Donald Trump is on Probation

Posted on November 9, 2016


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So, here we are – November 9th.

The election is over and the country is not united, in fact it is split down the middle, as the results of the vote tallys indicate – Clinton winning the popular vote and Trump, the electoral vote. I have some random thoughts about the outcome and this is a purely personal take.

From what I have seen, there are two groups of people who voted for the President Elect. One group is enthusiastic about everything Trump stands for and represents. They admire his indecency, his vulgarity, his narcissism, his empty boasts and his studied indifference towards educating himself on issues and policies. Many of them like his “do unto others before they do unto you” credo. Some even admitted to me that they know he will act as a Monarch, but they tell me, “he’ll be a good monarch”. That is a relatively small, but high visibility group.

Then there is another category. It consists of a much larger population. They were, and are, the people who find Donald Trump very objectionable and have very little confidence in him – but, felt it was imperative to roll the dice and hope that Trump might be even slightly more suitable for office than the opponent. They were the desperation voters. I know a lot of them. I didn’t join them, but though I strongly disagree with the choice they made, I respect them and their motives.

Personally, I see an obvious benefit from the results of this election, along with an incredible downside risk potential. The Silver lining? The Clinton political machine has had a stake driven through its’ heart. I don’t credit Donald Trump with that feat. He seemed to be doing anything and everything in his power to grease the skids for her. Hillary Clinton simply sank under the cumulative weight of her corruption and transgressions.

She’s now been flushed down the national political toilet bowl. Any number of other GOP candidates, given the circumstances, could have achieved the effects that were realized last night, and most would have racked up a solid mandate for governing, which Donald Trump didn’t. Net result?  It was a win, where the ‘win’ was a Pyrrhic victory.

Now –  the substantial downside risk of Trump. Trump is the same person after the election that he was before the election. He is a person who lies to people in order to manipulate them. You fired one sociopathic liar (Hillary) and hired another – Trump. Hillary Clinton’s manifold sins as an elected official are now behind her and Donald Trump’s are in front of him.

Some tell me that Donald Trump’s persona during the election was just an “act”. If so, that is not a recommendation for confidence in his mental state or motives. If he was deceiving people then, he will resort to doing so as President. Donald Trump is an adult (in the loosest sense of the term) that has little to no impulse control. That is going to be perilous to the country.

Some tell me. “don’t worry, he will have good people around him to advise him.” In theory, that is comforting. In reality it doesn’t allay my apprehension. It was well documented that Trump was and is notorious for ignoring and / or refusing advice. Most all of his spectacular business fails were accountable to resisting and ignoring sound advice. That is a recipe for catastrophe.

Cautiously optimistic is not exactly the word I would use to describe my outlook regarding Trump. Watchful, vigilant and judiciously skeptical is the approach I’m taking. Still, I will say this. My bar of expectation of Donald Trump is set so incredibly low that it would take little effort on his part to leap over it. He’d hardly have to lift his foot to do so.

Why I think it is unlikely that he will exceed even that, is because Trump’s reason for occupying the Oval Office is not about bringing about his campaign slogan. It’s about his need for constant ego gratification and what he can take from it. Donald Trump’s life has always centered around the tenet that in order for him to win, someone else has to lose. That is good in elections and sports. It’s not good in presidential leadership and decision making.

My plans? I’ve said most everything I plan to say from now until the inauguration. When he takes office is when the probationary period begins. I’m not giving him a blank check for anything and when he does anything to confirm my misgivings, I will step forward to oppose him. My most sincere desire is that he somehow flips a switch and begins taking on the proper role of a president, marshals some discipline over his base instincts and exercises impulse control.

Hope is not a strategy.