The majority of Americans don't like the way President Donald Trump is running the country. That's probably an understatement.
Trump has a 43.7 percent approval rating, according to an average of polls compiled by RealClear Politics. It's the lowest of any U.S. president this early in his administration since 1953. And it keeps going lower.
The only thing that could get Trump out of this slump is a war. I'm not saying that's what the president wants, but I fear it could be where we're headed.
Wars have a way of pulling the country together, with everyone scrambling to line up behind our leader. Take former President George W. Bush, for example. His overall job approval rating skyrocketed 13 points to 71 percent after launching the Iraq War in 2003, according to Gallup polls.
The same thing happened with his dad. President George H.W. Bush saw his job approval rating jump to 18 points to 82 percent after the start of the Persian Gulf war in 1991, Gallup found.
There have been plenty of presidents with whom I disagreed on their policies. But Trump is another matter. Many Americans, including myself, are afraid of the man.
This week, we learned that Trump plans to ask for a $54 billion increase in defense spending. It begs the questions, why so much and why now?
Does the president have something up his sleeve that the American people don't know about? Is there an imminent threat that he's keeping from us?Trump to enter office with lowest presidential approval rating in four decades Dan Balz, Scott Clement
After a tumultuous campaign and transition, President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office Friday as the least popular incoming president in at least four decades, but a majority of Americans nevertheless express optimism that he will be able to fulfill campaign pledges to boost the...
After a tumultuous campaign and transition, President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office Friday as the least popular incoming president in at least four decades, but a majority of Americans nevertheless express optimism that he will be able to fulfill campaign pledges to boost the...(Dan Balz, Scott Clement)
Trump doesn't have the patience to avert a nuclear war like President John F. Kennedy did during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
He certainly does not have the diplomacy of former President Jimmy Carter, who took it upon himself to step in and avert a crisis between the U.S. and North Korea over nuclear arms in 1994.
While most Americans don't follow the government's day-to-day dealings with foreign countries, we do pay attention to Trump's Twitter account. And we know childish bullying when we see it.
If anything, Trump has done more to provoke these volatile countries than try to improve our fragile relationships with them.
His careless declarations regarding Iran, North Korea, China or any other country he doesn't respect put Americans in danger and make our allies uneasy.
While Trump insists that the Iran nuclear deal is "really, really bad," he seems to have sensibly backed off his campaign promise to tear it up, at least for now.
But his constant taunting of the Middle Eastern nation on Twitter, including a tweet describing Iran as "#1 in terror" and another claiming that "Iran is playing with fire," is another way of saying, "I dare you!"
In January, when North Korea's Kim Jong Un announced that his country was in the final stage of test-launching a ballistic missile that could be capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast, Trump tweeted, "It won't happen."
Well, guess what? A month later, North Korea test-launched a ballistic missile. But it was also a test of our new president, the way children sometimes test their parents.
Trump's response was like an inexperienced mother saying to a defiant child, "Just wait until your father gets home!"
Obviously, tough talk isn't enough when dealing with dictators or terrorists, for that matter.
We are sadly mistaken if we don't think our adversaries aren't taking notes. They are always looking for an opening to slip in and bring our country to its knees.
We can't trust Iran or North Korea to do the right thing, but the world is doomed if the U.S. president doesn't know how to be the adult in the room.
If President Trump doesn't stay off Twitter, we could end up in a nuclear war.
And if that happens, no amount of money poured into our military would be enough to save us.
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