Interesting Times

Its been over one hundred days that the Trump Administration has been in power. What can we say?

Trump has done only a little of what he claimed he wanted to. But his lament that one hundred days is a ridiculous unit of measure, true as it may be, falls somewhat on deaf ears. A reversal of his earlier position, when he thought his chances of doing all he wanted quickly were good, it strikes me as yet another of his hollow attempts to save himself from embarrassment.
One of the clearest things that has come out of the first hundred days is how weak this man’s sense of self-confidence is. The longer term significance of his presidency is not nearly so certain. In particular, the importance of his appointment of Gorsuch will have to await history to decide, the appointments of climate deniers, generals, and anti-government people to heads of departments of the government seems to be part of a strategic plan on Trump’s part whose effectiveness remains uncertain. It is always hard to say “is” rather than “seems to be” when describing Trump’s intentions or motives, and that is often put forth by his supporters as a strength. Unfortunately he is no longer just a nutcase with money, so I, personally, think his rankings are no longer something we can ignore. It’s also difficult to use “strategic” in describing anything he does.
I’m very happy to be able to say we are not yet at war. But I have not seen anything which makes war seem less likely. I still think Trump would like nothing more. He will get a big boost in popularity when it happens, especially if the opponent, at first, appears to be just North Korea. North Korea is led by someone who appears to be as crazy as Trump himself, so I fully expect war there to be inevitable. How I will react,though, is not as clear as I thought just a few weeks ago.
Of all places on Earth, North Korea seems to be the best place for Trump to throw a fit. A few weeks ago, I was sure that war would be one of the few things that would trigger my leaving the country. But I am not as sure of it as I was at the time. Leaving the country of my birth and life of over seventy years is not so easy. I might die on the way.
The same can probably be raised as a valid objection to leaving, no matter what the provocation. You’ll probably recall my advice to draw up a list of such provocations, those that would drive you to leave the country, in advance of their occurrence. If anything, I think it better advice than when first given.
At first, I think China may stay out of it. But Trump will, I think, keep pushing until we have World War Three. When violence is initiated, though, there is no way to predict the developments. I expect Trump’s reputation will eventually ride entirely upon whether his side wins that war or not. He will likely be viewed as America’s greatest president or its worst. Just as Hitler’s legacy as Germany’s leader depended on the outcome of WWII.
Whether Republicans regard the first one hundred days with more regard than Trump now seems to is very much an unknown at this time. It is very likely that some supporters of Trumpism may abandon their position when confronted with Trump’s apparent failure to rally any but those already solidly listed as members of his troops in the first hundred days. There is some evidence of this potential trend in what appears to be less vigorous statements coming forth from his formerly more vociferous supporters.
But I may be doing the same thing I have been critical of others for. There was a tendency to see Trump in their own, hopeful, way. Maybe I am just hoping it will be best.
So often I have heard Trump supporters say they expected what they really only wished for. Things in direct opposition of things Trump, himself, had made clear statements about.
The good news is that Trump has not yet completely abandoned reliance on his more reasonable closest advisors. How long that will hold, though, is hard to guess. The scary thing is that Trump now has the most well-equipped army in the world working for him.
A mythological ancient Chinese curse goes something like this; “May you live in interesting times.” Let’s hope the times prove to be far less interesting than it looks like they might be.

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