A President Trump Progress Report

Now that President Donald Trump has occupied the Oval Office for six months, I want to issue my own progress report on his job performance thus far.

1) Whenever a new POTUS enters the Oval Office, I keep in mind that the Peter Principle might come to life in that POTUS. The Peter Principle states “that people are promoted to their level of incompetence.”

I haven’t been alone in thinking that President Trump might embody the Peter Principle. In a September 2015 commentary titled Donald Trump is fixing to be the Peter Principle personified, Steve Watson writes, “Trump forces us to revisit the almost-forgotten Peter Principle. In short, he is a textbook case of the successful individual rising in stature and position until he reaches his downfall, at the lofty level of his human incompetence.”

Peggy Noonan had a similar thought in mind when writing her 08/04/16 column The Week They Decided He Was Crazy. Referring to what Americans would face no matter who won the 2016 presidential election, Noonan writes, “I end with a new word, at least new to me. A friend called it to my attention. It speaks of the moment we’re in. It is kakistocracy, from the Greek. It means government by the worst persons, by the least qualified or most unprincipled. We’re on our way there, aren’t we? We’re going to have to make our way through it together.”

In other words, regardless who was elected, Noonan expected the 45th POTUS to be someone who shouldn’t be in the Oval Office.

So, did Donald Trump rise to the level of his incompetence when he became the 45th President? I cannot dismiss that possibility.

2) For years, some people on the political Right kept insisting that the federal government would run better if only a businessman (as opposed to a politician) were elected President. Well, those people got what they wanted. Hopefully, they have learned their lesson, because President Trump has proven them wrong.

As the owner of his own company, Trump the CEO was used to getting his way, used to controlling all of his company. However, Trump the President doesn’t have that kind of power. As much as he tries to tell members of Congress what to do, he has no authority over them.

Likewise, Trump the CEO could kick reporters off his private property if he wanted to, but Trump the President can’t try to stop White House reporters from doing their jobs without experiencing negative consequences as a result.

Thus far, President Trump has tried to bully both members of Congress and members of the White House press. He is so used to fisticuffs in the corporate world that he hasn’t been the statesman that the POTUS needs to be. In short, President Trump has been needlessly abrasive.

3) I do not find fault with everything that President Trump has done thus far. For example, President Trump did well when he ordered a strike “on a Syrian government airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians” in Syria. In giving such an order, President Trump demonstrated that he will use force when the use of force is justified.

Also, President Trump isn’t wrong in trying to reduce the amount of federal money going to foreign causes that aren’t vital to America’s self-interest. That is what he did when he reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy and withdrew the USA from the Paris Climate Accord. Considering just how big the federal debt is right now, the USA can’t afford to spend federal money on non-vital foreign causes.

Americans on the political Left have a bad habit of extrapolating every pet cause overseas as allegedly being vital to America’s self-interest. Those pet causes could be financed with private donations coming from those who favor such causes. However, that would require those who favor such causes to be generous with their own money. Being generous with other people’s money is easy; being generous with one’s own money is difficult when one wants to have all sorts of earthly pleasures.

So, at the six-month mark in his presidency, I assess that Donald Trump isn’t a total failure, but he definitely needs to improve the way that he interacts with other politicians, with members of the press and with people in general. His use of fisticuffs needs to stop.

Department of Injustice
Seeking Civility in Political Discourse
  • Rock ThisTown

    “So, at the six-month mark in his presidency, I assess that Donald Trump isn’t a total failure . . .”

    Given that he isn’t Hillary, I consider Trump’s Presidency a success. And a huge part of that success includes naming Gorsuch to the SC.

  • Retired military

    The only people the GOPe are going to hurt with their antitrump crap is the GOPe. I predict in 2019 that McCuckold McConnell and RINO Ryan wont be in their present positions.

  • Retired military

    So much for your civility in politics from the left

    SNBC’s Chris Matthews Compares Trump to Idi Amin, Kim Jong-Un; ‘He Loves the Parades!’

  • Paul Hooson

    Trump achievements?

    • Hank_M

      Yes, achievements. As I wrote a while back, here are some, not all, of what he’s been able to accomplish since taking office.

      Outstanding cabinet appointments
      DOJ ends Holder-era ‘slush fund’ payouts to outside groups
      Pulled out of Paris Climate agreement
      Illegal immigration is way down
      An executive order that would require agencies to revoke two regulations for every new rule regulation
      Neil Gorsuch
      New Coal Mine opens
      Keystone and Dakota pipeline approval
      Withdrawing from the TPP
      Executive order to hold VA exployees accountable
      Halting funding for UN Population Fund
      Signed a trade deal with China that will increase exports
      Syrian air base strike
      Moab’s dropped on Isis in afghanistan
      Cyber Security Executive order
      Created a voter fraud commission
      executive order banning administration officials from lobbying their federal agencies for five years
      repealed Obama’s Blacklisting Rule
      rescinded former President Obama’s pro-transgender guidelines
      The Justice Department dropped its lawsuit against North Carolina’s “bathroom bill”.
      established a policy in April 2017 against female genital mutilation
      signed an executive order on religious liberty
      Used the actual words “radical Islamic terrorism” in his inaugural address

      Less important but a nice gesture, had Churchill’s bust returned to the Oval Office

      And the little cherry on the cake, had Michelle Obama’s lunch rules tossed.

      • jim_m

        Trump kills 16 regulations for every new one, crushing 2-for-1 goal

        President Trump’s administration, on orders to kill two regulations for every new one, ripped up the playbook during its first six months, eliminating 16 old rules for every new one, according to top officials.

        “It’s really the beginning of a kind of fundamental regulatory reform and a reorientation of where we’re going with regulation,” said Neomi Rao, the newly installed administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget.

        In a briefing with a handful of reporters, Rao laid out the administration’s regulation agenda, declaring, “It’s a beginning…you’re going to see a rollback of regulations.”

        Key highlights from OMB:

        In the last five months of fiscal year 2016, the Obama
        administration imposed $6.8 billion in annualized costs from
        economically significant rules. By contrast, the Trump administration
        has imposed less than $0 in regulatory costs during its first five

        Comparing Obama’s first five months in office to Trump’s, Obama
        imposed $3.1 billion in costs. Trump has cut regulations, realizing an
        annualized cost saving of $22 million.

        The administration is “ahead of schedule” on the 2-for-1 regulatory
        cut, banking 16 regulatory actions, including 12 cut by Congress.

  • Olsoljer

    Sorry, must have misread the lead in or this was a misprint – thought it read ” ……..Progress Report”. Apparently should read “,,,,,,Progressive’s Report”.

  • Idahoser

    What we gain most from the Trump presidency is the understanding that no politician has ever been what we thought we had been electing. Every one of them is a clown who should not be trusted to change a diaper without close supervision, and most definitely they should not be making decisions that affect the real world!

  • I believe Andrew Klavan has a more accurate assessment:

    In fact, it seems to me — a reluctant Trump voter — President The Donald has done a pretty darn good job so far. Rough-hewn, inexperienced and sometimes too much of a loudmouth for his own and the country’s good, he has nonetheless managed to increase American freedom and productivity while dragging us back from the brink of the Moribund European Socialist Please-Kill-Us-Mohammed anti-Western vision of the last guy who held the office.