I was having coffee with a friend who was complaining about political and economic problems in his native country. He said that they had a new president who made many promises when campaigning, but is not keeping any of them now that he is in office.

In regard to borders, he said that the president promised to build a wall, similar to the wall in China, in order to prevent the the illegal immigration from coming to his country and that the other neighboring country would pay for the wall, 100 percent. However, it appears the people of his country will pay for it. He also said that he would rid the country of corruption and "clean the swamp," that is, get rid of ineffective, corrupt politicians and influential lobbyists. Unfortunately, he bemoaned, politicians who are mainly interested on being re-elected rather than taking care of the people's business, depend on their contribution in return for various favors that may or may not benefit their constituents.

So what else is happening, I asked him? Well, he said, the only swamp that is being cleared is the president's own cabinet, the one that he hand-picked, which proved to be a big mistake and liability for his governance since many had "skeletons" in their own closets. This situation is aggravated by the fact that the president claims to be more knowledgeable than all generals and his advisers combined, and he does not consult or trust his intelligence agencies. As a matter of fact, he publicly criticizes his judicial and legislative branches, which is frightening the people who don't know how to react to all his confusing comments.

And what is Congress doing about it, I asked him? Nothing, he said. They are mesmerized and in shock. They don't know how to react. Those who are candidates for re-election are afraid to question or oppose him. The others in his party are paralyzed and choose the "wait and see" game. Although the president's party has the majority in both the House and Senate in his country, the affairs of the nation are in limbo.

The president now threatens not only the candidates for re-election who do not unquestionably support him, but he has engaged in a verbal war with the press. How is that? Please explain, I said.

What is there to explain, he asked. He tweets daily, attacking and accusing everyone and everything, often spewing inaccurate facts and half truths and when the press challenges him he calls them unpatriotic and their news as fake news and encourages his supporters not to believe what they read or trust the media.

I said, calm down, my friend, people will soon see the truth and things will get better. But he doesn't don't think so. Even in international trade and foreign affairs the president made a mess. He imposed tariffs on their closest allies and other trading partners like China, who now in turn are retaliating. This is ruining agricultural exports and manufacturers because the foreign countries are not buying their products. That, of course, is counter-productive because now the government has to heavily subsidize these industries to minimize their losses. And yes, you guessed it, the consumers have to pay higher prices for the goods purchased. What a deal!

Oh, that's not all. He not only threatened to pull out of NATO if some of its members do not contribute their "fair share" to the program, but he also threatened, insulted and belittled leaders of other countries, then reversed himself and met with them on "one to one" basis, not disclosing to anyone what they agreed to or talked about, but claiming that he has saved the world.

"I believe that he is acting as a dictator," he whispered, looking around if anyone else is listening. Oh, boy, I said, your country has a problem. Thank God, this can't happen in America.

Anastas Pazevic is a resident of Destin.