The letter in Wednesday’s New York Times called the Trump presidency a “disaster, a record he can’t run on.”
I share the sentiment but disagree with the analysis.
One need only look to the Supreme Court and federal judicial appointments to recognize that for conservatives Trump has been a most successful president, defanging consumer and employee protections, undercutting Obamacare, dissolving the wall that separates church and state, providing religious cover for discrimination against women and minorities. It is a record Trump is proud to run on.
Or one could look to a watering down of environmental protections to realize Trump has succeeded in poisoning our atmosphere, polluting our rivers and lifting safeguards on national lands, to know that Trump has handed big business successes they never imagined. It is a record Trump is proud to run on.
One could look at our frayed international relations to see Trump has succeeded in making America a shadow of its once dominant position in the world, just what the isolationists along with Russia and China hoped to achieve. It is a record Trump is proud to run on.
One need only reflect on the universal meaning of the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address to comprehend that Trump has succeeded in pushing back against the twin drives for equality and tolerance for women and people of color to the joy of white supremacists. It is a record Trump is proud to run on.
One need only listen to the venom within political discourse to appreciate that Trump has succeeded in dehumanizing and demeaning political engagement, reducing it to an exchange of insults rather than ideas. Bullying vs. compromise. It is a record Trump is proud to run on.
One need only close one’s heart to the sorrow seeping through our land from Trump’s failure to act decisively in a timely manner to thwart the spread of the coronavirus, to accept Trump’s dismissal of science and medical expertise as a success against coastal elites. In his failure to express compassion for victims and their families, in his disdain for wearing a mask and shutting down schools and places of work, Trump not only places more importance on dollars over deaths but suggests a variation of his rebuke of John McCain, that he doesn’t like servicemen who become prisoners of war—he apparently doesn’t like anyone weak enough to succumb to COVID-19. It is a record Trump is proud to run on.
Trump has brought the country to a tipping point.
It is said the only perfect vision is 20/20 hindsight. Four years ago one could only assume the worst based on his rhetoric.
Now, in 2020, Americans must choose if the trail Trump has led us on for four years deserves another four years. Or if the process of reconciliation can begin with a new president committed to our founding ideals no matter how imperfectly they have been realized in the past.
Polls show Trump has support from less than 50% of the population. It is up to the majority to disavow Trump and his enablers in the House and Senate. Only the majority can turn Trump’s reelection campaign into a disaster—for him or for the country.