Maybe an intervention, the kind we hear about with alcoholics, could help solve our national problems. Only in this case, the target would be President Donald Trump, who does not drink and never has. He tweets. He does it childishly and vengefully with self-defeating expertise, and while it is scarcely his only fault, it in too many ways sums up the others.
It points to intellectual effort no more than about 140 characters long, self-control on the order of no self-control, an absorption with the petty over the important and an ego issue that begs for attachment to the word maniacal. The sadness is that he’s right now a key protection against leftism, which has plans to warp America. And he does stand for a number of worthy, substantive policies that could be advanced if he could just focus on them and lead.
But, with some mighty exceptions, such as getting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, helping to form an anti-terrorist Arab alliance in the Middle East and giving a sterling speech to Congress, his disorderliness and nods in silly directions have gotten him in a fix.
He is having a hard time finding talented people to serve in his administration, and the FBI remains without a permanent director. His own White House staff is full of leakers. On the important policy of tax reform, his intentions rejuvenated capitalist spirits that have been infusing more energy into the economy, but his plans have lacked details about how the whole thing would work.
Even his ingenious business council meetings are less a thing, and health care reform and other projects seem to be wandering around with no sense of direction. Shy of trust in the president, Republicans in Congress keep on fumbling and are clearly fretting about their political futures. Early on, we heard talk about Democrats working with Trump on an infrastructure plan, but the bridge seems to have fallen, so to speak. There is a new objective.
What the Democrats now seek above any national need is Trump’s impeachment through hook, crook and patriotic pretense. Too many news outlets are joining in, repeatedly putting biased twists on stories and making too much out of too little. A pack of judges has decided that it’s not what the laws says anymore — at least if it comes to a temporary travel ban — but what someone may have uttered once upon a time.
Inspired by their detestation of Trump, anti-fascists fascists continue to invade peaceful conservative rallies, and now you read about a conservative group getting ready to take them on. God save us not just from this civil disgrace, but from some self-important celebrities whose frame of mind does not seem that distant from Kathy Griffin’s. She is the comedian televised holding a replica of a bloody severed head looking just like Trump’s. Even a number of Trump haters appropriately said boo to this, but do not expect new-found temperateness.
It’s as if whatever Trump can do, they can do worse, and presidential approval has dropped low enough that some 43 figures have already indicated they just may vie in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. A major mode of redress would be for Trump to drop the tweets and act presidential, but Sean Spicer, his press secretary, said in a press conference that the “president is the president of the United States” and that the tweets “are considered official statements.”
In alcoholic interventions, those pushing for an end to addiction and maybe rehab and joining Alcoholics Anonymous are some family members and perhaps a few friends. What we need in the Trump intervention are governors, senators, representatives, family, current staffers and Cabinet members saying you must not only quit the tweets but heed other advice and discover dignity.
It will, of course, never happen in such a fashion, but something like it should — not just for Trump’s sake, but for the sake of the country.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.