Donald J. Trump has cemented his place as the worst president in American history in less than a year.
It’s an almost impressive failure, but one that most rational people could have predicted. In a short amount of time, our reality television POTUS has undermined America’s global standing and weakened NATO, alienated our allies around the globe, pushed for regressive trade policies that will stunt economic growth, denigrated the free press, and inflamed and encouraged racists at home and abroad.
At this point, the only question left on the table is how bad Trump’s presidency will get. There is almost zero chance of him turning it around, so will it end up being bad, terrible, or utterly destructive? To avoid the latter two, Trump will have to the heed the advice of wiser, better men. Former President Jimmy Carter has some tips for our current ignorant leader.
“Keep the peace, promote human rights and tell the truth,” Carter said yesterday during an annual presentation at the Carter Center, reports the Associated Press. One could easily see the comment as a less-than-veiled swipe at Trump’s infamous mendacity.
Carter urged the Trump administration to temper its relations with North Korea, to engage directly with Kim Jon-Un, and pursue a peace treaty. Thus far, Trump’s approach to North Korea has been dangerous nuclear saber-rattling and inane bluster. He’s demonstrated a lack of the temperament needed to navigate such a dangerous issue.
“I would send my top person to Pyongyang immediately, if I didn’t go myself,” Carter said, adding that he himself personally visited the insular Korean country three times. “Until we talk to them and treat them with respect — as human beings, which they are — I don’t think we’re going to make any progress.”
Carter also drew issue with Trump’s decision to have his son-in-law Jared Kushner pursue peace between Israel and Palestine. Kushner is a real estate developer with no international diplomacy experience who has, not surprisingly, failed to make any progress on a complex problem that has foiled presidents for decades. Carter said he is “practically hopeless” about Kushner’s chances of success.
“I don’t think Trump or his family members are making any process in that respect,” Carter said.
He also directed criticism at his long time target Citizens United, stating that the lax campaign donation system makes the American system closer to an oligarchy than a real democracy. Democrats have long been pushing for a reformation of our problematic campaign finance practices.
If Trump had a tenth of Carter’s knowledge we’d be in a far less precarious position as a nation. Hopefully, Trump takes heed, even if his past behavior makes it seem unlikely.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.