I miss having a grownup as president. Heck, even George W. seemed grown up compared to Donald Trump or at least he was civil.
Right out of the box Barack Obama went around the world on what some in derision called his “apology tour” telling people of the world that America had sometimes behaved badly but all that would change. Crowds seemed to love him. Of course he was a novelty. The first black man to become president of the United States. And he was so articulate. What a difference from the rich, spoiled white boy who went to Yale but could not put together a complete sentence without mangling it or coming up with some comical malaprop — and he wasn’t trying to be humorous. When he tried to speak Spanish, something he bragged about being able to do, he wound up calling the then prime minister of Spain a goose.
So Obama was in ways a welcome change, but I have to say I did not care for his obsequious behavior. I don’t think it was necessary nor productive to go around the world apologizing. I mean first I am not sure we have anything to apologize for (well except Trump now) or if we do in world affairs it is better to move on and let actions speak louder than words. Maybe now Obama should go around the world and apologize for all those drone strikes that killed innocent civilians, including women and children. Civilian casualties in war are one thing but inflicted helter-skelter outside of a clearly defined war zone they seem like a crime against humanity.
(And I realize that is a serious charge. Sometimes such actions are euphemistically referred to as “collateral damage”. But that implies a combat situation in which it is impossible to separate civilians from combatants in a specified war zone. But the whole world cannot be a specified war zone, at least not in the conventional meaning of war.)
Even so, on balance, world relations wise, we had a pretty good run with Obama. He was a gentleman and scholarly and projected a good image of the United States, some of his policies not withstanding.
But now we have another illiterate (by choice) rich boy with no manners, no civility, who insults our allies and neighbors, and does his best to close the doors to the masses who long for freedom that beckons from our Statue of Liberty (France may want its gift to us back).
(Okay, maybe I engaged in a little hyperbole on the refugee thing. I mean I almost buy Trump’s story that we just need to get a handle on things to see how we can prevent terrorists from so freely passing into our nation. I don’t think he is going at it in an effective or practical way, however. I also suspect he is taking the actions more to garner support from people who just don’t want foreigners in our country. That was part of the base that got him into the White House.)
We seem to be stuck for the time being with the embarrassment that is Trump.
Currently he is challenging the judiciary’s role as one of the three co-equal branches of government by bad mouthing a judge who ruled against him — I mean it is one thing to voice your displeasure with a ruling (I recall Obama did that) but to question his authority or legitimacy, as I feel he did, is reprehensible.
In a tweet Trump wrote:
“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
Now I think it would be more proper for Trump to have simply challenged the judge’s decision in court — which he is doing — but leave out the insult to his integrity.
I would be just as aghast had the judge wrote something like: “I hereby issue an order to cease and desist all actions concerning the refugee ban by this so-called president”.
Even though Trump holds the Republican Party and its majority in congress hostage at the moment, over time, with his behavior and his conflicts of interest concerning his continued control of assets that may prosper by his position as president, all that may erode and meanwhile the grounds for impeachment mount.
Or, as hard as it is to believe he may tire or settle down and a more normal course of events may ensue. There are still two other branches of government that should be capable of exercising their constitutional duty to serve as checks against an over-aggressive executive branch.
There is a possible positive to Trump’s aggressive America-First defense policy, such as it is. Enemies or would-be challengers are reportedly so far being kept off balance because they don’t know what he’ll do.
The American people don’t either.