Trump and Obama are a study in contrasts. It has nothing to do with age or race and everything to do with outlook. When history is written I think Obama will be seen as our most conscious president. Obama is conscious, intentional, and thoughtful. He did not get everything right but he will be seen to have gotten many things right that no one even thought of.

I remember putting together more than 140 notions about things that Obama anticipated doing. Trump is easy to pillory because he is such a provocateur. If he did not have some serious past wrongdoing to give him fears, he would be a merry prankster.

As it is, he is a tweeting tightrope waller with but one thought. Its name begins with T.

In reverse

Trump does not look to a future because he is smart enough to see that the future holds little for him. It does not hold much for his ilk either.

Ilk means Trumpian sorts, whether they be rich or poor. The future is precisely why they are either very angry or very greedy for the short term. If there was really a devil, Trump's ilk is where he would head. Lots of pickings there.

Obama, on the other hand, is as close to being the future as any president we've had. When Obama is as old as Trump is, he will still be looking ahead and responding not to what is over and done but what can be done now and tomorrow.

Preview

Here is an early look at what the NY Times will be sending out to its paper readers this weekend. Because the only way you can keep the future at bay is to try to destroy it, Trump is seen as a disruptor. That is a major misunderstanding. We'll get to that.

Of course, Trump is a disruptor but there is no future in it.

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I wonder if that is what dictatorship is about. Trump is not yet a full dress dictator but he has already made his preferences known. As the Times points out, he is well-disposed to the other authoritarians around the globe. Do you want to know why? Because they all want to stop time. Putin wants to go back to the Stalin era.

Xi wants to be Mao and idolized. Trump wants to be loved by everyone and the rest be damned. Greatness for all three lies in an inaccessible yesterday.

Choices

The proof lies in the Choices these masters make. Putin is driven by oil which is why Xi has no problem sending oil to North Korea. Because Chinese are a restless people who have had a tempting taste of democracy, Xi must do ecological things in self-defense. But he is still wed to the oil-car model. And Trump is the poster child for the past, which is roadsters wheeling down endless highways in a nation where prosperity will breed more sprawl, more debt, and more anomie. That is not the future, it is stopping time.