Backstage with Trump

Published 6:38 am Friday, August 17, 2018

William Shakespeare wrote in “As You Like It,” that “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances…”

Our president is daily proof of the great playwright’s words, for he is best known, not for his policy acumen, not for his artful rhetoric, and not for his rich compassion, but for his daily theatre on Twitter.

Rarely a day passes without another Twitter barrage of presidential trash talking that rivals a sixth grade bully in content, style, and delivery. The Twitter President lives upon the stage, not only to vent his deepest insecurities and fears of not being loved by all, but to distract and divert attention from the performance of his presidency.

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Those who elected Donald Trump president thought they were investing in a non-Washington businessman, whose deal-making skills would serve the nation well and get Congress working once again.

But the president who Trump followers elected in 2016 is something entirely different. Most surprisingly, his “deal-making” skills are virtually non-existent. His first really big success was going to be ending Obamacare “Day One” and replacing it with something better and cheaper.

It would all be so easy, candidate Trump told his supporters. But as it turned out, he and his Republican congressional majority, holding all the levers of power, could not do anything but damage the Affordable Care Act, raising health care costs and endangering coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Then the president turned to cutting taxes, where he successfully watched in silence as the Republican Congress opened the federal piggybank to give 84 percent of the tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy. That prompted our Twitter President to promise huge, really huge, pay increases would be forthcoming. For the most recent quarter in 2018, real wages fell 1.4 percent, the largest drop in five years. So much for that promise.

Then the president took on trade and has accomplished trade wars with Mexico, Canada, the European Union, China, and Turkey. He just hasn’t had time yet to damage all Asian trade relations, what with the business of Tweeting and watching Fox and Friends. But his actions so far have, nevertheless, raised prices on many goods and services while cutting into sales of corn and soybeans for American farmers.

With all of these “accomplishments” piling up, the president turned to North Korea, where he elevated “Rocket Man” to “Great Leader” status. For his part, Rocket Man basked in the bright lights of his new friend the American president, then promptly went home and continued making nuclear bombs. Meanwhile, President Trump told us, to “sleep well,” because North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat.

Not standing upon his laurels, the President rushed to Russia and proceeded to throw the U.S. Intelligence agencies under the proverbial bus by siding with President Vladimir Putin against U.S. interests.

Back home, the president attacked the First Amendment by declaring the press is “the enemy of the people” (excluding Fox of course), watched his Republican Congress effectively close for calendar year 2018, and managed to bring more swampy friends and associates to the capital than have been seen in decades.

His Great Wall remains a pipe dream, unrealized because there are still sane people in government. His destruction of the EPA goes on, as its great successes threaten our national parks and our water, and his careless disregard of the environment is only mitigated by corporations and industry that have taken on environment changes so we all can stay on the planet.

On the brighter side, the president has failed to damage the long economic boom we have experienced.

Maybe Shakespeare was right in Macbeth too, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more.”

The Great Tweeter may be all “sound and fury.”


Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State.