Trump Failing At Leadership / by marilyn salenger

                                                                                                           Photo by Gage Skidmore

                                                                                                           Photo by Gage Skidmore

We elected him.  We're now paying for that action.  In a matter of weeks President Donald Trump is working hard to succeed at the one thing our enemies crave and our friends fear. Destabilization.

We have become a nation filled with too much fear and not enough hope. In Donald Trump we have a leader who appears almost incapable of showing the leadership we need at home and abroad, and sees not the error of his ways. Our global allies share in amazement as they try to shore themselves up in preparation for what the next day may bring. After President Trump's repeated and very public swipes at France and their security issues, President François Hollande diplomatically said, ‘‘I think that it is never good to show the smallest defiance toward an allied country". There is little diplomatic about Donald Trump.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will arrive in Washington on March 14 for a meeting with the President. Trump wasted no time repeatedly challenging our relationship with Germany, while advisors to the Chancellor have reportedly "given up hope that the President Trump will act in a statesmanlike manner".

A President's cabinet and close advisors should represent an administration's strength. We have yet to see such strength emanating from a White House that apparently thrives more on chaos than anything else. During the first weeks of the Trump administration National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned or was dismissed from his position. Flynn's departure was not a sign of Trump's leadership. Instead it was President Trump succumbing to pressure. He apparently had no problem with Flynn's ties to Russia while questions about Russia continue to mount. 

On March 9th Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly recused himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign after admitting to conversations with the Russian Ambassador. Those investigations would include looking at any Russian interference in our electoral process. Sessions, an early and vocal Trump campaign surrogate, was pressured by Congress to either resign or recuse. The President took no leadership of the situation.  He performed in a reactive mode reportedly becoming furious that Sessions would dare take such action. 

Many had pinned their hopes for strong leadership on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but Tillerson has quickly assumed the lowest profile of any Secretary of State in recent history. He was denied his choice of Deputy Secretary of State by the Trump White House and is still without one. Dozens of assistant secretary positions remain unfilled. Tillerson is operating without a full house of critical staff support while President Trump is calling for severe cuts to the State Department budget. Jared Kushner appears to have more of the President's ear on foreign policy than the Secretary of State.  No wonder Tillerson has gone into hiding.  

Donald Trump took no interest in learning the business of governing during his long run to the election.  He arrogantly turned down intelligence briefings once elected, spending more time focusing on the parade of people he brought to Trump Tower. Today his worlds and actions continue to show too limited a knowledge base for a man normally viewed as the leader of the free world. 

Our country is crying out for real leadership. Instead we see a President floundering under pressure. We see a man lashing out, blaming everyone and everything but himself as he becomes more mired in disfunction. A true sign of a leader is a person who rises to the occasion of challenge. President Trump appears to be sinking.