Trump demonstrates the art of the pivot

David Hormell

President Donald Trump’s White House talks a lot, but shows little follow-through.

Change is natural. Politicians pivot. Abraham Lincoln called off his engagement with Mary Todd due to differences in lifestyle. Two years later, the two consecrated their love.

However, 45’s inconsistency is a different bear altogether. Since taking office, the only consistent component of the Trump administration is its unwavering commitment to inconsistency.

There’s the imperative and recurrent campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” But in “Apprentice”-like fashion, the White House staff is steadily dispensable.

After the tragic Parkland massacre, the president needed an empathy cheat-sheet with relatively simple talking points, like saying “I hear you” to traumatized victims.

However, there was an unexpected moment of potential growth.

The president promised the victims “the world is watching and we’re going to come up with a solution.” His intonation sounded sincere.

Even skeptics seemed optimistic as Trump expressed interest in banning bump stocks and assault weapons. Trump seemed to chastise senators Toomey and Manchin for being “afraid of the NRA.”

But the predictable pivot happened, one the country’s come to expect.

The White House placed blame on violent video games and showed renewed interest in arming teachers. No word on whether their convoy of thoughts and prayers has arrived in Parkland yet.

The consistent inconsistency is deeply troubling due to Trump’s unilateral leadership style.

The administration is based on Trump’s brand. It is partly predicated on prior name recognition – his alleged business acumen and ability as chief dealmaker. The brand manifests in the form of overpriced hats.

The White House staff unflinchingly follows what Trump says, which is concerning considering the president’s notoriously short attention span.

Consequently, Trump tends to leave a public relations mess in his wake.

The ensuing chaos contributes to the revolving door mentality of how quickly White House staff is hired and fired. The White House’s approach to the insurmountable static is a muddled mix of attacking the press and gaslighting the public. Oh, and nondisclosure agreements to prevent “leakers” from “leaking.”

Trump is a failed businessman, but those qualities carry over into his role as POTUS. Trump treats the country like a company. His simple style of speak is unlike past presidents in recent memory.

As a billionaire for the people, he retains a degree of accessibility by avoiding political jargon.

As a businessman and master manipulator, he tells people what they want to hear.

Far too often, it works.

The possible glimmer of good in this situation is the lesson Trump’s inadvertently taught the country – that the public should always retain a spirit of objectivity and never take statements at face-value.

It’s more important than ever that our elected officials step up and fight fiction.

Demand better from your elected officials. Maybe then we’ll be better-equipped to navigate the swampy waters of Trump’s White House.