When Trump Feels Cornered

It is a pattern that repeats itself: Each time that Donald Trump feels cornered, he tries to distract people with a flashy proclamation, even if he’s not clear on how to solve the issue he has proclaimed (See, “Trump has no fucking idea,” “Swimming among sharks,” Excélsior, Jan. 30, 2017). Some additional examples of distractions include diatribes about the wall, the move to ban transgender people from the military, and the exchanges with “Rocket Man.”* More recently, there is the tweet in which Trump affirmed that there would be no agreement on the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program known as DACA, created by the Obama administration and which has stopped the deportation of people who sought protection under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors proposal that offered similar protections as DACA but was never approved by Congress.

Ending DACA is an act of unnecessary cruelty, which in reality is something Trump cares little about, and it will be American society that has the most to lose. That’s why it’s debated, that’s why it’s relevant. And that’s precisely why Trump is trying to create noise by attacking it. That’s also why there is the threat to withdraw from NAFTA (where negotiation is ongoing), and why Trump’s cutting remarks will, without doubt, continue throughout the coming days. Trump urgently needs attention. The TV host-turned-president only knows one form of resolving conflicts, and continues to trust in “raising the ratings” so the program will not get cancelled.

He has problems, no doubt about it. The American president finds himself cornered on multiple fronts, any of which, individually, would have been enough to bring down any administration in the past. It is very likely that in the end, trying to divert attention will end up − like the hurricane that strikes the coastline − leaving much more immeasurable damage in its wake. This could include the troops which have been discriminated again, the deported immigrants seeking protection under DACA and the proposed DREAM Act, along with destabilizing bilateral relations, or even a nuclear war to show who has the bigger button. Trump is desperate.

He is as desperate as only a man is who bears responsibility that he is knowingly incapable of handling, while at the same time having immeasurable power that he does not know how to use. He is a man who has relied on a few partners, partners who are now willing to betray him in order to save their own skins. A man who remains alone, and someone that nobody, not a single lawyer in Washington, wants to take their chances on. A man whose family is at risk, and whose paranoia and inexperience has led him to surround himself with people of such low character as John Bolton, a person as detestable as the American president himself.

Trump has much to worry about. The meeting with North Korea, which he accepted without thinking twice, is an unknown which he agreed to without understanding the nature of what he was getting himself into and something he won’t be able to resolve without going fully into the mouth of the wolf. The ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election continues to advance, and the vise continues to tighten with negotiations for reduced sentences and immunity, matters which are leaked to the press and allow us a look at the dimension of the investigation. Stormy Daniels, the actress who is suing Trump, has followed the precautions taken by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who has been able to ruthlessly silence the bigmouth president. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are under suspicion, Melania Trump and their son avoid him, and rumors of a possible separation are beginning to fill the headlines. What would a badly wounded animal be capable of?

Trump is desperate and he does not know what to do. He thinks that, similar to what a TV host does to avoid having his program canceled, he should generate more ratings, like the ratings he gets when addressing DACA, like the ratings he gets from immigrants seeking protection under the proposed DREAM Act, and like the ratings he gets from exchanges with the North Korean dictator. Or like the ratings he gets by withdrawing from NAFTA, or ratings he would get from a nuclear war. We are in the hands of a complete imbecile and his fears. What a time we live in.

*Editor’s note: “Rocket Man” is a derisive term Trump used for the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.

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