style="text-align: center;">"I don't know. I don't know. I don't know ."
- Donald Trump
Perhaps the President of the United States of America is having a nervous breakdown. Maybe his advancing age is starting to affect his mental abilities. Or, maybe his privileged upbringing allowed him to chronologically reach his golden years without ever having reached emotional maturity as if Peter Pan somehow stumbled into the Oval Office and no one had the sense to kick him out. Instead, they gave him the nuclear codes.
While the National Weather Service was quick to issue a correction to POTUS' flub, Trump was having none of it. No matter how wrong he is, admitting that a mistake has been made seems to be beneath him. If "it takes a big man to admit when he's wrong", Trump obviously is "NOT a big man ."
Presidential history is littered with leaders whose legacy will be defined not by their sins but by their failed attempts to cover them up. Nixon was not forced to resign over the Watergate break-in but for the lies that followed. Clinton was not impeached over receiving oral sex in the Oval Office. Instead, he was prosecuted for perjuring himself when asked about the affair while under oath. Will the lasting image that defines Trump's presidency be a weather map altered with a sharpie ? I have seen first graders do a better job of covering up their tracks.
The crux of Trump's argument seems to be that his Tweet was correct because at some point in the past Alabama was thought to be in the path of Dorian. To use the same logic, I would be correct in stating that our planet is flat or that the sun revolves around the Earth. At one point in history, mankind believed these things, but science proved them to be wrong. In the current case, preliminary information indicated a path for Dorian that was changed as additional, more current information became available.
As the leader of the most powerful country in the world, Trump has any information that he needs available at his request. He should have been among the first to know that the storm's projected trajectory was changed, but it seems that he was not given that information. Or worse, he was told exactly what was happening but did not comprehend or remember what he was told. Perhaps they should have given the information to Fox News so that they could have broadcast it directly to him in a form that he would find interesting.
Maybe this is all much ado about nothing. The Trump Cult certainly will say that it is just another way that the Fake News is unfairly picking on the Dear Leader. They will say that their POTUS is doing nothing more than fighting back, but will not ask at what cost. At best, he comes off as an obstinate old man who cannot recognize when he is wrong. At worst, he is unable to comprehend reality. In either case, his position, and the power that it gives him puts the whole world at risk.
Is Putin tired of winning yet?
Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.