When Donald Trump was elected, many of my friends feared that voters had elevated "an American Mussolini" to power and that our democratic institutions were gravely threatened
I took a different view, which I believe events of the last year and a half have confirmed. I thought that we would survive the Trump presidency, despite the divisions and ugliness that accompanied it, because the separation of powers built into the US government limit what any President can do, and because Donald Trump was far too old to have the time and energy to dramatically reshape our fundamental institutions.
Can you imagine Hitler and Mussolini spending a good portion of their week playing golf or watching Fox News? Or flying to a resort their owned every weekend?
Just compare him to Mussolini and Hitler, the two dictators who people most feared he would imitate. Mussolini was 39 when he ascended to power and Hitler was 44, whereas Donald Trump was 70 when he was sworn in. Not only were these two dictators much younger, but their personal habits were very different. Nothing stood in the way of their obsessive pursuit of national revitalization and in the case of Hitler, world domination. Can you imagine Hitler and Mussolini spending a good portion of their week playing golf or watching Fox News? Or flying to a resort their owned every weekend?
What protects the American people from an abuse of power are not only the Federal Courts, the US Congress, and a press Mr Trump can't intimidate or control, but also his own laziness. Compare his legislative accomplishments to those of Lyndon Johnson, who was 55 when he was elected in 1964. Within a year of his election, Mr Johnson had passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, comprehensive Immigration Reform, legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid, and an anti- poverty program.
Mr Trump's only legislative accomplishment has been tax reform. His wall, his attacks on Obamacare, and other signature issues raised in his campaign, have been stalled. Donald Trump not only lacks the stamina, energy and skill to remake his country the way Mussolini and Hitler did, he can't come close to matching what LBJ did during his short time in office
And with sexual harassment allegations and the Russia probe provoking him and wearing him out, don't expect him to experience a new "fountain of youth" any time soon or spend 24/7 on the campaign trail in 2018 to assure he has a Congress that will do his bidding.
We are going to survive the Donald Trump Presidency--however long it lasts. And we may even learn something from the experience. After all, hope springs eternal. And there are some good people in this nation, of all political perspectives, who think we deserve much better than having a person of such questionable character representing us to the world
With a Brooklyn Accent