Trump’s latest press conference is worrisome for so many reasons. He seems to live in his own reality (e.g. his administration is “a fine-tuned machine”). He’s still obsessed with Hillary Clinton and the margin of his victory. He seems only recently to have learned how serious the prospects of a nuclear holocaust could and would be. He continues to defend General Michael Flynn, saying that even though Flynn undermined the Obama administration and lied to Vice President Mike Pence, his rapprochement to Russia was laudable (with Trump suggesting that, even though he hadn’t approved Flynn’s actions, he might have). He even tasked a Black reporter to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus for him!
What to make of The Donald? Trump seems to thrive on creating animosity, then exploiting it. Special targets for him include the U.S. intelligence community and the media, both of which he sees as implacable enemies. But is animosity and chaos any way to run a country or to represent a people?
I can see how calling out your perceived enemies might work in business, especially a personal one, though Trump’s bankruptcies suggest otherwise. But Trump is no longer a free-wheeling real estate tycoon. He’s president now, a symbol (like it or not) of America. Generating animosity and discord as a public servant is divisive, fractious, selfish, and unwise.
A united America is much stronger than a disunited America, but since Trump thrives on division, his personal style is weakening our country. You might say he’s the opposite of Abraham Lincoln, who appealed to the better angels of our nature in a noble but ultimately failed attempt to unite a disunited country. Whatever else Trump is about, it’s not better angels.
Instead of making America great again, Trump is making it divided and uncivil again.
Mister President: Please stop blaming the media, or Hillary, or the intelligence community, or judges, or anyone else for that matter. Get on with the job of being a public servant. America needs inspired leadership, not self-serving rhetoric. We need a uniter, not a divider.
Rise above the pettiness, Mister President. For the nation’s sake, don’t be the pettiness.