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The Common Sense Blog: Trump Update #2 - The Alligator King

by William J. Limón last modified Nov 24, 2020 05:42 PM
President Trump has stumbled mightily in his presidency. Republican initiatives have met considerable opposition from the courts and from the American people. Still, the unique foibles of Trump are not the only danger. If Pence becomes president, the problematic Republican agenda will continue. Only the Centrist pragmatic approach has the flexibility to meet the nation’s challenges.
The Common Sense Blog: Trump Update #2 - The Alligator King

King Alligator Trump


This update on President Trump is the second in a series, Number 2 as it were. (And some might argue that this is an appropriate description of both this president and his administration.) 

Trump came to Washington to “drain the swamp” of politics as usual. Instead, he became the “Alligator King” as he created a unique quagmire all his own. From off-the-wall tweets in the middle of the night, to offhand comments to reporters, to the boastful divulging of classified information to Russian officials, Trump has rewritten the governing playbook.

Here are the major initiatives Trump has put forth:

  1. Attempting a travel ban on primarily Muslim nations that has been ruled by the lower courts as unconstitutional and is to be reviewed by the supreme court.
  2. Changing healthcare, which will benefit the rich and make things more difficult for most everyone else. A version passed the House and was remade by Republicans in the Senate. Their work was done entirely in secret with no input by Democrats or feedback by the American people.
  3. Tax reform, which will benefit the rich and, well, make things more expensive for everyone else. This is stalled in Congress.
  4. Trump also wants to decrease government regulations so that the coal industry can legally dump waste into nearby streams and the big banks can go back to speculating with our money. These efforts risk harming the immediate environment of coal miners (and everyone else), and recreate the financial conditions that started the Great Recession.
  5. Withdrawing from the Paris Accords on global climate change which will take 3½ years to go into effect. Its immediate impact is to harm the global leadership position of the United States, placing us in the world as a “bad role model.”

Of course, all these efforts are touted to be good for business. And, if it’s good for business, it must be good for everybody, right?

Trump’s first allegiance is to Trump.

Regardless of what he says and the oath he took to become president, Trump’s first allegiance is to Trump. He has disrespect for the separation of powers—saying that a federal court is led by a “so-called judge”, blaming Democrats in the House for the defeat of his original healthcare bill even though everyone knows the Republicans have a majority in both houses of Congress. This attitude as well as his ignorance or, worse, contempt for the independence of the FBI as shown in the manner in which he fired Director Comey, indicates a basic inability to properly govern. For those who wanted change in Washington, it is there. Unfortunately, it’s akin to the car owner who wanted more excitement in driving so he cut the brake lines to get it.

The spectacle of Trump’s cabinet meeting where all members took turns complimenting their boss smacked of a royal court outdoing itself in expressions of fealty. Evidently, King Alligator just wants to be king, period.

Be wary. Independent counsel and former FBI director Mueller has made it known that Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice.  But any action that removes Trump from the presidency hardly resolves the dilemma this government, and this nation, faces. 


...but the negative impact on the average American would still be the same.

Mike Pence was chosen as Trump’s running mate precisely because he knew the intricacies of Washington and would be a steady hand to temper the Trump tempest. The irony is that Pence was a failure at being Indiana’s governor. A piece in Time Magazine described how Governor Pence tried, and failed, to get a state-run news agency. His effort affronted the free press and drew opposition from all sides due to its expense. Even the Republicans that led his state legislature could not support Pence’s corporate and personal tax cut proposals. When he signed a law denying services to LGBT citizens as a defense of religious freedom, the criticism grew to where the Indianapolis Star put a rare editorial on Page One, declaring that “Indiana is in a state of crisis.” This backlash forced Pence to back down.

Pence describes himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” A former Congressman from Indiana stated that “For Mike, it’s more about the right thing to do than the expedient thing to do.” (Time: 12/18/16). Here’s my question: how is supporting the Trump agenda the “right thing to do”?

I respect a person’s personal religious choices (as long as they aren’t foisted on me or others who disagree). And one may certainly choose to be a conservative or a Republican. But what ever happened to being an American? What happened to being committed to the Constitution? Where do these fit in the worldview of Pence? It’s clear that a President Pence would continue the same agenda as President Trump and that of the Republican Party. Without the idiocies of Trump, the drama in the White House might lessen, but the negative impact on the average American would still be the same.


When ideology and party come before the needs of the people, the health of the nation, and the fulfillment of the Constitution, none of us are well served. I’ve written before about the “Big Business” ideology of the Republican conservatives, something quite evident in the efforts of the current Republican administration and Congress. I’ve also discussed the “Big Government” bent of liberal progressive Democrats. Too often we hear from politicians about their allegiance to party. It always seems to “trump” their allegiance to the nation and its citizens. (Even after the tragedy of the shootings at the Republican baseball practice, both parties proudly met to compete in their annual game. Why couldn’t they have mixed teams, make bi-partisan teams if you will, to demonstrate their solidarity in the face of armed attack?) 

Centrism is entirely different. It is a pragmatic approach unfettered by slavish devotion to ideology. Centrists are more concerned with doing “what works” to solve problems in a way that is best for all concerned. This approach is more flexible and realistic. “One size fits all” may work for stretch pants. But it’s a poor way to deal with the complexities of running a nation, especially one that has the leadership status of the United States. 

In my next blog post, I will explore in greater detail just how Centrism is different than Republican conservatism and Democratic progressive liberalism. As you will see, Centrism is not something to be pigeon-holed as “moderate” or even as “open to compromise.” It is greater than that, and it’s an approach sorely needed to meet the challenges we face in our great nation.



Document Actions

Veritas4416 says:
Jul 07, 2017 09:42 PM

The "Red Blood True Blue" Party. Catchy.... centerist. Not compromise, or refusing to take a fringe stand..... but representative of who we mostly are as a country..... good, common-sense, folk, who want to live freely, love more and hate less. Cheers to your message.

babyboomer1953 says:
Apr 02, 2018 08:06 PM

I don't find you to be a true "centrist" at all. You are left of center and that disappoints me.

KassieK says:
Jul 23, 2019 01:49 AM

I agree. Definitely Left.

davidolsen says:
May 23, 2018 03:49 AM

I would like to call for Centrists to claim the title of "Progressive" from the Democrats because Centrism is the self-ev ident path for the future because Balance is the the way of Nature.

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