#TakeaKnee Hell hath no fury like President Trump ignored

Hell hath no fury like President Trump ignored

Donald Trump has done little to instil confidence or respect in the office of President in the nine or so months he’s occupied it.

He has tarnished the position beyond recognition and proved many grossly underestimated the extent of his capacity for damage. In the realm of leadership qualities, Trump has proved himself entirely vacant.

As each day passes it is increasingly clear that he has as much interest in respecting the office as he has a grasp on what his role entails: zilch.

Consider his most recent attack on the NFL players who have protested police violence against minorities by taking a knee during the national anthem.

The #TakeaKnee protests have incensed Trump, who has responded in the only way he knows: by pouring fuel on the fire via Twitter.

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast,” Trump wrote. “Fire or suspend!”

He is seemingly unaware that unlike when he was the insufferable host of The Apprentice, as president he doesn’t actually have the authority to simply eliminate contestants he doesn’t like.

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” Trump said on Saturday. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

Hundreds of players around America, and even across the Atlantic in the UK, have responded to Trump’s tantrum in solidarity – by either locking arms, staying in their locker rooms or kneeling, during the anthem. Coaches and team owners also participated.

Speaking at a rally on Friday Trump reportedly labelled the protesting players “sons of bitches”.

Can you imagine any other world leader openly – publicly – using that label? It’s a mark of his vulgarity that it’s entirely expected.

He posted 12 sports-related tweets or retweets in a 36-hour period – none of which celebrated anyone.  Can you imagine any other world leader doing the same?

In this instance the victims of Trump’s attacks are not powerless: they are large in number, profile and popularity and are not afraid to take the president on.

“There is no greater unifier in this country than sports and, unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics,” the New England Patriots CEO and chairman Robert Kraft, and Trump supporter, said in a statement on Sunday.

“I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

And yet, of course, Trump flicked off his former friend.

Trump’s playbook in the face of conflict is despairingly predictable.

Something or someone affronts him and his favoured world view. He then denounces that person or thing as being BAD or SAD or BORING.  He then inevitably brings ratings into it which are always WAY DOWN.

He then demands the thing he doesn’t like are eliminated – FIRED! When the story takes hold he will, of course, blame the media for FAKE NEWS.

And so it goes. Trump’s bad days are increasing, in both quantity and quality, and his presidency is farcical.

Presidents, ideally, ought to be in the business of unifying the population, and solving problems rather than creating them. Not Trump. He is ready and raring for a fight at every turn.

It’s difficult to ignore the glaring, tragic irony that he was elected in favour of a well qualified female candidate in Hillary Clinton. We are so often told that women are too emotional for leadership positions and yet here we have the most erratic, immature and emotional president of all time.

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