Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence and three times is a trend. My kids will tell you, and a few of my readers may remember me using this phrase over and over to explain purposeful chaos. Donald John Trump went before the nation, shortly after 11:00 am this morning, to tell us Iran will never have a nuclear weapon, “as long as I am President,” he said. Surrounded by members of his Cabinet and garnering an uncomfortable stare from at least one member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President went on to sniff, teethe, and struggle to read his prepared statement. As is his wont, he then put on a mini-campaign rally touting his accomplishments; Poof—shiny ball, look over here.
It is hard not to avoid reducing to triviality the serious business of death and prospective death when a frivolous man delivers the message. Personal troubles seem to spur Mr. Trump into military action when it is convenient for his survival; even the promise of military action has suited his ambitions in the past. During his run for the presidency, in June of 2015, in an interview with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, Mr. Trump told his potential voters he had a secret plan [which later turned out to be a retooling of an Obama strategy] to defeat ISIS. He went on to say he was afraid his opponents would steal it, so he would not reveal it, “The problem with politics is if I tell you right now, everyone else is going to say, ‘Wow, what a great idea.’ You’re going to have 10 candidates go and use it, and they’re going to forget where it came from, which is me. But no, I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS,” he said.
A month later, in July of 2015, after being mocked by both Democrats and Republicans for his vague declination of a peace plan, including from Senator John McCain, Trump delivered his infamous critique of McCain’s time as a prisoner of war. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” said then-candidate Trump; Poof—ISIS plan no longer discussed.
After the death of Navy Seal William “ Ryan” Owens in a raid authorized by the newly elected President Trump, he chose that opportunity to blame former President Obama because the planning had been made under the auspice of the previous administration. The President further avoided responsibility by blaming the failures of the Yemeni raid on his generals. “This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something that was, you know, just — they wanted to do. They came to see me, and they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected. My generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I would — I believe. And they lost Ryan,” Trump said. Poof—no more talk of Trump’s culpability in the failure of the mission.
“The buck stops here” –President Harry Truman…
It is reported that former President Harry S. Truman displayed those words prominently on a sign atop his desk. Pardon me if the current President’s governance style leaves me fearful of his next move, his next tweet, his next speech or his next bombing to save his own skin. It seems the current president has a different take on that famous adage; his sign would read ‘pass the buck.’
Vote in 2020 for Change.