We are well past the arbitrary and silly 100 day anniversary of the 45th President of the United States.
I’ll be happy to say that I expect any incoming President to have an incomplete understanding of entirely what that office entails, the challenges one faces, the finesse required to meet those challenges, and the deportment required to deal with allies (both domestic and foreign) and adversaries. Added to that are the demands on one’s time, energy, and family obligations.
Given that no one could be completely prepared to excel at the demands of this office, I think the Americans and the world could expect that there would be some forgiveness for the early errors and gaffes, balanced by a rather steep and positive learning curve brought about by a mixture of painful experience and good advice from staff and political confederates.
Sadly for America and the world, I must admit to skepticism that Mr. Trump is learning from his earlier political stumbles and seems to lack a staff that has either the experience to guide him or the courage to tell him of his shortcomings.
Just to note a few of the latest White House head scratchers:
Instead of letting his victory in the Electoral College speak for itself and move on, he creates a Voter Fraud Commission to try to prove a point that no one else seems to care about. Perhaps he could have just produced the studies he claimed to have read about the 3 to 5 million fraudulent voters and saved the taxpayers whatever this commission is going to cost.
On the firing of FBI director Comey, The President and staff have several, contradicting, reasons for firing the man investigating Mr. Trump and his campaign staff. Then he proceeds to tantrum and publically threaten Mr. Comey with tapes of their conversations should he have the temerity to testify before congress if he is asked to by that congress. Neither congress or the public have seen these tapes produced as yet.
Further compounding this major faux pas, Mr. Trump states that the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in Mr. Comey, a charge that so far has no substantiation.
In a probably little noted commencement speech at Liberty University, Mr. Trump said there’s “nothing easier or more pathetic than being a critic.” I would have thought that if anyone would appreciate criticism it would be Mr. Trump, since his being a critic of Washington insiders, President Obama, and Mrs. Clinton is what got him elected.
This list could go on ad infinitum (or ad nauseum), but there appears to be a recurring theme of immaturity; speaking (or tweeting) without forethought or restraint; a President and staff that are starting to show increasing signs of a siege mentality; and a President who has complete faith that everything he does is correct and even brilliant and has no need to mature or refine his style and behavior.
As an outsider and someone with no personal access to any of the movers and shakers in Washington, I can see little or no signs of a maturity into the demands of the office of President. To the contrary, while still way too early to tell, and I hope I am wrong, this does uncomfortably bring to mind the closing days of the Nixon Presidency and its chaos, loose handling of the truth, and siege mentality.