Kennedy: Trump likes the title and trappings, not protocol

Knee update: It is now just three weeks since my knee replacement surgery and according to my surgeon I’m ahead of schedule. At the post-op exam on Tuesday last, after the staples had been removed, it was determined that my ability to walk without the aid of a cane or other device was such that I could forego any further physical therapy and, most importantly, I could drive. I continue to do the prescribed exercises that are intended to regain my full range of motion and eliminate the residual swelling. I’m almost ready to hit the links.

Now, on to more important matters.


There is an idea that has been floating around in this occasionally addled brain of mine for quite some time that may explain some of the decisions of our resident tweeter in chief. I think that it’s possible that Donald Trump wanted to be THE president, but was, and still is, unprepared for, and uninterested in being the PRESIDENT.

What I mean by that is that he relishes the title, the trappings of the office, the perks of the position, the adulation of his followers, and the spotlight on his every move and utterance, no matter how inane. However he has shown no interest in following, or even learning, the proper protocols when it comes to foreign affairs or dealing with Congress. He prefers to, as they say, fly by the seat of his pants. Unfortunately, many times those pants have been soiled and a clean-up has been necessary.

In international matters this might explain his penchant for denigrating our traditional allies while heaping praise on despots and dictators, some of whom may have been chosen in what could be considered less than free and open elections. (Vladimir Putin and the President of the Philippines are but two examples.)

In dealing with allies, it is important to show solidarity, and if there are areas of concern, to deal with those concerns through the established diplomatic channels. Public bashing of any country and its leaders serves no good purpose, and can do great harm to our country’s relationships with those so scorned and lessens our influence on international matters.

Contrary to his belief, our president’s penchant for attempting to curry favor with our traditional adversaries is viewed around the globe as a sign of weakness. Attempting to smooth the wrinkles in the relationships with such nations is a good thing, but, it must be done from a position of strength with clearly delineated desired outcomes and firm consequences for failure to adhere to agreements.

Under Trump there have been agreements with North Korea, Russia, and others where the desired outcomes have not been delineated nor have they brought sincere, positive actions from our adversaries. Many of these so-called agreements have been reached in private, one-on-one meetings where there are minimal, if any, records of what was agreed to.

In his dealings with Congress, Trump has been unable, for the most part, to get much of his proposed legislation passed. He has been governing by executive order, and it seems he signs a new one of those each day.

Another area which might support my original thesis is the quality of a number of his cabinet appointees. A former state attorney general who sued the Environmental Protection Agency numerous times is now in charge of that very agency. A woman who holds views that undermine the concept of the American public school system is now the secretary of Education. A highly regarded pediatric neurosurgeon with no government experience on any level and who seems to have forgotten the struggles he had growing up, is now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. And then there are those who were appointed to high posts who considered the federal treasury as their private piggy bank and spent enormous sums on personal travel, a soundproof booth, a $30,000 dining table and chairs, and unnecessary security details.

Maybe he should appoint a “country manager” to run things while he retains the title. Kind of like a mayor and city manager relationship. Congress might just approve such a position in this case, with this president.