The dog whistles turn into bugle calls as the beat towards Civil War goes on. Trump has never been more than a paper tiger in this battle. A necessary distraction as the real enemies coalesced, mobilized and fortified undetected. A marionette to amuse the masses with stories of greatness and possibility. A pawn to sacrifice in the battles ahead as the grand masters calculate their next moves; position their knights, and prepare to dethrone their enemies.
Context is everything. To properly evaluate a leader’s effectiveness one must consider their agenda and mission. This is separate from a job performance which is tied to one’s role and responsibility. Though you would hope the interests align, it is possible for a leader to still be effective in advancing their mission, even while simultaneously failing in their job responsibilities.
Take Donald Trump for instance (please). It is clear to most that Donald Trump has failed in his role as President of the United States. He makes no effort to advance the collective interests of our citizenry and in fact takes glee in alienating those who don’t support his cause. He has weakened our national security interests and eroded cultural and societal norms.
As our nation’s Chief Diplomat the President is not supposed to intentionally and with purpose alienate our allies, antagonize foes, leak national security photos and briefings, attack our intelligence agencies or place active foreign agents and known security risks in charge of our National Security Agency. Yet this is exactly what has occurred under Trump’s watch.
Scan the headlines and observe how far the boundaries of acceptability have stretched domestically. Calls for Civil War! Accusations of treason! Demands to out an anonymous whistleblower. Forget the quid pro quod with Zelensky, the layovers at Trump owned resorts and kickbacks to nearby fueling stations! Talk of a second round of tax breaks, permanent cuts to entitlements, escalation of ridiculous trade wars, all new innovations that benefit the oligarchy at the expense of the worker. That advance the agenda of Donald Trump and those he serve. Immigrants and refugees turned away at our borders to ensure the whitening of America. All roads lead to Jerusalem anyways.
Understand Donald Trump has been a successful leader in that his agenda has never been that of a traditional President. His agenda is not to advance the cause of ordinary Americans. Donald Trump seeks to advance the interests of Donald Trump and those he may benefit from, regardless of party or nationality. In this regard, Trump’s presidency has been a rousing success. If that requires the nation be divided and dissenters cleaved from the whole, so be it. All is fair game and potential collateral in the art of the deal.