What Americans know without further investigation is that their president is a fool. President Trump is a laughingstock in the eyes of global sophisticates and rival nations. His vanity and naiveté combine to keep him from realizing how ridiculous he is.
What we know about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign is that Russians wanted to see if they could manipulate Trump and his people and found that they could.
Donald Trump is all the more a patsy if his protestations of innocence are true. Given his vanity, he could well have failed to recognize how blatantly the Russians were playing his team. He has yet to acknowledge the wrong he committed in surrounding himself with people willing to serve parochial or rival interests rather than those of the United States. Whether Trump colluded with Putin’s hirelings has yet to be established, but, by leaving the nation open to a sort of embarrassment that amounts to a dangerous vulnerability, Donald T. Rump showed a gross incompetence that is incontrovertible.
What prompted Trump to select Michael Flynn, as his national security advisor? Flynn was an embittered army general intent on getting even with the US by selling his services to dubious foreign clients. Even after the acting head of the Justice Department warned Trump that the Russians could manipulate Flynn by threatening him with exposure, Trump postponed Flynn’s dismissal, leaving him in a highly privileged position for nearly a month. Trump’s stubborn loyalty to a man who mattered far less than our security interests must have filled the Russian establishment with glee. While the president ingenuously bragged to high-ranking Russians about the quality of American intel, their compatriots were probably busy hacking the NSA.
Which is worse: having a grandiose bumbler in the White House instead of a person who, as the Founders intended, represents the best of America; or knowing that the President is incapable of serving the nation in accordance with his oath?
Image: Screen shot of Russian officials laughing,
as Putin jokes at the Americans’ expense (May 2017).
According to the latest polls (taken about 10 days ago or so), Trump’s approval rating is at 38%. That is the lowest any President has polled so early in his tenure. I really wonder if it will go much lower. Sadly, T. Rump (by the by, a GREAT nickname, I hope it will be picked up) always has enjoyed the solid backing of one third of the electorate. How awful must he become to finally sway that third to vote against him? . . . I’m waiting for his approval rating to dip into the 20% range, then political change would most certainly occur.
The rest of our leaders should busy themselves with the question of how to lure voters away from Trump and toward a more creditable ideology. Waiting for Trump to perform more even more poorly than he does now isn’t the way to go. The country is suffering from a real leadership vacuum. Many Americans like the idea of immigration reform, better internal security, fairer trade deals, infrastructure investment and retreating from our role as global policeman–but there are better and worse ways to realize these goals. For better or worse, Democrats should be engaging in these issues, rather than defending past ways of doing things, or resisting a trend toward retrenchment and consolidation that is powerful now.