It’s a good thing that the United States moves forward due in no small part to momentum, because if it required an omnipresent steady hand we’d be screwed right now. Before the past few years I didn’t think that anyone could be more ill-suited than President Bush (43) or President Carter for the nation’s highest office. But it’s current occupant, President Trump, is doing all that he can to show that the bottom of the well is deeper than we thought.
I’ve mentioned before that in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election I began to think that Trump had a better chance of winning than most thought. I know folks who supported Trump and most of them were not crazy, or lacking in either intelligence or good character. They were just fed up. Most of the Trump supporters I know have few illusions about the guy’s character or general acumen. They are convinced that he has gravitas and that’s enough for them.
Trump’s popular appeal is that he is a wrecking ball. As much as I might disagree with this as a positive assessment of leadership skill it’s nonetheless a point of view that I can acknowledge as valid.
I’m not seeing as much evidence as I’d like that the Democrats got the message. Whining about the Electoral College (and the rot of capitalism) is obfuscation. Your candidate came out on the wrong end of an election that you should have run away with. Let me say that one more time for emphasis. You lost to a guy that even many of his own voters knew was a vainglorious braggart and knucklehead. A large number of rational people preferred Trump to your candidate. Ponder that. Then, when you’re done, we can talk about the Electoral College.
Trump, in my opinion, is not only a terrible President but even a worse human being. He’s self-absorbed, dishonest, thin-skinned, impulsive, full of grievance, steeped in unearned arrogance and laughably inept at nearly everything except stroking the worst of populist impulses. He even cheats at golf. He demands complete loyalty yet he’ll throw anyone under the bus when it’s convenient. Worst of all, he’s the living, breathing embodiment of a “snowflake.” Add to that a dollop of alligator mouth, canary butt and you have arguably our worst modern Commander in Chief.
The real tragedy of Trump is the degree to which he’s lowered the bar for what we expect from our leaders. Trump has reset indicators for success so low that if he just stays off Twitter for a day he seems Presidential. It’s all downhill from there.
Legitimate interest in anything that’s a “process” felony or less is a witch hunt. Competence, honesty, the ability to persuade (other than by threat), the ability to engage in dialogue, the ability to be generous and magnanimous, the ability to make decisions in a contemplative manner, the ability to reach out to the 60 percent of the country who are not supporters, the ability to genuinely care about anything other than himself — Trump has none of these.
Readers, I feel you. I know that most who follow this column are thinking “Either tell us something that we didn’t already know or tell us why you are on this rant at this particular time.” Fair enough. The reason I’m fit to be tied right now is Trump’s recent Twitter rants against Sen. John McCain, who happens to not be able to defend himself by virtue of having been dead for seven months.
It’s no secret that I respected John McCain as much as I have respected any leader, political or otherwise, in my lifetime. John McCain was the goods. He may have been born into privilege, but after that he earned the admiration that I and many, many others have for him. I didn’t even agree with the guy on a lot, politically, but I still respected him more than just about any other politician or public figure.
You want to know the definition of a bad (in the urban sense) man? How about a guy who would not leave a POW camp until everyone who’d been there longer was released? That’s hero stuff.
Anyone who badmouths John McCain ought to be dope smacked and that includes President Snowflake. I think that might be difficult to pull off so the next best thing is just to point out how pathetic it is to watch a person who possesses neither courage, nor integrity, nor good character to rail jealously at someone who did. I am convinced that Trump knows it’s the only way he can even get his name in the same sentence as McCain.
Associated Press and Idaho Press Club award-winning columnist Martin Hackworth of Pocatello is a physicist, writer, consultant and retired Idaho State University faculty member who now spends his time happily raising three children, llama farming and riding mountain bikes and motorcycles.