I’ve been trying to make sense of Donald Trump. It’s not easy

writes Karl du Fresne

It’s now 10 months since he was elected president of the United States and eight since he was inaugurated – time enough, you’d think, to prove that he’s fit for office.

I know people who have defended him throughout that time and continue to insist that he’s the man for the job. I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt and waited for some evidence that they were right. I thought that perhaps they saw something in him that I couldn’t see.

Besides, the contrarian in me instinctively rebels when I see the weight of public and media opinion so overwhelmingly arrayed against one person. Mass groupthink carries its own risks.

But here we are, almost one-quarter of the way through the Trump presidency, and I no see sign that his critics are anything but correct.

Trump has behaved like the braggart and buffoon that his detractors always said he was. But how could that be? Underneath all that vulgarian bluster, there must surely be an intelligent man. I mean, a stupid man could never have become that rich.

Or could he? I have a theory that some dumb people succeed in business because they are so blinded by greed that they don’t see the potential downsides of the big risks they take. They might experience embarrassing failures along the way (as Trump has) but it’s always possible that sheer greed and gall will pull them through.

In any case, success in business is no guarantee of success in politics. Trump comes from a world where he was the boss and expected everyone around him to do his bidding.

Politics is different. Politics is messier. Politics works through compromise, consensus and collaboration. Trump shows no sign of being able to make that transition.

The question is, will he last a full term, or will Congress tire of the whole demeaning pantomime and find a way, consistent with the Constitution (perhaps the 25th Amendment, which has never been put to the test), to get rid of him? No doubt some of America’s finest minds are working on this question even as I write.

Karl is forgetting the 45-48% of Americans that actually believe in Trump because he’s acting for them, and not the system.  The appearance he hasn’t progressed much is partially due to a hostile media not reporting his accomplishments and exaggerating his failures.

The constant assault of media and even the courts in ways that no other president has had to endure is providing a very slanted picture.  Have a look at economic stability, job growth, investment inside the country.  Business is booming.  And, in 3 years time, it will be the economy, stupid.

He is very much going to make it to a full term as president.  And for those, like Karl, who try to see him as a conventional president, but just with a different policy base, will be surprised that America will deliver him a second term.

 

Karl du Fresne

 


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