If Trump Has Not Picked a Fight with You, Raise Your Hand

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Not many hands raised out there.


Even more than usual in recent days, Donald Trump has run off the rails of decency and stability. If there is someone he has not picked a fight with of late, it is likely by omission rather than commission.

So, what’s new, you may ask. Not exactly a new trend in this. Actually, it is new in the breadth and depth of verbal sword slashing. This has implications in several directions.

And The Beat Goes On

In recent days, Trump has chastised California for sloppy raking in its forests. This, according to Trump was a key cause of massive wildfires. For those not following the news, know that I did not make that line up. He actually said that.

Never mind that over 65% of forests in California are under federal management. Disregard that people who actually study this link it to droughts from global warming. Forget that this might not be the best time to point fingers, given the daily tally of dead and missing.

On another front, he has stuck his finger in the intelligence community’s eye once again. Trump blew off the intelligence on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On this one, he has even managed to anger a few Congressional Republicans. Imagine that! In case anyone doubted it, Trump’s America is for sale. Discount sale on values are in force.

There were interesting moments a week ago in the White House Press Room. This looked as though the scene was plucked from Saturday Night Live.

In his spare time, he questioned the Vice President’s loyalty (this, the grand pooh bah of boot licking. Is no one safe?).

Senior military leaders must have come close to the breaking point over the senseless troop surge on our Southern border. This was the worst use of US troops in a political stunt I have ever witnessed. If it is not in violation of Posse Commutates, it must right on the line.

It is not hard to imagine a scenario in the coming days wherein a commander at some level finds him or herself having to say, “I cannot obey that order. I believe it is illegal.”I hope it happens at a high level and is not dumped on some Lieutenant Colonel in the field.

And for good measure, this. When asked in a holiday call to the troops what he was grateful for, he said was grateful for himself. Because he had done so much for the country. What sane person says that?

How do people control their laughter when this fellow talks?

What Difference Does Any of This Make?

Back to the original question. So what? Two things are different.

One, Trump’s behavior and language have been erratic and ungrounded. Ungrounded even by his standards. He continues to think everyone agrees with him. He thinks that the things he proposes must be constitutional. Because he said so.

Even his supporters and friends are getting nervous. They are beginning to put distance between Trump and themselves. If a constitutional crisis or an impeachment comes, Trump will wish he had some more people in his corner.

Two, Trump took a first-rate beating on election night, even though he fails to acknowledge it. Indications are that this is sinking in with him. Still, he seems incapable of adapting to the reality. Presidents lose ground in midterms, but not this deep and broad.

Add to that defeat the fact that unlike his predecessors, he never got his approval rating above 50%. Add to those two conditions the aforementioned bridge burning with about everyone.

This is a near certain formula for defeat in 2020, should he still be here and running for reelection. I still think it likely he will not be running, but that is another conversation.

What’s Next?

Trump beat all the odds (with some help from the Russians – how much we should know soon) in 2016. He caught everyone napping. But the bells are tolling, the cows are coming home, karma has arrived – pick your metaphor.

Trump, unique among all presidents to my knowledge, never had any interest in governing for the entire country. He is content to ride his minority and to feed it red meat.

That unwillingness to work with others, to seek common good, or to reach out to others will be what historians will say did him in.

The only remaining question is how long will this to cave in. I think the odds are for less than one year. We shall see.

     Bill Clontz

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2 replies to If Trump Has Not Picked a Fight with You, Raise Your Hand

  1. Jerry McLellan advises I become a reader and after reading this, I’m in.

    • Delighted to have you join us. Observations, agreements, disagreements – all are welcome.


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