Vol. 12   No. 10
MAY 15, 2017
UNIQUE HITS
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                           Never a Dull Moment
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I’m not sure if this column is going to make any sense. I’ve been up most of the night and it is the last
piece that I have to send to the printer by my press time. It could be a mess.

On the other hand, I don’t know if it would make any sense any how because the subject of the column is
President Donald Trump. I can’t decide if Trump is crazy like a fox or just plain crazy.
And this leadership by an intentionally or unintentionally deranged president could lead to a rather
schizophrenic nation, one that is already severely divided along whatever particular line one wants to
look at: the haves and the have nots, the liberal and the conservative, the Black, White, Latino, Asian and
Native American and the Fox News and MSNBC.

We are no longer Americans. We are a divided, multiple personality whose mental health is being
severely tested by the “father” of the family, President Donald Trump.

Donald Trump often said — he said that he wanted to just the other day — that he wanted to “drain the
swamp,” a popular conservative phrase meaning to dismantle the federal government. And he has made
a good start of it.

It appears that the first thing that he wants to do is dismantle the presidency. You know how Trump often
toots his own horn and remarks about what a great job that he is doing. Well I don’t know about the rest of
what he has done, but he is doing a great job of dismantling the dignity and respect for the presidency.

I think that Donald Trump is used to being the imperial power that he has enjoyed in his own little world of
The Trump Organization where everyone pretends or actually does jump to his every command. And since
the U.S. Presidency has been billed as the most powerful position on earth, he probably thought the same
would happen and even more so since the presidency has more power.

But now that he has the job, while it may be the most powerful position on earth, it also has the most
constraints placed on it as well. Who wants someone pushing the nuclear bomb button because the
president is mad at someone? Or who wants the entire agriculture sector of our economy wiped out
simply because the president knows nothing about it and decrees something on whim like we’ll subsidize
the planting and growing of coconut tress across the United States because the president likes the way
they look at Mar-a-Lago?

And thank God that he hasn’t found a way to subvert the checks and balances in Washington to make
himself an imperial power. I’m sure that he has people researching how he might be able to do that.

And then there is the double speak that comes with Donald Trump’s version of 1984. We have been
exposed to “alternative facts,” which is made-up information with no connection to reality so that Trump
and his minions can pump themselves up like they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. It started
with the estimation with Trump’s inauguration crowd sizes and continues on to this day and it is spreading.

During the current firestorm over Donald Trump’s firing of the FBI director, James Comey, it has been
alleged — and Donald Trump seemed to back it up in a tweet — that Comey was fired because of the
investigation into a possible connection between Russian hackers and the Trump campaign.

And in defense of Trump, his lawyers talked about any possible business dealings with Russia. And they
issued a statement along the lines of, “Donald Trump receives no income from Russia with a couple of
exceptions.”

What the heck does that really mean? In my mind, either he drives some of his income from Russian
business dealings or he doesn’t. The statement of the lawyers seems to indicate that Trump does receive
income from Russian business dealings, but he considers them to trivial, incidental. What kind of 1984
mess is that? Again, it just adds to the schizophrenic condition of our country.

Another thing that Trump likes to brag about is how much he has accomplished during the first 100 days of
his presidency. I am hard pressed to think of anything outside of launching a missile attack against a
Syrian airport and pass the repeal of Obamacare in the House by ONE vote or pick on undocumented
individuals by picking them up and threatening them with deportation. What has Trump accomplished?
Well he has reinforced his image of being a bully to the weak and vulnerable like the person with
disabilities whom he derided on the campaign trail. He has shown a lot of bluster and hot air and has
picked on the defenseless like people with prior conditions and the poor who can’t afford health care.

Donald Trump likes to brag about how quickly he gets things done. Well I know of one thing that Trump has
done more quickly than any other president in my lifetime. And that is to cause a major scandal. Richard
Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did it in their second terms with Watergate, Iran-Contra and
Monicagate.

Donald Trump has managed to do it within just about the first 100 days of his presidency with the firing of
James Comey as the FBI director, who was in charge of investigating Trump’s campaign because he was
asking for more resources to investigate the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia. It was like
Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre all over again except Trump’s attorney-general and assistant attorney-
general did not resign to avoid making the politically motivated sack that the president wanted. They
eagerly placed their fingerprints on Trump’s decision.

So Trump accomplished in 100 days what it took Richard Nixon 1,460 days. What a mess.