Another reason that the president cannot resist commenting on every non-political issue in American life is that he seemingly cannot stand the actual work of American governance—a preference made salient at a moment when lawmakers are busy trying to repeal the signature legislative achievement of Trump’s predecessor. Several Republican lawmakers said the president never mastered the details of health care policy. The president’s recent NFL commentary suggests that national anthem protests, on the other hand, are a debate he can engage with.
As a candidate, Trump promised to take a firm leadership role in changing American health care, tax policy, infrastructure spending, drug abuse, and regional inequality. But as president, Trump has given no national address endorsing a specific health care plan. He has given no national address endorsing a specific tax reform plan. His administration has no clear plan to begin rebuilding American infrastructure, no real urgency to address the opioid crisis, and no outline to confront the economic issues that supposedly buffeted his candidacy, like regional inequality. Instead, the president has been more inclined to reserve the precious power of his bully pulpit to target his nemeses, by name, as in the case of Colin Kaepernick and Stephen Curry.