Not a minute too soon. Someone will become the 46th President of the United States, following Donald Trump. What he or she will inherit will depend greatly on how long Trump is allowed to inhabit the Oval Office. Whether it be the full four years of his term or whether his stay is interrupted by impeachment… or resignation.
In some respects their job will be easy. The current bar is now so low that to be perceived as effective they need only be an average public speaker with an adequate vocabulary. They should avoid not only the perception of conflicts of interests but also numerous obvious ones. It will be hard to be more dishonest than the current President so we’ll already credit them for being a vast improvement in that area. They’ll need to actually fill the posts required to run the government and not place all the responsibility in the hands of their immediate family. It would help if half the administration didn’t have ties to foreign powers. The new President cannot help but be seen as better than Trump. Unfortunately, they will also inherit what he leaves behind.
The current President will leave a foreign policy in disarray. Former allies will be wary because every promise, treaty and norm under previous administrations were proven to be flimsy. American promises will be seen as subject to the whims of the President and therefore able to be changed every four years. Should they still be in place, other nations would be concerned about the fate of NATO, NAFTA, The Paris Accords, The Iran Nuclear Deal. The new Commander in Chief will have to mend relationships across the world. In addition to having bombed Syria and Afghanistan, sent belatedly “an armada” towards North Korea, and threatened Iran. His administration has threatened Venezuela, and criticized Australia, Britain and France.
Domestically, the President will have to contend with fractured relationships with the Hispanic community that lived with suspicion and raids. Muslims who are spied on in their religious communities and fear to travel abroad lest they not be able to return. Native Americans who watched one more treaty ignored when the government valued dollars over promises. African Americans witnessed voter suppression attempts and rogue police departments befriended by the current President and Attorney General. Women lived with the known misogynist and sexual predator keeping his job while Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly did not. The American people had to come to grips with the possibility that our country had literally sold its soul to special interests; foreign and domestic. There will be much for the new President to repair but will have an initial abundance of goodwill to attempt it.
They will likely still inherit a Congress committed to partisanship that places Party above Country. Depending on the circumstances leading to the end of the current President’s term. We can only hope that the few adults in the room will lead and that common sense will result in a restoration of a purpose not dictated solely by the desire to be reelected. The 46th President will carry the hopes of all Americans that they take the office seriously. That they take the American people seriously and not merely as pawns in their reality show attempt to increase personal wealth. We will hope and pray that 46 is worthy of the office.
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