Tuesday, 16 May 2017 15:18

President Donald Trump Should Launch the Fight to save His Disintegrating Presidency

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That the four-month-old presidency of Donald Trump is floundering and falling apart is now clear to all except perhaps the neophytes the president has appointed to his inner circles. Even these loyal followers are exhibiting signs that all is not well with the administration they have been called upon to nurture to health.

Overt signs of a disintegrating presidency include the chaotic press briefings by the presidential spokespersons such as Sean Spicer and now his deputy. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in which what is said in the morning is often modified in the evening. There have been numerous occasions when the president has been contradicted directly either by his cabinet members or senior advisers or other members of the executive such as the acting FBI director. And vice versa when the president has contradicted his senior level advisors. The most visible evidence is when the vice President had indicated that the president fired FBI Director Mr. James Comey, on the advice of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein only for the president to say that he did so on his own and not on anybody’s advice.

There have been a lot of he-said-and-she-said going on.

That the white House does not speak with one voice is just one sign of disarray. The communication with America’s friends and foes, especially foes, has not been done coherently. Is China a currency manipulator or not? Is China a friend or a foe? Nobody can say with any degree of certainty. Will the North Korea nuclear ambition going to be solved via negotiations or by the use of force? The world is worrying. The same can be said of all the hot spots from Syria, to Iraq, to Iran, etc. Is US still a firm believer in UN Security Council, NATO, and other global organizations? Your guess is as good as mine.

Who are US friends? Britain, Germany, France, EU, South Korea, etc.? At this point in US administration under Mr. Trump, only Israel is seen as a safe ally. And even the Israeli’s might be experiencing a nervous breakdown.

There are two possible explanations for the seeming discordance in the  Trump Administration. And they are both related.

  1. Mr. Trump’s political inexperience. And Mr. Trump’s business experience. Many people who see how government is run as outsiders, wish and yearn that government is run like a business. Most of these people do not understand that government is not business and cannot be run like one. Many of Trump’s supporters come from this school of thought. Mr. Trump is a successful business man and it is assumed that he would be able to run a government as a successful business man. And even this school of though was not able to understand that Mr. Trump is not the ideal candidate for this office for Trump has never run a private public corporation such as General Motors where there are supervising Boards of Directors and shareholders who can control a run-away executive. Trump’s experience is in running his own company where the only interest that matters is his own interest.
  2. Mr. Trumps selection of senior advisers who also have no political experience. Take the case of any of Stephen Bannon, Rex Tillerson, Steven Mnuchin, Betsy DeVos, Kellyanne Conway, etc. Each of these people have seen governing from a distance but never experienced it at close quarters. The advice they give to the president is of a necessity is sophomoric. The two main political parties GOP and Democrats have what in Britain is called “shadow ministers” supported by technicians hiding at Harvard, Yale and other universities. When a democrat is in the White House, they come out of their hideaways and join the democratic administration and when the Republicans come to office, they move out, to be replaced by their republican counterparts. Mr. Trump had no use for these experienced technocrats.

The result is a case of the blind leading the blind. Any wonder both are about to fall beside the high way that is Washington.

How can Mr. Trump start stabilizing his administration to save it?

  1. Mr. Trump should shake up his senior advisers/cabinet with a major overhaul. All the neophytes should be reassigned to positions at least two levels down so that they would be supervised by experienced men and women who have studied and trained in managing government departments. He should go to the universities to recruit conservative republican technician who have served in past republican administrations. If he is smart he could a sprinkling of democratic leaning public servants.
  2. Mr. Trump could bring in political practitioners who are or were in politics and understand the art of government deal making. People who understand the give-and-take of governing. These people would be most needed in matters that involve legislating, a necessary part of governing.
  3. As I have written on several occasions, some adult in the house such as the first daughter Ivanna Trump should take Mr. Trump’s favorite toy, his twitter, away from him. Drop it into the Potomac if need be. It has done more harm than is called for.
  4. Sue for peace:with the press, democrats, Obama, etc. The election is over and Mr. Trump has won. There is no need to re-fight 2016. Make peace with the outsiders, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Arabs, Indians, immigrants including the illegal immigrants. Bring these “enemies” inside the fold. There is still time to win them over. It will be a sign of strength not weakness.
  5. Reassure US neighbors especially Canada and Mexico. They offer the strongest security to US. No more talk of walls, bricks or economic tariffs.

Above all take a break. Get off the news cycle for a month.

Think!

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 16, 2017

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Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.