In a strange, sick way, one of the fascinating aspects of President Trump is how his poor impulse control has repeatedly sabotaged his presidency.
Trump has already had two courts of appeals use his anti-Muslim rhetoric to strike down his two Muslim travel bans. When your argument to the court is that the bans are not unconstitutionally based on a religion, it’s awkward that the President has repeatedly called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the country. So what did he do Sunday night? More tweets where he called his revised travel ban “watered down” and “politically correct,” further undermining his legal defense that the ban doesn’t discriminate against Muslims.
His tweets that evening included this gem: “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” No expression of concern for the dead and injured and their families. Nothing about that amazing bravery of the British police who rushed into a deadly situation. Nothing about solidarity with the British people and the British government. Instead, we got a blatant, pitiful and self-destructive attempt to score political capital out of an unfolding tragedy.
Then there’s his his out-of-context attack on London’s mayor after the terrorist attack on the city Saturday night. Trump talks about presenting a unified front against terrorism, yet does this:
Seriously, how does misquoting an ally help anyone? Of course, London’s Mayor is a Muslim, Sadiq Khan, so maybe the Trumpster is simply blinded by his prejudice.
Then there’s Trumps NATO speech, which omitted any reaffirmation of America’s commitment to mutual defense of the alliance’s members, a one-for-all, all-for-one provision. It turns out that Trump’s speech, as written, and as understood, by Trump’s own national security advisors, included such a reaffirmation. Trump seems to have made the snap decision to omit that promise. That impulsive decision has seriously damaged relations with our strongest allies.
The nature of impulse control disorders is that they are self-destructive. Tump’s poor impulse control continues to damage him. Unfortunately, in the process he is damaging our country and the world.