Does Donald Trump Understand He is President of The United States?
Thursday night, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted the nation’s military leaders and their spouses for dinner at the White House and made a cryptic remark that has a lot of people worried that he may be planning to lead the country into another unprovoked war.
Moments after a group photo, Trump told reporters “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.”
The calm before the storm? A reporter asked him what that meant and the president repeated “It could be … the calm, the calm before the storm.”
The news reporters became even more curious and wanted clarification. “What’s the storm? Iran? ISIS? What storm, Mr. President?” The President responded “We have the world’s great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And uh, we’re gonna have a great evening, thank you all for coming.”
And then when pushed further he added: “You’ll find out.”
Presidents of United States do not talk this way. They do not make off-handed, cryptic remarks about impending military operations – we assume that is what President Trump was talking about since he was flanked by his military leaders.
Trump seems to believe he is still a reality TV show star. You know, in ‘The Apprentice’ you can tease upcoming shows and try to give clues here and there to keep viewers coming back but you can’t do that as U.S. President.
That is simply too dangerous. You are the leader of the free world and that means your words and actions carry a lot of weight. U.S. allies and enemies alike are constantly watching every action of the U.S. President and parsing every word he utters to try to understand their implications.
Perhaps, Trump’s strategy is to keep everyone guessing. The problem with that strategy is that it is dangerous and it is beneath the office of the President of United States.
In ‘The Apprentice’ uttering the words ‘You are fired’ means absolutely nothing except maybe for the man or woman being fired from the show. In the real world, making a joke about or trying to create suspense over a situation that could impact millions of lives here in the U.S. and in other countries, is not funny.
Thursday night, Trump didn’t have to respond to reporters’ questions. Reporters were simply doing what they have always done – shout questions at the President of the United States – and Trump could have, as past U.S. President’s have done, ignored the questions, smiled, waved and moved on. Yet, he chose to respond with “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.”
When the U.S. President responds to reporters’ questions with “maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” then winks and adds “you’ll find out” while surrounded by military leaders, it does not take much of a leap to assume the whole thing is about an impending military operation.
“Presidents of United States simply do not talk this way. They do not make off-handed remarks about impending military operations – we assume that is what President Trump was talking about since he was flanked by his military leaders.”
When President George W. Bush went into Iraq under the pretext that Saddam Hussien harbored and aided al Qaeda terrorists, most Americans knew that was a lie but that did not stop him from starting an unnecessary war that has so far taken hundreds of thousands of American and Iraqi lives.
In his war declaration on March 19, 2003, Bush said “Intelligence gathered — leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.”
“The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.”
We have since found out Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, did not harbor or aid al Qaeda terrorists and the motive for the war was purely to take control of Iraq’s oil.
14 years later, America is still fighting in Iraq. U.S. led coalition forces began attacks on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 – 16 years ago – and the nation is still in Afghanistan with no idea when the war will end or even how to end it.
Now it appears Trump is planning to involve the U.S. in another war but he is doing it in a way that makes it seem like it is a game, at least to him.
The American presidency as an institution is very powerful and Trump doesn’t seem to understand that. He doesn’t seen to understand that he is the President of the United States. That is dangerous and it could become tragic for millions of people.
Let’s hope he understands that his words and actions have consequences. Let’s hope someone explains to him what being the president of United States is about, before it is too late.
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