Donald Trump and Rick Perry

By Robert J. Guttman

December 13, 2016


Will President Trump rank near the bottom with former presidents James Buchanan and Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson and Herbert Hoover?

Or could he actually be a fairly successful president?

He will certainly be different than his predecessors if his transition period is a guide.

The odd thing among Trump, among many unusual things, is that he seems to have no guiding policy that he wants to implement other than promoting himself.

Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan-our most recent presidents all had something they wanted to accomplish whether it be improving healthcare or cutting taxes or education.

Trump in transition seems to be all over the place.  He does not seem to have a moral compass or a code he lives by.  He changes his views and opinions on all topics almost on a daily or hourly basis.

His foreign policy seems to be to stay home and not be involved in the world.  He sees everything in a dollar and cents view.  If NATO members don’t pay their share why should we even be in this very successful alliance?  If Russia invades another nation why is it America’s business?

Speaking of the President-Elect and his views on Russia they are just plain strange.

Does he not remember the Cold War and that Russia has been our adversary and to quote Senator John McCain that their ruler Putin is a “thug”?

Is Putin holding something over our incoming president’s head that we don’t know about?  Is he building a Trump hotel in Moscow?

His latest comments against our own intelligence agencies and in defense of a brutal authoritarian ruler in Russia are greatly disturbing.

As E. J. Dionne in The Washington Post states, “That Trump could happily trash our own CIA to get Putin off the hook is disturbing enough…  That he would ignore the risks our intelligence agents take on so many fronts to protect us is outrageous.”

Why does Trump always praise Putin?  Isn’t he somewhat curious on who might have been doing the hacking to upset our democratic elections?

Trump seems not in the least curious how the world works or does not seem to care about reading or learning about new ideas.

I agree his daily or hourly tweets are a form of social media that most likely helped him stay connected to voters and helped him pull his upset victory over Hillary.  But he is now the President-elect and he might want to think about closing his Twitter account.

Have we put a bully in the bully pulpit?  It seems as if America has elected a person with values that are opposite of what we tell our children every day: be polite, be gracious, don’t be a sore loser, respect everyone, be inclusive.

Trump goes against all- what we thought -were our accepted norms.  He is thin-skinned and rails against anyone who dares criticize him.  The simple answer why he likes Putin may just be because the Russian leader has said nice things about Trump.  It may be nothing other than this fact.

Trump saying he is “smart” so he doesn’t need daily intelligence briefings is just plain dumb.  Is he so insecure he has to keep telling us how smart he is at everything.

He did win and he was successful in his campaign.  But does he actually believe in anything other than promoting himself?  Time will tell but at this point it is hard to see his plan for helping America.

He has the right to choose his Cabinet.  And, he is picking generals and billionaires which should not be surprising if you listened to Trump during the campaign.

Our 45th president could actually be successful but his reality show transition period does not give one much hope that this will be the results starting next month when he moves into the Oval Office.

He is our president and I am hoping he will rise to the occasion but it is hard to change when one is already seventy years old and thinks they know everything.

While the world grows more dangerous and populist movements in Europe remind one somewhat of the early 1930s our new President-elect seems to be turning inward and not worrying about the rest of the world.

He seems to have a cavalier attitude that the world should take care of itself and America should not be involved.  In a way, he sounds like the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972, George McGovern who said “Come home America”.

We won’t even be leading from behind as many analysts called Obama’s foreign policy. Don’t mean to be rude but Trump seems to only be interested in the rest of the world if it involves making a deal on a new hotel or golf course.  Not exactly presidential.

Where many of us would like to be positive and optimistic about our new president, his transition, his always present scowl on his face, his constant tweets against everyone from labor leaders in Indiana to his views on celebrities and his lack of a coherent reason to be in the White House are very, very troubling.

His new Secretary of State choice, Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil, is an unusual pick and may have real problems getting confirmed as GOP Senators McCain, Rubio and Graham have issues with his connections to Putin and his lack of foreign policy experience.

There seems to no joy in Trump only anger.  Hopefully, he can translate this anger into positive results domestically and internationally for America.

America’s 45th president may not make it into the top ranks of Washington, Lincoln and FDR but let’s hope and pray he does better than Pierce or Harding.

Let’s hope America’s 45th president will think of America as much as he appears to think of himself.  America and the rest of the world is, hopefully, counting on it.

Let’s all hope he is as “smart” as he thinks he is but so far his transition “reality show” is not all that encouraging that he will rise to the ranks of the great or even near great or even average presidents.

For all our sakes let’s just hope he will not become America’s worst president.







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