As Bad as you Think Trump is, He’s Worse
Despite the horrific Capitol riot/attempted coup, Trump is apparently trying to pivot, and disavow the rioters while not taking back his lie that the election was “rigged”. Apologists like Kellyanne Conway are saying that he led a “historically great economy”, while her husband is stating that Trump has historically bad character that has led to mobs spouting lies. Here’s why no matter how bad you think Trump was, he’s actually worse
In summary, the Trump administration has been a disaster. His transgressions are so numerous and have happened so quickly that it is hard to keep track or score. He seems to have cultivated a class of political hedonists and iconoclasts, who more or less hate all politicians and stalk anyone who doesn’t support them as a blood sport. Thanks to Trump’s conversion of the political arena into the WWF, the Democrats may want to consider running Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2024.
The national deficit accrued during Trump’s term is over 7 Trillion (about 35% more that the deficit he inherited), he has popularized lying, cheating, and bullying, he’ll leave us a compromised national life expectancy of at least one year less than the US population he inherited, and he has participated in unprecedented cooperation with overseas dictators which will lead to future wars…this is the legacy that the Trump administration will leave us. No matter how much the remnants of the tattered Republican Party tries to spin it, there is no way to put lipstick on this pig.
That the national deficit is staggeringly high after Trump’s tax cuts for the rich, there was Covid mismanagement, a silly wall, and general incompetence is no secret. You could also blame the complicit Mitch McConnell Senate, the flight of “deficit hawks” such as Paul Ryan, the Covid-recession, and many other factors, but check out this comparison: Barrack Obama faced a MUCH WORSE ECONOMIC CRISIS IN 2009 than anything Trump ever faced, and yet ran up the same deficit in 8 YEARS than Trump ran up in 4 YEARS, even though TRUMP INHERITED A STRONG ECONOMY. The really bad thing about this is that all the “funny-money” Trump pumped into the economy will surely create a massive recession (when the Trump bubble bursts) creating even MORE OF A DEFICIT. Trump helped accomplish this feat by strong-arming Fed Chairman Powell into keeping interest-rates ridiculously low, mostly to insure his popularity and re-electability during his term. This further inflated this stock market bubble, while allowing Trump to say he had created a “historically strong economy” (built on too-easy credit, too many tax goodies for the rich). In addition, the Trump administration is incompetent and never really had a coherent economic philosophy, other than making Trump look good. After all, bringing jobs to America is a great idea, but Trump never really did this. The reality is that we still depend somewhat on guest workers and foreign goods, but we could have retooled/re-educated/eased foreign dependence to create a new national workforce capable of competing internationally (with cleaner energy, better cars, better tech). However most of Trump’s energy went into stupid symbolism like his expensive wall (that won’t work) and “saving Westinghouse” and “coal” (surely lost causes).
Expect a recession soon (more like a Trump hangover) when the stock buybacks and propping up of inefficient companies (like Hertz, whose filed Chapter 11 but whose stock rose due to “bailouts”). This will be in keeping with the time-honored tradition of Republican presidents running up deficits, and then handing the resulting deficits to incoming Democratic presidents (and blaming them for the mess). But this isn’t even the worst Trump legacy. His bad character, lies, and support of conspiracies will ultimately do the worst damage. There will now be a whole generation of politicians trying to succeed using the same dubious methods (and we naively thought that this ended with Joe McCarthy in the 50s). Plus, the damage will extend to families and workplaces, where children and workers have learned to use relentless lying to their advantages. It’s highly ironic that Melania is running an anti-bullying campaign, when her husband wrote the book on bullying. As a result, much of America’s credibility overseas has been lost, which leads us to the another area of Trump damage…Covid-19 pandemic management.
As of this writing, the US easily leads the world in Covid cases (25% of the world’s total) and Covid deaths (20%), while having 4% of the world’s population. From comparisons to other countries such as Canada, the UK, and Australia, you can see that the Covid numbers should have been less than ½ these amounts. This means that even using Trump’s policy of Covid denial (the blaming of China and Dr. Fauci, saying that Covid deaths and mask benefits were overstated, advocacy for quack remedies, saying that Covid measures were killing our economy), he has done a remarkably bad job of managing the disease, even though he was given advanced, accurate intelligence (see March 2020 Woodward tape). Combined, Canada/UK/Australia have 130 million people, 4.1 million Covid cases, and 107,000 deaths, all of which adds up to around 50% of the case and death rate of the US. Since we are a country known for proficiency in Science and Medicine, this is appalling. In the same way that a realistic and Presidential Trump public statement would have dampened the Chancellorsville or Capitol riots, any statement such as “we recommend that everyone observe social distancing and wear a mask in all public places, while listening to your local health authorities” would have greatly reduced our pandemic numbers. In addition, if he had been quicker to respond to the initial crisis, or not applied electoral demagoguery, we would also have been much better off. As many have pointed out, the Trump administration is as incompetent as it is deceptive, and one gets the impression of a staff afraid to use initiative (a staff reaction similar to those responding to Hitler’s obsessive micromanagement at the end of World War II). Since Covid-19 has many lingering effects (some not yet understood), the combined effect of this national disaster is a loss in US life-expectancy of one year (and counting). Thank you Mr. Trump.
That Trump has been in bed with Russia is no secret. What is perhaps less known is that he is in bed with many foreign dictators, having a history of dubious deals and loans with them to set up Trump franchises overseas. Though he has tried to discredit the Steele Dossier (written by retired British MI6 agent Christopher Steele), I’m hard pressed to find anything in the document that has been disproven. Trump is apparently heavily in debt and heavily compromised by these Countries, becoming a victim of “kompromat”. Though he is trying to hang complicity with the Ukraine and China over Biden’s head, Trump actually has a long history of complicity with the bad-actors of these countries as well. The net-effect is that although Trump has “kept us out of wars”, the reasons he has kept us out has created a kind of deferred maintenance, for which our Country will eventually have to pay (possibly with bigger wars than the ones he prevented).
Examples of this would obviously be his reluctance to hold Russia accountable for hacking, bounties on our soldiers, complicity in Syria and Ukraine, and pulling out of nuclear treaties (which will surely lead to heavy sanctions if not military actions). His pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal will surely lead to hostilities, for which he will conveniently not have to resolve. His betrayal of the Kurds and complicity with Turkish strongman Erdogan will doubtless lead to further confrontations with Turkey. His initial “sucking up” to China and N. Korea, followed by his petulant blaming of China and ignoring of N. Korea, will surely lead to Biden having to clean up the mess (if not World War III).
Yes, Trump is historically bad, but just wait…when all is known (by investigations that are surely to follow), we will learn that he is much, much worse than we ever imagined.