President Donald Trump found another opportunity to attack the media during a commencement ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday. Trump stayed fairly on-script for the first half of the speech, but was quick to praise his administration and lash out at the media while offering advice to the graduates. “Never ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine,” Trump said. “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media.” Trump argued “no politician in history … has been treated worse or more unfairly” by the media. Trump then touted his accomplishments, arguing his administration “saved” the Second Amendment and claiming plans for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border are “going along very, very well.”
Imagine being a leader who believed, despite all evidence to the contrary, that he’s doing a fantastic job. Imagine that this leader KNOWS the silent majority is in his corner. Then imagine this leader believes himself above the law and accountable to no one.
The President’s commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy was (yet again) an epic exercise in self-delusion and lack of self-awareness.
CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday mocked Donald Trump for complaining about “how unfair the world” is to him, bitingly noting the president “has a propensity for self-inflicted wounds.”….
“The Commander-in-Chief complained about how unfair the world, and especially the media, have been to him,” Tapper said during a segment on “The Lead.”
“Let us forget for one moment that the service members in the audience, about to put their lives on the line protecting our coasts, might not actually feel that bad about a politician who has been criticized in some sharply-worded editorials,” Tapper said.
“Let us focus instead on why the president is where he is. It is not because of anyone in particular being unfair to him, or bad staffing, or poor communications, or an aggressive media. It’s because of things the president has said and things the president has done,” he continued.
The uncomfortable truth for this President is that no one is being “unfair” to him. As Tapper said, Donald Trump’s wounds are self-inflicted. He could have begun his term in office with humility, secure in the knowledge that he serves the American people. Instead, he appears to believe just the opposite- that the people should be grateful to him for his brave, insightful leadership.
I look at this point in our history from the vantage point of someone who lived through the Reagan years. I detested virtually everything Ronald Reagan stood for. I hated his simplistic, black-and-white view of America’s place in the world. I despised his willingness to allow those around him to break the law in the service of American Exceptionalism. I spent eight years being appalled at the amateurish, self-righteous silliness that passed for policy. The self-congratulatory victory lap Reagan engaged during the end of the Cold War was nothing if not offensive and inappropriate.
Still, despite my fears and concerns over the damage done by a President serving a blindly Conservative agenda lacking in humanity and compassion, America survived. It’s what this country does…but in this case, I fear the damage done by Donald Trump and his minions, if not counteracted soon, will take years- perhaps generations- to undo.
No one is being “unfair” to the President…but the daily parade of “WTF???” moments is in no way sustainable. At some point, the adults will have to take over. Whether that means impeaching the President or using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office is impossible to know, but something needs to be done…and soon. I fear this country won’t survive four (or even worse, eight) years of Donald Trump’s ineptitude. This may well be how our democracy will die.
Nice work, America.