WHILE his opponents fervently hope this is the start of Donald Trump’s final year in the office of President of the United States of America, it may well be wishful thinking on their part given the man’s capacity for survival against all odds and unashamedly getting away with dismissing even genuine criticism as fake news. This weekend marks the third anniversary of his inauguration as president and, with those who know best – the bookies – having him odds-on to win again, he may be back for another ceremony this time next year to mark the start of a second four-year term in office.
Whatever about nearly starting World War III at the start of this year by taking out high-profile Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani, Trump’s actions have destabilised the Middle East once again and opened up the West to retaliation by Iran. His action and subsequent threats seem to be deliberately inflammatory and like playing with fire – especially in the case of one such as himself who seems to have a very tenuous grasp on international relations and diplomacy.
His emphasis since becoming president has been to put America first and to try to keep it out of foreign conflicts, yet here he is re-igniting one with Iran and also annoying Iraq in the process. So, one wonders why this and why now?
Could it have something to do with the impeachment proceedings that have been handed down by the House of Representatives, where the Democratic Party has a majority and is using it to get at the Republican Party’s holder of the highest office in the land? President Trump, while miffed by this, displayed lots of bravado before Christmas, urging House leader Nancy Pelosi to bring it (the impeachment) on!
Even though, the proceedings will probably be overturned by the Senate where they will be tried and where the Republicans hold the majority, a lot of Trump’s proverbial dirty linen will be aired in public during the process, which the Democrats will try to drag out as long as possible in order to cause maximum embarrassment for him at the start of this election year. Theoretically, this could dent his chances of re-election, but given that the man has no shame and can never seem to do any wrong in the eyes of his diehard supporters, it may all just blow over.
What the Democrats need to do most urgently is to find themselves a credible candidate capable of taking on Donald Trump. Ever since his shock election as president in November 2016, they should have been grooming somebody to take him on and building a strong profile for voters to relate to; instead they have a motley crew of has-beens and wannabes with none among them inspiring any great confidence that they could mount a realistic challenge.
As the incumbent seeking re-election, in spite of all his foibles, Donald Trump is in a very strong position to hold on to the presidency for another four years, with few willing to bet against it. Whoever said lightning never strikes the same place twice may be rowing back on that come next November!