Saturday, July 15, 2017

Will Trump Supporters Ever Admit That the Trump Presidency Has Been a Disaster?

Half a year into the Trump presidency, and the sense of constant chaos, idiocy, and absurdity has not really let up. Not even for a moment.

As many people predicted would happen with a President Trump, there have been moments where he has show absolute inexperience and classlessness. Moments when bravado in front of a favorable crowd has looked downright embarrassing before a less favorable crowd, such as when he is with other world leaders. Trump's actions, words, and styles has not been anywhere near as big a hit with the world community as it has been with the staunchest of his fan base. His loud and crass style in speech and tweets has largely backfired, much like his detractors (and I admit to counting myself among these) suggested would happen.

The result is that Trump has shown his frustration at times, because unlike his business empire, he is not the be all, end all. People question his word, his decision. In fact, more than with any other president in history, people question his honesty, his integrity, his insight, his wisdom, and increasingly, even his very sanity. Trump has been forced to endure a bit of humility, something that he clearly never learned at any point before in his entire life, and we all have to watch it live as it is happening.

That does not make for a smooth presidency, and Trump has clearly not taken to these lessons very well at all. He remains committed to having a loud and crass style rather than ever showing the least bit of humility, despite the fact that much of what has happened in the past half of a year has been...well, humiliating. He clearly underestimated how difficult being president would be, something that, for once, he himself admitted to. He also admitted that creating a healthcare bill to everyone's liking was more challenging than he had previously assumed. Many of the things that he promised, such as making Mexico pay for the wall, or blocking immigration by Muslims, or defeating ISIS within 30 days, have not happened at all.

Of course, only his supporters actually believed he would do these things, and despite the fact that the timeline for some of these things has come and gone, they still believe in him every bit as much as they had before he took office. The man has lied repeatedly, both during the campaign and now as president, and they still predictably gobble everything that this man says. They do not care that he promised to divorce himself from his business ties once in office, and never did. They do not care that he promised to release his taxes, and never has (and now says he does not have to). They do not care that he emphatically and repeatedly denied and links to Russia and his presidential campaign, and now has to come up with new excuses and arguments for proof beyond doubt that there was a serious and damning connection indeed. They do not care that he did not quickly defeat ISIS with his secret plan (which it is doubtful ever even existed), or make Mexico pay for that wall, or "repeal and replace" Obamacare with something better, that would cover everyone.

I know, I know - all of this is not exactly a news flash. 

In fact, many of us, probably even most Americans, could have predicted that the Trump presidency would be far from the shining moment in American history that all of the superpatriot Trump supporters insisted that it would be.

After all, anyone who was paying attention to what candidate Trump was saying and doing - and perhaps more tellingly, to what his supporters were doing - would surely have come to the conclusion that a Trump presidency would be a disaster for the country. Trump was promising to essentially turn back the clock, almost literally. Trump promised to make the country great again, and praised the old ways of doing things. He spoke to an audience, mostly white males, who used to be on top in this country, but have seen their once superior status erode. He promised to bring back things, such as the coal industry, which seemed well on their way to irrelevance, because better solutions have been found, and are starting to replace dirty energy sources like this. Plus, he promised to scale back immigration, to turn the clock back and get those damn immigrants out of here. Also, to stop allowing Muslim immigrants into the country, essentially advocating a form of religious discrimination in order to do this. And let us not forget the Mad Men era mentality towards women, and seemingly all things in general, that Trump seemed to have, and not to even bother trying to hide, during the campaign.

Some suggested that once he actually took power, the awesomeness of the responsibilities might alter his mentality and approach, might make him aspire to the greater sense of responsibility that we all hoped was in him somewhere. 

How much would the office of the President change him?

It is safe to say now that it did not change him much, if at all. He is still the same pathetic, egotistical windbag that he was all along.

Unfortunately, though, his big mouth and quick, easy answers to complex questions - in short, his horrendous mixture of ignorance and arrogance - actually appears to be what his supporters like most about them.

Of course, we know that he won the election, despite losing the popular vote by nearly three million votes. And since then we were rewarded with an administration loaded with billionaires and dwellers of the very swamp that now President Trump promised to drain back in the days when he was a candidate. He never got, and will never get, Mexico to pay for his damn wall. There will never be a total ban on Muslims coming into the country, which is what Trump and his staunch supporters seem to want, because such a ban in unconstitutional. And Trump will never represent all, or even most, Americans, because he cares only about himself and his own interests, and is so transparent in this self-indulgence and arrogance, that he loses credibility with anyone who is actually paying attention, regardless of their political ideology. Finally, Trump will never be regarded as a real, serious statesmen by leaders of other countries, because he lacks the credentials and the legitimacy required to be one. Everything that he says and does is narrow-minded and feels like the knee jerk reaction of an overgrown child, which it generally is.

Now, I am not foolish enough to think that all of that, all of what I just listed, will be enough to dissuade Trump supporters. After all, those are the very things that they knew about him, and for the most part, those are the reasons for their support of him. While I certainly would not say that all Trump supporters are racists or sexists, we would be fooling ourselves to suggest that not only does that element exist, but that it is surprisingly strong, as Trump's election win in November surely would not have occurred without them. So, many of those people would give the stamp of approval to all of those things that he has said and done and represents. I know some Trump supporters who outright like the fact that he is a bully, and they apparently think this is the type of leadership that America needs. Also, fundamentalist Christians have lent their unconditional support behind the man, even while knowing what he is, and how he basically represents almost everything that the Bible warns about in a person.

Still, despite this seeming unconditional support, I cannot imagine that anyone anymore would or even could pretend that everything is just fine with this presidency thus far. It has been one scandal after another, which is predictable. But it also has been one misstep after another. And now, with this whole Russian collusion thing having been proven, there really can be no way that anyone thinks that it has been smooth sailing or, as the president himself suggested not so long ago, that this administration is running like a well-oiled machine. Clearly, it is not.

In fact, so much has gone wrong, that the most anyone can do to defend Trump is dig for excuses or try to downplay the significance of just how much of a disaster this presidency has been thus far. Trump might not be impeached, because we cannot rely on Republicans, specifically, to hold him accountable for his actions.

Yet, his presidency has been a disaster, and this is something that not even Republicans can ignore at this point. He has received criticism from all sides for his handling (or rather, his mishandling) of one thing after another. His hotheaded and overly loud and aggressive approach has escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula, and clearly made things worse there. His hotheaded and overly loud and aggressive approach also has made things worse in terms of American relations in Europe, where other foreign heads of state are essentially saying, to a one, that American leadership and even cooperation cannot be relied upon any longer, and every single world leader seems to be critical of Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord, with many outright condemning it. This same style of Trump's has also gotten him into hot water when he talks about making trade favorable again for America, because Canada and Europe both have taken exception and threatened action. Paradoxically, Trump's approach towards China has been a lot less loud since he took office, and likely out of necessity. Perhaps that is why, so far, his approach towards China has not undermined his own credibility to the extent that it has in Europe or in other parts of Asia.

One way or another, Trump's style, and his trademark big mouth - the very things that attracted many to support this undeserving man to be elected to the White House in the first place - have backfired on him, and on the United States, since this man took the oath of office. The easy answers and retorts that he issues at all hours with his tweets have proven to be completely devoid of value or meaning now, and not even his staunchest supporters can be satisfied with his petty comebacks and explanations which sound a whole lot like excuses. Far from having the country win so much that we would all get tired of winning, this man has been failing on almost every aspect of his presidency, and he has been doing so in front of everyone, for the entire world to see. This man who had all of the easy and overly quick answers during the campaign has had precious few when it comes to solving the country's problems. There is little evidence to back up his boasts that he would be the greatest job creating president in history. There have been virtually no major wins for him since he took over the Oval Office, despite his promises that the country would just start winning all of the time, so much that we would all get sick of winning.

His supporters are still evidently waiting, while for the rest of us, his glaring and resounding failures have only confirmed our worst suspicions of the man. To sum up, he is all style and absolutely no substance. Again, this is not really a surprise for many of us, because this is a man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He never knew what it was like to struggle, and his complete lack of humility speaks to this privileged background. So far, if there has been anything that has been predictable and consistent with Trump and his presidency, it is that he is looking out for his own interests, which is to say, taking care of himself and his own interests, and those of other elites. Much like they have for decades now, the rich are getting richer. And also much like we have done for decades, the rest of us have to foot the bill so that this party for the rich continues unabated. Trump has taken care of his base, catered to their interests, but they are a small percentage of the country's population. So much for being the president for all Americans, like he promised he would be after the Election Day results became clear.

Despite the seeming instability and unpredictability of a Trump presidency, many people expected exactly these kinds of unfortunate, even tragic, scenarios to come true, to play out. The Trump presidency has gone exactly the way that his detractors have predicted, and amazingly, perhaps even worse. Who could have predicted that other world leaders would state so boldly and baldly that America could not be relied upon any longer? Who could have predicted that, far from being the "leader of the free world," the United States would be alone in isolation during the G-20 summit? Who could have predicted that Donald Trump Jr. himself would release incriminating and undeniable evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia? Who could have predicted that the United States would ultimately have to endure the humiliation of standing alone, discredited and again isolated, as Trump announced that he was pulling this country out of the Paris Accord, becoming the only nation in the world to reject the Paris Accord on grounds that we do not believe in science? Who could have predicted that the other major area where America stands alone among developed nations, with a failed and overly expensive healthcare system, would grow far worse, and with President Trump admitting to the leader of Australia that their healthcare system (which many conservative Americans would dismiss as "socialist") was better than America's own "for profit" healthcare system is?

Indeed, when you look at all of these things, it becomes difficult to view these past six months of the Trump presidency as anything but a glaring and embarrassing failure that the whole country has to come to terms with. The poll numbers suggest that he has lower approval ratings this early on into his presidency than any president in history has ever been forced to endure, since they started keeping track of such things.

All of this leads to the inevitable, inescapable conclusion that the Trump presidency has been every bit as bad as his detractors predicted it would be. So when will his supporters be intellectually honest enough, or perhaps simply intellectually capable enough, to admit that this is so, and that their man is not the savior that he promised he would be?

Not sure about you, but they really should have known all of this last year, before putting such a manchild into the nation's highest and most prestigious office to begin with. So, I am not holding my breath, because in this country, at this time, people disregard facts in favor of believing what they want to believe. And if any political group is more guilty of this than anyone else, it would be those who supported Trump, and believed all of his lies, swallowed the Kool Aid. The country as a whole is worse off for it, but just do not expect Trump supporters to ever admit to any of this. With isolated exceptions, it just will never happen, because they do not have it in them. 

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