Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. is known for its regular polls.
It asked voters what words came to mind when they thought of U.S. President Donald Trump. Different adjectives ascribed to him were subsequently ranked: "Smart" came in at number 28, but “idiot” was number one.
In Trump's home town, New York City, the public library reports fully 20 percent of child card holders can not use them due to unpaid fines. And while Trump rages and riles against Obamacare, a scheme of particular help to the poorest, it is precisely because healthcare has been lacking for the financially disadvantaged that 76 countries in the world have lower maternal death rates than the United States, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The path to “making America great again” appears arduous.
If the public knowingly voted for an idiot, it had no alternative. Trump promised change. He has been hampered and hamstrung, obstructed and nearly reversed on his major initiative aiming at better relations with Russia. Former President Barack Obama promising change was also elected ... twice. He changed instead. Such are the facts of life in the Washington morass.
Obama's military interventions hang like a pall. But then Democrats and Republicans have been interfering militarily in other countries for as long as one can remember and earlier.
This includes former presidents Ronald Reagan (Afghanistan, Grenada, Libya, Nicaragua), George H. W. Bush (Iraq, Afghanistan), Bill Clinton (Afghanistan, Iraq sanctions and no-fly zone, Somalia), George W. Bush (Afghanistan and Iraq invasions) and Obama (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen). The list is by no means complete.
Obama's dark legacy is particularly egregious. The world expected better from a Nobel Peace Laureate. Ukraine and Libya lie bleeding. Syria is dismembered. Afghanistan is a wreck despite a troop surge to over 100,000 before giving up and withdrawing.
Obama, the man with a Muslim father and name, was the first to restrict travel to the United States from seven Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen), signing a bill into law after the San Bernardino attack. Coincidentally with September 11, the attackers had a connection to Saudi Arabia, not the seven countries.
If Trump wants a wall on the Mexican border, then Obama, so far, has trumped him on the issue: he deported 2.5 million undocumented immigrants. That is more than all previous U.S. presidents combined.
If you see photos of drowned children on beaches, weekly reports of dilapidated boats crammed with migrants foundering in the Mediterranean, you have to think of Obama and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the latter gloating at the vile killing of Gaddafi by saying, “We came, we saw, he died.” Sick of it all, the U.S. public chose Trump.
And, he has just delivered a speech to the U.S. public. Not from the White House, but from Fort Myer Army Base in Virginia with regimental flags arrayed behind him. A rambling, self-contradictory bit of nonsense, he is going to kill terrorists in Afghanistan. And yes, he wants the Taliban in a future Afghan government, but no, he does not want Taliban leaders to be sheltered in Pakistan. Last week it was North Korea, this week Afghanistan, next week heaven knows. Something might occur to him at 2 a.m. to tweet about.
It turns out he is sending 4,000 troops to Afghanistan, plus undoubtedly his secret sauce for victory. Truth be told, he probably wants the generals off his back for a while.
Dr. Arshad M Khan is a former professor whose comments over several decades have appeared in a wide-ranging array of print and internet media.