By Thomas Haenlein
The die is cast. The final product will remain unchanged for all of our tomorrows. That die was poured recently when formal, public hearings on the impeachment of President Donald Trump began. Whether Trump remains president for one more year or five more years, or just 5 more months, his legacy is sealed. Controversy will continue in a White House with a revolving door. Behind that door unneeded advisers wither like flowers before running to the exits, replaced by “yes” men compelled to praise unpopular ideas while ignoring behavior we wouldn’t tolerate from our children. Regrettably, “a more perfect union” is not even an option. Impeachment will not lead to conviction by Republican senators that fear Trump even more that they hate him.
Trump’s name is destined to fall into the dustbin of American political history where we put presidents remembered for what they did “to” our country, not “for” our country. His name will find its resting place in our culture as a foot note or an asterisk because it will always be the JEOPARDY answer to historical curiosities:
1) Fill in the blank: Nixon, Clinton, ________
2) Name a president that lost the popular vote to his opponent: ______ (possibly twice)
Such a demotion must be Trump’s inheritance from a citizenry he consistently worked to ridicule and divide, while showing no desire or ability to unify. The “dustbin” will be a dramatic fall from his own narcissistic suggestion where he once associated his own image with Mt. Rushmore. For his detractors that see insufficient skills, intellect and personality traits required to perform duties his title demands, he will only qualify for Mt. Impeachment. His name will remain on that mountain long after his “towers’ are gone and his followers learn that the thing he always cared the most about was the sound of their praise, not them personally.
The failings that are now encircling 45 are caused, in part, by the mindset that tells him he is so talented he has no need for preparation or reading policy papers written for him by experts. And of course, his belief that can just “wing it” on instinct alone, implies that no criticism could possibly be legitimate. Criticism becomes “the greatest witch hunt in history’. Trump needs to feel persecuted by enemies and the media. That persecution is his escape route for denying what most of America can see, that he is completely overwhelmed by a job he cannot do. None of this will penetrate that lofty perception of brilliance he has spent a lifetime building in his own mind.
Never apologize. Never admit error.
”I’m very, very rich.”
“The people love me.”
“I’m the team.”
“I’ am a genius.”
“The call was perfect.”
These expressions scream his need for us to acknowledge his brilliance and perfection. All of this inside a mind that would struggle to pass a fifth-grade test on spelling or U.S. history and threaten to sue anyone that would reveal his academic records, SAT’s or tax returns.
-Thomas Haenlein is a retired teacher from Houghton Lake Community Schools. He is also the author of ‘America’s Dilemma With Science’, available at Schuler Books Chapbook.