Failing All Tests of the Presidency

Donald Trump is many things — most of them despicable — but the leader of a nation he is not. He is not a great man. Hell, he isn’t even a good man.

Donald Trump is a man of flawed character and a moral cavity. He cannot offer moral guidance because he has no moral compass. He is too small to see over his inflated ego.

.. Trump has personalized the presidency in unprecedented ways — making every battle and every war about his personal feelings. Did the person across the street or around the world say good or bad things about him? Does the media treat him fairly? Is someone in his coterie of corruption outshining him or casting negative light on him?

His interests center on the self; country be damned.

.. By claiming that there were some “very fine people” among the extremists marching in Charlottesville, the president made a profound declaration: The accommodation of racists is his creed.

.. According to The Chicago Tribune, one of Fields’s high school teachers said he once “wrote a three-page homework paper that extolled Nazi ideology and the prowess of the Führer’s armed forces,” and that even before then, the teacher said, “he had been well aware of Fields’s racist and anti-Semitic beliefs from private discussions he had with Fields during his junior year.”

.. “At least four times when the boy was in the eighth and ninth grades, Florence police were summoned to his home, mostly by his frantic mother, Samantha Bloom, an I.T. specialist. It was just the two of them living together, and young James, among other incidents, was reported to have spat in her face, smacked her head with a phone and frightened her with a foot-long knife, according to records of the 911 calls. Neighbors, in interviews, similarly described a troubled youth who treated his mother cruelly.”

.. He apparently felt that the media had unfairly condemned him for his original remarks and he was going to be the counterpuncher and strike back at the media. Again, it was all about him, not us.

.. He was not there to heal the nation or to uplift it. He was there for personal exoneration and redemption. He wasn’t there to plead the case that America could rise on the wings of its better angels. He was there to defend the demons.

.. Trump said that he had not initially condemned both sides because he wanted to wait to get all the facts, because that’s what he likes to do.


On Saturday, when tens of thousands of protesters turned out to counter a small group of radical racists, Trump’s first response was to tweet: “Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”

This man doesn’t wait for facts. This man doesn’t care about facts, or much else for that matter. He only cares about himself, his image and his positioning.


.. I am among the 67% of Republicans who approve of Trump’s response to the mayhem in Charlottesville.

If, unlike Charles Blow, you watched the entire press conference, you would approve too. Trump said unreservedly that racists, white nationalists, Nazis, whatever you want to call these freaks should be condemned.

Taken out of context by this columnist and most of the news media is that President Trump said that there are good people who believe that these statutes should not be taken down. This is not a controversial statement. You may disagree with this view, but surely good people could take this view.

In the present Trump Derangement Syndrome suffered by this columnist and the major news media, any semblance of nuance, or even fully listening to the president’s words, is lost.

.. Saggio: Mr. Blow lets lay aside the emotion and look at the facts. GDP is up after years of nothingness under President Obama. Unemployment is down. Wages are up. For the first time a President of the United States has faced down North Korea and there is a slim hope for progress. We are beginning a realistic trade policy with China. And many foreign corporations are building new plants in America. Does any of this count with you?


.. Jack Sonville .. As a Jew, to me the most sickening characters in this plot line are the Jews in his cabinet–people like Cohn and Mnuchin. It is not enough to say, well, I know Donald Trump and he is personally not anti-Semetic. They are enablers and excuse-makers. They like being in power so much that they will broach any indignity and throw their heritage and people under the bus.

My question to them: After your time with Trump is done, where will you go to get back your dignity and self-respect?


.. zoe .. I watched the entire press conference. How many times did he say “fake news”? Are there people in this country that believe these statues should remain? Of course. Do you really think that they were marching with torches and armed with riot gear simply to protest the removal of a statue? What is more symbolic that marching with torches? It was very easy for the donald to state what some CEOs have since stated, what Arnold Schwarzenegger stated, what just about anyone on the street could have stated, at the beginning, as soon as we heard what had happened. He was waiting for the facts? Seriously? The donald never waits for facts. Whether you support him or not you know this is true. I watched the entire presser and someone with presidential temperament would have handled it differently. Nuance? He’s afraid of alienating his base. Do you believe him when during the campaign he said he knew nothing of the KKK or David Duke? There were no “fine people” marching alongside people caring Nazi flags and KKK ornamentation with guns at their side.


.. Bob israel .. I am sure that Charles Blow is not naive. When he excoriates President Trump for essentially telling the truth about the Charlottesville riots , that there were people with legitimate motives and also people with violent intent on both sides, which is now becoming clear, he is being disingenuous, at the very least.