Saturday 25 May 2019

Trump's troubling chaotic Presidency

Donald Trump. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Editorial

Editorial

In every way unimaginable, the US Presidency of Donald Trump is living down to and beyond worst expectations since his election to that great office last year in what are deeply questionable circumstances. His election remains under investigation, the outcome of which may yet prove fatally damaging to his Presidency if not to the office he holds - damaging to a extent greater than even the President himself has set about achieving through his prodigious use of Twitter to communicate with the world.

His reference last Friday to the former FBI director James B Comey on Twitter as a "weak and untruthful slime ball" represents the latest depths to which the President has descended to defend his chaotic Presidency, and follows a diatribe of abuse, mostly on social media, some of it bordering on the racist, other of it wilfully seeking to inflict damage to the great institutions of the United States in a manner which has become shameful, if not a downright disgrace.

Mr Comey was formally dismissed by President Trump last May shortly after the FBI had opened an investigation into the role and influence of Russia, primarily through State-sponsored misuse of social media, in his election defeat of Hillary Clinton, an investigation which thankfully remains on course despite repeated attempts by the President and his supporters to undermine it.

President Trump's "slime ball" Twitter assault followed advance publication of extracts of the latest damning book on his Presidency, by Mr Comey himself, who told ABC News last Friday, to be broadcast in full tonight, and in a quote which may come to define this debased Presidency: "I honestly thought these words would never come out of my mouth, but I don't know whether the current President of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013. It's possible, but I don't know."

These unspeakable events are taking place against a deeply troubling background in the Middle East, which has seen the President again taking to Twitter, this time to threaten the launch of missiles, while his office rallies western support to take military action against the despicable al-Assad regime in Syria, which is accused, with compelling evidence, of having launched another chemical weapons attack on its own people, a regime which itself is backed to the hilt by a shockingly aggressive, brutish Russia to the point that the world has been plunged into another Cold War, rapidly heating. Yesterday Russia threatened "consequences" to US-led air strikes in Syria. In these times, which are in equal parts depressing and threatening, it is to be expected that the institutions of mature European democracies and aged western civilisations will withstand and contain the worst excesses of such flawed leadership and, further, that those citizens worldwide who have felt let down by the established order heretofore, and as a consequence have turned to such extreme champions, their discontent fuelled by the proliferation of 'fake news' and encouraged in the free-for-all space that is unregulated social media, will reconsider their position more fully when next they come to exercise their hard-won democratic rights, and choose to restore some form of order on the affairs of nations. We are not filled with expectation in that regard, but remain attached, more so than ever, to a place called hope.

Sunday Independent

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