The Abusive Father of Our Country

Letter to editor

He is, President Trump, like an abusive father and no good can come of this.  

No George Washington here, no Father Knows Best.  With the foresight of a barroom brawler and the emotional incontinence of a neighborhood bully, Donald Trump is singlehandedly dismantling the foundation of America.

Or, he could be making America great again.

I have such mixed emotions about Donald Trump.  It’s like watching your mother-in-law back off a cliff in your new Mercedes.

I almost met him once in his Trump Tower office.  It was 1984, I was a young copywriter sent by the ad agency I worked for to present a campaign for his Harrah’s hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  He wouldn’t see me.  His assistant asked me to leave the presentation for his review.  We got the job.   

It’s okay for me to be obsessed with this, isn’t it?  I mean, in a patriotic way this presidency is among the most significant things to happen to we Americans …since the last presidency.  It’s important, right?  The difference is this president seems disturbingly unhinged. 

Crazy.  And I don’t mean crazy like a fox.   

What he says, what he does, affects us all.  It affects us collectively, it affects us in groups, it affects us individually and personally.

Although I don’t generally like or understand the man, I admire Donald Trump for several reasons.  His chutzpah.  His ability to aggravate people, get under their skin and get what he wants.  His willingness to humiliate himself.

He wasn’t born into privilege, into “old” money, but he was given a great advantage in life and he took full advantage of it.  I guess it’s easier to work the system from the top down than from the bottom up.  

Bob Dylan wrote, “Steal a little and they put you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king.”  

President Trump, while we are all still trying to get our heads around his presidency and administration, doesn’t appear to be very knowledgeable or thoughtful.  But he knows how to play to an audience and he knows where the sweet spot is.  He revels in applause, admiration and praise.  (Don’t we all?)  But the challenge is maintaining a copacetic balance between and among the various constituent groups and keeping them happy.  

Trump tends to patronize his constituents.

For example, the coal miners.  President Trump will ignore and break every law and environmental restriction adopted by past administrations and be damned the air quality and carbon monoxide poisoning of our cities and towns, rivers and forests, and our planet.  All to “get the coal miners back to work”, which is a headline and a pipe dream.  His shameless patronizing of this group should be embarrassing to them.  The way Trump pranced around that rally stage wearing a miners hard hat and mimicking the shoveling of coal with an “air” shovel was insulting.  

Frankly, if I was an out of work coal miner, I might be fooled into seeing this as a positive sign.  However, I’m not an out of work coal miner and I don’t care as much about their jobs as I do about me and my family, and their family, breathing clean air, and about the long and short range effects of the coal industry’s impact on the environment.  

Trump’s reversal of the federal land rights for fossil fuel development on the Bear’s Ears lands passed by President Obama and the Escalante Staircase lands in Utah passed by President Clinton was a kick in the teeth not only to the Native Americans and their heritage to those lands, but to the local and worldwide environmental cause generally.  

He sent the clear message that he just doesn’t care.

Trump’s continual flow of expectations and unfulfilled promises both domestic and international should have us all concerned.  

This flip-flopping, p _ _ _ y grabbing megalomaniac is no Father of Our Country.  He’s more like an erratic, abusive father with a roller derby attitude toward world politics, business, and his own personal gain both financial and egotistical.

I’m starting to see through his facade (duh) after giving him every benefit of the doubt, and I am becoming embarrassed for him as President of the United States.  

I knew there was a reason, besides Hillary, that I didn’t vote for him.  

There seems to be no substance to Donald Trump.  He’s only as good as the last person he’s talked to or the last shiny object that caught his eye.  His comments and actions are unsettling.  His administration is in disarray, and he has just about killed in-depth political journalism …because there is no “depth” to his constant rhetoric.  The media only talks anymore about the last inane thing he’s done or said ..from his recent comments on the Civil War to praising the nutcase leader of North Korea, to promoting his new hotel in Manila, the Philippines, by praising the murderous leader of that country.  

There is no in-depth, intelligent reporting anymore because there is no in-depth, intellect to Donald Trump.  What you see is what you get.  Then it all changes.    

He appears to have no conscience.   

I really hate to sound obsessed with this, and I hate talking trash about the President of the United States, but I sense we’re in trouble and I don’t know what else to do.

For all the stupid, illogical, hurtful things past presidents and administrations have done …Bush-Cheney/Iraq ..Clinton/Monica Lewinsky ..Reagan/Iran Contra ..Nixon/Watergate …none of them compare with Trump’s outward reckless behavior.  

He says he doesn’t want to appear “predictable” to our enemies, keeping them on their toes.  This is because he is not predictable inherently, a loose cannon some would say,  but he is also keeping America and we Americans on our toes and in the dark while the rest of the world is laughing at us.  Our enemies sense a vulnerability, and they are waiting in the wings to bring America down.

Meanwhile, like an abusive father or husband we keep hoping for the best while falling for his charm, charisma, or whatever hold Trump has on us.  So, we forgive and look for the good qualities of which there seems to be not many.

And this is just the first 100 days!  

When we finally, collectively, turn the corner and see this for what it is, I hope it’s not too late.  

So, what to do?!

Forget Hillary, Bernie, and Elizabeth Warren.  They are no match for the reality of Donald Trump, or America, or the world.  They had their chance.  Hillary is trying for a comeback and writing another a book, and blaming everyone but herself for her loss to Trump.  Elizabeth Warren has written another book, still raving about …something.  Bernie is sitting in an Adirondack chair somewhere in Vermont trying to figure out where he missed the boat and “what the American people really want.”

Trump became president.  They are all writing books.     

The American president should be the designated adult in the room.  He needs to be a special person with special qualities.  Our hero.  We need a hero.  Hillary, Bernie and Elizabeth are not it, and Trump is certainly not it either.  

In the military, and in life, there is such a thing as a “command presence.”  None of the above have this.  Trump comes the closest, but the overshoots looking and acting more like an advertising executive cartoon cliche in a 1960’s Playboy magazine.  

The hair says it all.  

John Kushma is a communication consultant and lives in Logan, Utah.