(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

President Trump creates confusion around him. He likes public bewilderment. He enjoys staff demoralization. He confounds allies. He frustrates expectations.

This is the Trump governing style. He doesn’t want anyone to know what he will do next. These might be considered the brilliant tactics of a master strategist. Keep your foes off balance. Make them guess. Make your enemies sweat. Except this is what Trump does to his FRIENDS. It is not so brilliant to make it impossible for your lieutenants to carry out your plans. So why does he do it?

Because he doesn’t HAVE any plans. He likes to trust his gut. He wakes up in the morning, throws the sheet off his stomach and surveys his empire. There is the mountain’s majesty to inspire his awe. There are the navel forces to gaze upon. There are the deep rumblings and gurgles and murmurs to listen to for his day’s agenda. How could he possibly explain or predict to his staff what this could reveal ahead of time? He would rather seize the moment, with both hands, and shake the mighty entrails of inspiration until wisdom arrives.

The reason that members of Trump’s staff don’t know what Trump will do is that Trump doesn’t know what he is doing, either. So obviously he can’t tell them. And when he does, what’s the difference? He won’t remember, or care, or feel constrained to follow through.

And so here we are. The only people who have a functional understanding of what Trump will do are foreign adversaries with a longer-term agenda. A guy who continuously improvises without any discipline does nothing but give a patient adversary opportunities. Trump has given new meaning to the idea that America is the land of opportunities.