First of all, a happy holidays to all of you. Hope you enjoy the love of family and the kindness of friends.
Secondly, I wish I was writing a post with the following headlines:
TRUMP SURPRISES WITH STRONG, CONSISTENT LEADERSHIP.
TRUMP RALLIES CONGRESS TO PASS MAJOR TAX REFORM PACKAGE.
TRUMP CAMPAIGNS AGAINST HATE AND DIVISION.
TRUMP PRAISES MILITARY – REGRETS SAYING “MY MILITARY.”
TRUMP PROMISES HEALTH CARE FOR ALL.
TRUMP CAMPAIGNS FOR AN END TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
TRUMP ANNOUNCES COMMISSION TO STUDY ROOTS OF ETHNIC HATRED.
TRUMP PROMISES FULL TRANSPARENCY AT WHITE HOUSE.
TRUMP TO RELEASE TAX RETURNS.
I’ve been writing news and analysis for some 59 years, my first being a novice analyst of the Southwest Miami School football team at the age of 14. The team wasn’t great that year, motivating me to write some challenging stories. I was wrong. Two years later we became an unquestioned power.
My recent analysis has been mostly political, and this year is a boom-time for people who do what I do – analyze the news on a common sense basis , regardless of who might be enlightened or disgusted by it.
It’s all about Trump.
Donald Trump is the most polarizing figure in American Presidential history. His supporters seem to support him with an intensity most invigorating, and his detractors simply can’t mention his name without some form of physical or emotional pain. Why? He has broken every conventional rule of governing, talking big and threatening a big stick, changing his mind so fast it is hard to keep up with his real policies. His supporters love it. His detractors think he is the doctor of the apocalypse.
Both sides have their points. The President is a braggart, seems unhinged and flouts all elements of class and modesty. He is what I would call a “last person” manager. He makes decisions based on the “last person” he talked to. The defenders love the outrageous nature of Trump, although lately they have been wondering if he really knows what he is going to do next.For example, President Trump switched himself from right field to left field this week, though not completely. He changed his position on China, some trade issues, Fed Chief Janet Yellen who he demonized last year, and he has repudiated his own position against NATO. These are positive signs of flexibility. He still has a major problem, his tweets. He is currently tweeting so dangerously that his words might lead us into a World War Three scenario. Hopefully my concern about that is an over reaction. But we all know that words can be as dangerous as bullets.
For detractors, there is considerable doubt that he’ll be on the same page next month! For supporters, the rationales keep piling up, but he’s still got most of his base. At the very least, we think he does.
But, like him or not, the fact remains that the President, in power since January 20, has shown his hand.
This is what we know. The President doesn’t have a Presidential style. He rarely smiles. He loves his Florida home, even he is not currently traveling without a national security adviser. He still wants to have a Camelot era with Vladimir Putin, who “appears” to be angry with the USA over the cruise missile attacks. He thinks that he has ALL the power, and is not afraid to stick it to people who can really hurt him. Last week, he publicly humiliated Steve Bannon. Bannon may be a nationalist, but he’s been verbally wounded by his Commander, to whom he has expressed unqualified loyalty. In a TV interview Trump toyed with FBI Director James Comey, insinuating it is not too late to fire Comey. Now from my vantage point, that is not a message that you send to a guy like Comey, who for better or worse, is a confident, fearless investigator. Yes, it is true. Comey made some big mistakes last year. But now, he is supervising one of the biggest investigations in American history. Dare him to dig deeper, and he will go deeper than that extraordinary bomb we launched last week, the one that may have decapitated ISIS leadership in Afghanistan.
The President is saber rattling with North Korea, which is a threatening bastion of danger. That may be a good way of scaring the dictator into a big cave somewhere near the Chinese border. I hope it works. Conflict may begin, and we will win, but the dangers to the world are enormous. North Korea’s army is big but its efficiency level, and equipment, is poor.( South Korea’s munitions and savvy is stronger.) But don’t tell that to the 9.7 million people of Seoul , Korea. The city is just 35 miles from the border with the north. Any prolonged war will be a disaster for Seoul. A heavy, non-nuclear barrage of artillery and rockets can decimate Seoul, even as the effectiveness of the U.S. and South Korea brings the dictator death and destruction. So, again, those tweets from the President should stop. After all, wasn’t he the one who said he wouldn’t telegraph his war plans?
The President is also at war with the following entities: The Republican Party and elements of the intelligence community and all Democrats. He despises the so called “mainstream media”, including most major newspapers, networks, and web sites. Notable exceptions are Fox News and Breitbart, although if O’Reilly is sacked, the President may be pleading Rachel Maddow to put him on her show. He’s also at war with Muslims, Latinos, and he offers little comfort to the Jewish communities. He fails to connect with African-Americans. He doesn’t want to abandon his America First” mantra, which is a throwback to the unpatriotic bigots of then 193o’s who wanted to get into bed with Adolph Hitler.
The President has some good ideas. Tax reform is long overdue. Business is the engine that roars the economy. The infrastructure must be a major project. He needs to review his position on climate change. Health care should be handled before tax reform. Lives are at risk. And showing that he can be flexible will boost his standing, and relieve concerns of the people who are scared to death of his presidency.
But as I’ve said in previous posts, Donald J. Trump must show the nation that he is stable and caring. If he can’t pivot to that kind of leader, there will be failure, and that failure will trickle down to every community in America.
This is where we stand. Stay informed. Read everything you can get your hands on, or devour on the web. Don’t be left out. The Syria-Korea-Russian triple threat is worthy of your constant attention.
Hope for the best. Let’s make America safe again.