Oliver Willis

5 Terrifying Behaviors Trump Has Completely Normalized In The Presidency Already

Donald Trump is not a normal leader. He does not adhere to the acceptable standards of presidential leadership, and while his slack jawed followers think this is an endearing or cute quality since they are the same type of people who believe reality TV is real, this sort of thing is extremely dangerous.

Here are 5 things Trump does as president that are completely abnormal, and the mainstream media rarely questions the behavior and often actively encourages it.

5. Trump Has Transformed The Presidency Into An Ad Campaign For His Crappy Brand

Trump’s brands are not luxury brands. They are trashy knockoffs designed for a mass audience who doesn’t have a clue what real luxury is. Trump’s stuff is mass-market outsourced material, with little to no quality control. Then, he slaps his name on it and sells it to the people who believe he’s really a billionaire.

Now he’s using your tax dollars to hawk his wares. Trump has spent every weekend since he was sworn in as president either sleeping, dining, or playing golf at a Trump property. He’s been more than willing to sacrifice the security of information for a photo op while chowing down at the restaurant at his tacky Florida resort.

It was gauche enough when Trump was simply lying through his teeth on The Apprentice about his brand being the first choice of the ultra-wealthy, but now that he’s using Air Force One for the Trump brands like a NASCAR stock car has 29 logos plastered all over it, he’s reached a whole new level of disgusting.

4. Trump Surrounds Himself With Completely Incompetent People

We’ve had incompetent presidents before from both parties, but even those leaders (hi, George W. Bush) usually have surrounded themselves with oily partisan hacks who knew what they were doing and could use that knowledge to prop up the president.

Donald Trump either has nobody around him that knows what they’re doing, or the few that might are clearly getting shouted down by their childlike boss.

Months into his presidency, key agencies have no staff and are twiddling their thumbs. It isn’t that the Democrats suddenly found a spine, but that Trump hasn’t even submitted hundreds of names for Senate approval. It isn’t that Trump should be compiling these lists himself, but his guy or gal that should be doing it just… hasn’t.

The flunkies who have some sort of experience with political organization (Trump has stocked the upper echelons of his administration with people who are better at kissing his ass than getting things done) are consistently sidelined by Trump. Reince Priebus appears to be a movie villain sidekick come to life, but he has experience within the Republican Party ranks, but it is obvious that in the Trump White House he’s just window dressing and the Milhouse to be kicked in the rear whenever something goes horrifically wrong.

But he’s the exception to the norm. Kellyanne Conway might have once been a competent pollster, but despite her title of “campaign manager” and now as a “counselor” to the President, she’s obviously just someone who kissed up to Trump and likes going on TV a lot. That’s a trait that defines a considerable amount of how Trump views the world…

3. Trump Obsessively Watches Cable News & Lets It Do His Thinking For Him

Cable news, of all the forms of content loosely defined as “journalism,” is objectively THE WORST. There are supermarket tabloids filled with invented stories that inform more than cable news does.

Which is why it is scary as hell that Trump a) watches so much cable tv and b) lets it do so much of his thinking for him.

Trump is your 70-year old grandpa or uncle who has simply given up on figuring out the modern world, refusing to adapt to changing social standards and beliefs, and instead wraps himself in the reinforcing cocoon of the Fox News world. But instead of sitting in the basement in his ratty old recliner, Trump has the nuclear football.

Cable news informs Trump more than any intelligence briefing does (he doesn’t have the attention span or interest in those), and he responds to it in real time both in his tweets or in policy. Trump’s recent announcement that all 46 holdover U.S. attorneys would be fired came less than 24 hours after Fox News’ Sean Hannity told him to do so on his show.

Why does he rely on cable news so much?

2. Trump Has No Idea What He’s Doing, And Fakes It. Badly.

The idea that Trump is clueless is not a partisan take on his presidency. There’s a difference between Republicans who follow an ideology into terrible positions (Paul Ryan, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney) and Trump, who just doesn’t understand anything.

He’s spent his entire life in a bubble, surrounded by people who are paid to tell him he’s great at what he does (he isn’t, that’s why his companies went bankrupt so often). He believes that a good headline is the most important thing in the world, and in his defense when he was just a real estate guy and a reality TV star, it really was. Trump believes leaking flattering news that makes him look good is as far as anything needs to go. He’s obsessed with winning the moment, and has zero interest in any long-term impact of his decision making. Which is fine, if you aren’t president of the United States.

Trump isn’t good at faking his disinterest and lack of knowledge. He’s the kid who didn’t do his homework that can’t fake an Eddie Haskell smile and nod when the teacher catches him on it. He believes pursing his lips and nodding his head fools people, because for decades his paid flunkies let him live in a consequence-free world where everyone clearly knew “Mr. Trump” was a bad liar but the checks cleared so why call him on it?

Every world leader in the world knows this by now, and so do most domestic politicians, with the exception of a few dumb Republicans and some way-too-gullible Democrats (as well as craven red state Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin who believes his path to re-election runs through Trump country).

The rest of the world can’t wait to play poker with a terrible bluffer like Trump.

1. Trump Blatantly Demonizes Muslims And Latinos

Because Trump lets cable news do all his thinking for him, the key to much of that audience, especially on Fox News, is blatant bigotry and hatred of brown people. Many of their viewers long for the good old day of spitting on black people, but even on Fox they can’t indulge that vice too often (although they can complain about “hip hop” music and bitch and moan about Black Lives Matter on a frequent basis), so now the 21st century hate objects are Muslims and Latinos.

Trump has learned that shaking his fist at these two groups is a surefire way to win the hearts and minds of core conservative voters. So he has helped to fast track the normalized hatred of these groups of people. While Republicans once at least paid lip service to racial tolerance (while sending out the right dog whistles to the white-sheet wearing crowd in order to keep their votes in line), Trump now yells through the Bull Connor microphone and it warms the hearts of the bigot crowd.

In a sane world, he would be called on this nonstop by the media, but so many of them see their racist older relative that they love in Trump or his voters, and are unwilling to make a scene at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

So instead Trump spews blatant racial hate, and the media lets him get away with it, normalizing it by airing it often without commentary to their audience.

Together, they are making America worse. Again.