Shortly before the presidential election, I wrote if we had a Trump presidency, it would most resemble that of his fellow dark horse candidate Franklin Pierce: “Like Trump, Pierce was surrounded by chaos. (Though, unlike Trump, it wasn’t usually of his creation.)”
So far, so good.
It’s hard to remember sometimes, but from a historical standpoint Trump took office during an unusually stable moment in America’s history. We are a nation that’s fought two World Wars, suffered a handful of economic freefalls, seen our President die in office on eight occasions, had the British burn our capital, and for a time splintered apart completely.
By comparison—and this is no way ignores numerous massive problems, such as the fact you can’t refer to our nation’s infrastructure without using the word “crumbling”—America right now is a lazy summer day.
Of course, America doesn’t feel like a lazy summer day: nope, it’s the middle of winter and we’re freezing to death on the tundra, yet somehow simultaneously getting hit by a category 5 hurricane at the same moment the killer bees attack.
In what may be the biggest understatement of all time, there appear to be aspects of Donald Trump that could prove challenging to a successful presidency. Understand: most presidents have qualities or experiences that threaten their ability to lead. Pierce himself witnessed his son die in a train accident shortly before taking office and promptly went on to be a truly miserable Commander-in-Chief. However, we have also seen presidents overcome absurdly long odds to find success, as Lincoln’s struggles with depression and F.D.R.’s battle against polio didn’t stop either from being a great leader.
But if a president had depression and polio and refused to seek treatment for either condition and insisted on making fun of other people with depression and polio… well, that’s our Donald. [Read more →]