Pacific University professor emeritus Russ Dondero says Trump hasn't demonstrated governance skills.

RUSS DONDEROThe news cycle during the campaign was all about Donald Trump's megalomania, narcissism, sexism, vulgar rhetoric and hostility to minorities — Latinos, Muslims and Blacks.

Since occupying the Oval Office the focus has become the Putin/Trump connection and the possible treasonable actions of colluding with the Russians in manipulating the election in Trump's favor.

I share all of these concerns of Trump and Trumpism. I expect that he and his minions will be found to have stolen the election and in the process obstructed justice — impeachable acts.

As these charges work their way through Congress, the courts, a special counsel's investigation and the court of public opinion — there is another damaging effect of Trump — the sheer incompetence of his governance style or lack thereof is becoming more and more apparent.

As of late February there were 2,000 vacancies in the new administration not requiring legislative confirmation. Bureaucratic desks are empty to carry out daily administrative functions of government.

Many have warned us of Trump's lack of any previous political experience. Many have noted his ignorance of the Constitution and his disrespect for our checks-and-balances system.

Many have shared their concerns for his lack of discipline, his ignorance and disdain for information other than what he gets from social media and his constant, often inconsistent and incoherent tweeting.

Every week there are informed rumors of verbal battles among White House staffers and shakeups within the administration as dissension grows. All the while Trump keeps tweeting that he is in charge.

One of the most important responsibilities of a president is to appoint people around him he can trust and who have the strength to tell him things he may not want to hear.

The implicit job description of White House staff, cabinet members and others in key positions in the administration is that they understand how Washington works. They are experienced.

Few of Trump's team have such experience and it has shown with the incredibly messy attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare and with developing a tax plan.

Trump ran a campaign of chaos — and apparently he thinks he can govern by chaos, but he can't. The prerequisites for effective governance are clarity of mission and coherency of a legislative game plan.

Thus far Trump has not demonstrated such a governance skill set. He's done the opposite — he's increased uncertainty while railing on about how "he's" going to make "America Great Again."

Trump is like a modern day Casey Jones at the throttle, heading his steam engine down the tracks at full bore with the brakeman not on duty. This is a prescription for failure, not success, and Americans will suffer from such irresponsible behavior.

A president has many audiences — the public, the Congress, the lobby, the international community and the media here and abroad. To be successful he has to know how to relate to each. Thus far Trump has shown himself to be tone deaf to audiences other than his rabid minority base.

Crafting legislation is a Congressional responsibility — as the saying goes, "the president proposes, the congress disposes." Trump doesn't seem to understand this basic rule of governance.

Trump's lack of governance skills will ultimately leave him alone in the White House isolated from those whose help he needs to persuade in order to govern.

Without a coherent agenda coming from the Oval Office, these various audiences will go their separate ways making sure that chaos reigns — not a prescription for good governance.

Trump prides himself as a "transactional" leader who at the last minute can sweep into a room to make the "big deal." That's not the way democratic government works at any level — at home or in the international community. Governance requires collaboration and consent, not force and intimidation.

At the end of the day, Trump's approach to governance will lead us into a dystopian nation and world described by Thomas Hobbes as "the war of all against all."

Welcome to Donald Trump's brave new world.

Russ Dondero is a Forest Grove resident and professor emeritus at Pacific University. He blogs at

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