It really is worse than we thought.
On the eve of the current hurricane season, the Trump administration shifted $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Administration to set up more internment camps for detained immigrants, according to Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, who said this is a “scandal.”
Announcing the U.S. was more prepared than ever in its history for Hurricane Florence, Donald Trump said that his handling of last year’s Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico was an “incredible, unsung success.” The government has just announced an update to the island death toll from that hurricane from 67 Americans to 2, 975.
Upon arriving in Shanksville, Pa., for a 9/11 memorial service, Trump greeted the mourners with fist pumps, as if he were at a campaign rally, after tweeting about his usual pet peeves.
Donald Trump Jr. told Fox News that there are few people in the White House his father trusts, even though he hired them.
Trump: “Professional liar.” “Erratic nature.” “Relative ignorance.” “Inability to learn.” “Moron.” Just a few of the adjectives Bob Woodward quotes Trump insiders as saying about Trump in Woodward’s 19th book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” based on 100 taped interviews, most with current and former White House sources.
Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who had headed the Republican National Committee and knows Washington, is quoted by Woodward as saying: “The president has zero psychological ability (for) empathy or pity in any way.” Priebus ostensibly still supports Trump.
(Usually, I say I read a book so you don’t have to; this time, I suggest you read “Fear,” especially if you’ve been a Trump supporter wondering what is going on in Washington. The title is based on Trump’s belief the key to power and leadership is inciting fear.)
As more of Trump’s people vent their frustration at the chaos and dysfunctionality of his administration, one thing is becoming terrifyingly clear: Trump is a threat to national security. He argues we’d be far richer without foreign military bases. He thinks “trade is bad.” In Woodward’s phrase, he’s conducting a war on truth that’s harming democracy.
Trump’s trade wars and tariffs are beginning to affect the economy - hundreds of auto jobs have disappeared. Consumer goods cost more. Farmers are hurting. Allies are furious. Yes, unemployment remains low, and the stock market is strong but wages are stagnant. Millions work two jobs and can’t earn a decent living.
The U.S. came closer to nuclear war with North Korea than we knew. Also, Trump wanted to remove U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula, and, indeed, those based around the globe, stopped only by the adamant, appalled arguments of the military, which argued preventing World War III is a priority. And despite Trump’s words about how wonderful Kim Jong Un is, his country is proceeding with its goal of becoming a major nuclear power.
Russia not only attacked and continues attacking our election system, it is now suspected of attacking U.S. diplomats in two posts, including Cuba. Yet Trump continues to believe Vladimir Putin is his friend, as he mistakenly thinks China’s leader, Xi Jinping, is.
The war on immigrants continues. Children remain separated from their parents.
If you are black, an immigrant, a Muslim or a Puerto Rican, you are not better off under Trump. You may even be living in fear. If you are a working woman worried about the future of health care for your family, you may be having trouble sleeping.
This is no longer about Republicans and Democrats, left or right, liberal versus conservative, insiders against outsiders.
Steve Bannon, the former Trump campaign manager and White House “chief strategist” who advised Trump that to be perceived as “strong” he should be a “nationalist” and alt-right advocate, once said of Trump: “He is the bad father, the terrible first husband, the boyfriend who (bleeped) you over and wasted all those years and (you) gave up your life for and then dumped you, and the terrible boss that grabbed you by your (bleep) all the time and demeaned you.”
A record six out of 10 Americans are dismayed. Millions now regard Trump as a self-absorbed, greedy, uncaring, ignorant man. If you are still an admirer, perhaps it’s time to ask a searching, honest “why?”
Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.