Washington, DC, May 16 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, predicts that President Donald Trump will resign as President of the United States within 90 days. Seriously. Please understand that this newspaper is not saying that Trump should resign but only that he will do so by August 15, 2017.
There are three reasons he’ll resign: frustration, boredom, and stress. Notice that his resignation will have nothing whatsoever to do with the “revelation” which our sister newspaper, The Washington Post, reported yesterday that Trump disclosed highly classified information about the terrorist group ISIS to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on May 10, 2017. Trump didn’t break the law, because, as President of the United States, he has broad discretion to declassify material, even intelligence secrets.
Could you imagine trying to get a complex piece of legislation through the United States Congress? It’s like trying to stuff a large octopus into a small box. The 535 House members and Senators are all egotistical politicians totally out for themselves. That doesn’t even mention the tens of thousands of paid lobbyists who weigh down the halls of the United States Capitol every day.
Trump has never been a detail guy. He has brought broad concepts to real estate development but utilized the services of others to effectuate the details and minutiae that the most complex business deals require. Trump is a very different businessman from Carl Icahn, a New York City financier. Trump enunciates the big ideas and his Trump Organization, including his daughter Ivanka and his two oldest sons, put the projects together. Icahn, on the other hand, will get down into the trees while still remembering the forest. In a purchase of a steel plant several years ago, Icahn directly negotiated every single sentence in the asset purchase agreement himself, even though he had a team of lawyers sitting around him in the room. Icahn doesn’t have Trump’s bluster, but he also doesn’t have Trump’s ability to dominate a room full of people.
In all fairness, Trump is not a scholar of American history. That’s one aspect of the job of President where he’s had some trouble understanding his place within the system. A President is not a Chief Executive Officer of a company. (Actually, neither is a county judge.) A President has 325 million bosses with whom he interacts quite regularly. A company CEO usually just has a board of directors that often accedes to his direction except in times of crisis. Trump’s lack of knowledge of American concepts of separation of powers has hurt his ability to move within the institutional constraints of the presidency. It hurt him during the first attempt to repeal Obamacare when he offended several dozen members of the House Republican Conference during a private behind-closed-doors meeting where they didn’t appreciate his not-so-thinly-veiled threats. It has hurt President Trump in his attempt to control information emanating from the White House.
Trump is finding that he can’t act by fiat. He believed that his force of personality would work in the American government. He’s discovered that the Presidency is very different from running a large and successful real estate development company.
Donald Trump seems genuinely bored. He doesn’t like legislative complexity. He didn’t expect that, as President, he’d have to wade into the thicket of legislative detail. Clearly, his White House team is not up for the job of drafting legislation either. Trump didn’t pick them for their legislative ability. He picked the right team to run a national version of his Trump Organization that crafted big-picture ideas and then asked others to set the details in order.
The problem that Trump has run into is that he came into the job depending upon the Republican-controlled Congress to sort out the details. They would’ve been the Legal Department and Logistics team. That’s another fundamental misunderstanding Trump – and most Americans – have of what Congress actually is. It’s almost 535 mostly vacuous politicians. Once in a while there are some real policy wonks who make it to Congress, such as John Kasich during the prime of his career, Max Baucus (former U.S. Senator from Montana), and Don Nickles (former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma). Detailed policy people are quite rare, because the skills required to get elected to Congress have little or nothing to do with the ability to understand policy details and make careful and reasoned decisions.
Trump has discovered that he can’t depend upon anyone in Congress for the details. Instead, either his White House team has to sort out details in lengthy meetings with lobbyists and business leaders or it just doesn’t get done. With the health care overhaul, it didn’t get done.
Trump doesn’t like his job in the White House, because he’s finding that it’s mostly boring. Policy details for a Medicaid overhaul are not nearly as exciting as designing a golf resort or an office building on the Upper East Side. President Trump has started to leave a lot of the policy details to his top aides such as Jared Kushner, his daughter Ivanka, and H.R. McMaster, his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs.
Fortunately, President Trump has chosen some outstanding people in his higher level Cabinet positions. His top-level national security team is arguably one of the strongest this nation has enjoyed in decades: Rex Tillerson at State, General James Mattis at Defense, and former Governor Nikki Haley at the United Nations. The president’s Vice President, Mike Pence, is a clear-minded, loyal, and circumspect manager, who contributes a lot of sober thought to White House decisions. President Trump clearly likes and respects Pence.
Sadly, President Trump exhibits the classic signs of stress. He’s overeating and gaining a lot of weight. He looks tired. He’s usually pretty unhappy.
Being president is not a lot of fun when you can’t get anything done. Remember that President Obama didn’t really get much done in his two presidential administrations until his second term when he decided to strain his credibility through the process of legislation by executive order. Obama certainly didn’t have a strong legislative record as president after his first two years when the democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives.
By all accounts, even President Trump’s golf game has suffered. Since golf is 150% a mental game, it’s tough to play when you can’t focus on your shots. President Donald Trump just isn’t having fun.
Some of you may remember that the Publisher of The Golden Hammer predicted the 50-state outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election (only missing a correct prediction in one state, Colorado). Large-scale human actions are much easier to predict than the actions of an individual. Isaac Asimov’s character Hari Seldon in The Foundation Trilogy created an entire science called “psychohistory” that predicted large-scale human progressions. Some would argue that mathematician John Nash’s “equilibrium” is the quantitative precursor to the development of psychohistory as a real science.
Predicting one person’s actions is still quite difficult and a mathematical impossibility. But that’s where the Trump resignation prediction is a bit different. It’s pretty easy to see the direction the American and world population is going. They’re making it harder and harder for President Trump to accomplish any of the reforms he had hoped to implement. With a Republican Party whose leadership (i.e., the members of Congress, the Governors, the state legislators, and the local government elected officials) is largely unwilling to stand by the principles of limited government, less government spending, and less government interference in people’s daily lives that the Party activists still believe the Party represents, President Trump stands with the American people in disappointment in the discovery that they’re just a bunch of individual politicians looking out for themselves.
When the American people have conclusively turned against him, President Trump will decide that life is too short and it’s not worth the frustration, boredom, and stress. He’ll move back to New York City so that his son Barron can return to his school before the fall term begins.