for America and its citizens, but his actions are often unclear because of a personal agenda. Supposedly, Trump is very wealthy, so he is not driven by monetary gains, but, is this really true? Although he ceded the management of his personal assets to his sons and other confidantes, the Trump empire seems to benefit greatly because the real force behind the company is the president of the United States.

Our forefathers anticipated this circumstance, conflict between personal wealth for those in a position of power, and the good of the nation. And so, over the years, presidents were required to divest ownership, or at a minimum, control over assets that could be affected by their position in government. Trump is an excellent example of how personal priorities can result in poor presidential decisions.

Let’s dig deeper into the issue of conflicts. For some reason, Trump has decided to take a leading role in the handling of the pandemic. He has made quite a few decisions that others, including health experts, have disagreed with.

One could say that the health care community was caught with their pants down during the initial onset of Covid. This blog has been critical of medical efforts that resulted in more cases of the disease and more deaths. What have researchers been doing in the last 100 years, since the last great pandemic, to protect mankind against an existential health threat? Seemingly very little, or they have been diverted by other research projects. Medical experts get low marks for there preventative work as it pertains to influenza.

How has Trump responded? He, believing that he is the smartest person in the world, initiated actions that were not endorsed by health experts. The layman, Trump, morphed into an infectious disease guru. Trump established protocols that were derided by the health community. Did he do so because he had no confidence in the “experts,” or is he just a control freak thinking that he could be the person who saves mankind? Incidentally, he has insisted on using therapeutics that are still in the research stage for his own care.

The largest mistake that Trump makes on a daily basis is that he does not rely upon his aides. A president can recruit virtually anyone to help him or her govern the country, and Trump has been chewing up and spitting out quite a few of such people. They leave positions of great power because it is so hard to work for this president.

Why is this so? It’s because Trump has a personal agenda. He wants to be legendary. He wants to be a great hero. He wants to be adored and beatified by the people. He wants to show every American and every other person on Earth that he’s the greatest. He will steamroll anyone who challenges his ultimate authority. He is a clear and present danger because of his pride. Pride is a deadly sin.

So, what do we do now? The choice is between Trump, a megalomaniac undeserving of such great power, and Biden, an older man who will not actually govern the country. If Biden wins, it’s likely that left-wing liberals like Pelosi, Harris, Sanders, AOC, Schumer and scores of caucuses in Congress will usurp power from the president and the executive branch of government. We now have a president who has too much personal authority. Under Biden, socialists and anti-American groups will have a field day. Good luck picking a candidate.

Democrats’ Dream Of Impeachment Fades

The presidential impeachment circus continues. For hours, liberal lawmakers slogged through a myriad of meetings, phone calls and gossip trying to dredge up a crime by Trump that would justify removing him from office.

Viewers of the proceedings are reported to be fewer and fewer each day. Everyone is waiting for a breakthrough revelation, but none have materialized. Odds are that 80% of Americans still don’t know the capital of Ukraine (Kiev), 90% don’t know where the country is located (eastern Europe on the Black Sea) and 99.99% don’t know the president’s name (Zelensky).

Basically, every witness called has been a State Department bureaucrat affiliated to Ukraine. All of those called to testify are government hacks (with fancy titles- mostly “ambassador”), whose purpose is to legitimize Ukraine, assist it in becoming a loyal and non-corrupt member of NATO and the European Union and arming it so it can serve as a buffer between Europe and Russia. The latter, led by Vladimir Putin, yearns to of reassemble the Soviet Union by reclaiming all of the original Soviet States. Recapturing Ukraine would be a first step in the process.

When this witch-hunt began, many expected the individuals appearing before the House Intelligence Committee to be avid Trump-haters, plain and simple, and their objective would coincide with Democrat’s- to impeach Trump. The fact is that each bureaucrat, to date, is a rabid Ukrainian supporter determined to convince the president and Congress that Ukraine can evolve into a productive member of the community of nations. Surprisingly most of the witnesses are apolitical, and only interested in the well being of Ukraine. Most of them have worked under both Republican and Democrat presidents.

Not one of the witnesses on Tuesday incriminated Trump for pressuring Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, or said Trump bribed, extorted or intimidated the Ukraine president. The harshest criticism was directed at Rudy Giuliani. He’s not a government official. But he’s acting on behalf of President Trump regarding Ukraine. Time and again the State Department officials indicated that they resented Giuliani’s intrusion onto their turf, and his actions have been detrimental to US policy regarding Ukraine.

Tuesday could be the worse day so far for Schiff and his misinformed minions. Nobody cares about the impeachment because it’s a charade, and the Senate will acquit.

Is it possible that not one single person will actually testify that he or she, first hand, witnessed Trump committing an impeachable crime? It appears so.

Am I The Only American Disgusted With Trump And House Democrats?

Millions of Americans are fed up with the current state of the federal government.

For three years Donald Trump has been trying to convince us that he is the greatest American president. His arguments are not convincing considering that about half of the country would like to see him impeached. At the same time Trump’s opponents have been trying unsuccessfully to dig up dirt on the president since his first day in office. Both parties have failed dismally to win over new supporters and most Americans are furious that Congress has been unable to do the people’s business.

Every time I read the New York Times or watch CNN, I want to pull the hair from my head. Can a president actually be as horrible as both of these news outlets portray Trump? But the big question is did the president commit high crimes and misdemeanors? We lived through the Mueller investigation for two years and it was a total bust. No evidence was uncovered to prove Trump colluded with Russia or obstructed justice.

At the same time Trump is lambasting the liberal press and do-nothing Democrats. “Fake news!” is the president’s mantra. In over 11,000 tweets since being elected, he makes fools out of those who criticize him and a fool out of himself. He repeatedly says House Democrats are incompetent, liars, and dangerous to our country.

To make matters worse, many Democrat presidential candidates are trying to convince the electorate that the US should morph into a socialistic state. In particular Sanders and Warren are attempting to buy the loyalty of voters by telling them they will overtax successful people in our country. What a bad plan. Even Bill Gates criticized this ploy. These geniuses say they will provide one-payer health care for all Americans that is projected to cost between $20 and $40 trillion (our current level of debt is about $20 trillion). Even Democrats are attacking Warren for her ridiculous entitlement promises. How does she intend to pay for all of her giveaways without bankrupting the country?

Trump is sashaying across America and every day unleashes a string of offensive tweets like a schoolboy. He says horrible things about anyone who criticizes him. He proclaims that the economy is the best in history. In the meantime a setback in Chinese trade negotiations would reduce the Dow Jones by several thousand points in a heartbeat. It’s true that employment is up, unemployment is down (even for minority groups) and Trump continues to ride roughshod on Iran, Europe, Mexico, Canada and many more countries in an effort to negotiate fair deals.

A disgraceful situation occurred a few days ago when Trump took credit for the assassination of al-Baghdadi, the former terrorist leader of ISIS. From his bunker in the basement of the White House, our Commander-in-Chief “orchestrated” the operation. Trump was not part of the mission, other than giving his approval to move ahead (to which he deserves some credit). I wonder if the president dressed up in camouflage as he directed his special operators.

I’ve had it with the investigations of every move by Trump. In a short year voters will have a chance to change leaders. Democrats believe that they can denigrate Trump so one of their pathetic candidates will win. It’s not going to happen. Voters will resent the obvious outcome of the impeachment- Trump will stay in office because the Senate will acquit. Why are Democrats acting like there is any chance to convince 20 or 25 Republican senators to join them and convict Trump of a high crime?

In the meantime the country is going to hell and a hand basket. Budgets are not being approved, infrastructure is crumbling, LGBTQ rights are being violated, health care is deteriorating, immigration is unsettled and trade agreements are not being signed. I want a government that does its job. I abhor sanctimonious legislators who break the law every day by leaking confidential information and lying to the public.

Obama and Democrats are responsible for setting the stage for a person like Trump. We are stuck with him at least until next November when he will likely defeat an incompetent Democrat, unless Bloomberg jumps into the fray.

Bad Presidential Choices

During the next 13 months, voters must decide who they trust to govern the US. The choices are Donald Trump, with all his shortcomings, or one of group of radical progressive politicians.

It’s not going to be an easy decision unless you despise President Trump and don’t believe he is qualified to hold his office any longer. On the other hand, there are about ten very liberal Democratic candidates that are anxious to redistribute personal wealth, over tax the most successful among us and bestow any number of very expensive entitlements on certain Americans and illegal aliens.

A quick response is that we’d all be better off with Trump because we know what he wants to do. You may abhor the man, but if ending illegal and unbridled immigration, preventing Iran and North Korea from developing a deployable nuclear weapon, protecting Israel, fighting terrorism, controlling China and Russia and renegotiating fair trade agreements are important to you, Trump is your best bet.

Frankly the crazy progressives have no idea how they would pay for the outrageous things they are promising their incredibly naïve and gullible followers. The proposals include: one payer universal health care, free college tuition, forgiveness of student debt, open borders, elimination of immigration officials, free pre-kindergarten, restitution for unfair actions against social groups and so much more.

There is great downside affiliated to reelecting Trump. One of the most unappealing things includes the continuation of investigations of every conceivable action by the administration. If Trump is elected without regaining the House of Representatives, our government will be in suspended animation for four years. Correspondingly, if Democrats win the White House and do not gain control of the Senate, government stagnation will similarly occur.

Some really horrendous issues to consider if Democrats win in 2020 aside from an expected gigantic tax increase for both middle and upper class Americans are as follows:

  • The reinstatement of the Iran nuclear treaty that would jeopardize Israel, Saudi Arabia and all of the Middle East. Additionally it would assure that Iran would have a nuclear weapon in less than decade.
  • A stock market crash reflecting over spending by the federal government and higher taxes to pay for new entitlements.
  • Greater problems with North Korea, Russia and China resulting from harsh legislation that would emanate from an ultra liberal Congress.
  • A poor economic environment as the current bull market ends in response to decreasing business activity and lower consumer confidence. The point is that Trump’s policies foster high employment, lower taxes and more spending by consumers.

The thought of a constant barrage of inane tweets by Trump along with self-aggrandizing blather and exaggeration is depressing. But putting up with the president’s bad hair, bad attitude, bad relations with his opponents and bad character may not be such a great price to pay considering what Democrats will do to our country, our security and our financial stability.

 

 

Incivility In Government

What has become of American politics? How could our government and the two major political parties behave in such a dysfunctional manner? Who is responsible for the current state of affairs?

Dirty politics and bad blood between the president and Congress is not a new phenomenon. It’s existed since the time our country was founded nearly 250 years ago.

Even before our nation was formed in 1776, the leaders of the revolution were fighting with each other about states’ right, slavery, commerce, banking, voting rights and how to control the dominance of the more populous states. It finally came together and our forefathers crafted a wonderful document we call our Constitution.

The animus that exists between Republican and Democrats has hit an all-time highpoint. The venom, mudslinging and lies that are prevalent today have made it impossible for the federal government to do its job. The vacuum resulting from the ineffective and conspiratorial Obama years paved the way for a mean-spirited, narcissistic megalomaniac to win the presidency. Our country was so brutalized prior to his introduction that it scorned “the establishment” and the mores that enabled America to thrive with its two-party system. We elected a man who was not part of Washington and now we are paying the price.

Consider the way that Trump governs, bad and good. For one thing the president had no idea how the federal government operated. It’s not a dictatorship. The president is the most powerful man on Earth, but he does not have absolute power. He needs to collaborate with Congress to implement policies, spend money, go to war, make treaties, appoint justices to the Supreme Court, etc. The president is responsible for creating an agenda for the country and convincing lawmakers to approve his ideas, even if the opposition party controls Congress or part of it.

Donald Trump was the undisputed autocrat of his real estate empire. For his whole life he gave orders to his sycophants, and they did his bidding. When he moved into the White House he attempted to govern similarly, and his administration has and continues to fall flat on its face.

Exacerbating the situation has been Trump’s inability to recruit and retain high quality people to advise him. One person cannot operate the federal government. Obama never learned the same lesson. This inability to keep together a strong cadre of insiders to deal with a myriad of problems every day has resulted in probably the most ineffective administration in history.

Similarly Trump convinced himself that, as the leader of the greatest country in the world, he could bully leaders of other nations. His tendency is to strong-arm people he negotiates with, including heads of state and other politicians. This worked well for Trump as he bought and sold buildings and casinos, but it’s been a disaster during his two plus years as president.

Trump resents anyone who resists his will. He has to be right all the time. He never admits missteps. Americans prefer leaders that have the courage to trust and listen to others and are not embarrassed to accept a better way to accomplish shared objectives.

But one of the worst characteristics affecting Trump has been his propensity to belittle anyone who takes a contrary position. This includes firing cabinet members and advisors wantonly. Political opponents are fair game and have been since the 2016 primaries. Assigning childish nicknames to those who disagree with him is just not befitting a president. Trump has not hesitated to use the same tactics on domestic politicians and world leaders.

It feels like we have a spoiled child in the White House. If he doesn’t get his way he has a snit, and watch out. Heads roll.

The president speaks off the cuff too often. Some may find this to be refreshing and entertaining. Unfortunately, going off script results in inconsistencies, and even accusations of lying. Fact checkers have had a field day with his transgressions ever since he miss-estimated the attendees at his inauguration.

And finally there is character. How many times have you heard that Americans don’t want their children to grow up to be like Trump? The president must be a role model. Sadly our president has a long history of bad behavior that includes misogyny, racism, self-importance, aggression, untruthfulness, exaggeration and so on. He is not one that should be emulated in most Americans’ opinion.

But there is another side to this story. Donald Trump has ignored tradition and recrimination. He never apologizes for America, whereas, too many presidents and politicians have spent much time doing mea culpas for the past. American leaders often feel the need to say they are sorry for historical actions taken against people worldwide. They say America is too prosperous, too aggressive and too invasive. It does not support the needy at home or around the world. Everyone in America is rich while millions are starving to death in Africa. Obama spent eight years saying he regretted the actions of America. Trump has not spent one minute doing so.

Donald Trump was elected to change the direction of the US. We were losing ground to our greatest rivals and enemies. We were being abused by immigration policies. All of our trade partners imposed tariffs on us that were higher than what we imposed on them. NATO was underfunded The US used its economic might to make gains diplomatically. Trump is turning all this around and making a lot of enemies in the process. In this day and age of ever-dwindling resources and huge deficits, the country can no longer operate frivolously.

Trump changed it all. It hasn’t been pretty or polite or tactful, but he’s getting the job done. Trump puts America first, and why shouldn’t he?

The blowback from Trump’s adversaries has been relentless and shameful. It’s one thing to criticize policy, it’s another thing to attack the president and divert his attention away from important issues. Democrats wanted to boot Trump from office before the new president-elect moved into the White House. Their tactics have been despicable. And in all fairness, Trump has responded in a similarly inappropriate manner.

So where do we go from here? We are about to experience the dirtiest and most vicious presidential campaign ever. Democrats are swinging far left, socialistic left, and are not pulling any punches with each other or towards Trump. The president thinks Democrats are out to get him and are lying, spinning, spying and pleading with the electorate to approve an effort to impeach him. This is because none of the empty suits vying for the Democratic nomination will be able to defeat Trump in 2020.

 

Trump Versus The World

Donald Trump is making the entire liberal establishment look like a bunch of fools. It’s one man against an entire political party, and he’s winning. Complicating the situation is the sudden and bizarre comments by Robert Mueller editorializing his $40 million witch-hunt that found no grounds for impeachment, but implied wrongdoing nevertheless.

With a little help from the FOX Network, the president is prepared and anxious to go head to head with any politicians, especially the 20 plus pathetic Democrat presidential candidates. It hasn’t even been a fair fight to this point. Somehow Trump finds the time, energy and opportunity to lambast the idiotic proposals coming from this group of old white men, has-beens, political neophytes, uber-feminists, race-baiters and just uninformed and weird characters.

Trump should propose to debate all of these people at the same time. To make matter worse for Democrats the leading candidate, “Sleepy Joe Bide,” is not engaging with his competition for the liberal nomination. Is he really going to stand on the achievements of the Obama administration?

Simultaneously Trump is sparring with all the key leaders in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Wisely, he put his foot down and refused to cooperate any further with investigations of investigations of investigations, enough already. Mueller was the great hope for liberals. And, he really wanted to stick it to Trump, as did his bloodthirsty minions. If there was any shred of evidence that could be used to implicate Trump in an impeachable crime or misdemeanor, don’t you think it would be on the table? Now, Mueller is having seller’s remorse. He’s saying that he couldn’t find any wrongdoing but Congress should take the baton and make a case against the president.

Ironically, Trump relishes his moments on Twitter and at giant rallies when he calls out the leaders of the House for their incompetence and ill-conceived urges to kick him out of the White House. He responds forcefully to the ranting of Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff and the other zealots who think that attacking the president will increase their power. In the meantime Democrats are losing face.

It has been interesting to note that the branches of government have not been unable to moderate each other when there are disagreements. For instance Trump has instructed his people to ignore congressional requests for more information on the heels of the Mueller fiasco. I guess SCOTUS will soon be running the country.

How did an aggressive and unpopular real estate deal operator get to lead the US government and impact other countries on so many issues? It must be that these situations were not properly managed for so long. The US needed a leader like Trump to show us that many countries and groups around the world are abusing America. It took a strong person to challenge our most important allies and to approach some of the most dangerous despots around the world. This was done without fear or hesitation. Only an individual with guile and determination could stop the abuses.

Trump confronted China and exposed its weaknesses. It is not invincible and is not in a position to demand anything from the US. Now, China calls Trump a bully, even as its leaders want to dominate Asia and many developing areas across the globe.

Trump recognized that China is vulnerable economically and dependent upon the US to meet its growth objectives. By attacking our enemy economically with tariffs, China will be hard pressed to keep its billions of workers on the job. In the end Trump will win this standoff and the US will finally be protected from China’s predatory behavior.

Trump has abrogated and/or criticized treaties and pacts that were not beneficial to the US. The most important was the Iran nuclear deal, a transaction that was mischaracterized by the Obama administration. All it did was delay the time when Iran would become a nuclear power. It was, however, advertised as a way to prevent Iran from developing nukes. The president wisely walked away and began to increase economic sanctions on Iran that will ultimately bring down the current regime.

Simultaneously Trump has attempted to deal with North Korea. He sees an opportunity to fix the incredible incompetence of former administrations. How could the US allow a poor and unaffiliated country to build weapons of mass destruction that could possibly reach the US mainland? Trump had the courage to address the problem diplomatically, but with an iron determination. It just may work out peacefully.

Trump shook the world by walking away from the global climate change agreement. He recognizes that important polluters, aside from the US, would not live up to their promises. And world pollution cannot be address through American efforts alone. Other huge countries are experiencing industrial revolutions and will not delay progress for climate change.

Donald Trump has pissed off and exasperated so many groups during his short tenure with his brash behavior. A list includes Congress (which is addled by the president’s efforts to increase the power of the Executive Branch), the Supreme Court (which now has 5 conservative members), abortionists (see previous comment on SCOTUS), feminists (who are mortified that a misogynist is in the White House) and Hollywood (Trump often exposes the shallowness and unimportance of this self-aggrandizing group of morons).

Trump has fought with every liberal outlet in the country. He has baited them into abandoning the tried and true separation of reporting and opinion. All major newspapers have become tabloids, infected with bias outside their opinion pages.

The Trump crisis cannot last into the medium and long-term. He is not a leader. He is not empathetic. He is not a role model for Americans or any one for that matter. His perspectives, however, have enabled the country to break away from its status as a fall guy. No longer are we going to be apologizing for things done years ago.

We need a new leader to take us forward as the greatest country in the world. Unfortunately this is not likely to occur in 2020.

Mattis Publicly Denigrates Trump

The Truman Doctrine was issued by President Harry Truman in 1947. In it the president indicated that the US should be prepared to fight and prevent the spread of communism. Over the years the doctrine was expanded to include other types of conflicts where “free people are subjugated by conquest.”

This longstanding policy of the US may be in jeopardy as President Trump decreases the presence of US forces in certain hotspots around the world. In recent days he said he would immediately bring back 2,000 troops from Syria and soon will decrease the US presence in Afghanistan by 50 percent.

The proposed actions, along with several other offending comments by the president, caused a great divide between Trump and the Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis. The latter indicated he would resign in February to give the president time to name a replacement. After a careful reading of Mattis’ resignation letter, the president dismissed Mattis immediately. This is the second time a president has dismissed Mattis. Obama fired him after he refused to comply with his Iran policies.

Many have lauded the general for having the courage to stand up to his commander-in-chief. Yet I ‘m disturbed by Mattis’ overly political manifesto that has gone viral. By suggesting Trump is not concerned with ignoble intentions of Russia and China and the importance of our close allies, he disparaged his commander in a manner that weakens the reputation of our country even further.

The general certainly should be guided by his conscience and experience and resign if he disagrees with the president’s strategy in Syria or any other issue. But to criticize the president as he’s walking out the door was not an act of heroism, humility or class in my opinion. Rather he should have exited quietly, with dignity and respect, like so many great generals have done throughout history, think back to General Collin Powell retirement, regardless of his personal feelings towards Trump.

The liberal press, Democratic opponents and even some Republicans were overjoyed to see the president taken down a few notches. This dissatisfaction with Trump is totally understandable, but exposing our dirty laundry to the rest of the world will make it more difficult for the president to address pressing issues beyond the minutia investigated by Robert Mueller. Keep in mind Trump is going to be in the White House for two more years unless he resigns under pressure or is impeached as recommended yesterday by Tom Friedman, a NY Times columnist.

I think the specific decision by Trump to exit Syria is appropriate and reasonable. The blowback from hawkish politicians has been resounding. They say US aversion towards conflict where people are being repressed is bad policy. The naysayers believe that a strong response and continued support in regional conflicts like Syria are critical to American leadership.

But is it really? Trump sees no upside in subjecting our troops to unnecessary peril in Syria. The country is occupied by Russian and Iranian troops. A fledgling resistance supported by Syrian Kurds has fought courageously against the Syrian army led by the tyrant Bashar al Assad. But it’s a hopeless cause.

Assad mercilessly attacks the resistance and innocent bystanders with the assistance of his allies. This assault has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of refugees. Certainly the quest for freedom by the Syrian people meets the qualifications laid out in the Truman Doctrine. But the US must know when it is wiser to walk away.

Until now the US has kept the remote possibility of ousting Assad alive. But it is a fruitless endeavor unless the US goes all in. That would mean more US troops will be deployed, and direct confrontation with Russia and Iran will be inevitable.

What would the end game be for continued American involvement in Syria? Ideally it would be the downfall of the Assad regime. Even if the Russians and Iranians allowed this to happen, what group would assume control? It could possibly result in even more violence.

Trump has made the right move in Syria. Middle East countries and their citizens eschew American occupation, even while our soldiers risk their lives to protect the people. There is no upside for American diplomacy in this conflict.

Trump may, in fact, be a threat to the Truman Doctrine as he considers American alternatives overseas. But he should not be judged harshly for walking away from Syria. If Iran uses Syria as a platform to spread violence, the US can always reconsider aggressive military action.

 

Trump Will Not Run For A Second Term

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.