First, there was the strike on Syria. Then came the massive Afghanistan attack using “the mother of all bombs.” That is a particularly scary scroll to see come across CNN: “the U.S. drops ‘the mother of all bombs’,” the largest non-nuclear weapon. And that’s not all. Trump has been commanding aerial bombardments at five times the pace Obama did.
It seems like Trump has figured out he can bomb his way to better headlines and be consistently rewarded with people saying how “presidential” it is. It would be quite nice to know for certain that the president is taking actions based on national security and not just to blow away news of possible treason by members of his campaign staff and transition team. I worry that when something else breaks on his former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s Russian ties, we will see the bombing of North Korea that very day.
Trump asserted that he ordered the Syrian airstrike because of the horrific chemical attack on innocent men, women, and children. The whole situation in Syria is heartbreaking, but it is hard to take his empathy seriously when he is still banning those innocent men, women, and children from the shelter of our shores. Still, many politicians praised the Syrian action. Senator Lindsey Graham even said that the military force showed Trump has the instincts of Reagan. Then we learned that Trump’s daughter convinced him to make the move after seeing images from the chemical attack. So, it turns out that Ivanka is one who has the instincts of Reagan.
Throughout the campaign, I heard so many people from the left insist that Hillary Clinton was more bellicose than Trump and that they didn’t support her as a result. To that I say, screw you, Susan Sarandon. She made the most famous public quote that Hillary was more dangerous than Trump. A countless number of us are so furious with her that I just assumed the actress’s new series The Feud is about half of America’s “feud” with Sarandon.
Now, Trump is completely reversing many of his campaign positions, including his approach to China, NATO, the budget, Syria, to name a few. It’s as if he said anything to get elected. It’s as though he has no core beliefs at all. Who would have known that about Trump unless you paid attention to his entire life?
Trump goes with the opinions of whoever surrounds him. This is efficient and leaves him more time to play golf. On the international front, it seems like Trump has been moving toward the advice of his National Security Advisor McMaster and Defense Secretary James Mattis, and away from Steve Bannon.
Clearly, though, Steve Bannon has not been totally sidelined. He has been quite busy teaching Sean Spicer the history of the Holocaust. Where else would Spicer get the information that Hitler did not gas his own people at “Holocaust Centers” other than the head of Brietbart, the de facto white nationalist news outlet?
With Trump, we get it all: the crazy tweets, the escalated bombings, the total flip-flopping on issues, the chaotic policies, the deception, the conspiracy theories. Many Republicans have chosen to spin this whole display as being “an unconventional presidency.” That’s interesting. Just yesterday, I lied 20 times. Wow, is my unconventional presidency acting up.
I wonder what quirky, unconventional, presidential things next week will bring. Let’s meet again then to discuss—if we survive.
Hilary Schwartz is a comedian and writer based in NYC with love (and hate) for politics. She is a regular contributor to Political Storm.