To Open The Sky
The Front Pages of Christopher P. Winter
The Dilemma of Donald Trump
Why is Donald Trump a dilemma? Because of the success he has achieved.
He has made serious mistakes throughout his career: Becoming implicated in racial discrimination in housing he ran with his father; destroying records in attempts to stave off court judgments; having to be bailed out by his father in the early days; overspending by huge amounts on casinos and other real-estate deals, to the point where the banks involved were forced to restrain him; going bankrupt six times; failing to pay contractors for work they performed; defrauding students at his Trump University; bribing officials to quash investigations of that fraud; misusing the funds of his Trump Foundation; taking part in sexual mistreatment of women; constantly indulging his narcissistic need to strike back at every perceived insult, however slight.
In the normal case, such conduct would wreck anyone's career. But Trump has survived on sheer bluster. He remained in business. Now he has ridden that bluster to capture the Republican Party nomination for presidential candidacy and even the presidency itself. His campaign was a travesty rife with lies, insults, incitements to violence, and incomprehensible statements but almost totally devoid of coherent policy prescriptions. Trump neither understands science nor respects scientists. His understanding of economics is perfunctory at best. He has next to no idea about foreign policy. Yet in all these areas he reflexively declares himself more knowledgable than the experts. It's arguable that he's not even very successful in business.1
So Donald Trump is a dilemma, and the greater dilemma is what his continued success portends for the future of the republic he now undertakes to lead. That is why three times as many people as attended his inauguration marched in protest the following day in Washington, with over a million more in other cities around the world.2 That is why he faces so much resistance over the people he picks and the orders he issues. And that is why I will be watching him and his team closely as they begin their first term, and documenting here the problems their decisions raise.
1 The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the aggregate indebtedness of his many business organizations currently runs to between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion.
2 See Crowd Scientists Say Women's March in Washington Had 3 Times More People Than Trump's Inauguration (Tim Wallace & Alicia Parlapiano, New York Times, 22 January 2017)