It is now clear that Donald Trump is totally unprepared and is totally overwhelmed in the office of president. He clearly had no idea what was expected of the president of the United States and now has no clue how to handle it. Instead, he continues to do what he is comfortable with — campaigning. He can’t move on.
He obviously believed, as did many who voted for him, that his business experience as CEO of a privately owned company would put him in good stead to handle the job. Instead it is leading to an incredible number of missteps and putting individuals and the nation at risk. Unless he can grasp the reality of the job and step up to it; he will lead us into an unintended global crisis or even war.
In addition to being unprepared, Trump has proven to be a congenital liar. He lies about the most mundane things that have no impact on anything. He is a narcissist and thin-skinned leading him to insist, even against verifiable facts, that he is always the best at everything and the most admired. Lying about long lines outside of CPAC waiting to get into his speech when there weren’t any; about how many people were at his inauguration when there were photos; the size of his Electoral College win; and his impact on the decrease in the national debt in the month he has been president, which he misinterpreted from a Fox News report. All things meaning nothing in the broad scope of his presidency and lying about them only makes him look worse, which leads to more lies and his calling out the press for challenging his lies. It is a vicious cycle.
His habit of tweeting each morning also leads to problems. Some think it may be a way to get people to talk about something other than the mistakes his administration is making. But what he tweets often makes him look less intelligent and adds to the skepticism of his ability to do the job. Silly things like calling Meryl Streep an overrated actress, or tweeting about the Democratic National Committee, are issues the president of the United States should be too busy to worry about.
In the first 30 days he has managed to anger the governments of Britain, Australia, Mexico, Canada and all our NATO allies to name just a few. Even when working closely with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he can’t stop himself from throwing out a random comment during the press conference about not building new settlements. He clearly has no idea how diplomacy works. He has named fewer people to positions that need Senate confirmation at this point in his administration than nearly any president before him and complains he’s waiting longer than any president to have his Cabinet confirmed; another verifiable lie.
I believe he thought the presidency compared to the role of CEO. You hired people and gave them instructions; they carried them out and then came back to report the results. You occasionally negotiated something at the highest level with another CEO and could come to an agreement without consulting others. If the whole deal ended in disaster you could declare bankruptcy, which Trump did five times, and begin again. In the meantime you had time for dinner out with friends and weekends in Florida and as much time on the golf course as you liked. It was a good life with all the women he wanted; something he himself said.
Instead, he is finding so many things he has asked his people to do have come back screwed up or undone and landed back on his desk. Things he doesn’t understand. He had a Cabinet appointee withdraw and had to fire his National Security Adviser. His communications people aren’t getting it right the way he wants so he contradicts them in tweets and then is shocked at the resulting confusion. He can’t just head out to dinner whenever he likes and when in Florida finds himself with meetings and decisions that follow him there.
If he continues in this vein he may well get in enough trouble, even with this Republican Congress, that he won’t finish out this term. In any event many of the promises he made to get elected will go unfulfilled so even those who voted for him will conclude “the Emperor has no clothes.”
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.