God’s own country is plunged into a filthy sea of inexplicable leadership challenge and policy-making ambiguity
The psychological relevance of Tao Te Ching’s Art of War “The Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” basically signifies the strategic importance of operating goals, tasks, and actions – definitely not a journey from Trump Towers to the White House.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States understood this philosophy, when in 1933, he used his first three months in office to lay the foundation of his executive mandate. Following this, the “First 100 Days” has been strategically imbedded by default as an exceptional period in foretelling the values of governance and tenure effectiveness. It sets the tone of administration’s potential and substance – or lack of it.
Without twisting words, it is unquestionable that in just less than three months of Trump’s inauguration, God’s Own Country has already been hurled into chaos. From cutting regulations, creating jobs, through his actions on trade, ethics, national security, immigration, public safety, women, and minority’s affairs, Trump has operated haphazardly, without strategies, thus, exhibiting exceedingly, a disgraceful show of paucity of vision, purpose, arrogance, ignorance, and mediocrity.
Intoxicated by his supervisory mandate without the required strategies to move the country forward, Trump wildly relied on autocratic executive actions to induce a bulk of his accomplishments, but that is not selling. Some commentaries, especially those spewing from the right wing had structured their assessment of Trump’s stewardship to reflect his pugnacious determination to fulfill his electioneering promises. However, abusive use of executive orders to hurriedly fulfill incredibly questionable electioneering vows to generate Twitter likes and shares remain one of Trump’s policy-making miseries.
Most controversial among his orders was Executive Order 13769, signed on January 27, 2017, curtailing refugees and stone-heartedly suspending the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. Trump was not done – this order also blocked nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States, signaling the harshest immigration policy in generations.
Trump’s Immigration policy excess was punctuated by the legal system he chose to sideline. Two judges restrained him. A Federal Judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order blocking his ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, whereas another in Maryland issued a separate Order, forbidding the core provision of the Trump’s travel ban from going into effect.
Trump’s move to retaliate against States opposed to his immigration enforcement policies also met another waterloo, just as his tenure sailed into the 100-day threshold. A Federal District Court Judge William Orrick issued a ruling, blocking his Executive Order seeking to cut federal funding to “sanctuary cities” – jurisdictions that refuse to help the Federal Government apprehend and deport undocumented immigrants. According to San Francisco city attorney, Dennis Herrera, “This is why we have courts – to halt the overreach of a President and an Attorney General who either don’t understand the Constitution or choose to ignore it.”
It is a fact that Trump campaigned and won on imaginable election promises. However, it has been established that electioneering victory is neither a proof of decision-making aptitude nor a test of exemplary leadership, but purely, a process of democracy.
Trump already admitted he was more of a negotiator than a transformational leader. He lied to his constituents that he was a dealmaker, and bragged about negotiating the country into economic possibilities. Yet, he has shown no talent for bargaining policies. For instance, he dabbled into a so called Trump/Ryan Care as a substitution to Obamacare and crashed beyond redemption; he bombarded Syria in a raid that turned out as lavish social media promotion; and then, dropped a so-called “Mother of all Bombs” in Afghanistan with absolutely no strategic purpose on negotiating North Korea.
Trump’s cohorts argued that his iron-handed approach to foreign issues signals seriousness and superiority over rogue nations. Again, this issue is not just about his recklessness in discharging ammunitions, it is all about leadership integrity.
Trump had initially dismissed the Syrian issue and vowed not to spend America’s monies on global wars and security. He swore, “I’m not, and I don’t want to be the President of the world. I’m the President of the United States, and from now on it’s going to be America first.” Therefore, directing airstrikes in Syria reveals a fluidity of a foggy vision – the height of deception, and shows a total lack of integrity. Any leader who speaks from both sides of his mouth must neither be trusted nor respected. Hence, Trump remains a monumental train-wreck with fatalities on stand-by.
Trump’s policy catastrophe might be worse than the tsunami. The LA Times Editorial Board in a few sentences captured a profile of a President that was wrong on arrival:
“He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.”
In his 100 days, he has accomplished absolutely nothing, but pour drums acid on the cord that unites the country. Already, he has plunged this God’s Own Country into a filthy sea of inexplicable leadership challenge and policy-making ambiguity. Till date, the only entity that has benefited from Trump’s 100-day policy wreckage is the Saturday Night Live – a late-night live television comedy and variety show constantly lampooning Trump’s decision-making meltdown and presidential disgrace.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin might have succeeded in leading a notorious cyber-hacking squad that fraudulently created the path to Trump’s election victory. But the truth remains: Trump is, not just an America’s problem, he is a Global Agony.
♦ Anthony Obi Ogbo, Ph.D. is the editor of International Guardian, and the author of The Influence of Leadership.