“The Wrong Man for the Job”
Bob Woodward in his latest book on President Donald Trump ends his 18 recorded conversations with the President with these words, “For nearly 50 years, I have written about nine presidents from Nixon to Trump — 20 percent of the 45 U.S. presidents.”
“A president must be willing to share the worst with the people, the bad news with the good. All presidents have a large obligation to inform, warn, protect, to define goals and the true national interest. It should be a truth-telling response to the world, especially in crisis. Trump has, instead, enshrined personal impulse as a governing principle of his presidency. When his performance as president is taken in its entirety, I can only reach one conclusion: Trump is the wrong man for the job.”
(Woodward, Bob. Rage (pp. 391–392). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.)
With the finishing of this book, I have consumed too, too many non-fiction books on this president.
I started with “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff; then “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” Bandy Lee, MD, MDiv, Editor; “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.” James Comey; “Fear: Trump in the White House,” by Bob Woodward;“A Warning,” Anonymous; “The Room Where it Happened.” James Bolton; “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” Mary L Trump, PhD; “Disloyal: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.” Michael Cohen.
The total of this reading experience should come to 9 books, with only one author providing two different books — one could say at the beginning and ending of Trumps four year term. Some authors served this president, and many did not.
What I have seen as I have swept across these different books, by different authors, from different perspectives is that at the core, they tell the same story. It is a troubling story, a tragic story, but a consistent story. Without exception, every book sounded alarms, warnings, of the damage this president was doing to our nation, our democracy, our leadership in the world, and the goals to which we still aspire as a people and a nation.
The United States has since its founding been an imperfect union unable to do completely what its vision encompassed. For some like our African American population it has been a process to often blocked, minimized, and thwarted again and again. The same could be said for our Native Americans who first settled this land and were pushed off and then subjected to a way of life that has been poisonous to them as a people. Our lofty ideas, our promises, our “destiny” has more often left behind those who were different ethnically, financially or socially. The gaps of opportunity have been huge for those who were non whites, the poor, the immigrants, and the illegal aliens.
Sadly, the presidency of Donald J Trump has trafficked in those differences and pandered to the fear and hate directed toward those who are not like us. I used to speak of some gossips in the churches I served as “dirt merchants,” always spreading half truths about people they did not like. In the same way, I am comfortable saying “DJT is a hate merchant, a fear merchant,” and when he is not peddling those two deadly toxins, he is eroding the very nature of truth-telling.
I am comfortable saying in the world of Donald J. Trump, not everyone is of equal value. Actually, no one is of intrinsic value. Some people like residents of Puerto Rico are of lesser value that folks on the mainland. People dying in cities run by Democratic Mayors and Governors are of lesser value than those dying in Republican cities but more than that, they must be Mayors and Governors on his approved list — those who pay homage to DJT.
I find this deeply troubling. Add to that mix, a toxic kind of evangelical religiosity(not Christianity) which use names for Trump reserved exclusively for God.
Doctors evaluating symptoms often use the term, “rule out,” or perhaps, “reason to believe,” as justification to do more testing for a more precise diagnosis. I would invoke that nomenclature for the following assessment of our current president: “There is reason to believe, DJT is attempting to move this democracy to an authoritarian government in which he, like Vladimir Putin, is the sole authority and his decisions, executive orders, and will is the supreme authority in the land. His truth is the only valid truth.
My reading has convinced me DJT is a man without empathy, without conscience, without values except for money and power, and with a careless disregard for all forms of human life that do not serve his ends. The office of president has not been one of a sacred trust given by the voters of America, but an opportunity. That opportunity has been to expand his wealth, his brand, his influence, and his power. Those in his party who have tried to work with him have quickly learned he cares nothing for their concerns, or their congressional success. Rather, everything is about him. It is always about him. It will always be about him. COVID is about him.
Hurricane damage is about him, the economy is always about him, and while Americans are thinking he is looking out for their best interests, he is not. He is always looking out for what profit there is in this situation for him.
I will also tell you his desire for a second term in office is not to serve us better or more, rather it is to avoid prosecution for the mountain of crimes he has committed during his adult life. It has never been about his base. He could care less about his base. Rather his base exists to praise him and his excellence. When the applause dies, so will his affection for his base. If you believe you are important to Trump, you are deluded.
Trump only cares about Trump. At the moment you cease to shower him with praise, cease to show up at his rallies, cease to cheer his most inane statements, he will leave you in the dust. There is absolutely no room in his heart for you.
The numbers are adding up. Those he has refused to reach out to because they were in cities where mayors were Democrats, or they did not show the proper respect and appreciation for him. Ethnics are realizing in the world of Trump they will also and always be a lower caste. The African Americans who are tired of continual delays of the basic human rights afforded to every white person in America have realized beyond tokenism, they have no value to Trump. Dreamers are also realizing with Trump, there is no possibility they can have a pathway to citizenship in a nation they were brought to without their consent.
Years ago I heard this story about a young guy who attacked a mountain of poop with an energy and determination that the adults marveled at. When asked why he was working so hard, he replied, “With all this poop, there has to be a pony in here somewhere.”
There is no pony. With Trump there has never been a pony — just poop.