Yesterday, the world stood witness as Trump spent over an hour roadblocking the major cable networks across the United States as he gave a rambling, stream-of-conscious, lie-riddled press conference. In a stunning portrayal of the fragility of Trump’s ego, the president’s veritable nervous breakdown in front of the world on the heels of almost four weeks of absolute dysfunction and abject chaos in the White House demonstrates how unfit he is to serve the great citizens of this country. Trump opined that he “inherited a mess” from President Obama. If only President Obama hadn’t set Trump up to fail – then maybe Trump would have a single legislative accomplishment to show for the last month.
Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Obama was elected as the economy collapsed from the weight of 8 years of dysfunctional Republican government, which dragged the United States into two major wars and inflated the unemployment rate to nearly ten percent. At the end of the Obama administration, unemployment was at 4.7%; there were 75 straight months of job growth; the stock market hit record highs, the housing market was healthy, corporate profit and consumer confidence were high, and middle-class incomes were spiking. Things weren’t perfect, and many communities still struggled, but America did pretty well under Obama.
The last four weeks of chaos and incompetence should especially concern people because there is no reason that any of it should have happened. All of Trump’s major stumbles have been self-inflicted. His White House has not had to respond to a single crisis, and they inherited a country that could function fine on auto-pilot. Instead of working to build a legislative coalition, draft policy, and iron out administrative duties – the White House has spent the last four weeks engaged in petty temper tantrums directed at the press while desperately trying to explain Trump’s most recent erratic behavior. After the election, with his political capital at an all-time high, Trump – the self-proclaimed legendary deal maker – squandered it by starting his presidency off by blatantly and resiliently lying about the crowd sizes at his inauguration, clumsily rolling out a Muslim ban, and conveniently forgetting his promises towards reforming the Affordable Care Act.
The press conference that Donald Trump held yesterday was a perfect example of why he is such a terrible president. Trump accused the news of being fake despite admitting the authenticity of the leaks, trying to utilize bizarre verbal jiu-jitsu to explain his logic. He asked a black reporter, April Ryan, to set a meeting up with the Congressional Black Caucus after she asked him a question about his relationship with them. Ranted and raved about his portrayal in the media as someone that rants and raves. Bragged about America’s nuclear capabilities. Told a Jewish reporter that “I am the least anti-Semitic person you know” in response to a question about the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the United States. Lied about the scope and size of his electoral victory. And complained in general about his portrayal in the media – while musing that he would have been a tremendous reporter – and the epidemic of fake news in an unending tirade that only ended after his aides stepped in.
The same erratic, temper driven, lying, cheating, racist, and sexist behavior that pushed Trump’s campaign for President has defined the first several weeks of his presidency. At the press conference yesterday Trump demonstrated that he is unfit to serve as President of the United States. He is not running for president anymore, he is president, and he must act like it. Trump sits in a gold tower all day surrounded by sycophants and liars. As the fires burn around him, his court jesters whisper sweet praise into his ear and assure him that he is doing an incredible, tremendous, great, bigly job. It has become such a joke that even his own advisors talk openly of their ‘alternate facts,’ as though the truth is up for debate. Like the Empire with no clothes, Trump has become untethered from reality. America is a democracy, and our leaders must be accountable to the truth.