We are now looking at the first 100 days of The Trump administration, and we can gauge its success by reviewing how The Administration has met their responsibilities to our nation in the following areas: foreign relations, defense, economy, environment, healthcare, ability to lead the western world and ability to unify the United States. These areas are, of course, overlapping and interdependent but by looking at each part separately we see how together they create a gestalt, i.e. something that is greater than the sum of its parts, that may help us to understand who this seemingly inexplicable “Trump” is and how his rise was anything but unpredictable.
We, the voters have to judge Trump and so we are obligated to figure out what is “fake news,” who is lying and who is telling the unbiased truth. We must be aware that there are many ways of distorting information, lies often sound more like truth, than the truth itself and some people have a condition where they do not even know when they are lying.
Concerning Trump I have made no secret of the fact that I have observed that he functions like the morally bankrupt parent we see in child custody conflicts in family court. These morally bankrupt parents are typically abusive, meaning they need to coercively control the people around them and keep reminding the people around them they are in control. They manage to create such chaos and to make so many false accusations that in the eyes of the court they reverse reality; for example, they often turn the more responsible party into the menace and make themselves look like victims. They elicit people’s worst instincts and their need for control is like a drug causing them to behave in the manner of an untreated addict. Their narcissistic rage is blinding and all-consuming and cannot bear reality. Trump is similar to an addict in that much of what he says appears to be out of his awareness and out of his control. The first hallmark of untreated addiction is that the addict cannot put anything between themselves and their drug. In Trump’s case, the drug, again, is control. I have coined the term “cataclysmic malignant narcissist, “ (CMN) to identify people of this kind, and Trump fits squarely within their ranks.
Working on the theory that the gravity of the Office of the President of the United States might function as a constraint on Trump, I thought he might become more responsible. Although the results of the election has shaken my faith in my country, The United States remains a beacon of what is right and good in the world and I still love my country so I want him to succeed. I want him to succeed for our children, for the next generation. I am very sorry to report that in each of these areas the facts make clear that with possibly little exception he has weakened our position in the world and jeopardized ourLnation’s economy and our democratic principles. America is less safe than it has ever been since we became a world power and this is the result of his “gestalt,” in other words this is because he is a CMN.
Judge for yourself: Here are some facts from the last 100 days:
Foreign Relations: Trump has insulted the leaders of allied countries including Australia, Germany and Mexico and has held relatively uneventful meetings with China, Great Britain, and Japan. The President has sent such confusing signals to the world that many countries are deciding it is in their best interest to re-evaluate their strategic relationships. Pulling out of The TransPacific Partnership (TPP) and the threat to pull out of the Paris Accords has diminished the faith many countries have in our reliability and leadership.
Defense: Last winter Mr. Trump conducted a top-secret meeting concerning North Korea’s missiles launch towards Japan while he was having dinner with the Japanese Prime Minister on a crowded terrace on Mar-a-Lago. During the first weeks of his presidency his administration unexpectedly bombed Yemen. Unprepared and without proper intelligence the raid resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL and the deaths of 25 civilians. It does not appear to have accomplished any goals. On the other hand The United States bombing of Syria after that country used chemical weapons on its own people was more of a shot across the bow. Whether it was done with Russia and Syria’s tacit knowledge is unknown but if it was done without their knowledge, it may have been exactly the right move. Whoever made the decision to blow up the “mother of all bombs” in the desert in Afghanistan probably made the best decision in Trump’s presidency as this initiative accomplished a successful test of the bomb, destroyed ISIS troops and perhaps sent an important message to North Korea. Trump himself has acknowledged that he does not know anything about North Korea. He announced that U.S. warships were steaming toward North Korea in response to North Korea’s latest threats when they actually were steaming in the opposite direction. China is may helpful in resolving the tension with North Korea but our leverage over China has been diminished by pulling out of the TPP.
Economy: The President’s claim that he will bring back jobs to the U.S. by command has not been documented. Companies must operate in the best interest of their bottom lines. Typically that means automation and/or transitioning to cheaper labor pools which are usually outside of the USA. Chuck Jones, the union leader for the Carrier workers reported that Trump lied about the number of jobs he claimed to have saved in Indianapolis and that the 700 or so jobs he did save will disappear by year’s end. Chuck Jones and Gregory Hayes, The President of United Technologies, Carrier’s parent company have pointed out that U.S. companies are not going to stand in the way of automation and globalization. When Trump went on a rampage about this Jones and his children were threatened by Trump’s followers on social media. Additionally, by pulling out of TPP Trump may have given China an upper hand in the trade war. In the balance of power between the U.S. and China, Trump’s tax proposal will almost certainly help his family business but will increase the U.S. government’s deficit which will require an increase in borrowing from China. The President’s s proposal to fund a major infrastructure initiative would enhance the economy and the initial deficit would be offset by the eventual increase in revenues, but no evident progress has been made on this initiative.
Environment: The Executive Orders The President has signed roll back regulations which will increase disease and contaminate our drinking water and food supply. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) just decided to allow chlorpyrifos to be used on crops again despite two major studies showing it can impair cognitive development in children and create other neurological disorders. The Trump officials who said that the Obama Administration enforced that ban on chlorpyifos without scientific knowledge its effects were not telling the truth. I believe those officials are referring to one particular study on the chemical which had not been completed but there was ample evidence from other studies that this chemical causes severe neurological impairment in even tiny amounts. Dow Chemical developed and sells chlorpyifos and Dow Chemical’s CEO got the pen Trump used when he signed the “Enforcing Regulatory Reform Agenda” which essentially greenlighted its use. Additionally, The Administration violated the sacred grounds of Native Americans with his Executive Order advancing the Keystone XL initiative. Trump’s Executive Order rolling back environmental regulations on the coal industry poses dangers to the environment. The President remains undecided about pulling out of the Paris Accords, but he has undermined our commitment to the environment with his executive orders.
Healthcare: Thus far The President has been unable to “repeal and replace” The Affordable Care Act, (ACA). A significant number of Americans learned this spring that the ACA is Obamacare, a name that the Republicans called the ACA in an effort to humiliate President Obama and to undermine the new law generally. The ACA was established to foster integrated care, the model the world renowned Mayo Clinic uses which produces the best and least costly medical care in the nation. The creation of an electronic medical system increased access and transparency. This system promoted “best practices” encouraging the development of Accountability Care Organizations s (ACOs) which promoted integrated care. ACOs have had at best marginal success as costs have often not made them viable and because the Republicans undermined the ACA by eliminating the provision built into the original law that the government would make up for the difference between insurance increases and individuals’ premiums. Recently premiums for many have sky rocketed while for others the ACA has worked extremely well. The goal of providing insurance for every American citizen has been achieved by expanding Medicaid, allowing youth to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, insuring pre-existing conditions and requiring all Americans to sign up for health insurance or pay a penalty. The far-sightedness of the program has allowed it to survive two Supreme Court challenges and thus far, any legislation to “repeal and replace” it. The ACA is in the balance today.
Leadership of the Free World: President Trump’s two executive orders to ban Muslim people from entering the United States have thus far been blocked by the courts for violating The First Amendment. For the present time, he has put aside his proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border. Merely attempting this, however, has left the United States weaker and less secure by making the USA appear fearful and irrational towards Mexicans and Muslims who pose minimum security threat to the United States. The diversion, however, created chaos, and has taken our eye off greater threats to the United States and to the free world such as “climate change” and “loose nukes.”
Leader of the United States: It does not seem that The President has lessened the rage of our citizenry. Threats and counter threats abound on social media, on the news and in the rallies and protests. The legislation President Trump signed which facilitates the ability of the mentally ill to purchase guns seems unwise on its face as gun rampages are often committed by mentally ill people.
Regarding Trump’s pledge to unite the country, his top aide Steve Bannon has promoted racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism. Along with Attorney General Sessions, he has demonstrated a determined message to “make America white again.” It is fair game to say that Bannon’s three divorces have attracted undesirable publicity; in one case charges of domestic violence and in another charges that his ex-wife was dealing drugs to inmates. Meanwhile, Trump’s Sessions-led Justice Department is demonstrating a lack of concern for the rights of Black people and Muslims. Additionally, Trump has increased political tension and undermined faith in the electoral process by falsely claiming that the California and New Hampshire election results were fraudulent. He did not apologize to many of the people he insulted throughout his campaign or to our political leaders who he continues to belittle and demean.
President Trump’s credentials include running businesses which some have likened to Ponzi schemes. Such operations, like the great white shark, needs to constantly keep moving to survive. This requires Trump to continuously make deals on borrowed money most of which he does not pay back and to develop fraudulent schemes like his “university” that he can write off. His proclivity for treating his contractors and workers is well-documented (so when you look at the Central Park ice rink remember he essentially swindled those workers.) One place that would do business with him was Russia, whose oligarchs apparently used him for money laundering and whose president needed him to remove Obama’s sanctions which were imposed after Russia’s seizure of Crimea. Remember that they were all looking to make money on oil in Crimea. Putin and Trump seem to be kindred spirits valuing power over all else, delighting in sowing dissent and demonstrating contempt for others. The closer Trump came to being investigated for unlawful business practices the more interested he became in running for president (which is why I do not think he will resign) and the more viciously he attacked his opponents, which thrilled his followers.
Trump’s national security advisor, Michael Flynn, has had to resign due to various instances of serious international misconduct. There is such a myriad of connections between the Trump Administration, his businesses and the United States that the Trump business empire can thrive. America is still fundamentally a nation of laws and every one of these connections will be brought to light as The Trump Administration is under criminal investigation by the FBI. “Facts are stubborn things” said one of our founding fathers and this is fact.
Meanwhile, as President-elect, began a course of action dear to the heart of extreme conservatives: he nominated a Cabinet dedicated to dismantling or greatly reducing the departments they are being asked to lead. The departments of State, Education, Energy, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior as well as the Environmental Protection Agency are all led by people dedicated to the notion that their departments are interfering with the business of America and the welfare of the people of the United States. I run a small business and I believe in capitalism but I know that for capitalism and for business to work I need a clean and healthy environment, an educated population and a good health care system for all. I believe that ignoring these parts of our society our relationships with the world, our schools, our health system our hospitals and our environment are rendered so ineffectual that we don’t need ISIS to destroy us because we are doing it ourselves.
When we are evaluating what is true and what is not and who is biased one way and who is biased another it is important to keep in mind that there are cataclysmic malignant narcissists in our society whose aim is to fool you. P.T. Barnum supposedly said “there is a sucker born every minute.” Let’s make that less true than it was in his day. This time, our nation depends on it.