Which way did he go, George?

The massive fighting vessel, USS Carl Vinson, sailed for days in the wrong direction.

Beginning April 8 we were told by NSA Advisor, H.R. McMasters, White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer and Defense Secretary, James Mattis, that our president authorized sending an "armada"; a mighty show of force to Korean Peninsula apparently to show a privileged, spoiled-brat. lunatic dictator with bad hair who's boss. One small problem; the vessel ended up 3,500 miles away of the coast of Indonesia. I, for one, am delighted to learn that we're not going to war with Indonesia; not yet anyway. Perhaps the only thing more incompetent and embarrassing than a failed missile launch on the day celebrating Kim Jong-un's grandfather's birthday is having our ship sailing off in the opposite direction unbeknownst to three top presidential advisors.

Then again, back on the ranch

On April 17 our own privileged, spoiled-brat. lunatic dictator-wannabe with bad hair, President Donald Trump, once again broke the mold. He picked up his phone and called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his recent election victory. It should come as no surprise that our president has business dealings in Turkey. The "victory" in question had to do with Erdogan gutting one of few democratic nations in the Mideast and setting himself up to be another dictator. Does anyone have any idea why the leader of the free world — Trump; not Angela Merkel — would congratulate the planet's newest dictator at the expense of diminishing his own standing amongst his fellow democratic allies?

It might be because our president is, in all likelihood, the most insecure man who's ever held office. He sees a different Donald Trump than many others see. He sees a tough, smart, authoritarian-like military strong arm sort of guy. The reality is that he's nothing of the sort. He was born on third base; scored on a single and believes he hit a grand slam home run. He's had everything handed to him; wealth and opportunity and yet he's clearly on his way to becoming our nation's most conflicted, most compromised and perhaps most corrupt president. During the election those running against Trump declared him unqualified and temperamentally unfit to be president. It's becoming clearer with each passing day that those folks were right.

Based on his words and deeds it's apparent that President Donald Trump has no idea what he's doing. He has surrounded himself with people less qualified than him to serve as advisors. His son-in-law, Jarod Kushner, may be a smart real estate guy — his dad handed him a lucrative real estate business, too — but he has zero experience in government or foreign affairs. He's another rich kid who happens to be married to the president's daughter.

For 18 months we listened to Trump rail against China accusing repeatedly accusing them of being a currency manipulator. In less than the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee China's President Xi Jinping disemboweled our tough-guy, authoritarian president. "They're not currency manipulators," Trump told the Wall Street Journal after his terse meeting.

For years Trump chastised former President, Barack Obama, for Obama's request to drop some bombs on Syria. He changed his mind after seeing pictures of children gassed by al-Assaud. Somehow in Trump's mind gassing kids is much worse than bombing or shooting them. It did provide our privileged, spoiled-brat. lunatic dictator-wannabe with bad hair an opportunity to make himself appear tough.

He's not, though. He's not a tough guy. Truly tough guys don't need to tell you how tough they are. Competent people don't have to boast about how good they are. Actions and deeds are what demonstrate one's true character and resolve; not bluster and phony, hollow words. Donald Trump shows no signs of being a genuine tough guy. He's just another bad actor; and one who sends an aircraft carrier in the wrong direction. That about sums it all up.

— Bob Stannard is a regular Banner columnist who lives in Manchester.

The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bennington Banner.


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