In the wake of Senate Intelligence Committee hearings last week, the nation has been all-atwitter discussing who will emerge victorious from the growing political controversy: Former FBI Director James Comey or President Trump. It should not be comforting for any American — Trump fan or not — that British betting giant Ladbrokes adjusted the odds on the president not seeing out his four-year term from 4/5 to 5/7. Following Comey’s revelations on Thursday, bettors are gambling on the slim 34% chance that Trump will still occupy the Oval Office by 2020.
Forget the analysts and pundits, the experts who see the president’s term as he does — a money-making game — have spoken and Donald Trump is last season’s nag ready for the glue factory. Based on his record, who could blame Ladbrokes for the downgrade? Trump is a broken record of failure. He is uneducable and he misbehaves to the point that he will destroy the presidency rather than accept constructive criticism or adjust his chaotically maddening ways.
Each day, Trump exhibits increasing signs of mental illness or incapacity — whether those signs take the form of irrational tweets or angry misleading responses during brief encounters with the press. Experts are hesitant to label him with definitive diagnoses, likely because of limited access to the president or his propensity to sue, but the American public is scratching a collective bald spot wondering what is going on with the president.
Trump never seizes the opportunity to restore even an iota of confidence in his leadership. For instance, his belated Friday afternoon response to Comey’s testimony only added to the confusion of the ongoing investigation. Instead of answering questions directly, Trump did what he often does. He deflected, raised the anticipation level, and ultimately said nothing.
Asked if Comey lied, Trump commented on his own statements. He joked about asking for loyalty, forgetting that he held a campaign rally where he encouraged the entire audience to salute and pledge allegiance like junior Nazis. Rather than admit or deny having tapes of the Comey sessions, he pretended it was part of a reality television cliffhanger — taunting the press with ambiguous “On the next Apprentice episode” teases.
The American presidency is not a game, and the millions of lives affected by Trump’s indiscretion are not some unfeeling die-cast pieces.
Trump’s mental illness, senility, ignorance, and impairment aside, what is significantly troubling about this president is his lack of appreciation for the office and the people who are its foundation. It is awkward and challenging to condemn the president for an undiagnosed and obviously untreated psychological or mental defect. It is much easier, however, to crucify Trump for being cavalier, abusive, and superior with the responsibilities entrusted to him.
Americans may sometimes find it difficult to understand or recognize exactly what Trump has inherited as president. With all the extraneous media clutter, people may inadvertently ignore the complexities of democracy, country, and duties that are neither tangible nor concrete.
The role and responsibilities that Donald Trump has accepted — and joked about casually — as president are the very tangibles that surround us and are never in the news. Look around and you will see what Trump and the odds-makers are gambling with: your child’s innocent eyes as they follow a butterfly from blossom to blossom; an aging parent’s rough hands passing photographs of family; the choice between an extra gallon of milk in the shopping cart and a gallon of gas.
Trump assumed these real responsibilities when he took the oath of office— and he plays with them carelessly and irreverently. Mental illness or not, it is what makes him unfit for office and what should make America broil in a madness of its own.
The reality show that is Comey v. Trump right now has no value for Americans in the trenches at home or at work. For Donald Trump, every day as president has simply become another episode in the crazed mind of a man who does not care about the men, women, and children of America. It’s another example that with Trump, the TV is always on…even when nobody is home.