We seem to recall that on the campaign trail, Donald Trump – in discussing how beautiful his new tax code as going to be – happily revealed that “Only I can fix it,” because, after all, he had been profiting from the old one for years.
In his royal state of mind, Mr. Trump seems now to believe that only he can fix anything: healthcare, tax codes, international agreements, climate change, Medicaid.
It is now clear, or should be, that only he can manage to screw things up. Only he can cause the United States of America to be perceived as confused, weakened, untrustworthy. Only he knows more than his security apparatus, more than all of his cabinet put together on every topic. And only he is responsible for hastening the US of A to a status just barely above that of Rio or Caracas. (It’s only fair to grant him allies in Congress for these purposes.)
The Donald seems to truly believe what we suspected all along: he is King. He wasn’t elected to be a representative and protector of his nation, but its czar. And that is how he expects his subjects to accept him, c.f., James Comey, Jeff Sessions, the entire “Mornin’ Joe” cast, the CIA, the department of State. Whenever he suspects his subjects of disloyalty (or criticism, or Democracy), the Donald goes on tour. He returns triumphantly, renewed, and full of the energy it must take to lie instantaneously about anything and everything.
So far, he has been able to persuade his followers that everything he does is natural, bursting with common sense, and as far from felonies as any six year old.
Stupendously, his following seems to think of him as somehow a victim, someone to be pitied.
We’ve watched him insult allies, belittle foreigners and their leaders, admit that he would rather see hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer rather than have Medicare.
His adoration of Vladimir Putin – and any other “strongman” currently at the head of a government – i.e., the Philippines, China, Venezuela, India – has always seemed suspect, as though he really were a six year old searching for a father to admire and follow.
Many of us have been waiting for the Donald to overstep. He has, of course, many times, but he’s always been agile enough to persuade the nation that other things mattered more than his little slip-ups. His base is forever prepared with excuses: he’s a “newbie,” he doesn’t know Washington, he doesn’t understand the balance of power, he is not a scientist. He’s only been in office for 6 months.
It was one thing to meet with his Russian counterpart privately with only Secretary Tillerson and translators at hand. It was just one more thing to have met with Russian bureaucrats and officials – without an American witness or recorder or even, we suspect, a translator. Temporarily we’ll put the apple farther from the tree than it is and neglect Junior.
It is, however, something else again for him to beard Putin at a dinner, speak with him for nearly an hour WITHOUT an American translator at his side. We believe Mr. Trump does not speak Russian. And we know Mr. Putin prefers not to speak English, lest he be clearly understood.
Apparently, unless the single Russian translator took them, no notes are available re the subjects of discussion. Mr. Trump will tell us he and Vlad just gabbed for a while about everyday concerns and their families.
On the other hand, who knows?
Who knows to what Trump agreed? When? How?
Who knows what Mr. Putin’s goals were, and whether he feels he achieved them.
One thing seems clear: Vlad had his shot. He may never have another one as good and wide open as this was. And the bitter irony of all of this is that Trump still thinks he’s smarter, wiser, more experienced, as well as KING.
We think this kind of charade should stop. Now. We also think that the Republicans in Congress should stop it. For unless we miss our guess, what Mr. Putin picked up at dessert was, in fact, the American Tree of Knowledge. Mr. Trump loves to boast. In his own mind, there is no difference between himself and his nation. There couldn’t be. He’s the King.
The time for a second revolution is long past.