The White House is out of control. Governing by tweets, firing Comey, battling news media, investigating everything, kowtowing to Russia, booting Spicer, slamming Sessions, unleashing Scaramucci, spewing profanity, canning Priebus, and it can all be traced to the disgracing of the presidency by the unstable Donald Trump. Don’t stop reading. Let me explain.
Those who follow my posts know that I was not a Trump fan before the election. I couldn’t imagine him as president and didn’t vote for him (or Hillary). However, during his first weeks as president, I sought and saw some glimmer of hope. I agreed with most of his ideology, I praised his dream-team cabinet appointments, I applauded his Supreme Court justice nomination, I celebrated his religious freedom stance, and I welcomed his regulation reversals.
But, the real Donald Trump kept surfacing. President Trump is apparently going to be no different from candidate Trump. Granted, there is something refreshing about his break with traditional Washington thinking and political norms. I can take some of his unorthodox comments and behaviors as a strategy for anti-bureaucratic governing. However, he is going way beyond the pale and making a mockery of the presidency, democracy, and basic American values.
Thursday, Attorney General Sessions referred to the president as a different kind of leader. I have studied, taught, and practiced leadership almost all of my adult life. The president is not any kind of leader–a successful operator maybe, but not a leader. He has been a great business man who has profited billions. But, a lot of prominent business men have accumulated wealth by bullying, coercing, threatening, and making shady deals. That is not leadership. Leadership is bringing followers along side with positive incentive and reward sharing. True leaders are respected for their character and caring, not dependent on intimidation and egoism.
I do believe President Trump is a man with a genuine heart for America. Make America Great Again is more than just a slogan to him. But, he is a man who is psychologically unstable and unable to change. The bombastic and erratic personality that served him well in real estate development is hamstringing the governing of America. He realizes his need for wise counsel as evidenced by the caliber of cabinet and staff with which he surrounds himself. But, because he can’t change, he doesn’t heed their advice. His answer to conflict is to fire somebody. An organization is an organism that takes on the air of the person at the top. The dysfunction of the White House staff is nothing more than a reflection of the man in the Oval Office.
I know he is being constantly attacked by the Democrats and the news media, probably unfairly and more than any previous president. But, he brings most of that on himself. The way to handle it is through civil discourse with both the antagonists and the public, not hate speech and fiery tweets that offend friends and foes alike.
I have held this post in reserve for weeks hoping time would reverse the bizarre behavior of the president causing raised eyebrows of disbelief across America. I have celebrated small examples of rational thinking and action only to be disappointed by the next bombshell. His behavior can’t change without providential intervention. I pray for that intervention. I really do want him to succeed. Unfortunately, however, I doubt his being able to continue as president for a full term. I don’t wish for that, and it would be disastrous for our nation. Nevertheless, we survived Nixon, and we would survive Trump. The silver lining would be Mike Pence as the heir to the Oval Office to lead the positive initiatives of his predecessor without the negative baggage.
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