How can the so-called president best be characterized?
— Trump Draws (@TrumpDraws) January 31, 2017
A slayer of liberty?
Interesting to contrast the timidity of the New Yorker with Der Spiegel’s cover pic.twitter.com/pz3pKytiQC
— 🌊 Ben Harris-Roxas (@ben_hr) February 3, 2017
Destroyer of global order?
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) February 5, 2017
Or as Trump chose to portray himself at the defining moment of his inauguration, with raised fist?
The fist is a multipurpose symbol — a favorite of revolutionary leaders. But Trump’s calls out for comparison with that of another thug who until recently was very adept at grabbing headlines (until he got overshadowed by America’s chief thug): the fist of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.
When Hillary Clinton and many other leaders of the political establishment, both Democrats and Republicans, pronounced that Trump was “unfit for office,” many critics of the establishment viewed this charge with cynicism. It was dismissed as an expression of the establishment’s sense of entitlement — a way of saying that Trump could not be allowed to become president simply because he wasn’t an accepted member of the ruling class. It was as though Trump was being damned on the basis of nothing more than his lack of refinement.
What should be clear now, however, is that most of those who spoke out and declared Trump unfit — irrespective of whether those claims came from inside or outside the establishment — really meant what they were saying. This wasn’t just campaign rhetoric.
And yet even now, there are Trump loyalists, sympathizers, and reactionaries of a variety of political complexions who say: give Trump a chance. There are those who downplay the resistance to Trump as shrill.
But I would say this: Anyone at this juncture who remains unwilling to judge Trump as unfit for office is already placing him above the possibility of criticism; they are in effect offering him license to do anything.
When Bill O’Reilly invited Trump to condemn Vladimir Putin by saying, “he’s a killer,” Trump brushed off the charge by effectively saying, so what? — “We’ve got a lot of killers.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 4, 2017
Trump is saying that if Putin helps him kill members of ISIS, he doesn’t care if the Russian president has a habit of killing his own critics, political opponents, journalists, or anyone who threatens his grip on power. And Trump respects Putin not in spite of the measures he’s willing to take to secure his power, but on the contrary because of his success in consolidating his position of domination.
In other words, Trump respects Putin because he respects ruthlessness.
But Trump’s new on the job, he’s still learning, he needs time to polish his rough edges.
Really? Trump at 70 is still maturing? I don’t think so.
On the contrary, after two weeks we have every reason to expect more of the same and much worse.
Already, millions of people have had their lives disrupted, families have been broken apart, and murders have taken place directly or indirectly as a result of Trump moving into the White House.
Those who spent the last six months warning that a Trump presidency would be disastrous, were neither being alarmist nor particularly prescient. They were, on the contrary, simply judging Trump on the basis of the evidence he presents every single day of being a man whose recklessness, belligerence, ignorance, volatility, reactivity, immaturity, incompetence, and fundamental lack of respect for democracy and the rule of law, render him unfit for office.
When the American people speak loudly enough and when the Republicans in Congress conclude that Trump poses an existential threat to their own narrow interests, he will be impeached.
We don’t have to endure this spectacle for a full four years.