Change, yes. But positive? No

I was surprised to learn from Mr. Bethel that we can “celebrate significant and positive changes” of the 2017 Trump presidency (“The White House as change agent for America,” Jan. 7 Kitsap Daily News).

What exactly are these changes?

Mr. Trump’s approval rating of 35 percent does not seem to support the significant and positive changes argument (Mr. Obama’s approval ratings were 67 percent). Mr. Trump’s own Secretary of State calls his boss a “moron” and Mr. Trump’s Chief of Staff calls him “uninformed.” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell complained: “As soon as I figure out what he is for … we can stop spinning our wheels.”

Positive? No!

Our allies move between incredulity and shock and worry and prayer, while China and the Saudi king and Mr. Putin play our Dealer in Chief and his fragile ego like a hurdy gurdy. Significant? Yes! But not positive.

Fortunately, Mr. Trump, rather then playing president, plays most of his time golf, watches TV, tweets, sulks, dreams about building that Mexican wall, or whines about Hillary and the popular vote.

Mr. Bethel also gushes about the “wave of optimism that has swept over American business leaders.” Yes, indeed, a 50 percent tax cut does that. Also, the banks of the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Singapore, Luxembourg, Monaco and other tax havens are licking their chops right now. So is whoever is financing the new multi-trillion dollar debt of the U.S.

That is a significant change. So are the higher prices for lumber from Canada, consumer goods from China, and vegetables and fruit from south of the border — thanks to Mr. Trump’s creative trade policies.

The most significant and definitively positive change we can celebrate is that Mr. Trump, already known for his altruism, learning, and kindness, bestowed upon himself the “steady genius” distinction. Self-deification cannot be far off. Ah, watching TV news has never been so much fun.

James Behrend
Bainbridge Island