Wondering About Trump’s Stability

Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 7, 2018

If he were the “Stable Genius” (which sounds like Mr. Ed) that he claims to be, perhaps we could rely on President Donald Trump to be able to count — specifically to understand that policy proposals need more than Republican Senate votes to be enacted.

Of course, as he is the world’s best deal-maker, perhaps we also could also rely on him to recognize that he is in a job that requires negotiation to win policies that he wants, even if the rest of us do not.

If he had the best memory of anyone in his circle, as he says, perhaps he could remember saying that it would be Mexico who would pay for The Wall, not U.S. taxpayers facing a new federal budget that already portends dripping red ink.

If he were as smart as he claims, perhaps he would understand that vastly increasing spending for things he wants, like the military and now border security, including The Wall, while at the same time cutting corporate taxes would result in a highly pressured federal spending program.

If Donald Trump were even a tenth as caring a person as he considers himself to be, he would not hold 800,000 Dreamers hostage over his insistence for approval of The Wall — especially when $18 billion towards The Wall will cover less than 400 miles of a 2,000-mile plus border.

Of course, the very intelligent president, who has asked Democratic and Republican members of Congress to talk amongst themselves about the best way to resolve both the Dreamer issue and improve border security would understand that perhaps it might be problematic for him to enter into the middle of those negotiations by announcing his own intractability over his slogan-heavy campaign promises for a Wall, 10,000 additional border police, tons more immigration deportation facilities and withholding of funds from “sanctuary cities.”

Of course, were Donald Trump to be the president he claims to be, he wouldn’t be making casually threatening noises about having the government simply shut down, or throwing millions of citizens off health care or insisting that the attorney general’s primary role is to protect him as a family lawyer might. But then, since the presidential intelligence meter does not seem to register that posting insulting Tweets that provoke foreign leaders developing nuclear weapons aimed at the United States, we should be lowering our expectations. Or that cutting off aid to Palestinians or Pakistanis would prove engraved invitations to the Russians and Chinese to expand their spheres of influence.

We should believe the genius of a president who has waved a wand and will double the nation’s economic productivity, birthing business gains for all, creating more jobs than you can shake a stick at, and more than paying for everything he expects in his federal budget. The magic wand in the hands of a genius can sponsor a federal government that shovels all spending to the states, lowers taxes, and adds truckloads of spending on what already is the world’s largest military.

You might expect that the world’s most genius businessman would be happy to share his tax returns to show others that it is possible to achieve in America even if your dad had not staked you to your first millions. You might expect that the very intelligent, stable and caring president might want to show how he can listen to dissenting voices and carefully see how to thread the negotiating needle through the complexities to find consensus.

That Donald Trump has found it necessary to address his mental stability, his attention span, his intelligence level is all in response to the Michael Wolff book, of course, in which dozens of White House staffers, family members, and friends and supporters suggest that the president is a child in a complex world of policy adults, refusing to inform himself, declining to read briefing materials, lacking in basic understanding about the role and operations of government.

It is outlandish that we have groups of senators, mostly Democrats naturally, sitting around talking about the 25th Amendment processes for removal of a president for mental instability. It is more outlandish that official Republicans are working hard at trying to ignore the suggestions that their very smart Emperor has no intellectual clothes

This whole affair is making America a laughingstock around the world. Trump’s behavior is boorish, unprofessional, egotistical and inappropriate. That he also is the author of an untold number of policy rollbacks against environmental and consumer protections, denuding the country of health care and encouraging racial and ethnic division in the country is much awful. That there are investigations of actual criminal acts ongoing at the same time, and that this president’s reaction is to demand equal-time criminal investigations against Hillary Clinton and other foes is beyond reason.

The only thing worse is the silence of official Republican leadership.

I’d share this column with the president, but I’m not sure he would get by the first line, despite the president’s HUGE attention span for detail.



Journalist, musician, community volunteer