As I understand the concept behind the editorial page policy of The Australian, they provide something for everyone, articles for people with sense, and then utter nonsense for those on the left. Which brings me to Troy Bramston’s column today: A LIAR, A FAILURE, A FOOL UNFIT FOR PURPOSE, the headline found in the paper but not online, proving beyond all need for further evidence that journalists may well be the people least fit to comment upon the news. In case you could not tell, his article is about Donald Trump.
My interest is always in reading critiques of beliefs that I hold myself, to see if my beliefs can stand up to what others have to say. Sadly, this was as empty as the worst of the worst anti-Trump rants you may ever read. And just to prove he wasn’t just ranting, he told us so himself, proving just how lacking in self-awareness he is:
This is not an anti-Trump rant.
What I have always sought but never found anywhere is a list of policy mistakes Donald Trump has made. Start with some kind of outcome that we might agree on as desirable, outline the policy adopted by the President, explain why it is wrong, and then outline what ought to be done instead. Alas, you will live a long time before coming across any such thing. Instead, all you will get are intemperate rants by ignorant fools who cannot marshal an argument.
He begins with telling us how he has since childhood had an “obsession” with the American presidency and America’s presidents. Not proof of much other than that you might know their names, and could place Franklin Pierce in an ordered list. You can also see the kinds of people he must hang out with, all just like him:
Today, like most people, I look on with complete horror at Donald Trump’s disastrous presidency, which has diminished the office and damaged the reputation of the US. Trump is an utterly grotesque figure: a bully, a narcissist, a serial liar and a fool who is devoid of empathy. He is reckless and dangerous. He is completely out of his depth in the White House.
Trump has shattered the norms of presidential behaviour. There is not an ounce of dignity or grace within him. He shows no respect to almost everyone, including current and former staff, cabinet members, congressional Republicans and Democrats, governors, presidential predecessors and voters. There is no self-reflection or contrition, and he takes no responsibility for any of his actions or the lack of them.
Wow. That’s the usual inane list we get with people who have no clue whatsoever although somewhat more intemperate than the average. But aside from his rant on Donald Trump’s approach to dealing with the Chinese flu, there are zero specifics. Here is something that is utterly false as he starts rumbling through his charge sheet:
The full extent of Trump’s catastrophic presidency is evident in his response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is surely one of the greatest and gravest presidential failures. Trump ignored warnings about COVID-19, downplayed its impact and delayed acting. His belated response has been flawed. He blamed others. He misled people about the virus’s impact, and about testing and treatment. None of this can be disputed. Yet he calls the US response “a great success story”. He is not the trusted and reassuring leader needed in a crisis.
And then to show how out of it Trump is on dealing with the Chinese flu, he then says this:
After Trump suggested injecting disinfectant or exposing the body to ultraviolet light as cures for coronavirus, and repeatedly promoted hydroxychloroquine as a “game changer” when the Food and Drug Administration warned it could be dangerous, how can anyone defend him? It is beyond reason for anyone to endorse this mad behaviour.
There are two possibilities here in judging the provenance of the article. (A) He knows better but counts on his readers to be unaware that what he has written has already been shown a thousand times over to be untrue. Or (B) He is absolutely stone cold ignorant of the fact that the President never said any such thing. Whichever it is, it would make him unfit to be expressing his opinions in a respectable journal.
And so to his finale.
In Kate Anderson Brower’s forthcoming book, Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump (HarperCollins), Trump shows no empathy for those who served before him. He claims he has been “treated worse” than Lincoln, who had brutal press coverage and was assassinated. The book shows Trump is not only ignorant and incompetent but also plagued by a toxic mix of insecurity, vanity and braggartism.
Trump’s admirers make excuses for his disastrous presidency. They are the same people who admire Eisenhower and Reagan or John Howard and Scott Morrison. Trump’s critics, they say, have “Trump derangement syndrome”. But it is demented to suggest these presidents and prime ministers resemble Trump’s leadership approach. Morrison’s response to COVID-19 was timely and informed by expert advice. He has been cautious, reassuring and consistent in his communication.
The US has often been blessed with leadership that has inspired people around the world. No other country has assembled a greater array of political leaders over 2½ centuries. None of them was perfect. But the greatness in America can be seen in presidents such as George Washington, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. They had integrity, authority and credibility. They knew how to lead and the rest of the world looked to the US. But not any more.
And what you see above are mostly his words since for anyone with common sense and an understanding of the world in which we live, just quoting back his own words with all his tears and the stamping of his fee, is all one needs to discredit his empty and shallow ranting. I will finish with the first of the comments on his article listed as “Most liked”.
Troy, perhaps you could spend a little more of your rant on the endless persecution Trump has suffered right from initial campaigns to spy on his campaign by the Obama administration which used the entire force and might of the presidency, FBI, CIA, media and the Washington swamp to destroy him and get their darling, Hillary, her rightful place. I bet you’re disappointed General Flynn’s charges have been dropped and that devastating charges will follow for many in the highest levels of Obama’s swamp. Give us an article on Flynn please. What he’s suffered would have destroyed lesser men. He’s entitled to his eccentricities after that. He’s exactly what his nation needs, not in any cookie cutter mould but a disrupter who has saved the US from Hillary and the swamp. I’m with him, not you.