I am not an American citizen, so I have no right to criticise the choice of president the American people made in November 2016; except to take on the role of critical friend of the office whose holder has some influence on every other person in the world and comment accordingly.
Out of the daily flow of evidence that Mr Trump has a worryingly short attention span, is unaware of US foreign policy risks and ramifications and spends time tweeting to the wider world whatever comes into his mind, I single out one matter for concern, for the global audience as well as the American people, and that is to do with what must be his apparently deficient conception of his office.
What is crucially lacking from the Trump presidency, I believe, is any sign that it has any overarching strategy or theme – be it liberal or conservative – with a long-term plan in place to carry it forward. In contrast, Mr Trump always seems to be almost frantically reactive, responding instantly to everything that crosses his ken, however trivial, rather than properly proactive, doing all that it takes to garner support for his mission; persuading voters; building for the future; leading the way.
Nothing he says or does shows that he fully understands and relishes the dimensions and opportunities of the Oval Office. As was said of President Reagan in his time, “he reigns but does not rule.” In terms of energy and application, Mr Trump must be the most ineffective president since Coolidge.
Given that he is, in the technical sense at least, the most important person in the world, that matters to all us non-Americans out there. We look to the president of the USA to lead the way in interpreting the present – and all its challenges and threats – and discerning the future. That needs energy, drive and focus.
In this regard, I regret to say, Mr Trump is letting us all down by tolerating the huge and growing vacancy at the core of his administration. He’s not doing enough. Sooner or later this will get to him too, and he will become too bored to carry on. The throne of the republic will pass to another, more ambitious and interesting individual whose first task it will be to reboot the presidency and make it do what it should be doing for all of us, making up for lost time. Our planet deserves no less.