Since Trump took office, he has made it clear he has no interest in consulting with his presidential predecessors about any issues related to being the President of the United States. This was an early sign the country had elected a narcissistic leader who believed he was so great and smart there was nothing he could learn from any former president of either party to better prepare to lead the country. Any logical person would know this was an unusual attitude by someone who has no government or legal experience. However, in Trump’s mind, even a consult with a former President would be a sign a weakness.
When New York Times journalist Katie Anderson Brower asked Trump if he thought he would call any of the prior presidents, he said, “No, I don’t think I would learn much”. The presidency is one of the most complex jobs in the entire world, and this real estate man/reality TV show personality, Miss America Pageant owner, thought he could learn nothing from a former president. That is narcissism and low self-esteem going off the charts. This was another window into the mind and character of a man whose flaws are beneath the office of the presidency.In her April 27th Op-Ed in the New York Times, Ms. Brower wrote, “a former president criticizing a sitting president during a crisis of this magnitude used to be unthinkable, but now that Mr. Trump has ripped up the playbook on civility, members of the so-called Presidents Club have free rein.” Since Trump has been President, he has criticized George Bush for his invasion against Iraq and for 911, ridiculed Bill Clinton for being impeached, called Jimmy Carter a “terrible President, and attacked Barack Obama for securing the Paris Agreement, The Iran Nuclear Deal, mishandling the H1N1 swine flu, and too many other issues to name in one blog post.
Ms. Brower, whose soon to be released book, The Team of Five, The Presidents Club in The Age of Trump, reflected that in history “the sitting president has called upon former presidents to provide a sense of unity.” However, Trump has shown no interest in the concept of unity in any facet of our country. He stokes the flames of divisiveness between political parties, immigrants and American-born citizens, minorities vs. whites, and America against its allies.Obama has become more visible and more open about his opinion about Donald Trump’s performance as President. The disastrous mismanagement of the coronavirus epidemic was obviously the tipping point for Obama. Millions have wondered how he has restrained himself for this long. Trump has viciously attacked him while sucking up to adversaries such as President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un. Many former presidents have differed politically, yet none of them have lowered themselves to name-call, suggest arrests, or question their patriotism on domestic and foreign soil.
In the commencement speech he gave yesterday, Obama said, “The pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they are doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge”. The former President has also described Trump’s response to the epidemic as a “chaotic disaster.”In response to Obama’s criticism, Trump trotted out the most sycophantic of all press secretaries, Kayleigh McEnany, to pronounce, “President Trump’s unprecedented coronavirus response has saved lives.” The disregard for the over 90,000 deaths from the delayed response from the Trump Administration is offensive and heartbreaking. Everything that comes out of Trump and his allies’ mouths is re-election rhetoric, without concern or compassion about the ongoing pandemic. To Obama’s point, the White House continues to handle this crisis incompetently by playing down the threat the virus still poses to the lives of the American people.
The silence of the former living presidents has frustrated many people. Trump’s complete disrespect for their public service is a stain on the once respected GOP. His mistreatment of Bush, Carter, Clinton, and Obama denigrates the office of the presidency. It is time to end the double-standard given to this President. He does not act respectfully towards anyone he feels disagrees, disapproves, or makes him feel insecure.
Hopefully, the former Presidents will band together and remind Americans that respectful bipartisanship and civility are what make this country durable, not a loudmouth, lying, lawless man who governs with one ideology: self-interest.For Americans still in denial and in the belief he is committed to transforming their lives, keep an eye on his efforts in court to end Obamacare without a replacement plan to cover pre-existing conditions, lower prescription drug prices, and protections for women’s healthcare. Consider Joe Biden for President, unless your bank account is big enough to pay for your healthcare out of pocket.