In his first month as President, Donald Trump, by all accounts, is a man who is almost totally alone. Even his own wife and son have remained in New York, refusing to live with him in the White House. There are stories, which may or may not be true, that he wanders the residence at night in his bathrobe, alone. Trump has learned that the White House is not the palace he hoped to occupy, but a heavily guarded gilded cage.
Trump is surrounded by advisers and sycophants, but is there anyone in his crowd that he can call a friend? True, his beloved daughter Ivanka and her family have moved to Washington to be near him, but even they can’t stay with him all the time. Trump has spent three out of the last four weekends at his Florida home Mar-A-Lago where he surrounds himself with people who have paid $100,000 to $200,000 to have access to the facility and to him. Someone who has spent most of his adult life courting celebrity might easily confuse fawners with friends.
In private Trump has limited his time as President strictly to the places he owns and controls: Trump Tower in New York, the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey, Mar-A-Lago in Florida, and the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. His rare public appearances have been carefully scripted and managed to fulfil his need for praise and adulation. The rally held last week in Melbourne, Florida and his recent appearance at CPAC certainly fit the bill. The one exception was his hour-long, rambling, press conference that left most journalists shaking their collective heads.
In his life before becoming President, Trump controlled everything in his life. From his wives to his businesses to his relationship with the press. Wives were required to sign pre-nuptial agreements, employees non-disclosure agreements, and the New York press, for the most part, were eager to publish the tidbits of gossip he fed them. Even his favorite means of communication, Twitter, let him say whatever he wanted without any repercussions. He could easily ignore any comments he didn’t like.
Perhaps, by becoming President, Trump thought he would enjoy even more power. In many ways he does, but he also faces constraints and restraints he never encountered before. He issues an order on immigration and some so-called judge has the nerve to stop him!
He has waged war with the mainstream media since the beginning of his campaign. The only news outlets he approves of are Breitbart, Fox News, and Infowars. The rest are “lying, dishonest, and failing.” In other words, he can’t determine what they will report. He showed his disdain for them during the campaign by enclosing the press behind pens during his rallies.
But now the media is investigating ties between the Trump team and Russia, both before and after the election. Their reports led to the resignation, in disgrace, of one of his favorite advisors on national security, General Michael Flynn, just 24 days into his administration. Trump is not only angry with the press, he is afraid. Very afraid. Why else would he ban the very news organizations reporting on the Russia story from a White House press meeting last Friday? Why else could he decline to attend the National White House Correspondent’s Dinner in April? The only other president who refused to attend was Richard Nixon.
Trump is also learning that the federal bureaucracy, mostly protected, non-political civil servants, aren’t going to roll over and play dead either. When the Acting Attorney General Sally Yates refused to instruct the DOJ to enforce his immigration ban, she was summarily fired on the spot. Granted, hers was a political appointment and Trump had every right to fire her, but her judgment on this issue, not Trump’s, seems to have been vindicated by the federal courts.
With both the White House and the rest of the executive branch leaking like a broken colander, Donald Trump, aka John Barron, aka John Miller, now has the audacity to tell the audience at CPAC that the media should NOT use anonymous sources. He claims they are made-up people who don’t exist. Then in the very next breath then went to describe the experiences in France of a friend he only referred to as “Bill.”
Donald Trump is adrift in a sea of controversies of his own making, including foreign policy mistakes, and continual walk backs of his erratic statements. Calls for investigations in his Russia connections are increasing in what should be a Trump-friendly Congress. And Republicans are joining in the chorus. Members of his own Cabinet and senior advisors have sent out messages directly contradicting Trump’s previous positions. Many of them seem to be in “clean-up” mode, trying to repair the damage he has caused.
Alone and abandoned by his own family, afraid of his own administration, and adrift in a new reality where he does not know how to operate, Trump is a clear and present danger to himself and to our nation.