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The Incredible Shrinking Presidency

Jeff Campbell

Posted on September 9, 2018 07:27

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In watching those gathered at the National Cathedral for Senator McCain’s funeral, it struck me as to how isolated the President is becoming.

The contrast of the recent services for John McCain, filled with political leaders, dignitaries, dissidents, everyday citizens and then the President heading to his golf course, tweeting away his complaints to the world was a stark one.

Trump left it to senior advisor Katrina Pierson to tweet about Senator McCain’s failures in running for president in a very Trumpian way, “@realDonaldTrump ran for @POTUS ONE time and WON! Some people will never recover from that. #SorryNotSorry.”

The President is a tall man, standing at 6’2” and looms large in physical stature, but I find that he is becoming increasingly small as a person and isolated as a president.

Senator McCain’s services drove this point home, drawing a picture of a man respected by almost everyone, at the forefront of the events of the day, as opposed to a person left to his tweeting, like a 400-pound hacker alone in his bedroom.

Now, at seemingly the worst possible time, comes a book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward, on the alleged chaos that is a chilling routine behind the scenes at the White House. It is a book that cannot be easily dismissed like “Fire and Fury” or “Unhinged,” both written by self-serving hacks. Like him or not, Mr. Woodward is credible.

The taped phone conversation between Woodward and the President about Woodward’s attempts to speak with the President directly for the book was awkward, with Trump claiming that no one told him that Woodward wanted to speak with him. It was priceless when Kellyanne Conway entered the room and President Trump put her on. She acknowledged that Woodward asked her for access to the President, and that she had direct access to Trump, but she somehow had just put in the request and didn’t hear back.

From many accounts, including the recent surfacing of the internal resistance in the New York Times, the White House staff interacts with President Trump like a petulant child. It is alarming but not surprising. For years our society has been rewarding reality-type stars with our social media attention, television viewership and adulation.

That phenomenon has been paralleled with a broken political system where people just wanted to feel like we had a non-politician running things. It developed into the perfect storm and the final wind gust was the Democrat’s inability to understand something that former President Clinton drove home during his campaigns, it’s the economy stupid -- in this case, the working-class blue-collar areas that had felt long forgotten by both parties.

So, we ended up with the force of nature that is Trump. It is a bit of a chicken and the egg argument, however.   Did President Trump create the atmosphere we are in now, or was his ascendancy simply an inevitable culmination of our fractured narcissistic society?

Either way, his behavior is becoming increasingly unacceptable to independents once willing to give him a chance, for no one, particularly the leader of the free world can be an island.

Jeff Campbell

Posted on September 9, 2018 07:27

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Source: Mediaite
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