Who knew that uncertainty could be a powerful political weapon?
Apparently, Donald Trump knew.
Having created -- and capitalized on -- adversaries' uncertainties for decades in real estate bargaining ( "It's my opening bid. Guess what, if anything, I'll do next."), he is now hanging that strategy over the heads of many millions of anguished Americans as well as involved observers the world over.
This kind of imposed uncertainty can be very damaging.
Let us count some of many of the ways it is playing out in this presidency:
- All Americans -- students, workers, investors; government at all levels; civil society; farmers and city dwellers -- can only guess if the President was bluffing when he said, "If we have to close down the government, we're building that wall" (international markets are also awaiting the outcome.) "Shut Down the Government, and This Time Markets Will Care."
- Millions of American healthcare consumers and their insurance companies don't know what their insurance will cost in the near future because POTUS will make only a monthly commitment to continue federal support of premium subsidies. "Despite jitters, health insurers start to prosper."
- Although during the campaign Trump pledged to keep alive the "Dreamers" program for young people who he called "absolutely incredible kids", the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act is now said to be on the brink of destruction. "Program that lifted 800,000 Immigrant "Dreamers" Is at Risk"
- When asked on Fox News Sunday whether the President's several responses to the violence in Charlottesville were in keeping with American values Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated that the President speaks only for himself on such matters "Tillerson: 'Trump speaks for himself'"
- Finally -- and affecting global public opinion -- what was Trump thinking when he threatened North Korea: Donald Trump warns North Korea 'will be met with fire and fury the world has never seen.'
Clearly, a presidency is not an aspirational real estate empire.
Can this presidency be saved?