Trump Is Indeed Exceptional
After the election, I had two fears: that Trump would lead the nation into an authoritarian state or that he would be so incompetent the country would suffer greatly. So far, we’re seeing much more of the later than the former.
Trump’s signature xenophobic executive order has been twice been blocked on constitutional grounds, his effort to repeal Obamacare was a thoughtless piece of legislation that even his ruling majority couldn’t agree upon, and his unbridled narcissistic tweets are not creating as much confusion for the opposition as they are for his own party.
In his incompetence and boorishness, Trump is reaching unprecedented levels of unpopularity for a President. The latest Gallup polls for the weekending April 2, show him at a new low of 38% approval ratings just to put this in context Gallup compares him to other recent Presidents at this point in their first year:
|Other presidents in March of first year||Barack Obama||63||Apr 2009|
|George W. Bush||61||Apr 2001|
|Bill Clinton||55||Apr 1993|
|George H.W. Bush||58||Apr 1989|
|Ronald Reagan||67||Apr 1981|
|Jimmy Carter||64||Apr 1977|
|Richard Nixon||62||Apr 1969|
|John Kennedy||81||Apr 1961|
|Dwight Eisenhower||74||Apr 1953|
The honeymoon is not going well. And I must confess, that given my antipathy toward the man and his small-minded, self-aggrandizing and deceitful ways, I am pleased. It appears that there are indeed some consequences to his wild and irresponsible actions.
But there’s no room for celebration. Though his Presidency and his power are somewhat constrained, he is still the President and is the leader of our country. We must still actively speak up against his policies to dismantle policies to protect the environment, to defund programs that enrich our country and support our most vulnerable citizens, and to treat the rest of the world as our enemy rather than our partner.
But the danger of the drift toward authoritarianism is still real. It looks like the Senate will vote today to decrease the number of votes required to confirm a Supreme Court justice. The obstructionism and polarization of our government and our country continues. This is what we must continue to address.
As I write this, I glance at the paper and see that we have fired 59 missiles at a Syrian air base. While I abhor the Syrian government’s chemical attack on civilians, I am afraid that Trump will use an increased level of US aggression as a diversion from his incompetence and the incoherence of his policies.