How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Mission Possible: How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

More thoughts on Trump

My worst fears about Donald Trump have been realized. I have described him as, in alphabetical order: authoritarian, bully, confrontational, dangerous, demagogue, divisive, racist, simplistic, tyrannical and xenophobic. He is all of those and worse - a serial liar, an incompetent who on daily basis is assaulting fundamental principles of our democracy.

Over and over again, he has shown an inability to distinguish truth from falsehood. At first I wasn't sure whether this tendency is because he is a pathological liar or he is just playing with us and knows exactly what he is doing when he labels the National Enquirer as a "highly reliable news source" and describes news he doesn't like as "fake news," such as crowd estimates at his inauguration.

An April 3 TIME Magazine story entitled "Can Trump Handle the Truth?" suggests the latter: "For years, we have known Trump colored outside the lines of what was actually real because he told us. As a businessman, Trump wrote in praise of strategic falsehood, or 'truthful hyperbole,' as he preferred to call it. Sometimes his whoppers were clumsy, the apparent result of being ill informed or promiscuous in his sources. Sometimes he exaggerated to get a rise out of his audience. But often Trump's untruths give every sign of being deliberate and thought through."

I think TIME is correct and President Trump knew exactly what he was doing when he peddled that President Obama was not a citizen and when he continually said during his campaign that he had seen on television "thousands of and thousands of people" celebrating in Jersey City as the Twin Towers came down on 9/11. He is constantly selling an "alternative reality" in which he creates his own "facts," makes up "alternative facts" to substantiate his off-the-wall opinions and labels news he does like as "fake news."

Other than authorizing a missile strike after Syrian President Assad chemically attacked his own people, President Trump has done very little since taking office other than create chaos and undercut basic democratic values. According to The Washington Post, his "Cabinet secretaries are growing exasperated at how slowly the White House is moving to fill hundreds of top-tier posts, warning that the vacancies are hobbling efforts to oversee agency operations."

Through a constant barrage of twitters and executive orders he seeks to deflect the discussion away from his lack of achievements by attacking changing straw men he identifies as our nation's enemies - the press, the Washington establishment, China, NATO, immigrants and Muslims. He continually dichotomizes the complex.

It is too early to tell whether President Trump's lack of truthfulness and failure to achieve anything will matter to his base, I'm more worried about how our allies will respond to him in the event of an international crisis that requires cooperative action. Will our allies be concerned that his loose lips could result in the sinking of their ships? Will they view him as someone they can trust to be steady and trustworthy during a crisis?

TIME in the aforementioned cover story wrote: "For generations, the world has looked to American leadership in time of crisis, one grounded in an historic fidelity to basic facts and a sobriety of rhetoric. What does it mean if the President now needs to use that credibility to rally support in a new confrontation with North Korea? Will the world have the time or patience to consider which words he has put air quotes around?"

Similarly, Conservative columnist David Brooks in a scathing op-editorial wrote that Trump and his key national security advisors seek to dismiss the whole moral realm. "By attacking behaving with naked selfishness towards others, they poison the common realm and they force others to behave with selfishness towards them. By treating the world as simply as an arena for competitive advantage, Trump, McMaster and Cohn sever relationships, destroy reciprocity, erode trust and eviscerate the sense of sympathy, friendship and loyalty that all nations nee when times get tough."

President Trump childlike behavior, fragile ego and complete lack of self-discipline is undercutting our intelligence agencies and eroding the long-standing hard-earned credibility of the American presidency. The Associated Press has reported that there a countries that "might stop sharing intel with the U.S." because of concerns about our Presidents inability to appropriately handle classified information. It's hard to image him leading a coalition of the world's democracies against an authoritarian threat to the world's order. If I am correct, that is an extremely dangerous situation that could have catastrophic consequences to our country and the entire civilized world.

I'm concerned about an autocratic threat to our democracy. I didn't think our democracy's Achilles' heel would be our President, but then again I didn't conceive of an American President who did not see the world as "global community." For the sake of America and the free world, I hope that former FBI Director Robert Mueller is truly independent and goes wherever the facts lead in fulfilling the awesome responsibility that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave him to explore "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump."