than 70 million Americans voted for Donald J. Trump in the recent presidential
election. They obviously chose him over
eventual winner Joseph Biden Jr. As an
independent voter and historian, I felt a critique of Trump’s four years in
office might be enlightening to those disappointed by his loss.
divided the evaluation it different sections.
A president has a tremendously difficult job involving multiple
situations occurring simultaneously. As
a result, there is no order to this list.
entering office, Trump severely criticized previous president Obama for
allowing even a couple of people to die from SARS and Ebola. At this writing, Trump’s death toll from
COVID-19 is more than 225,000.
of his first acts in office was to disband and reassign members of the pandemic
task force created under Obama for what everyone knew would be another
virus. As a result, this country was
unprepared to act quickly when the disease did arrive.
response was to deny, to call it a hoax, to blame Democrats and then, he
admitted to reporter Bob Woodward, to play down the seriousness. In the end, the administration opted to do
nothing. Instead, Trump continued his
rallies, decried wearing masks and supported dubious or dangerous cures, such
as injecting bleach.
politicized the Centers for Disease Control, tried to prevent the collection of
data, claiming absurdly that if no infections were announced, then none were
administration’s response, contrasted with all-out efforts in such countries as
Germany, Korea, New Zealand and others reflects a callous policy that continues
to doom thousands. Worse, as doctors are
learning, the disease can return and has residual effects on organs that could
plague survivors for decades.
Trump Administration has added $3 trillion to the deficit, an ungodly sum
that’s unprecedented in human history.
Some of that is the result of the virus.
However, the stimulus to help American families was inadequate and brief.
Unemployment in numbers is approaching
Depression levels with no turnabout in sight.
America business people have used technology to save their businesses and jobs
in the process. That has been done
without Administration assistance.
increases in the deficit cannot be avoided now, with the subsequent pressure on
the economy to meet its loan obligations.
The Administration aggravated the situation by pushing a tax “reform”
law through Congress that handed cuts to major corporations and wealthy
individuals while doing little to nothing for the vast bulk of Americans.
keeping with that approach, Trump taxes indicate he paid $750 to the U.S.
Treasury despite earning millions while paying hundreds of thousands in taxes
to foreign countries. The actual taxes
Trump paid cannot be determined because, despite repeated promises to do so, he
has refused to release his tax form, defying a federal judge at the moment who
has ordered them to New York authorities for an investigation there.
has cozied up to dictators in North Korea and Russia, ignoring or denigrating
reports from our intelligence community.
Some intelligence officers have openly asked if Trump is a Russian
has made policy decisions that support Russian goals, such as abandoning
our long-term allies the Kurds in Syria.
also moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, where other countries maintain their
consulates, to Jerusalem. Israel wanted
that. Palestinians did not. The move did little to help any peace talks,
but could be a positive in the long run.
To make matters worse, he assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a
businessman with no political experience, to handle any negotiations with
understandably no success.
the same time, Trump was impeached for attempting to blackmail another ally,
the Ukraine, into creating false evidence against Biden’s son. In doing so, he ignored reports showing Biden
had been investigated and that nothing inappropriate had been identified. He also reportedly opportuned other
countries to support his re-election bid, in violation of Federal law
prohibiting such action.
was openly laughed at by other world leaders at an international conference
after showing himself singularly inept at international politics. He attempted but failed to get Russia admitted
into the G-7, after Russia was expelled in 2014 for annexing the Crimea.
initiatives in this area have been deliberately awful, including support of an
unneeded oil pipeline over sacred Indian land, which led to the inevitable spill;
the abrogation via presidential order of multiple laws to keep air and water
clean; the decision to open pristine national parks to commercial development;
and the naming of lobbyists to run the Federal agencies they once lobbied.
According to a ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations analysis,
Trump hired 281 lobbyists, four times the number hired in the Obama years. Obama created a pledge that restricted what
areas former lobbyists could work, reducing conflicts of interest. Trump eliminated an important aspect of the pledge
Fortune Magazine noted in 2017, “the Cabinet choices are another sign that
Trump's populist pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ is a catchy campaign slogan but
not a serious attempt to change the way Washington works. Instead of staring
down ‘the unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests.’ as
Trump recently declared, the influence industry has flourished during his
administration.” (Richard Lardner and the Associated Press, Sept. 17, 2019 https://fortune.com/2019/09/17/donald-trump-cabinet-lobbyists/)
a result, one-time lobbyists have been directing the Defense, Labor and
Interior departments, Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Post Office and
office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
of the selections are particularly egregious.
Betsy DeVos, the secretary of Education, is an avowed opponent of public
education. According to the National
Education Association, DeVos “promotes the privatization of public schools
through vouchers, continually calls for deep cuts to federal funding, rolls
back protections for vulnerable children, and completely disregards their
safety and the safety of educators during a global pandemic.” (https://educationvotes.nea.org/2019/03/22/devos/)
General Louis DeJoy owns a company that is in competition with the Post Office
and set out to dismantle the its ability to deliver the mail. Federal judges have had to step in to get
equipment restored and demand all efforts be made to deliver the mail properly.
the decisions, Trump politicized the Supreme Court by nominating and relying on
the Republic majority to approve Brent Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barret. Testimony in Congress showed how unqualified
both are. Barrett has less than three
years of experience as a judge and belongs to a rigid religious group that
believes a woman should be subservient to a man, not the ideal view for a woman
on a court dominated by men.
addition, defying local and state authorities, Trump sent in Federal troops to
attack protestors upset by the deaths of Blacks at the hands of police. At the same time, he has refused to condemn
white supremacists and won the endorsement of the KKK and the American Nazi Party. Not surprisingly, racists and anti-Semitic
attacks have climbed dramatically.
American Jewish community experienced the highest level of antisemitic
incidents last year since tracking began in 1979, with more than 2,100 acts of
assault, vandalism and harassment reported across the United States, according
to new data from ADL (the Anti-Defamation League).” (https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/antisemitic-incidents-hit-all-time-high-in-2019)
the same time, The Guardian found, “About four in 10 Black and Asian
adults reported increased racial tension since the pandemic began … “ Blacks reported being attacked just for
wearing a mask. (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/29/hate-crimes-americans-of-color-pandemic)
House insiders have reported that Trump has been doing everything possible to
erase anything Obama did purely from racism.
has boasted that he doesn’t accept a salary.
However, he has cost taxpayers more than $124 million by frequently going
golfing and forcing Secret Service and other government officials to stay in his
resorts. Of course, prior to taking
office, he said he would be too busy to golf.
According to published reports, his own family has reaped millions through
private businesses that gained through their connection to the presidency. According to a 2019 story in GQ, Trump
promised to have no deals consummated during his term in office. Since then, his sons “have sold off more than
$100 million worth of Trump Organization real estate. That figure includes a
$33 million sale of the company’s stake in a federally subsidized housing
complex—a transaction Secretary of House & Urban Development Ben Carson had
to approve—and a $3.2 million sale of land in the Dominican Republic last year,
which Forbes called “the clearest violation of their father’s pledge to do no
new foreign deals while in office.”
“In February 2017, the Trump Organization sold a $15.8 million Trump Park
Avenue penthouse—a home formerly occupied by Jared and Ivanka—to Angela Chen,
who runs a consulting firm with ties to Chinese government officials and
(allegedly) Chinese military intelligence. Forbes analyzed the sale and found
that this price was 13 percent more than that paid for a comparable unit a year
earlier, and that it sold at a time when the building’s other units, on
average, were selling for 25 percent less.” (https://www.gq.com/story/trump-kids-profit-presidency)
He has mocked military heroes, such as the late Sen. John McCain, who
endured years in a North Vietnamese prison.
He scorned dead soldiers, calling them “fools.” It should be referenced that no one in his
family has ever served in the military. Trump
paid a doctor to report he had bone spurs and received five deferments.
As a final note, Trump has spewed more than 20,000 verified lies and is
averaging 25-35 lies a day. Twitter
estimates that one-third of his statements are lies.
His lack of veracity reminds me of what happened on a cruise ship. The captain announced that on Dec. 24 would
be landing on board to remove an ill passenger and asked us to leave the front
of the ship clear. People went anyway
thinking the captain was covering the arrival of Santa. He was not. As he said over the loudspeaker the
next day, “If I lied about that, why would you believe anything else I said?”
As an independent voter, I really don’t care if a Republican or Democrat is
elected. I simply want that president to
be the best possible for the benefit of this country. I may disagree or agree with various policies
but always assume the president is acting on this country’s best interest. Until Trump.
No one can foresee whether or not Biden will be a good president. There have been particularly poor presidents
before, including Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and George W.
Bush. Regardless, Biden can never be the
worst. That position has been turned
into a concrete monument to Donald J. Trump.
religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious
history with an occasional foray into American culture. He holds an ABD in American Studies from Case
Western Reserve University. He also
speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is
the author of novels like The Great Seer Nostradamus Tells All
and Adventures in Bonding
(Bold Venture Press) as well as a variety of nonfiction books, including Joy
to the World: The Stories Behind Christmas Carols (Bold Venture) and Comparative
Religion for Dummies (Wiley
Press). His books are available
on Amazon.com, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers. He can also be followed on Twitter.