The lesson to learn about Trump after one year in office is that a US president can be completely unaccountable to his own words. Is Trumpism here to say?

The  U-Turns were too many to comprehend. Just days into his presidency and they started and as months passed, media began to expect the Trump card to be played almost on a regular basis. If Trump states A, it is inevitable he will go back on his own pledge and go with B. 

Before Trump took office, he pledged to build a wall with Mexico which the Mexicans themselves would pay for; he slammed Obama’s wars in the Middle East and said the US should pull its troops out of Afghanistan and of course, the infamous, so called Iran Deal which, so far, Trump is trying to undo, but is floundering. He also promised to have Hillary arrested on corruption charges but what this US president has succeeded in doing is making himself almost entirely unaccountable to his own words.

Trump revels in the fact that he is a petulant, self obsessed, childish narcissist who has almost no regard for convention – even if such an apparatus means the cornerstone of democracy himself. He is, in a nutshell, to democracy and freedoms what revenge porn is to marriage guidance. Trump is a hooligan who smashes his way through and demands to be listened to and taken seriously, at any cost, while making up policy on the hoof, based on the most tenuous reason.

Trump’s first days in office were marred by such u-turns while Steve Bannon waged a stellar battle in the White House with the then chief of staff and Ivanka and Jared.

As we were still getting accustomed to the staggering U-Turns or rank hypocrisy – or merely the realisation that a child like president was waking up and learning that his ideas were a tad more difficult to pull off than merely saying to someone on TV “you’re fired” – Trumpism was being created by Bannon.

In the first few weeks of the year and the Muslim ban was being enacted we quickly saw that Trump the man was almost brainless and ineffective; what was running the show was a myth cooked up largely by Bannon and supported by Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and kept alive by a dormant press pack in Washington which happily wrote article after article about his tweets with scant regard for how his policies were working.

Actually watching Trump in action, in the comfort of a sycophantic MSNBC interviewer was like watching a blind dentist do his work.

We didn’t realize it until now, with the publication of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book, that Trump does not read books or even memos; he doesn’t like listening to anybody, least of all those who eclipse his intelligence (which is a lot of people). He often just gets up and walks away from meetings with world leaders when he is not the centre of attention.

How could such a person be expected to pull off a ‘tax cuts for all’ plan? Or create a 1 trillion dollar new fund for helping the poor? Trump doesn’t register his own promises or mire; for him there is no stigma in failure to deliver on promises – even the criticism of Obama’s golf excursions, Trump managed to finally beat with 73 days on the golf course himself.

The decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement may even be reversed. And ‘draining the swamp’ simply meant overthrowing the present corrupt elite in Washington with his own family, who wasted no time on getting up to their arms in graft in Israel, while supposedly breathing new life into the peace process.

Tax cuts for all was naive and bound not to get off the ground. The Muslim travel ban – which finally was given the green light by the Supreme Court in December – is actually not even a real Muslim ban, but a plan to target pro-Iranian countries in the Middle East.

‘Remind me. Who are the bad guys in the Middle East, Mike?’

The Middle East itself has been really nothing but Trump as a man who triumphs in futility, fanning the flames of instability to swoop in with arms contracts, while probably not really understanding even where these countries were on a map of the region.

Trump’s blithering stupidity can only be compared to Britney Speers telling a journalist that she didn’t visit Japan, “as they eat too much fish there, in Africa”.

Trump’s real life persona is more funny than his own caricature. Pity the satire writers. Weeks in office, and Michael Flynn had to tell Trump that Iran was the enemy, before he himself was fired for lying to the FBI about his own corrupt dealings with the Russians.

Who could forget the awkward and cringe worthy photos of Trump doing the jitterbug with the Saudi elite in May with their dishdasha robes swaying complete with gold swords? Bannon looked bewildered, like an animal trapped. Trump looked like a child at his own birthday party where the hired clowns had turned up drunk.   

And who could forget the Trump speech which railed the Iranians and Hezbollah and made veiled warnings to Qatar – when really Trump doesn’t even understand any of these words, countries and organisations. And who could also not forget that really awkward moment when in July Trump blasted Hezbollah as a terror organisation while Saad Hariri, next to him, didn’t know where to put his eyes – as Hezbollah had just smashed ISIS and Nusra in a massive battle along the Lebanese Syrian border giving Lebanon its peace.

Steve’s gotta go. He’s just too good

Firing Bannon was a turning point. It confirmed that the insanely child-like dunce had no confidence in himself as he constantly asked his cronies who he called late at night “shall I fire so-and-so?”. It was all Trump had. The power to fire.

Bannon had to go as his vision of Trump was bigger than Trump himself. Trump realised that Steve’s plans were big and that in 2020 he would probably stand as a candidate. 

Bannon was smart, he had ideas and, ironically, was the only one in the entire entourage who believed Trump could win the presidency. Bannon was the architect of Trumpism. He put Trump into office, giving his campaign a critical margin. But soon Trump would be intimidated by him, tired of his TV interviews on 60 Minutes and his vision.

What we have seen in one year is that we, in the West, have our own Kim. Trump is as insecure, self obsessed and as stupid as any crackpot leader with a funny hair cut.

His legacy is a leader who understands almost nothing about what he is deciding on – certainly not on the world stage – and who routinely betrays all, even those who were instrumental in him getting into the Oval Office.

What we are learning about this new breed of leader is how ambivalent the American public have become to such a buffoon and already are adjusting to a new type of president.

The celebrity who places his or her own ego at the centre of every decision taken in a day made up of hundreds of such decisions. Oprah Winfrey for president. Why not? Or why not Jim Carrey? How ridiculous can this argument go? There is no limit as we currently have a president who bombs Syria and thinks it’s Iraq, engages in phallic banter about nuclear buttons with the North Korean leader, and runs a super power via Twitter.

We are witnessing a new style of governance where a leader doesn’t want to read any important information that his own people can hand him before he makes a decision; doesn’t want to hear any experts; doesn’t want to consider longer term implications.

Trump only thinks about his own 24 hour profiling. What we saw in 2017 was many examples of his creating a crisis just so he can be the centre of it then redirect the media through his twitter account.

The decision to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel and hurl the peace process into the abyss was really about making him the perpetual centre of attention in the region after one year of really doing, or achieving absolutely nothing.

In one year, Trump hasn’t really achieved much at home either, although he likes to take credit for reducing unemployment and boosting the stock market. 

It’s hard to know how many will remember this year the comments about groping women, the pushing incident at the NATO summit in Europe, the stand off with North Korea, sex scandals, the Fire and Fury book which paints a picture of chaos in the White House with Trump watching his own gorilla TV channel. Or will it be remembered for policy failures and the world coming to terms with how to deal with Trump?

The good news is that Trump was tested for his mental state. It’s comforting to know he can count to five, distinguish between a lion and a camel and subtract 7 from 100. 

Coming to terms with Trumpism is like getting over the fact that you’ve lost your family’s savings in Vegas. It’s hard to face it, but it is at least the decline of empire and this first year will be etched into the history books for that.  

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