The article “Trump claims he has the power to pardon himself” in the June 6 edition reminds us how uniquely unfit Donald Trump remains for the U.S. presidency. His first 500 days have been a clutter of mind-boggling mendacity and utter failure to learn.
First, Trump is a serial liar, having made a shocking number of false claims. From inauguration crowd size and Obama “tapping his wires,” to his latest hallucination about campaign “spies,” his spewing of falsehoods and gas-lighting of the public is simply reprehensible.
Arguably, Trump’s lying is unmatched in U.S. presidential history. Unlike Nixon and Clinton, notorious liars, Trump seems immune from shame, lacking a moral compass and absent of any core convictions. This allows him to operate with zero concern for facts. Instead of embracing truth and transparency (as he lies about doing), Trump chooses to conceal and obfuscate reality on an unprecedented level.
Second, Trump seems to have learned virtually nothing about effective governing beyond his proclaimed knack for “making great deals” (which he hasn’t done). From his foolish selection of repealing “Obamacare” as his first major initiative to his whiplash diplomacy toward a North Korea summit, he plods along ineptly like the walking tabloid he’s always been, spewing divisive nonsense, a stumbling ignoramus, a cheap, conspiracy theory promoter, a dime-a-dozen reality show celebrity attempting to lead a government, the structure and function of which he still barely understands.
Rather than developing the slightest degree of historical perspective and improving his leadership through cooperation, persuasion and inclusion, Trump remains instead a perpetually self-satisfied bully, a simpleton egomaniac stomping on any and all dissent as heresy.
Trump’s lies and refusal to learn, though not unexpected by the majority of 2016 voters, make for many punchlines — but, for America’s long-term future, not funny ones.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.