There is little need to detail what Trump has done right, so far, because the president is his own best PR machine and, like any good flack, never stops praising his client -himself. Therein, is a large part of the problem with convincing roughly two-thirds of the country that the country is on the right track.
While bragging about oneself can be beneficial some of the time, Trump does so non-stop, and in childlike ways. Consider the fifth-grade language he uses with such regularity. It, more often than not, offends those who are deep in debt for college educations. His pandering to the uneducated has become a stigma unlikely to be removed any time soon.
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Most Americans expect dignity and decorum from their leaders, especially the president. Trump, however, insistent on defying conventions, has taken the presidency down a dingy back alley in lieu of a broad boulevard full of light. The trip has been difficult for those who are accustomed to a more polite discourse, and reasonable debates about the issues.
Russia, it goes without saying, remains the elephant in the room. The president’s rejection of further sanctions on that nation for its 2016 election tampering demonstrates a frightening unwillingness to face facts. The early departure of the FBI’s Andrew McCabe put an exclamation point on this unwillingness. Meanwhile, the CIA is predicting continued interference into the next cycle of voting. Will Trump continue to be blind in 2018?
The prospect of more Russia indictments, flips, and maneuvering by Republicans intent on saving the power of the pen remains not just as a possibility but a certitude. If Trump, personally, didn’t collude to win his high office, those around him cannot claim ignorance of Vladimir Putin’s plan to install a malleable figure in the oval office. As their boss, Trump is still responsible.
The tragedy of the opioid crisis that has saddled families, and the country, with incalculable pain and loss is still unaddressed in any meaningful way. A wall will not stop the flow of drugs into the country, nor will it provide rehabilitation services for parolees, or treatment for those presently addicted. Leadership on this issue has been kicked around more than a soccer ball, to no good effect, and the administration needs to get off the dime.
One good speech from a, heretofore, unreliable narrator isn’t going to change much in Washington. Trump might consider putting some of his aspirational goals into action instead of blaming others for his inability to compromise and face uncomfortable facts. A president who unifies is rarely found in a divider-in-chief, no matter how lofty his claims and pretenses because words are no substitute for meaningful actions.