As a result of two back-to-back hurricanes that devastated the Southeast, Donald J. Trump just had his Best Week Ever as president of the United States. Way to go, Big Guy!
That’s because there was so much unimaginable destruction and horrible weather news, that Harvey and Irma outranked The Donald. It helped his cause immensely that, for the most part, POTUS stuck to the White House’s prepared script — sympathy for the victims, pledges of federal assistance. In other words, he didn’t say anything stupid.
Well, he did tell House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), “The press has been incredible,” about the coverage of the debt limit-deal POTUS struck with Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), a deal which infuriated Republican leaders who felt Trump had sold out his own party.
But let’s just let Trump be Trump.
For several weeks I have reasoned with a friend that if Trump can just “be good” — that is stick to his scripts, and resist the urge to mindlessly tweet what’s on his mind at any particular moment — then he can be popular.
“It can never happen,” all the conventional wisdom argues. At eight months into his term: “He is the most unpopular president in U.S. history.” True, dat. He never even had the customary presidential honeymoon when he came into office.
Only one-third of the population approves of his miserable performance up until now, but his supporters argue that his liberal enemies won’t give the guy a chance to do his job — always criticizing, nitpicking him.
So here comes a stretch, where the stupidest thing a Trump was involved in was his wife Melania leaving the White House wearing stilettos on her way to a flood-ravaged region. But that’s not bad, by comparison, for a guy who openly gave White House rhetorical comfort to neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Ku Klux Klansmen.
So now, as a result of a hurricane-flood-hurricane combo, described as being of “biblical proportions,” and Dude cooling out his Twitter-finger, His Nibs appears to be almost, dare I say, “presidential?”
Now, he can go back to being the Motley Fool he really is for a while, coasting on soaring approval ratings because he hasn’t done something dumb to be skewered by late-night comics. Just a few weeks of this type of behavior and similar attention to it, in September-October 2020 will guarantee his landslide re-election, I predict.
When Trump realizes that he needs to charm the politicians and the people once in a while, in order achieve his governmental goals, then we may see him dance all over the landscape, and there will be lots among the public willing to forgive “the big lug,” if he appears to want to, do right.
In order then, to loot the treasury with the consent of the population, it will come in the form of huge tax giveaways to the wealthiest in the society. Trump and his GOP cohorts may engage in a charm offensive to achieve this one. That’s because there is no rational force of reasoning by which ordinary people should approve of a tax-reform-scheme designed by the wealthy, which insures that the rich receive a greater portion of the spoils of American life, at the expense of less of the good for everyone else.
But that’s exactly what these dirt-poor and middle class, Rust Belt, opioid-infected folks are going for from Trump and the GOP. They are buying it, hook, line and sinker. Robin Hood in Reverse. He takes from the poor and gives to the rich. I understand that. Melvin Van Peebles said in his poem “Mistuh P,” “…the more you eat/the more you get hungry…”
Beware of any and all Trump charm, or compassion offensives. They’re coming apprentices.
And in the meantime, remember, how the worst natural disasters in recent memory — contaminated water full of snakes and diseases, affecting millions and millions of Americans, and costing billions and billions of dollars — ended up actually boosting this unpopular president.