Trump’s Approach to Governance is Throwing Shit at the Wall and Seeing What Sticks

Donald Trump doesn’t understand how the government works. You don’t need to be a policy wonk to understand that. A well-read high schooler taking AP Government has a better idea of how the government works than Donald Trump.

An example: In an incredibly brief press conference event in the Rose Garden, Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization. That Trump is seeking, yet again, to shun America’s allies because something something something China, is not surprising. Trump is petty on a level that is still incomprehensible.

Immediately upon announcing his withdrawal from the WHO, the question was raised on whether or not he even could withdraw from the WHO, since there’s no formal language in their charter for procedures to leave it. This falls in line with his social media executive order, which most people don’t think is even enforceable, but, if nothing else, might make social media companies think twice about fact checking him.

In the midst of protests, at a time when just about any halfway decent leader would be calling for peace and calm, Trump announced that he was going to declare ANTIFA — a loosely affiliated group of left-wing extremist that I’m not sure actually exists but that your Uncle Chad won’t shut up about during Christmas dinner because they’re the real bad guys or whatever — a terrorist organization. Like most things, no one is even sure Trump has the authority to do so.

This is just how Trump works now. He exists to show up, say he’s gonna do a thing, a bunch of people say he can’t do the thing, and he either keeps trying to tweak the thing into something he can do, or he gives up and retreats. We saw this when it took three executive orders to get his Muslim travel ban to go into affect. We saw it in his attempts to repeal Obamacare and only being able to invalidate a small piece of it. We saw it when he threatened to withhold federal funds from states who try to implement mail-in ballots, or whenever he floats that he’ll delay the election, or said he’ll override governors who won’t open churches Each day unleashes some new thought from Trump’s mind that conflicts with present reality.

Trump is ill-equipped for this job. I think maybe, just maybe, the last three years have dulled our minds to this fact, seeing as though the country wasn’t actually on fire. We kept lowering the bar of what was acceptable of a President so that we could get through the every day rigors of life without being concerned that a senile old buffoon was technically in charge of it all.

But never has it become more clear that, as a baseline, a President should, ya know, actually know what the fucking President can do, and implement his power in an adequate way. Hell, even if Trump did a mediocre job, it’d be better than whatever he’s done.

Trump has abdicated his responsibilities. Trump never wanted to be President, and this moment is showing it more clearly than anything. He’s never had any compulsion to learn the nuances of the job. He doesn’t want to be briefed on anything. He’s surrounded himself with glad-handing yes men. He’s a scared old man playing a tough guy in a world where “playing a tough guy” means increasingly less, in the wake of a pandemic claiming 104,000 lives (and counting) and racial tension erupted to literal actual cities being set on fire.

Trump is uniquely unprepared for this because his usual style of simply saying stupid shit and everyone explaining why the world doesn’t work that way until we forget what the original issue was isn’t working. His only trump card is sewing division, and that’s the exact thing that’s going to keep these protests going. His more extreme supporters, who are always clamoring for a good ol’ fashioned race war, are sitting at home while US cities burn like the cowards they are. They don’t want none of this noise, and neither does Donald Trump.

And you know what? Maybe it’s good that Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing. Maybe that will keep him from causing more damage. Maybe our best hope is that Trump simply disappears from public view and descends more into Twitter based attacks. Trump’s public appearances have dwindled since he suggested that people should inject disinfectant to cure the coronavirus. His aids are squabbling over what kind of response he should give to the nation; rest assured that whatever he chooses, it will be the wrong one.

What is for certain, though, is that Trump couldn’t govern his way out of a paper bag. Hell, Trump doesn’t even understand what governance is, or a paper bag, or why you’d want to try and escape a paper bag if you were in one. He’d probably just pout at the paper bag and call it nasty, and then when the paper bag didn’t do anything he’d sit in a corner, because Trump is a bully and a bully can’t deal with not being responded to, but he’s the kind of bully who’s never gonna punch anyone because he’s afraid he’ll get punched back. By a paper bag.

Trump is simultaneously the least honest and the most honest man alive. He will tell you he’s doing a good job and you know he’s doing more terribly than you can fathom. He will tell you no one’s ever had to deal with the things he’s had to deal with and you will automatically know that tons of people have it harder. If Trump says the sky is blue, you should question if it’s green, and only upon reading loads of scientific articles should you start to believe otherwise.

Saying Donald Trump is a bad President at this point is like saying “humans need oxygen to breathe” or “water is wet” or “Popeyes’ chicken sandwich is overrated”. It’s a fact so painfully obvious that I think even his more ardent supportors would admit it.

No, I think we’ve move past “Trump is a bad President”. We need to start to quantify the ways in which he’s a bad President, so that America does not make the same mistake again. There should be a baseline requirement for becoming President, and part of that should be “knowing how to do your job”. Or at least, faking it until you make it.

Because this shit? This shit right here? This shit right here, fam? This is not acceptable. Having a President who doesn’t know how to be a President is worse than having no President at all.

The crisis are piling up and Trump has no way forward. He has no answers for the blood on his hands. He has no answers for racial tension. He has no answers for fixing the economy. He has no answers for anything plaguing us right now.

And did I mention hurricane season is about to batter the United States?

America is burning, and it’s head fire fighter can’t even figure out how to use a fire extinguisher. None of this shit that’s happening is the end. It’s just the beginning.

About KC Complains A Lot 135 Articles
KC Complains A Lot is another refugee from Deadspin. He enjoys writing and not caving to pressure from herbs.


  1. If I may argue, I think you’re far too generous with assuming his ability to do anything beyond take anything he can grab for himself, shit all over everything that remains, and then blame someone else for making the mess while playing the victim for not being able to loot absolutely everything.

    • I probably am giving him too much credit. Whenever I write about him I have to remind myself that I really have to take things he does at really, really basic level, because he’s shown exactly zero ability to think on any kind of higher level.

      I mean so many other Presidents would’ve milked this pandemic to put money in his pockets and ridden some cheap patriotism to a comfy second term where he can put even more money in his pockets but he can’t even grift correctly, and grifting is all he knows how to do.

      • …I have a friend who’s big on the idea of emergent properties…to hear him tell it the shortest list of the most elementary principles will…through sufficient iteration…produce what looks like staggering complexity…it’s basically what makes the game of go so difficult/elegant/cool/fascinating to AI developers looking for headlines

        …so my guess is we aren’t exactly wrong or right whether we refer to him as cleverer or dumber than he seems to be

        …any appearance of anything passing for coherent thought rather than utterly uninformed kneejerk reaction based on a core of morally & intellectually bankrupt axioms working in an instinctive fashion is probably either the emergent property thing or down to someone other than him (like that looting/shooting dog-whistle quote the other day)

        …that aside I have been revising my best guess for the true level of his intelligence downwards for several decades now & in that respect all his presidency seems to have done is make that downward curve steeper more or less daily…I’m almost certain that if I was better with math I could use that to prove that a negative number can in fact defy logic & exceed infinity

        …but I’m sure you’re almost as grateful as I am that I won’t be trying to show my working for that around these parts

  2. Pfft. Trump would NEVER say the sky is blue. NEVER. That’s a liberal conspiracy foisted on loyal MAGAs by the lying mainstream media funded by George Soros and bolstered by textbooks used in our failing public school system.

    • Funny you should mention George Soros, my sister posted this thing about a federal officer getting killed in the looting and one of her Fox News loving friends posted this (with no video or evidence of any kind):

      “there was a vid earlier today that showed a white guy directing black guys, and paying them, as to the location, violence and destruction the black guys should immediately perform…as i thought for the last day or so…the white guy was a soros employee….think about that…also, remember that obama has trained 35,000 “community organizers” who, in the book of alinsky, are the ones to determine how to get community groups to be divisive and against each other….”

      Fucking people are so stupid! I’m getting out of the human race.

      • …let me know when you have a forwarding address?

        …might know one or two folks willing to pitch in & get things set up nice

        …some of them have popcorn

  3. I think trump wants to be president, he just doesn’t want to do the work of a president. He wants the press conferences, the campaign rallies, the bigly 4th of July celebration. But he doesn’t want to govern, it’s hard and not very much fun.

    • Well, to be perfectly fair, it’s really not hard for Trump. He doesn’t fucking do it. He’s only doing the “fun” things that he feels like doing. Everything else is “executive time” consisting of napping; watching Fox News, CNN, and that creepy right-wing network; golf; eating Big Macs; and tweeting. A housecat could manage that schedule and they sleep 18 hours a day.

      “Hard” for Trump would involve reading anything more complicated than a Magic Treehouse chapter book. If he had actually been forced to read, he would have quit in two days.

    • …it’s similar to what bryanlsplinter was saying about how he “doesn’t fucking do it” but I have a friend in the UK who made a similar observation about Boris Johnson & I think it works for either man

      …he wanted to *become* Prime Minister/President & he wants to *have been* Prime Minister/President…unfortuately for everyone up to & including the man himself he’s entirely unequal to the task & appears to have zero interest in *being* Prime Minister/President & his tenure happened to coincide with a period in history when the position called for someone who could show up & know what they were doing when they did

      …a perfect shitstorm, if you will

  4. Oh, hey, here’s something Trump is managing to accomplish. He’s seizing private land for his stupid-ass border wall under cover of the pandemic:

    He’s trying to get 400 miles (down from 450) done before the election. That would mean he would have *checks math* approximately 20% of his wall done. Meaning that people could only walk across the remaining 1600 “unwalled” miles of border. This is roughly equivalent to me putting up a gate to get into my yard, without erecting the additional fencing. Making border walls great again!

  5. huh…. guess im a terrorist again now…
    been a while
    way back when i figured i was an anarchist thats what they called us too
    guess i became antifa just intime to be cool
    hmmm… better start thinking about what movement to align meself with next…. dont want to lose those sweet terrorist kudos

  6. “We need to start to quantify the ways in which he’s a bad President, so that America does not make the same mistake again.”

    That’s so sweet that you think we won’t wind up here again. Destroying the public school system over the course of the past 70 years so that we can have an unfathomably ignorant populace that will swallow all the right wing bullshit that gets fed to them is exactly the desired outcome for Republicans–and not a few corporate Democrats. Trump may, or may not, be here until 2024–but we will damned sure find ourselves with another laughably stupid motherfucker with an R next to his name sitting in the White House again; and that will almost certainly come after a relatively successful Democratic president who just finished cleaning up the mess from the last Republican. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The only way to fix this is to spend the next half century pouring trillions of dollars into our educational system. Unfortunately, that will never happen because “how will we pay for it?” So, strap in, because in 20 more years we’ll be longing for the halcyon days of 2020, just like 2001 suddenly seems like a more innocent time compared to now.

    • When Matt Bevin was governor of Kentucky he tried to have Civics removed as a graduation requirement. The GOP doesn’t want citizens to understand how our government is supposed to work.

      • @Hannibal

        The Rs “The Government doesn’t work. Elect me and I’ll make sure of it.”

        Their base cheers from their government-assistance scooters while they wait for their government assistance checks and meds to arrive in the tax-payer funded mail, delivered over tax-payer funded roads, as they eagerly watch their favorite propaganda on the tax-payer funded cable network.

        But what has Rome ever done for us???

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