Daniel Ellsberg heroically earned the title "The Most Dangerous Man in America." Now, another has earned the title, although far from heroically. He's won the distinction by unleashing his own brand of WMD (weapons of moral destruction) on the American public. His power to do so is fueled by total arrogance, belief that he is the smartest human being on the planet, and confidence that he, the leader of the free world, is above the law.
Donald Trump has challenged this country's system of checks and balances, a system that, among other responsibilities, precludes a president from becoming a dictator. In the case at hand, it seems as if Mr. Trump aspires not to being a dictator, but to being king. After all, a king can confer grand titles and prestigious roles to his family. Anyone who opposes him can be attacked, if not with bow and arrow, at least with diabolical revenge. Fortuitously, a king can reap great monetary rewards because of his position. Meanwhile, his court of loyalists can keep his voracious ego content with praise and acquiescence. It's a heckofa deal.
His latest outrageous behavior is distressingly typical—picking up his marbles and parading to the Royal Rose Garden, leaving behind two members of Congress and an impressive program dealing with infrastructure and other critical issues. The tantrum apparently was a reaction to Speaker Pelosi's charge that Trump was engaged in a cover up. Claiming to be the "most transparent" president ever, he's out of the game until those pesky Democrats quit attempting to find out what he's been hiding so furiously.
"I don't do cover up," he insists. Never mind the cover up he dictated for Prince Donnie's infamous Trump Tower meeting, never mind the payoffs to two women to cover up illicit sex, never mind the dozens of obstructive tactics to hide questionable behaviors and financial truths. President Nixon was a cover-up amateur. Here is a real pro.
Now, with any hope of bi-partisan work in Congress gone, with Trump's busy schedule of golf, watching television news and tweeting insults, the picture of the next year and a half is depressing.
By determining to put aside any legislative work until Congress quits its mandated oversight of the Executive Branch, Trump is engaging in a blackmail scheme of sort. No more "phony witch hunts; if they continue, critical work of the government is put on hold. (It should be noted that he uses the term "witch hunt" incorrectly. A hunt of that sort ends empty handed. In this case, there was a batch of witches found, some of whom pled guilty, and some of whom are in prison or on their way.)
Who suffers from this latest irresponsible behavior?
We do. You and I, the American people whose taxes support the government. People who rely on the government for their jobs and their security, for their paychecks and their insurance, for safety in crossing a bridge over a rushing river. But this is not as important as massaging a great leader's ego.
Now, with any hope of bi-partisan work in Congress gone, with Trump's busy schedule of golf, watching television news and tweeting insults, the picture of the next year and a half is depressing. With Trump's compulsion to respond to every statement made by every possible candidate wanting to replace him, his time will be spent tweeting, not governing. Imagine twenty-five candidates releasing at least one statement a day. Imagine having to compose that many nasty, insulting tweets every single day! What a demand on "executive time." Further there will be the need to conjure up twenty-some demeaning names. Some candidates already have been taken care of, like Pocahantas Warren.
So where does this leave us? "National security" focuses on dangerous influences from outside this country, and on anything for which an excuse of excess is needed. What is necessary is a focus on the danger to America's treasured democracy that comes from inside—from inside the White Palace and from the offices of lawmakers who've forgotten where and why they are at this moment in time.
Lawmakers who will not forget the alliances that will ensure they will be in that same place after the next election.
As for the most dangerous man in America, there's no contest.