President Trump’s more than one week focus on not admitting he was wrong about a weather forecast has bridged into a much bigger problem than a whiny President who can’t admit an error.


First published in September 2019.


While he’s done this in many other areas, he has put the integrity of his own government – our government – into major question, once again putting his ego before the safety of the citizens who elected him.

Trump’s mistake wasn’t even that big – he’d heard in a days earlier briefing that Hurricane Dorian might reach into Alabama but that forecast was history hours later when the maps showed Alabama was in no danger.

Still Trump persists that he wasn’t wrong.

Seeing his mistake and knowing the panic that could result from the President of the United States reporting that Alabama was in the cone of danger, the Alabama National Weather Service office immediately put out a statement saying that Alabama was in no danger.

The misstatement by the President in this case was really no biggie. He merely was reporting old information that at least showed Dorian might affect Alabama. By harping on it for a week – while American citizens were in danger from the storm and Bahamians literally are fighting for their lives – and because he runs the government, the President has done a major disservice to the citizens he governs and to the meteorologists who work for him. They were merely doing their jobs.

Think, for a moment, what happened in those minutes (yes, minutes) that the weather bureau office debated putting out the correction. They knew they were refuting not just their ultimate boss but a vindictive President who can’t admit ever that he’s wrong. What did they do? They put out the statement. They did the right thing.

Their bosses, from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on down (the weather bureau is within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is part of Commerce) caved to the whims of a self-perceived strongman – protecting him (over a tiny mistake) rather than their employees who held true to their oath of office.

I used to work at the Commerce Department. If this incident had happened then, no way that secretary of commerce, the late Malcolm Baldrige (a man of high integrity) would ever have gone along with this charade. He knew you had to back your employees especially when they are right.

The President, like a fourth grader, then marked up a weather map with a Sharpie to use to back up his false statement.

YouTube - The Guardian

This is how focused this President is on his own ego than he is on the safety of the people of this country. And really, it was a small mistake in the scheme of things.

If this were the only mistake Trump has made as President, how happy we all would be.

But let’s see what happens when his self-described love affair with the dictator of North Korea who, despite the President claiming he trusts him, keeps shooting off nuclear weapon tests.

I’m sure this President thinks he can lie his way out of any self-inflicted wound (the Wall that Mexico would pay for, the elimination of the budget deficit, etc.). If the minor weather error is an example of his stubbornness, imagine what happens when Kim bombs Japan or Putin annexes another country.

As he has done so many times before, he will lie to escape any responsibility.🔷



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[This piece was originally published on The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 10 September 2019, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/The White House/Shealah Craighead. - President Trump at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington, D.C. | 1 Sept 2019. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)



     

THE AUTHOR

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Former deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Also headed communications offices at the RNC, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Yale University.

Marion, MA, USA. Articles in PMP Magazine Website