It has been four-hundred and eighteen days since Donald Trump has been sworn into office as President. Since that time, Americans have been treated to what is aptly described as a reality-show presidency with all of the trappings. Each day brings new revelations about Trump’s campaign and its possible and likely involvement with Russia in order to secure the highest office in the land. Each morning Americans are treated to a host of Tweets, now considered part of the Presidential record, sent out to whomever it is Trump is targeting on that particular day.
And, just like every other reality show, there exists a certain amount of ambiguity with each passing day with nearly fifty-four or more administration officials exiting out the newly erected metaphorical revolving door, installed since Trump became President. Americans do not know day to day who will or who will not go home, a hallmark of the shows; American Idol, Top Chef, The Voice, Project Runway, or even Trump’s prior show; Celebrity Apprentice.
While the reality show has become a staple of pop culture in our country, I highly doubt the Founders of our country intended our nation to be run in this dramatic fashion. And despite this; it is. The question is whether this is sustainable.
On March 6, 2018, White House Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn resigned from Trump’s administration in reaction to what many political analysts believed to be Cohn’s disagreement with Trump’s plan imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, an act which arguably serves as a catalyst for a potential trade war. Historically speaking, tariffs are not considered wise, nor do they lead to better relations with other global partners, and many speculated this was too much for the former Goldman Sachs President to accept; a bridge too far if you will.
But there were other reasons for Cohn’s departure, specifically, the manner in which Trump handled the tragic events which led to the killing of an innocent woman, Heather Heyer, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump vacillated in his position leading to his proclamation that there “were fine people” on both sides of the White Nationalist spawned event. According to the Financial Times, Cohn shared that he “faced enormous pressure to both remain and leave” the White House. Cohn further stated:
“Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. I believe this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities.”
Despite this harsh rebuke from what many analysts considered to be one of the few “adults in the room” in the Trump administration, the divisiveness continues, the adults continue leaving the administration, and the reality show continues.
It is against this backdrop then, that Trump’s apparent decision to fill Cohn’s vacancy with Larry Kudlow leaves the American people with not much hope in escaping this reality nightmare. For whatever misgivings Cohn brought to the table, he was the
adult in the room