Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly
and applying the wrong remedies
Unpredictable, senile or juvenile? The reader can judge. Whatever Trump is, those are not words that are mine. But circus clown? Yes. Those are my words.
I’d published an article on September 19, 2016 on Oriental Review titled “The Grand Global Circus-US Presidential Elections“. In that article Donald Trump was depicted as the circus clown and Hillary as the juggler. It turned out that Trump won on the strength of four platforms – a) the media who sensed that the American voters wanted a radical change, b) the voters who just wanted America to be great again, c) an establishment (Republican Congress, Senate and House) that wanted control and felt that Trump was the firebrand who would deliver it and d) his convincing lies.
In the article, I’d expressed my opinion that Trump’s verbiages and sarcasms are laughing matter and one wonders when they’ll change in the next few minutes because they’re so entertaining. I have not been off by much.
Hillary Clinton was no match as her agenda was more international than national. Americans were fed up of American wars. They wanted a house clean-up and they believed Trump’s lies for making America great, not Hillary’s.
The interesting part now is that the three American platforms- the media, voters and establishment- who wanted Trump in the White House now want him out. Trump can lie yes but those lies are undeliverable. Trump is irrational, unpredictable, dangerous, characterless and unfit for the Presidency. There is no point in my writing any more about Trump so it’s best that I write about Trump from perspectives of others- in italics.
CNN on November 28, 2017 reported that Trump has always used chaos as a tool to disorientate his rivals but now risks wounding himself with his disruptive behavior in a piece titled Undisciplined Trump Disrupts His Own Tax Reform Pitch.
Starting with the unfit part, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents from John Kennedy to Barack Obama, said on CNN that he found the speech (in Phoenix, Arizona on August 23, 2017) “downright scary and disturbing. I really question his ability to be, his fitness to be in this office and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out.” . According to CNN Donald Trump just showed why even some Republicans question whether he has the temperament and the capacity to serve as President. His best supporter Paul Ryan is also rethinking about his relationship. Trump does not feel any remorse in lashing out at fellow Republican John McCain who is fighting cancer.
Characterless and liar he certainly is and probably the best words that anyone used to describe him are from Neil McDonald, opinion columnist for CBC news. In his op-ed section of August 17, 2017 McDonald wrote “Trump is Giving American Voters Exactly what they Voted for”, he writes “How many times can you ask and answer the same questions? Is he a hypocrite? Does he lie? He is, and he does. Hypocrisy oozes from him like pus from a septic infection.Trump is also a racist”. He hates Mexicans, Muslims and Far Eastern Orientals (Chinese, N. Koreans, et al). Readers of this article can read McDonald’s classic opinion on I doubt anyone who does read it would be able to contradict Neil on any segment. Trump is unwilling to retract his hate and bigoted stand at Charlottesville, a speech like that at Arizona which continues to divide the Americans. How far will Trump go cannot be predicted is what is causing nightmares for the establishment.
After kicking out Steve Bannon who was accused of chaos and hatred, David Gergen, an adviser to four presidents, Democrats and Republicans, and now a senior political analyst for CNN said “Trump is still President and we have found out that he is an uncontrollable force and that a lot of the chaos and spewing of hatred comes from Trump himself, not just the people around him.” Bannon was the key alt-Right link in the chain between him and Trump. Trump has demonstrated in several rallies across the US that he is a champion of these alt-right activists whose ideologies are rooted in isolationism, white supremacism, protectionist and neo-Nazism. So with Bannon the fall guy out of the White House, it was expected that Trump would tone down. No, he did not in Charlottesville and Arizona even with John Kelly as his new chief of staff and H. R. McMaster as the national security adviser. He is uncontrollable. Stephen Collinson made an interesting comment on CNN that corralling the unruly President who resists discipline and control and who blurts out inflammatory statements and sets Twitter alight on a whim is another.
Trump’s plans to make America great are beginning to hit a dead wall. On January 27, 2017 the White House released a statement that as part of his overall job creation agenda he will launch a Manufacturing Jobs Initiative (MJI). The agenda was to meet with some of the most successful and creative business leaders to share their experiences and gain their insights. Just 8 months later, the top CEOs such as Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical, Michael Dell of Dell, Mark Fields of Ford, Jack Fettig of Whirlpool and others have jumped the sinking ship so how does the great Trump plan to make America great after tweeting that he disbanded the business council when just one day before he tweeted he had plenty of CEOs to replace those who wanted to leave? Well, he certainly has made a lot of enemies by calling these business leaders as “grandstanders”.
What about Trump’s grandstanding? He has antagonized leaders from Europe, Canada, Mexico and China who are among America’s leading trade partners and humiliated several others. He has even antagonized Muslims on November 29, 2017 (by re-tweeting a series of videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, a British far right anti-Muslim group. British PM Theresa May stated that it was wrong of Trump to re-tweet those hate videos). Trump lacks political and diplomatic finesse. To cite an example, while NAFTA trade talks are ongoing, off-script Trump told the Phoenix rally that he thinks the US will likely end up terminating the agreement. That is no way a president goes about threatening partners.
So is Trump just blowing his trumpet on a national stage, grandstanding, openly cynical of the media and establishment, challenging to dare, venting his true feelings because he got that opportunity? It certainly seems that way but one thing is sure fire. He cannot make America great again but he can certainly speed up towards making America a fading empire.
Trump is the Groucho Marx political fit.