Old Diary

Absentee President

Why do we have an absentee President?  We have all heard about absentee landlords who run their properties into the ground, and take advantage of their tenants.  Well, I gotta tell you that 45 is behaving like an absentee President.

Let’s just tick off a few boxes.

After any presidential election there is a process by which the outgoing administration aids the incoming administration with transition.  There were a good number of articles in late 2016 and early 2017 that documented the fact that the incoming administration was not interested in anything that the outgoing administration had to offer.  They refused to be part of almost all attempts to fill in the gaps about what needed to be done to keep the government running, to maintain our position in the world, etc.  But this administration wanted no help from them.

Since then the current administration has been extraordinarily slow in filling administrative appointments.  Not only have they been slow, other meaningful positions that have existed for a long while were simply done away with — the administration signalling that they had no intention of filling those positions.  Whether it was done because they could not find candidates “loyal” enough or whether they honestly thought a skeleton crew could do all the jobs needing doing — or whether they even cared whether a great many duties and responsibilites of government were fulfilled at all — well, that’s for someone who knows what they INTENDED to decide.  I can only look at the effect.

The President is spoken of as being the most powerful man in the world — because of the assets at his disposal.  But one of the things we have heard time and time again is that the current inhabitant of the office doesn’t like to read briefings, that he works a short work day, and spends a good part of that tweeing about things other than his job.

In an era when we have significant challenges, like global warming, like wars in numerous countries, like keeping the nation going economically & militarily the current guy spends so much time tweeting about things that have no significance.  Given the biggest bully pulpit in the world, a place where he could do immense good and help propel the entire planet to new heights — he decides to rant about a restaurant that slighted one of his surrogates?  I mean, come on…. there are more important things for a President of the United States to occupy his or her time with.

It has seemed since the earliest days of his tenure that he is blatantly two faced.  He makes great proclamations about what he’s going to do when he meets with this one or that one — but the results just aren’t there.  He talks a good talk in private; but in public he doesn’t stick up for the people whom he represents — not just his voting base but the entire country.  How can anyone (allies, citizens, enemies) ever trust a thing that he says when he talks one way when he doesn’t have to look people in the eye, and another way when he has to stare straight into their face and hold those same opinions.

There seems to be a current debate going on about whether he LIES, or not.  The debate is about whether he knowingly says things that are false, or whether he does not.  But when you are the President of the United States I’m not sure that the question of intentional lying or accidental statement of error is nearly as important as the fact that no one can tell a.) what he thinks, b.) what his intention is, c.) what they should do about either side of the question that he isn’t clear about.

In my not quite 70 years on earth I can’t remember ANY president who has used the Constitution of the United States  as something to be fought against rather than as something to uphold and honor.  Clearly he just doesn’t get the idea of “rule of law,”  or of “separation of power,” or of “due process.”  This isn’t a privately held company that he can run into the ground in any way he sees fit.  He IS accountable — even if the congress is currently too cowed to do anything about him.