Hoping for best … expecting a whole lot less

I won’t say I’m expecting the worst in 2018, because the worst — as I perceive it — is too hideous to ponder.

But the presidency of Donald J. Trump didn’t get off to an auspicious start at the beginning of 2017, no matter what he has said to the contrary.

  • Trump promised to build a “big beautiful wall” across our southern border. He hasn’t — thank goodness!
  • The president vowed to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Not done. Thanks for that, too.
  • Trump vowed to unify the nation after winning what he called a “historic” victory in 2016. Do you feel unified? Aw, me neither.
  • The president has turned the Republican Party from the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Trump. How does that sound?
  • The president vowed to “make America great again.” He hasn’t.

He will continue to use his Twitter account as an instrument for insults. He is going to bluster and prod North Korea’s nutty dictator, which likely could produce a bloody armed conflict with a nuclear-armed nation.

And throughout all of this the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to examine allegations of collusion with Russian government agents will continue. The counsel, Robert Mueller, is working to piece together a many-faceted jigsaw puzzle to determine whether the Trump presidential campaign worked in cahoots with Russians to influence the 2016 election. Trump keeps saying there’s nothing to it, yet he continues to impugn the integrity of Mueller and his team.

The year that’s about to pass has produced a maddening, mind-blowing and stunning array of missteps, mistakes and misdeeds. Many of the president’s top advisers have left, willingly or otherwise.

The 2016 election installed a man in the White House with no prior government experience at any level. His ignorance of government certainly has shown itself. He hasn’t yet filled many top executive branch offices. Federal judgeships have gone unfilled. The government has run in a sort of stop-and-go fashion.

Yet, the president touts the “fine-tuned machine” he has assembled. Really?

All this happened in just a little less than a year. That year is soon to be history.

I truly want the best for the country. To be candid, I don’t care about Trump’s personal success, as I fear that what the president considers an achievement will be bad for the rest of us.

Moreover, I also want the new year to bring some semblance of optimism. I fear that we’re going to be sorely disappointed.