Russia, Charlottesville, North Korea, and a White House version of Celebrity Apprentice, let us dive right to the point, where is the presidency of Trump heading? It has only been 7 months since Donald Trump officially became the 45th President of the United States, and although no “impeachable” scandal has broken out, these have certainly been the most unique first months of any presidency by far. The current administration has become very disoriented, made a mess of international relations, and has failed to deliver any major policy. A variety of critics and opinions express disbelief that Donald Trump will not his first term, but with each passing day, that speculation is slowly morphing into reality. Trump assumed office through votes of his support base, Clinton skeptics, and even moderates, how bad could it be right? A businessman with no political experience running the world’s leading country? Well, the first 7 months of the administration have been plagued by infighting, poor decisions, racism, division, nuclear threats, and the possibility of collusion with another government. Keep in mind, a presidential term lasts four years, but Trump’s will very likely not be one of such presidencies. A variety of factors, foreign and domestic, are contributing to the gradual demise of the Trump administration. As his ties to Russia continue to surface, his inability to unite the country becomes increasingly visible. While administrative conflicts fester within the West Wing grow, it is very plausible that the Trump era may be on its last legs.
President Trump’s tenure has outdone President William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia in his first thirty days because he refused to wear a coat, but the billionaire’s tenure may be a close second. From the domestic-legislative viewpoint, a president’s efficiency, expertise, and authority are judged during their first 100 days in office. That milestone is long past, and President Trump has failed to pass any major piece of legislation. Despite what his supporters feel at the ongoing campaign rallies, the president has proved incapable of delivering his promises. In the eyes of the public, this incapability causes loss of credibility well as a lack of unification within his own party. Republican skepticism was present since day one, however by now Republican politicians are questioning whether their “leader” is helping the party or tearing it down. Extreme measures such as the “Muslim Ban”, Trumpacre, etc. brought about tides of protests and constituents who expressed their discontent at Republican representatives in town halls and gatherings. While congressmen really tried to stand behind their president, it proved almost impossible to justify his warped logic. Across the country, where Republicans were supposed to comfortably regain special elections, such as Montana and Georgia, Democrats came very close to usurping those seats. Greg Gianforte and Karen Handel won the elections in Montana and Georgia, but only with slightly more than half the vote, with the others going to Rob Quist and Jon Ossoff. The Republican Party is aware of their dwindling support base and are becoming aware of President Trump’s true colors, which stray from the status quo conservative viewpoint. Leaders of the party are slowly beginning to distance themselves from the administration. In recent updates, Trump’s relationship with Mitch McConnell has been stranded. The two have not talked in weeks, and the McConnell stated in private that, “Trump might not be able to save his own presidency”. A president without the political backing of his own party is but a scarecrow waiting to be replaced.
“Russiagate”, the current controversial investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller to unearth President Trump’s connections to Moscow. The president and his family have claimed the story is a, “big nothing burger”, with no evidence. Emerging proof, however, has forced them into a corner. First, Michael Flynn’s scandal and his failure to register as a foreign agent. Flynn is currently cooperating with the FBI in the investigation. A few weeks after James Comey began his investigation on Russian meddling in the campaign, he was unexpectedly fired (after being praised initially for an excellent job when Trump took office). Further evidence showed the president’s son, Don Jr., attempting to collude with a Russian lawyer in order to receive damaging information to the Clinton campaign. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also currently investigating the issue. According to them, there is enough smoke for Congress to pass legislation that protects Robert Mueller from being fired by Trump. Amusingly enough, the President was considering doing just. New evidence continues to emerge, including an email from one of Trump’s business associates to Trump’s lawyer boasting about a business deal with Moscow that could get Trump elected. Felix Sater writes to Trump’s lawyer stating that, “Our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process”. It might not yet be enough evidence to prove treason or direct collusion, but it is certainly not a, “big nothing burger”, and people are more alert than ever on the issue. There is only so much Republicans can deny while Mueller digs for further proof, and soon enough, evidence might pile up to the point where Donald Trump will have to chose between impeachment or resignation.
Next on the list, the administration itself. Donald Trump is famous because of The Apprentice, and it seems that he has not forgotten his old habit (In my home country there is a saying that states: The wolf may change its fur, but never forgets its habit). The White House has turned into a political version of The Apprentice, mostly due to the fact that President Trump surrounded himself with incompetent people unsuited for their positions in political and field experience. Consequently, the White House has morphed into an unstable, uncoordinated branch. Leakers have been active throughout these 7 months, and their reports suggest conflict within the cabinet, political plots, and squabbles for power. The members of the administration do not have unity nor understanding with one another, forcing Trump to constantly revise his close circle by firing and hiring people. A few names on the list are: Michael Flynn, Sean Spicer, James Comey, Anthony Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, Sebastian Gorka, and last but not least, Steve Bannon. A few of these names have confirmed the disarray within the West Wing. Bannon, before being terminated, stated he was,”battling other advisors”. Scaramucci confirmed something very similar. An administration fighting amongst one another for personal progress loses focus on national progress, and as a result, cannot push forward a set agenda, nor come to rational conclusions on domestic and foreign issues. Unity within the cabinet is key for any presidency, and while constructive debate or disagreement is acceptable, grudges and political bickering are the opposite. The backbone of any president are his advisers, consulting the president and each other in order to maintain order within the house and the country. In the case of President Trump, each adviser holds very different sets of ideas along with a more personal purpose behind their reasoning. Thus, causing Trump to go off script, change his mind, revise statement, or act rashly upon an issue. After a few tries, the general public has begun to pick up on these inconsistencies, and is very much doubting the efficiency of this White House, forcing the blame game to occur, and possibly very soon, a change in Commander in Chief.
The signs speak for themselves, and although not quite apocalyptic for Trump and his team yet, they do show a decaying presidency. The way things are headed, the 45th President will not be able to last his first term, let alone run a second. The administration is at a point of no return, and things are very likely to keep deteriorating from this moment forward, forcing this presidency on its last legs.
By: Rex Nazarko (Op-Ed)
Image Credit: J. Scott Applewhite