How Long Can Our Luck Hold?

That America is doing this well this far into the Trump presidency is nothing short of amazing. My question is how long can our luck hold out? Let’s explore.

Most new American presidents get tested somewhere early in their first term. The most glaring recent example of that was 9/11 early in George W. Bush’s first term. Trump has yet to be tested. His biggest problems have been self-inflicted wounds. Perhaps that is because he seems to have a policy of preemptive surrender to America’s adversaries. (Why attack America when Trump will give you anything you want?) The most obvious example being North Korea; Trump began his “negotiations” by meeting with Kim Jung-un – which gave Kim the recognition he desired. Early in the session Trump unilaterally cancelled military exercises in the region – a long time goal of North Korea’s. In exchange he received nothing.

Some of Trump’s blunders will probably not come back to haunt him during his temporary stay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The most obvious example is his pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. While the pact was far from a panacea or even an adequate solution, it was the first almost total accord addressing global climate change. Pulling out certainly hurt the cause and was one of many examples of Trump’s America not being a world leader or setting a good example. Unaddressed, climate change will certainly change the world as we know it and will endanger human life on this planet. However the apex of the crisis will not happen on Trump’s watch.

Iran could be a different situation. While a war between now and the November 2020 elections could actually enhance Trump’s chances of reelection it will not be good for the country. Without a military draft a substantial portion of the armed forces is comprised of the sons and daughters of lower social-economic class whites – a substantial portion of Trump’s base. They will actually be sacrificing their children to support Trump’s incompetence.

For proof of Trump’s incompetence you need to look no further than his Cabinet. 23 of the 24 positions are appointees subject to Senate confirmation (the exception being the Vice President). Of those 23, five are currently filled by people in an acting capacity – that is slightly over 20%. The UN spot has been filled by an acting Ambassador the entirety of 2019. The Defense slot is currently filled by the second consecutive acting Secretary and hasn’t had a confirmed head in place since New Year’s Eve 2018. How are you supposed to handle a crisis when you can’t even get your key spots filled?

Trump’s gross incompetence should not come as a surprise to the American people. This is a guy who went bankrupt in the casino business multiple times. How do you go broke running a gambling casino? Casinos are money making machines. Native American tribes get scammed by corrupt lobbyists and still turn huge profits in the casino business.

Trump is the most dangerous type of fool; one who actually thinks he is smart. You can put someone of less than the highest ability in the office of the presidency if they are smart enough to surround themselves with competent advisors. Trump’s latest self-evaluation is that of an “Extremely stable genius”. An accurate three word description of Trump may well start out with the word “extremely” but I guarantee you that the two following words wouldn’t include either stable or genius!

Micromanagement born of ignorance yields bankruptcies not military or global superiority. Trump is rich because he was born rich. Trump is having relative success running America because he inherited the world’s biggest economy and strongest military. The terrifying question is how long America’s luck can hold out with Trump mismanaging its affairs.

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