In a damning indictment of the way US President Donald Trump is prone to think wildly and act on impulse, an insider in his administration wrote an article which the New York Times carried on its op-ed page without a byline. The issue may have been sidetracked in the hunt for which “senior official” in the Trump administration who may have written the article. What is at stake here is the real possibility of a reality star with a larger than life image running amok in the White House and acting detrimental to the health of the US and by extension many other parts of the world. While noting the success of a more powerful military and more prosperous corporates, markets and job creation doing well, the writer says, “these successes have come despite — not because of — the President’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
The object of the article may have been to throw light on the resistance inside the White House to an unmoored President. What it reveals of the man and his style of functioning is a matter of great concern well beyond the shores of the powerful democracy. While the Republican author may have intended it to be an effort to warn Mr Trump into changing his ways, there are moves afoot to escalate the issue into an attempt at impeaching him. In an all-revealing book by Watergate investigative journalist Bob Woodward, reports have surfaced of a chaotic White House in which aides have even stolen memos and torn them up so that US ties with allies may not be jeopardised by the President’s decisions taken on whims and fancies, and which would keep changing too. True to form, Mr Trump has approached both subjects with the same aggression that marks his attack on the free press that he calls “fake news”. There is reason to fear the worst from the West Wing.