By Robert Mann
There is an episode in the new Netflix series about Queen Elizabeth II, “The Crown,” in which the new, 27-year-old sovereign frets about her lack of education. “I know almost nothing,” Elizabeth complains to her mother before she retains a tutor to help her with history and world events.
What a quaint notion: one should prepare for one’s job, especially if one is head of state. If only our callow president-elect, Donald Trump, cared half as much about his readiness as the Netflix version of the queen.
It’s one thing if Elizabeth has nothing intelligent to say to President Dwight Eisenhower; it’s quite another if, in real life, Trump phones Taiwan’s president and bumbles into an international incident with China.
Or if, instead of British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump makes Nigel Farage, the racist former United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP) head, his first official post-election contact in the UK. Or if he compounds his error by suggesting — in a tweet, no less! — that May should make Farage the UK’s ambassador to the United States. Or if he honors the murderous Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, with a coveted White House invitation.
And he not only lacks diplomatic skills. He’s also at sea in domestic affairs and, even, the basics of running the White House. Remember how Trump bragged about refusing debate prep?
On his first visit to the Oval Office, Trump was reportedly shocked that Obama’s staffers would leave and he must replace them. Days later in an interview, Trump confused climate change with clean air (after having said it was a Chinese hoax). And he labors under the bizarre impression that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in a rigged election — that he won.
Trump apparently does not even grasp the basics of the Constitution he will swear to defend. In a meeting with House Republicans in July, a member asked Trump if he would protect Article I, which vests federal lawmaking authority in Congress. Trump, witnesses reported, responded, “I want to protect Article I, Article II, Article XII.” Trump seemed unaware the Constitution has only seven articles.
This is the ignorant man who, in a few weeks, will have the nuclear codes and unfettered authority to use them. Oh, did I mention that Trump, despite knowing next to nothing about military and foreign affairs, has repeatedly stiffed his national security briefers? Last year, you may recall, he told NBC he gets his national security information from “the shows.”
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