Longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather has seen presidencies spiral downward before — but he’s never seen a rapid implosion happen quite as quickly as the one now enveloping the Trump White House.
Looking back on his days covering President Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon during Watergate, Rather said that he’s seen what happens when external events start to overtake an administration’s ability to shape them — and it’s not pretty.
“Paranoia mounts,” he writes. “And a presidency can quickly spiral out of control.”
What makes Trump’s presidency different from Johnson’s or Nixon’s, he writes, is that both of those presidents had the experience and the professional staffs to help them stabilize crisis situations.
Trump, in contrast, seems to have no ability to restrain himself, and he doesn’t have any influences capable of righting the ship.
“We have seen no evidence to suggest that this Administration can stabilize itself,” he writes. “There seems to be no ballast of seriousness or sober mindedness to right the ship. The list of enemies, perceived and real, will almost assuredly grow in Mr. Trump’s mind. His Twitter rantings will likely further fan the flames of division and dissent. An Administration that feels cornered often lashes out in ways that are almost always more destructive to itself than to its targets.”
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