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Hallelujah, after more than three years in office as President Donald Trump has at long last reduced the number of false statements, read: lies, by finally telling the truth. At Friday’s press conference the President, when asked whether he took responsibility for the delay in making test kits available to a near frantic American public, finally told the truth by admitting that he “is not responsible at all.” But even here it is only a half truth in that he admits he does not feel responsible for anything that is not positive.

trump not responsible

The full truth is that Donald Trump is actually not responsible at all. He is not responsible for anything that exposes the degree to which he is incompetent and a danger to humankind. He is the master of the misstatement, mismanagement, and mixed messages. His total incapacity to fulfill even the most basic responsibility as comforter-in-chief reflects a juvenile temperament that simply does not allow him to either set an example in times of need or refrain from lying. The current count on the honesty scale, even if you happen to generously score the aforementioned half-truth, is 16,241-1.

His total incapacity to fulfill even the most basic responsibility as comforter-in-chief reflects a juvenile temperament that simply does not allow him to either set an example in times of need or refrain from lying.

I have absolutely no idea whether the President has been tested for the coronavirus and similarly doubt that we will ever discover the true answer. The nation is so anxious at this juncture and so worn from three plus years of abject acrimony and blatant deceit that it almost seems as though it just doesn’t matter regardless of how the White House spins it.

The President is so delusional at this point that he is incapable of making responsible decisions based upon a cogent briefing based on facts and evidence. He has never accepted the fact that strength comes from accepting mistakes not from contorting facts to reflect that he is never wrong or casting blame on someone else. His dereliction of duty has resulted in making America dangerous to the world order and this latest display of idiocy will certainly cost not only lives lost to the virus but lives lost to the stress created by unneeded disruption to the economic order of the nation.

The most basic responsibility of a mature adult is to lead by example. As a parent it is not good enough to merely lecture your child about the health costs of smoking or drinking alcohol if in fact you smoke and drink to excess. Hence while there was a glimmer of hope that this week may have witnessed a turning point in the President’s insistence that the virus will “magically” disappear, Trump even found a way to totally screw that up.

While surrounding himself with a phalanx of scientific experts (Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci who lead the White House Task Force on the virus) and corporate titans, the President proceeded to conspicuously extend his hand as they approached the podium while also sharing the microphone. Hence, the President violated one of the most salient messages at this point, which is to practice “social distancing,” a practice of avoiding contact. In meetings I participated in this week the common practice of hand shakes has been assiduously replaced by the elbow bump. And the President’s response when taken to task on what is the most minor of accommodations is that habits are hard to break. Really, I mean seriously, you do not have the discipline to keep your hands to yourself? And this is the leader of the war on the virus?

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The President further embarrassed himself by refusing to take responsibility for his administration’s disbanding the US Pandemic Response Team, a critically important component of the National Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. This was a White House agency. Feigning ignorance of a very basic managerial responsibility and searching in desperation for a scape goat the President turned and finally fell on his oft-stated non sequitur “I don’t know anything about that.” Well, chalk up another half truth, he is totally clueless and inadequate to handle the job he is tasked with.

Now I worked for two Presidential administrations, obviously there are things going on in the huge bureaucracy not so affectionately known in Trump circles as the “administrative state” that the President neither is nor should be kept abreast of. This is not one of them. The National Security Advisor reports directly to the President and there is no conceivable way that a cut such as this would not be approved by the President, even if he does not read memos or listen to briefings that encompass more than 100 words, another example of unadulterated incompetence.

Mr. President, responsibility for actions you take or the consequences for actions you ignore that occur on your watch is a price you pay for the enormous privilege the Electoral College bestowed upon you three plus years ago. That is the deal, you get to fly around on Air Force One in luxury, at $200,000 per hour, you get to visit your cherished golf resorts on the taxpayers’ dime, which at the rate you are going if re-elected could cost $340 million. That is a lot of dimes. But as the self-proclaimed master of “The Art of the Deal” you must fulfill your part of the bargain: namely, you are responsible for leading the country. I use that term advisedly as really you are basically responsible for reading what is written for you and signing off on options prepared for you, and yes, leading by example.

Harry Truman was often photographed behind a White House desk that had a plaque on it which said “The Buck Stops Here,” you, the great deal maker, the only one who can fix the Washington, DC swamp, the business genius, despite your celebrated bankruptcies, the self-proclaimed “stable genius,” ought to get this more than anyone else. This was supposedly your strength, this is what you had to offer. On your desk, however, the plaque reads “The Bucks Stop Here.”

Just this week you claimed that you were custom made for solving viral pandemics, saying “every one of these doctors said, 'How do you know so much about this? ' Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.” The delusions never end. The stable genius is neither stable nor a genius.

By your performance to date you simply are not worth the money we are paying you. You simply are not cut out for this work, yes it is work to have to make decisions greater than which club to use for an upcoming golf shot. You are a con man who has lost the confidence of the people and ultimately will lose confidence in yourself, albeit a little too late given the damage you have inflicted upon the world. You gambled on casinos and lost, America gambled on you and lost. I would like to transpose the admonition offered by Dylan Thomas, a poet who I am sure you are not familiar with, go quietly into the good night. I doubt you will abide by my wish, but it would most certainly be the most noble thing you could do at this point. Now it is I who is delusional.

Wall Street Journal

Lance Simmens