Feeling Sorry for President Trump
I am so reluctant to admit this out loud, but I’m a big reality TV fan. I was first hooked by Temptation Island. I know, I know, but I couldn’t help it, I loved the show. I always thought that it was too easy though. They should have had longtime married couples on, instead of couple that were just dating. Now that would have had some serious emotional equity to challenge! I have no time for the loud housewives from any city but I still enjoy The Bachelor & Bachelorette shows. I stopped watching American Idol, in favour of The Voice. I thought the judges on The Voice were generally nicer to their contestants. For the past couple of years though, American politics is where it’s at.
Prior to Donald Trump getting into politics, I had such a low level of interest that I had to look up the party platforms, here in Canada, before going to the polling booth to vote. Regardless of your political leanings, you have to admit that Mr. Trump brings a high degree of entertainment to political proceedings. I wasn’t a fan of The Apprentice. Insensitive, overly loud & egocentric characters tend to turn me off. And he was all that. In the political arena though, it became far more interesting. It wasn’t Mr. Trump beating up on some subservient contestant, he was going up against a bunch of big, beefy professionals in the space. Far more interesting!
That didn’t stop him, of course, & he proceeded to run the White House pretty much the same way he probably runs his own businesses. The same way he ran his TV show. And he’s gotten away with it! Or at least ’til now. It’s taken ’til this week for the push-back to be significant enough for him to have to back off on anything. He brushed past a couple of faux pas in Europe, en route to Helsinki, for his meeting with the Russian President. And it’s from this that he’s had to backtrack on a number of his positions.
While I thought that racking up the hours watching CNN & Fox News were educating me, I’ve hit a wall of ignorance again. The big questions I now have surround US foreign policy. And the systems of checks & balances. For example, it looks like the President can have a differing foreign policy from the house & senate, despite them being of the same party. Is that possible? And what can the other branches of government do if they don’t like the President’s position? Is there an equivalent to the Vote of No Confidence that’s sometimes employed in many parliamentary democracies?
Though mostly Trump appointees now, it looks like the President doesn’t take his senior staff into his confidence. Nor does he seek their advice as he wanders the globe meeting foreign leaders. The clip of DNI Dan Coats at the Aspen Security conference yesterday was so funny. I felt the same kind of slight “wrongness” by laughing along, as I might feel laughing at a contestant’s predicament on a reality TV show. But it was still funny.
But that is also quite sad. Mr. Coats learned of the invitation for the Russian President to visit the White House during a televised interview. Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to discuss such things with his senior staff. He’s running the world’s leading superpower country. Alone.
I’ll leave it to others to comment on what policies are, & are not, right. But the sadness comes from the fact that a 72 year old man, powerful & successful by most measures & metrics, does not have a common-sense confidant that he can discuss his daily grind with. He has his own staff on board & he doesn’t seem to feel that he can speak with them. Or ask for their advice on such matters. And I think that’s both lonely & sad.
I hope I’ll be as healthy as he is at that age. Actually, I’m just hoping I’ll make it to that age one day! While I’d like to think I’ll still be motivated & inspired to do great things things as I grow older, running a country won’t be on my to-do list. In between blogging (I’ll probably still be trying to lose weight!), maybe I’ll golf a little. And probably with a cart. I hope I’ll have grandchildren to visit. And I’ll likely be making plans to spike them, just before I leave to go home, with a pocketful of red candies!