Somewhere in political heaven, where all former chief executives reside, the 15th President of the United States James Buchanan (1857-1861), long considered by historians to have been the worst president ever, is smiling and receiving "high fives" from the other members of the exclusive Previous Presidents Club. 

The reason for his celebration is that after only 150 days in office, it's pretty clear to him and his fellow clubmates that he is about to experience an upgrade to the slot as second-worst president ever. 

Put aside the disastrous missteps of the previous week in Europe or the oncoming tsunami that is the Russian investigation. 

Nope, President Donald J. Trump has earned the caboose position on the presidential train for the dozens of decisions he's made already, most of which have barely broken through to the average voter, and, when finally discovered, will surely cement his place behind the lowly Buchanan, the nonentity Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) and the forgotten Millard Fillmore (1850-1853). 

What decisions, you ask? 

There is Trump's proposed attack on the food-stamp program, which feeds hundreds of thousands of malnourished kids; on the WIC program, which provides food for poor women, children and infants; on the myriad of programs for the handicapped and the disabled. 

There is his reversal of his promise during the campaign to remove our troops from Afghanistan to his current plan that would once again slide us back into that unwinnable military morass.

There is his plan to slash the Bush-era student-loan forgiveness program, which has encouraged tens of thousands of students to accept reduced salaries in return for government, education, criminal justice and health-care jobs that provide needed programs and assistance for fellow citizens. 

There is Trump's DOA budget proposal made up of phony math, outlandish growth projections and tax breaks for the people who need them least. 

There is his health-care monstrosity that in the end will leave 23 million currently secure health-care recipients without benefit of coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

There is his constant embrace of tyrants, autocrats, bullies and thugs and his rejection of longtime democratic allies. 

There is his Muslim ban, which he continues to falsely claim is not driven by his un-American pre-election screeds against people of the Islamic faiths but rather about the safety of our fellow citizens. 

There is his decision to turn back the clock so as to reduce or eliminate the Labor Department division that has for decade's overseen government contractors to make sure all their jobs are open to all qualified workers. 

There is Trump's ludicrous desire to do everything possible to insure there will be an unnecessary government shutdown this fall, which would end up costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars; needlessly shut down our national parks; and delay social-security and disability checks to seniors and military veterans. 

There is his decision to cut funds for women's health groups like Planned Parenthood and his rolling back birth control mandates for religious employers who do want to provide the same services to their employees that all other employers provide to their workforces. 

There is his massive cut in bio-terrorism funds that in the past has kept our nation safe from both outside threats as well as home-grown bioterrorist plots. 

There is his cut to eliminate the national VISTA volunteer program, the sister program of the international Peace Corps. 

There is his constant need to whine about the "crooked and corrupt media," as well as to portray himself as a victim of a secret cabal of so-called secret "deep state" government employees and disloyal intelligence personnel. 

There is Trump's bizarre desire to surround himself with military people, though he himself chose to avoid any personal military service during the Vietnam conflict. 

There is his rollback of the overtures our government has made to the Cuban government after decades of needless tensions between our two nations.  

There is his awful decision to gut the nation's longstanding bipartisan ethic rules so that ex-corporate lobbyists, political operatives, and partisan media tycoons can escape scrutiny over their obvious and outrageous conflicts of interest. 

Finally, there is the inability of President Trump to stop governing through Twitter rants. 

Summed up in a single word: sad.

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Michael Goldman
Published Date: 
Friday, June 2, 2017