So There's No Way Trump Is Finishing His First Term, Right?
You might want to mark this for later use because I’m about to do something I don’t usually do. I’m predicting that Donald Trump will not be our president in 2018. Yep, I’m giving him less than a year before he’s either impeached and forced to resign, or seemingly more likely at this point, he quits. Why do I believe this?
1) He’s been president for twenty-five days, and it’s practically killing him.
I take lots of comfort in the fact that however much I hate Trump being president, he hates it more. He flat-out hates this job. Remember this?
That was in the middle of what constituted a minor emergency involving North Korea launching missiles in the general direction of South Korea. I’m not suggesting that President Obama would ever wish for a situation like that, but you have to imagine there’s a small part of most presidents who would love that. You get quickly whisked away to a secured room to be briefed by various intelligence officials, conference with ambassadors and heads of state, and develop, hopefully with the properly consulted aides, a response to the event be it diplomatic or otherwise. That is, in governmental terms, the shit.
And what did Trump do? He refused to leave his table, he remained in the middle of the party, and rather than actually address the situation at hand, he wandered over to a wedding (because what kind of classified governmental meeting doesn’t take place next to a dance floor with rich, white people dancing to ‘Brickhouse’?) to congratulate the bride and groom, and brag about his money. We’ve been so focused on how bombastic and vulgar he is that we’ve been missing that he continually reminds people about his money because otherwise he thinks they wouldn’t hang out with him (which is completely true). It’s so depressingly sad that I’m close to feeling bad for Trump.
I said “close.”
2) Trump cannot be successful as president.
Years ago at a small clinic I worked at, we had unusually high turnover in the executive director position. It was very much a stepping-stone position, and ambitious executives would fill it for twelve to eighteen months before moving on to a VP job at a larger hospital or insurance company. Which means every couple of years, the rest of the staff would brace for the inevitable revamping of all the clinic policies and procedures. Every single director knew that they were going to completely change the way the clinic ran, turning it into a medical powerhouse. Until they ran into the inevitability of facts and reality. Why were we doing things the way we were? Because some of us had worked there for twenty years, and had tried every available option. Without significantly increased funding, the current way of doing things was the best.
Steve Bannon is quickly learning that things are done the way they are for a reason. You want to sweep into the White House, and start firing off EOs without consulting anyone else? Great. They’ll be ruled unenforceable by the 9th Circuit. You want to start building a 1,900 mile wall immediately? That sounds cool, but you won’t have any increased funding until next year at the earliest. Also there’s no plausible way to actually make Mexico pay for it. You want to increase tariffs to cover the cost? Without talking to a single economist about the impact that’ll actually have? Seems like a winner. You want to implement a bullshit, childish “one-in, two-out” regulation order? That’s legitimately one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard, and I forced myself to read Paris Hilton’s book once on a dare. It’s terrible.
The benefit of having a team of “outsiders” run the government is that they come in with fresh eyes and ideas. The downside is that no one actually knows how to do the job. And since Trump seemingly hates anyone on his team who actually has experience, I can only imagine we’ll soon be left with only Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller (the worst Steve and Stephen combination ever) reassuring him that everyone knows Trump is the greatest president of all time. Except of course, you can’t be successful with people who have no idea how to and no interest in doing a job correctly.
There’s been some talk about Trump’s mental health, his fitness for office, and even the possible underlying issues that created him. (Hug your kids, folks.) But what might be most important is the simple fact that presidents are rarely universally loved. For most presidencies, at best half of the country thinks you’re doing an OK job. Imagine how horrible it would be to know your boss thinks you’re only half-competent. Now imagine your boss is 300 million people. Yeah. This job wasn’t designed for the thin-skinned, and Trump’s is so slim, he’s practically hemorrhaging. If Trump doesn’t find a way out of the office in the next twelve months, I probably won’t do anything big because I find dedication to wildly unsubstantiated predictions foolish. But I’ll definitely be surprised.