Monday, August 28, 2017

What Does Trump Really Want?

This article, written by a Republican, refers to Trump as our "child King".  He does not believe that Trump is fit to be our president and he explored ways in which the Republican Party can deal with our child king.  Our child king is not only a threat to the Republican brand, he is a threat to our system of government and to our position in the world.  Trump really wants to run our country the way that he runs his business in which he is essentially a sole proprietor.  He is attacking all of the institutions that limit his authority in order to realize that objective.

Trump derives his power from several sources.  A substantial portion of the Republican base support his presidency.  For example, only 28% of Americans approved of his response to the Charlotteville protest.  On the other hand, 68% of Republicans approved of his response.  Trump's position on the protest was nearly identical to the position taken by Fox News which is the number one source of information for Trump's base.  Talk radio and alt-right news organizations are also aligned with Trump.  That is real power, and it empowers Trump's attacks on Republicans in Congress who are not totally loyal to him and to his interests.  Republicans in Congress are not just afraid of being personally attacked, they understand that Trump will go along with most of the policy issues that they support.  That gives them an incentive to go along with their Republican president despite their concerns.  The bottom line is that the Republican Congress will only watch why Trump makes them less relevant in containing his power grab.

Trump also has contempt for the judicial system that has the potential to limit his authority.  His recent pardon of Sheriff Joe, who was convicted of crime for abusing the power of his office, had two objectives.  It was a gift to his base who approved of Sheriff Joe, and it will encourage other government officials to violate laws that are not supported by the president.  That is only Trump's most recent attack on the independence of our judicial system and the rule of law.

Our free press is another of our key institutions, protected by the Constitution, in order to protect our democracy from a tyrant.  President's have always had issues with the media when they are the subject of criticism.  Unlike Trump, who has told his base not to pay any attention to our major sources of news,  no presidents in our recent history have have gone as far as Trump has to discredit the free press.  Many in his base believe Trump when he claims that they provide "fake news".  The only credible news sources  for them are Trump's twitter feed, Fox News and right wing talk radio.

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