UNITED STATES—It seems that our president isn’t able to keep out of his own way. He manages – or relishes — wreaking havoc where calm had previously prevailed. His words and actions are increasingly causing great anguish both here and abroad to the detriment of so many, but even more so to himself.
For starters, Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey spawned the birth of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. Comey’s dismissal without legitimate cause was the genesis for scores of indictments and guilty pleas spewing forth from his administration, all of which are now closing in on his own legal jeopardy, both personally and politically. If he had simply done nothing, it’s possible that none of his cronies would have been caught in the net that is swooping down on the White House, about to ensnare even his own children.
Trump’s administration was left a legacy of goodwill and civility among our NATO allies. Unprovoked however, he has now denigrated them with personal attacks and accusations of the U.S. being taken advantage of — by our closest allies. Does Trump appreciate Article 5 of NATO, which commits each member to consider an armed attack against one to be an armed attack against all? In NATO’s entire existence, Article 5 has only been invoked once – for the United States immediately after 9-11. Our allies did everything we asked of them and were ready to do more. I saw one of their ships with an enormous banner back then that said “We are all Americans.” NATO had our back; our president just needlessly stabbed theirs.
The senseless border immigration fiasco that he created quickly turned into a humanitarian and self-inflicted public relations nightmare with thousands of children unconscionably separated from their parents. Then his vague plan to remedy it was borne out of the thin air that is Mr. Trump’s favorite place to hatch his ideas. Worse, Trump created a shameful embarrassment foisted upon our nation as the meaning of our beloved Statue of Liberty suddenly became a monument to what we no longer seem to be.
The border wall would be a colossal waste of money for something that we don’t even need. Various studies have revealed that since 2008, more Mexicans have been leaving the U.S. than arriving. This bears repeating: the number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants has fallen by more than a million in the past decade, and with just a modest number entering our country, we actually have a net decline. Yet, the financial and emotional cost to our nation is staggering as Trump continues to agitate his base, making them falsely believe that we are being overrun by the worst of the worst. What is actually happening is that farmers are beginning to have a shortage of migrant workers crossing our border to help them pick the food we eat.
We had a working agreement with Iran, meaning the cessation of them making nuclear material was working, even though Iran is still a serious menace to the stability of the Middle East. In an imperfect world, we need to first address the most apocalyptic threat, and this Iran agreement was doing just that. Until our president decided that it wasn’t and changed the rules in mid-game. Iran has no intention of renegotiating with Trump and they may even restart their nuclear program. More damaging, the entire world now sees our diminishing reputation and thus the folly of entering into agreements with us as we become increasingly irrelevant in the geopolitical world.
Then, there are the tariffs. Trump was in the enviable position of having an economy humming along at record low unemployment, record stock market highs, and the growing optimism of better times ahead. So what did he do with his good fortune? He squandered it with accusations against other countries that we are being treated unfairly and then proceeded to slap enormous tariffs on them. The economic skid is about to gain momentum as companies are beginning to lay off employees or move overseas, our products will now become too expensive to sell abroad, and prices will be rising on so many goods that we purchase every day as countries retaliate in kind. A spillover effect of all of this is that these costs will eat into and likely nullify his signature tax cuts.
Why does our president continue to undue so much that was working just fine? His self-destructive decisions unnecessarily diminish both himself and our country. What more needs to happen before he is finally blocked from falling into his self-made rabbit hole?