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Editorial: A Bumbling Buffoon But Could Trump Win Again?

HISTORIANS will certainly have their hands full with the legacy of Donald Trump. Just when it seems he cannot do anything more outlandish, selfish or just plain stupid, he surpasses himself. His performance in meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland last week almost seemed to be an attempt to exceed his own previously well-documented witlessness. It must be admitted that if that was his intent, he was successful.

Observers accustomed to viewing an American president with at least some degree of respect and admiration must surely now concede this particular incumbent of the Oval Office deserves neither respect nor admiration. It is only a small step further for observers to acknowledge a growing feeling of disregard for the country of which he is the present chief executive.

Pundits and commentators are certainly among the major beneficiaries of Trump’s refusal to be careful with his words. Television personalities with predictable predilections about Trump opine every evening before increasing audiences.

Such dominance of the news media and public discourse must be a point of real pride for a self-oriented personality like Trump. He may wonder if figures he appears to admire like Putin actually do envy his ability to routinely blot out virtually any other news than what he has done or said lately.

It would not come as a surprise to learn that Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and other real autocrats do indeed envy Trump’s omnipresence. He has been able to achieve news domination without resort to the secret police, armed forces or control of the supply and distribution of food, communications and electric power.

How in fact has Trump managed to accomplish this? Are we all spectators and witnesses to a phenomenon who will take his historical place along political theorists and practitioners like Machiavelli, Disraeli, Metternich, Bismarck, Churchill, Lenin and Roosevelt?

Or is Trump the hapless, foolish buffoon many would secretly like him to be, a silly aberration who will inevitably soon be swept from the political stage, a mere footnote in a future discussion of a political course adjustment that was overdue in American and perhaps European politics?

It is too early to know. It seems improbable that Trump is really a calculating conniver who carefully plots his next move. He simply could not be that good an actor. But to dismiss him as an inconsequential outlier may also be misguided.

Democrats, liberals and the putative majority of Americans who despise this president, and the disrepute and even irrelevancy to which he is leading the United States, must not repeat Hillary Clinton’s mistake of 2016 in underestimating Trump.

They must learn also from the sad, similar experience of John Kerry in 2004. Kerry, a sitting senator and the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, had looked on as Bush made several major mistakes. Bush approved a profoundly poor policy decision in invading Iraq when the real revenge targets were further east in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Bush actively impeded life-saving stem cell research to appease a minority of religious zealots. Bush appeared to be the intellectual servant of neo-conservative theorists whose worldview was tainted by greed and lust for power and unconcerned with the nation’s interests.

But most of all, Bush squandered a once in a lifetime opportunity to unify the sprawling, diverse United States of America after the unfathomable horror of the terrorist bombings of New York City and Washington on September 11, 2001. For the first time since the Japanese sucker-punched the US by destroying most of its Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, the US mainland faced a real, tangible threat from an overseas foe. Americans were ready to enlist behind wise leadership and forge ahead to impel the nation to new heights.

Bush blew it. Feckless and intellectually lazy, he gave clear evidence of just how unprepared and unready he was to lead the nation.

That had all happened during his first term. Americans knew just how inadequate a president he was before they went to the polls in November 2004. John Kerry knew it, too, and like Clinton in 2016, he underestimated his opponent.

Bush won anyhow. Could Trump do the same?

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 months, 3 weeks ago

No. I had this conversation with a friend last week. Its a cycle. We get a really bright leader who's a little aloof and has grand plans to change the country. We get impatient eith him and his high handedness. Along comes the country bumpkin who tells us the other guy doesnt have us small people as a priority but he's one of us, and he'll fight for us. And we fall for it. Especially if he cant pronounce words. We elect the bumpkin only to find out that he has to work for the rich Albamy and Obam people who donated to his campaign before he gets to us. We then get more outraged as he makes bumpkin mistake after bumpkin mistake, in fact we cant believe that he's "acting like" such a bumpkin. There's then a big outcry for someone who actually knows how to govern...so no Trump wont win

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Damifiknow 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Need to mind Bahama business as fool raise the cost of everything and America is booming because of tax CUTS ! Can’t tax yourselves into prosperity ! Cutting vat was a promise made !

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joeblow 3 months, 3 weeks ago

If Trump were the bumbling buffoon the author seems to suggest he is, then Hillary should have won by a landslide as was predicted by virtually every poll! Routing a politically experienced, well funded, high profile campaign like hers could not have been an accident! And while Trump is being bashed, since his election the US economy has improved, unemployment is down, ISIS is a distant memory, the US is reasserting its right to have a border, black home ownership is higher than it ever was under Obama and the list goes on.

Trump thrives on being unorthodox and unpredictable, that is what gives him an advantage! The reality is people know they will be screwed by their politicians, but they seem to prefer being screwed by the suave, seemingly dignified ones!

Does our leader have any accomplishments to boast of since he has been in office??

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ThisIsOurs 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Doesn't necessarily follow that the "smartest" person wins. It is a cycle and it's all about where the energy is, every couple years America elects an "I'd like to drink a beer with that guy President". Remember George Bush? He was the reaction to sophisticated aloof Clinton. Obama was the reaction to backwoods Bush and Trump was the reaction to arugula Obama.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Tribune has fallen from upon high in recent decades and is now nothing more like a lib-terd rag sheet desperately trying to stem both its declining print circulation and online viewership with scintillating fake news. My oh my.

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bobneville 3 months, 3 weeks ago

this is to the writer of the article, how did you get so angry bro?like some of the news people in the world ,you got the crazy bug,of which there no cure,mr trump knows what he is doing,do you know what you are doing or saying?how could you speak so poorly about someone you have never met,i beleive he is doing what he needs to do to change things everywhere for the good of the world,you people hate change look at what you all did to jesus,now you want to do the same to donald oh ye of so little faith,remember youall didnt like what the savior was saying or doing either,how do you sleep at night with so much hate,remember this man has a family,how do you think they feel when they read your hateful letter about there farther husband grampa brother sister,how the hell do you think they felt?by the way the man or lady at the custom usa counter at the airport .do not like you talking bad about their president,what he does bis really none of your beeswax,may the good lord take aliking to you,

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ThisIsOurs 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Trunp has no clue what he's doing. His own cabinet members have privately called him a moron and an idiot. These are Republicans that HE picked. His staff members have to keep negative reports away from him so he doesn't blow up the world. His plan is to have campaign rallies for the next three years and just like he told Dianne Sawyer to come out hard against the news media so no one will believe anything they say even if it's true. Yesterday he told the crowd, what you're seeing isn't real. If that wasn't real I wouldn't believe he said it.

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tetelestai 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Not only will he win, but he will win resoundingly!

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MontaguMadge 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Yep. There's a lot in the Dumpster's toolbox: Fox news cult; voter suppression; Russian bots; NRA back channel funding; and lots of Republican congressional appeasers.

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Newyorkboy 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, let's see. GDP up to 4.1% .Unemployment overall down to 4% from 7.4% under the last administration. Black unemployment down to 6.6%, Hispanic unemployment is now 4.6%, and in women, a record 4.0%. Consumer confidence is now up to 126. Today I read that the remains of 55 soldiers killed in North Korea are being returned. There have been no missiles shots over Japan in months and some missile sites in N Korea are being dismantled. The 3 hostages in N Korea- returned... Jean-Claude Juncker came 'cap-in-hand' to renegotiate the tariff deal with the EU. A friend of mine is a coal miner in Kentucky.He is now back at work for the first time in 6 years. Where is the coal going? It's being exported to Germany, because they have found out the wind and Solar power isn't fulfilling their needs and they are renovating their old coal burning power plants after scrapping Nuclear power thanks to a deal made by Merkel's predecessor and the 'Green' party. Manufacturing jobs in the US are increasing exponentially due to the reduction in Corporate tax and relaxation of regulations. President Trump's rallies are attended to fully with people outside wanting to get in....I'll take the buffoon, thanks!!!

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