Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Political opinion in process

I didn't write yesterday. And I forgive myself.

I sat here and started to write something about the beginning of Trump's presidency and where I am with that. But I wasn't feeling it. I couldn't inject (or eject) the emotional energy to make something appear.

But I forgive myself for not getting that done. It wasn't really a horrible failure. I accomplished other things that were appropriate to the bigger picture.

I am going to attempt to process my view of the Trump presidency. This is not an opinion piece. It is the attempt to form an opinion. I am not sure of anything at this stage of forming an opinion.

This is the content of an email I wrote to a trusted friend. I was asking his help in working through these thoughts. I share them here, with some expanded thoughts, as part of my processing.

I am trying to process the transfer of power. One thing that I notice about the method of how we move from one leader to another is relatively easy compared to some parts of the world. But I would not call the transfer of power peaceful. Or it may be better to say that the transfer of power that we have seen this year is peaceful but not peace-filled. It has been getting progressively worse over the last 4 elections. We have seen the sides drawn up against each other in more animosity. Yes, that is the word that I intended. There may not be animosity toward an individual that they know personally of opposing viewpoint. But there is animosity toward the opposition in general, as a whole. And that has made each election and inauguration progressively less peace-filled.

I believe that Trump is not what the nation needs as a leader. I read a piece about the consistency that Trump has shown with regard to his political statement. He has shown very little deviation from his positions over the course of 30 years. And I really don't have a problem with that. I can disagree with positions and not have that erode my opinion of a leader. I do have a serious problem with Trump as the leader of this nation solely in the realm of how he publicly treats people. The way he has spoken in the past about women and people of differences (race, physical ability) has been rude and de-humanizing. And, as was pointed out during the election race, there are plenty of documented cases of those words. In addition, he has not ever really shown a repentant attitude, nor has he shown any contrition toward those comments and attitudes expressed. He has even made comments that support an internal idea that he has not wronged anyone, nor need to ask for forgiveness.
If a leader doesn't feel that mistakes are natural, nor there is a pressing need to seek forgiveness, then I see little humility possible in leading the nation. And a humble leaders listens to all those who are led. And believes that they are valuable and worthwhile as individuals and human beings. I don't see that Trump has shown that capacity in the past. And I don't believe he will be any less consistent in the future.

And I believe that his appointments to Cabinet positions are truly bad. I don't follow political players box scores. I don't have the baseball card editions of the players on the field. But I have to wonder if his appointments are intentional. If they are intentional, I wonder if those appointments are:
 1.) retaliatory against the Federalization of certain aspects of government (education, health insurance, arts), or
2.) if he is attempting to sway "conservative" voters' opinion by attacking the headline grabbing topics early, or
3.) he is woefully ignorant of Republican decentralization/state's rights efforts, or
4.) his grasp of political operations is so limited that he cannot see the destabilization their ineptness will cause, or
5.) his effort to appoint these people is his effort to "drain the swamp"; meaning he truly wants to appoint politicians who are outside of the inbred political gene pool.

All of these are possible or any combination.

There are also his "first 100 days" promises. There is some magical idea of what a new President will accomplish in 3 months and change. But the promises that are being watched have the potential for a lasting chaos at the international, national, state, and personal levels. There have been no clear plans revealed for what will replace or prepare for the vacuum that will be created. There is no positive, forward momentum offered for these actions. The only thing that has been tagged to these promises are to undo what has been done. One step back with no way forward is not positive movement.

As I said, these are not final thoughts. These are opinions in process. I believe we are early in the work of bringing in a new administration. And there is every chance that once they all get into place, they may gel into something that is positive for the nation. But from my seat, a long way off from the front line of the Beltway, I don't see the nation starting off on the right foot.