In 1973, Joe Frazier was on the top of the world. Fresh off defeating 'The Greatest' Muhammad Ali in the Fight of The Century, the southpaw from Philadelphia was undisputed champion. He had vanquished all pretenders to his throne. He was the man.
Donald Trump must have felt that way when he was sworn-in as US president. He had beaten the fabled Clinton machine and swatted away the media, riding a wave of populism into the Oval Office. The Democrats were beaten. The press was in disbelief. The impossible had happened. Trump was the man — the most powerful man in the world.
It is oft said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But perhaps Trump and his followers are not followers of the manly arts of fisticuffs. What happened to Joe Frazier next is instructive: Rather than taking a rematch with Muhammad Ali, he chose to fly to Jamaica and take on a raw, young talent. George Foreman was thought to be nothing more than a crude puncher. No real threat to Frazier's championship.
But at the end of the night, the impossible had happened once again. Frazier, the baddest man on the planet, was punch-drunk. He was swaying on his tree-trunk like legs. He'd been knocked down six times. And perhaps the most famous call in sports history had been made by legendary broadcaster Howard Cosell: Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!
Today, one suspects Donald Trump knows that punch-drunk feeling. His healthcare bill is dead. The trouble? Everybody hated it. Moderates hated it because it would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, throw 24 million Americans off the insurance rolls and doom them in the 2018 mid-term elections. Conservatives hated it because it didn't sufficiently take away coverage from the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable. Voters hated it. Doctors. Seniors. Insurance companies. The list is endless. If there was a method to poll babies in the womb, they would have probably overwhelmingly come out against it as well.
Ironically, Trumpcare was the only thing in the world Trump didn't want his name on.
And this is just the latest body blow to the aspirations of The Donald. His White House is under a cloud of suspicion as the FBI investigates his campaign for to Russia, America's greatest enemy. His travel bans have been halted by the courts. He has alienated America's closest allies— Britain, Australia and Germany—his approval rating is at 37 percent.
According to presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, Trump has led "the most failed first 100 days of any president". “To be as low as he is in the polls, in the 30s, while the FBI director is on television saying they launched an investigation into your ties with Russia, I don’t know how it can get much worse,” Brinkley, a best-selling biographer of presidents Gerald Ford, Franklin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt, told The Washington Post.
What happened? Trump ran into his own version of George Foreman. Reality. Nothing hits harder than reality. You can outrun it for a while, you can bluff it, but eventually it will catch up with you. The reality of having to govern is completely undoing Trump.
In his wild, flailing desperation, Trump has made many mistakes, including declaring war on his own intelligence agencies. But the latest were perhaps his most grievous: On a lazy Saturday morning, two weekends ago, Trump had a 'brainfade'.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
And on Tuesday, Trump openly threatened members of his own party, telling them he would "come after them" if they voted against his healthcare bill. This was akin to waving a red flag to an angry bull. There's nothing politicians love more than going back to their own constituents and telling them they're fighting for them — the bigger the bully the better — and there's no bigger bully or better target than the president of the United States.
Trump's spectacular failures as a president could be forgiven if he were a decent man, like Jimmy Carter. He is not a decent man. In fact, he is an incredibly indecent man. His lack of moral fibre has been on display far before he took office: candidate Trump falsely questioned whether former president Obama was a US citizen, he derided Mexicans as rapists and criminals, he mocked a disabled reporter, and was recorded having an extremely lewd conversation about how he groped women and got away with it because he was a celebrity. The list, once again, is endless.
As for his oratory: While Trump may claim he has "the best words" (direct quote), a study released by Carnegie Mellon University has found that Trump's grammar in speeches are just below the 6th grade level (12-year-old). Let that sink in. The president of the United States has the vocabulary of an adolescent.
But returning to the situation Trump finds himself in: Voters expect him to deliver. And so far, he has delivered: Nothing.
So here's some advice to the US president from an unabashed fan:
“You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on”
— Donald Trump, the Art of the Deal.
The people, it seems, are catching on. And down goes Trump.
Updated Date: Mar 25, 2017 09:33:12 IST