What does Trump want?

In the dark world that Mr Trump and his top adviser, Stephen Bannon, inhabit, getting “smart” means a collusion with California, sour relations with China, Iran, Australia, Muslim world and over and above with the federal administration and agencies, specially judiciary

What does Trump want? Absolute power. What do Pakistani politicians want? Absolute power. Then what is the difference between the two?

The American president already has unconditional powers, then where is the problem? Why is Trump so irritated and impatient? Another question arises; why could they not tolerate Saddam Hussain, Gaddafi, Hasni Mubarak and Bashar ul Asad, just because they also had the absolute powers in their country. If they were checked and chastised for that reason, then who will check Trump for his lust for absolute power, who will stop him for fighting with the states, media, judiciary and the whole world, FBI, CIA or the American public?

But there is a difference; all ex-presidents, even having un-challenged powers, were holding the office in a system, may be for only American citizens, but in a system. Trump doesn’t believe in any system, he doesn’t want any system, he doesn’t follow any system.

Where to begin? Trump had harsh words for one of his most fervent opponents during the pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that aired on 5 February 2017. Not President Vladimir Putin, mind it, whose allegedunpleasant habit of murdering journalists met with a shrug from the president. No, Trump lashed out at the nation’s largest state, California.

“I just spent the week in California,” O’Reilly said. “As you know, they are now voting on whether they should become a sanctuary state”. So California and the Federal USA are on a collision course.

Lawyers for the administration were ordered to submit a brief defending Mr Trump’s order temporarily banning refugees from around the world and all visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. An appeals court in California refused to reinstate the ban after a lower court blocked it.

A federal judge in Florida on 1 February 2017 directed a golf club owned by US President Donald Trump to pay $5.77 million to former members who claimed it wrongfully refused to refund their deposits after Trump took over in 2012.

US District Judge Kenneth Marra in West Palm Beach said Trump National Golf Club Jupiter must repay $4.849 million plus $925,010 of interest to 65 former members for breach of contract, following a non-jury trial last August.

On 3 February 2017, just after twelve days of Trump’s presidency, a federal judge in Seattle, James Robart, had blocked Trump’s executive order barring entry to refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations. The next day the president mocked Judge Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, in a statement on Twitter as a “so-called judge” who had made a “ridiculous” ruling. Lawsuit filed, alleges that the executive order violates the 10th amendment of the US Constitution.

When Mr Donald Trump doesn’t get what he wants, he tends to look for someone to blame; crooked pollsters, fraudulent voters, lying journalists. Anyone who questions him or his actions becomes his foe. Over the past few days, he’s added an entire branch of the federal government to his enemies list.

The impassioned debate over the immigration order brought to the fore issues at the heart of the Trump presidency. A businessman with no experience in public office, Trump has shown in his administration’s opening days that he favours an action-oriented approach with little regard for the two other branches of government. While Congress, controlled by Republicans, has deferred, the judiciary may emerge as the major obstacle for Mr Trump.

Democrats and some Republicans said Mr Trump’s attack on the courts would colour the battle over the nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court as well as the president’s relationship with Congress.

Judge Robart is not the first judge Mr Trump has smeared. During the presidential campaign last year, he pursued bigoted attacks on a federal judgepresiding over a class-action fraud lawsuit against his so-called Trump University. The judge, Gonzalo Curiel, could not be impartial, Mr Trump claimed, because he “happens to be, we believe, Mexican,” and Mr Trump had promised to build a border wall and deport millions of undocumented

Mexican immigrants. (Judge Curiel was born in Indiana, and Mr Trump settled the lawsuit in November for $25 million.)

Coming from a candidate, this was merely outrageous; coming from the president, it is a threat to the rule of law.

Mr Trump’s repeated attacks on the judiciary are all the more ominous given his efforts to intimidate and undermine the news media and Congress’s willingness to neutralise itself, rather than hold him to account.

Other presidents have clashed with the judiciary. The Supreme Court invalidated parts of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, forced Richard M. Nixon to turn over Watergate tapes and rejected Bill Clinton’s bid to delay a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The last two presidents battled with courts repeatedly over the limits of their power. The judiciary ruled that George W. Bush overstepped his bounds in denying due process to terrorism suspects and that Barack Obama assumed power he did not have to allow millions of unauthorised immigrants to stay in the country.

The assertion of broad latitude by the president in areas of national security resembles the struggles of the Bush years, when in the months after the September-11 attacks the administration claimed sometimes sweeping power in the name of fighting terrorism.

Today, at least, the new administration is following the rules and appealing Judge Robart’s decision to the federal appeals court. But tomorrow Mr Trump may decide, out of anger at a ruling or sheer spite at a judge, that he doesn’t need to obey a court order. Who will stop him then?

On the other side, China and Iran, two countries that top President Trump’s enemies list, are pushing back against his tough talk with ostentatious military drills. North Korea may also join them.

Iran conducted military exercises and rolled out new weapons that its leaders said would help national defense, and China tested a new missile following Trump’s Twitter assault on Beijing’s expansion in the South China Sea.

Iran has warned Washington against any hostile actions. “If the enemy makes a mistake our roaring missiles will hit their targets,” Brig Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force, said during massive air defense drills, the state-owned
Fars News Agency reported.

Iran also warned that if attacked, its missiles would target the US 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, American installations in the Indian Ocean and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

There are many reasons to loathe Trump. His policies are mostly wrong, and even those that are right have been chaotically announced or implemented. He prescribes barroom oaths for an economy that needs thought and creativity. He would let the Earth bake rather than take the most rudimentary of steps to moderate global warming. He alienates allies and friends, embraces enemies and indulges in a noxious moral relativism.

Donald Trump is the most un-American of presidents. Think of Abraham Lincoln “Honest Abe.” Will anyone ever call Trump “Honest Don”? Will he be known for his humility or for his lust for knowledge? Will tales be told about his industrious work habits or, as with Lyndon Johnson, his furious desire to end racial discrimination? What will Trump overcome?

Myths have a certain staying power because, really, they are aspirational, not always who you are, but always who you want to be. Americans see themselves as good and generous. They believe they are a virtuous nation. There is no monarchy or dictatorship in their past. There has always been a democracy.

A father instructs. He raises a child to be good, to be honest, to tell the truth, to be humble, to be fair, not to be petty, to respect women, to accept fair criticism, to protect the weak and not to injure the injured, such as the bereaved parents of a son who died heroically in Iraq and a reporter with a physical disability. Trump teaches otherwise. He shows a boy that the manly virtues are for suckers, that the narcissism of youth should be cherished and that angry impulses have to be honored. Lots of men have failed as presidents, as Trump surely will, but few fail so dismally as role models. He’s a boy’s idea of a man. He’s a man’s idea of a boy. There is no room for Trump there. He does not qualify. Never mind that he was never a paperboy. More important, he is no role model.

Just two weeks into his presidency, Trump picked fights with one of oldest ally, Australia, while treating adversary, Russia, “with tender love and care”?

When Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly challenged Trump on his praise for Vladimir Putin, declaring “Putin’s a killer,” Trump responded “There are a lot of killers,” adding “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

Worse still, Trump’s defense of Putin came just days after he scolded Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over an agreement he had reached with President Obama to take in 1,250 refugees held at Australian detention centers from Iran, Iraq, Somalia and other countries. Yes, Australia was stupid to press Trump to take in a group of refugees that they themselves refuse to let into their country, many of whom hailed from the very nations for which Trump had just temporarily suspended immigration.

Trump told the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington that America has to “get tough” because “the world is in trouble.” He’s correct. For eight years, the Obama administration had been saying the same and defending their involvement in the world affairs, and the consequences have been devastating, from the rise of the Islamic State, to Syria’s destruction with millions of innocent citizens killed only because America wanted to oust Bashar al Asad.

The worst disgrace of all; Speaker John Bercow of British Parliament has outlined his opposition to Donald Trump addressing both Houses of Parliament during his forthcoming state visit. Donald Trump is unfit to address MPs, according to the Speaker of the House of Commons who said that he would refuse to invite the US president to speak at Westminster because of parliament’s long held opposition “to racism and to sexism”.

John Bercow warned that the opportunity to speak in the prestigious Westminster Hall during a state visit “is not an automatic right, it is an earned honour” in an extraordinary intervention that divided MPs and annoyed No10.

The unprecedented step caused many MPs to pour praise on Bercow, but also triggered an angry response in parts of government with ministers privately claiming that he had overstepped the mark.

Over and above; scientists who study the risk of nuclear war recently movedthe hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock to 2½ minutes before midnight, meaning they believe that the world is closer to nuclear catastrophe than it has been since 1953 after the United States and Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which created the clock in 1947, says that President Trump is the main reason for this worrisome development.

It is the fear of such precipitous action that has led Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Ted Lieu of California, both Democrats, to propose legislation to prohibit any president from launching a first-strike nuclear weapon without a declaration of war from Congress.

In the dark world that Mr Trump and his top adviser, Stephen Bannon, inhabit, getting “smart” means a collusion with California, sour relations with China, Iran, Australia, Muslim world and over and above with the federal administration and agencies, specially judiciary. The most worrisome for America is the confrontation with the states, more are expected to announce a “Sanctuary State” after California.

Is the United States of America heading towards disintegration? With Trump as president, it seems so. The law of averages is always there.