When Ronald Reagan was elected president, commentators thought him a simpleton; a Hollywood cowboy who somehow got elected president and was then probably asking himself, “Now what?” The question more aptly applies to Trump.
Reagan had been in the political arena well before he ran for president, as governor of California. And before that, president of the Screen Actors Guild, during the turbulence of that era. His conservative bona fides were evident in many speeches he gave on national and global problems. And he wrote all of his own speeches.
It is doubtful Trump has a deep understanding of any issue, judging from what he says. He admits he doesn’t read much. He keeps up with current events watching TV. He can’t seem to discuss any issue more than a minute (that isn’t scripted and written by someone else) without getting sidetracked on some irrelevant subject. And he is obsessed with social media, mostly Twitter.
He loves Twitter. He tweets several times a day. Usually in an attack mode against whomever he thinks has slighted him. He has said Twitter is a perfect medium to keep the public informed on his thinking and policies. Well, Mr. president-elect, it is more likely the medium that will expose your ignorance to the world. The perfect example: i.e. you recently tweeted that you would have won the popular vote if one takes away the “millions of illegal votes for Clinton.” It is stupidity of the first order for a president-elect to be repeating something obviously gleaned from some conspiracy-nut website. There is no widespread voter fraud on a national scale. It simply can’t be done with over 3,000 local voting precincts and each one being closely monitored by both political parties, and watchdogs.
Everyone on the Trump train must be wondering why he would make such a ridiculous claim, without a shred of evidence. And for what purpose? He has already won the presidency with the electoral college vote. Perhaps a good portion of the world is also wondering, on a different level. Is he going to go off the deep end again?
Most of the public must also be puzzling over Trump’s startling changes on campaign pronouncements. Build a giant wall on the southern border? Deport 11 million illegals immediately? Climate change is a giant conspiracy hoax? Repeal Obamacare? All have been drastically modified. What, then, will happen to all his other “bold” stances?
No one seems to know exactly where he stands, specifically, on the pressing issues and perhaps he doesn’t either. Which raises the specter of the future, when push comes to shove in some crises — will he be asking himself “Now what?” That is the rather frightening possibility that confronts our nation. Indeed, the world.
Bob Fields lives in Santa Fe.