If the incompetence, illegal acts, and outright fraud of Donald Trump’s one term as presidency don’t seal his legacy as America’s worst-ever leader, his attempts to overturn a legal election that defeated him should eliminate any doubts.
With his temper tantrums, unethical contact with state leaders calling on them to take actions the law prohibits, and his own constant barrage of lies and false claims, Trump appears even more mentally-unbalanced than normal and puts America in danger through his childish actions.
Since the election, many headlines about President Trump’s behavior seem to point out how childishly he is responding to his loss. He is “throwing a tantrum,” according to the Los Angeles Times; Newsday spells out details of the “damage from Trump’s temper tantrum.” Again and again, he’s represented in similar terms, as “sulking,” “pouting” and “whining.”
Every parent has seen the look in their child’s eyes that says, “I’m so mad I could sabotage the world’s oldest democracy.” But likening the president’s behavior to that of a tantruming child plays down the enormous destructiveness of his “hissy fit.” As one of the most powerful people in the world, a man revered by millions of Americans, he can do a lot more damage than even the most determined toddler.
The certified election results show American voters, by a margin of at least six million votes, rejected another four years of Trump’s time in the White House sandbox. He has done long-term damage to America’s democracy, her relationship with allies, and the trust our nation’s citizens need in their government.
He had a lot of help, as Eugene Robinson notes:
Democracy requires faith. President Trump and his unscrupulous enablers — including most Republican elected officials — are cynically destroying that faith for millions of Americans, and I fear the nation will pay a terrible price.
I’m talking to you, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and most of your caucus. I’m talking to you, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and the great majority of your colleagues. Motivated by a combination of cowardice and ambition, you are refusing to acknowledge Joe Biden’s election as president and, in the process, doing grievous harm to the country and the Constitution you swore an oath to serve. Shame on you all.
Paul Krugman says we shouldn’t be surprised by Trump or the Republicans who enable him.
President Trump’s continuing attempts to overturn an election he lost decisively more than a month ago is, like so much of what he’s done in office, shocking but not surprising. Who imagined that he would go quietly?
What some people may not have been fully prepared for is the way Trump’s party as a whole has backed his dangerous delusions. According to a survey by The Washington Post, only 27 Republican members of Congress are willing to say that Joe Biden won. Despite the complete lack of evidence of significant fraud, two-thirds of self-identified Republicans said in a Reuters/Ipsos poll that the election was rigged.
But you really shouldn’t be surprised by this willingness to indulge malicious, democracy-endangering lies. After all, when was the last time Republicans accepted a politically inconvenient fact? It has been clear for years that the modern G.O.P. is a party that can’t handle the truth.
No one should be surprised. I worked for Republican members of Congress and the party’s political committees as an operative from 1981-87 and saw, firsthand, the party’s lemming-like march towards becoming a lies-dominated gaggle of frauds.
The march intensified in 1994 when Republicans took control of Congress and elected Newt Gingrich Speaker of the House. Like Trump, he is a power-mad despot. I saw how he operated in the 1992 election which I was a contractor for one of his political operations. Dealing with him made me decide to leave politics.
Trump is a final result of the turn of the GOP towards madness and fraud.
I left my time in politics a broken-down alcoholic who drank to ease the pain of violation of whatever principles I had to be part of their madness. Even after 26 years, six months, and one day of sobriety (as this is written), I still wonder how I got involved with such people.
While more than 80 million American votes chose Joe Biden as a necessary replacement for Donald Trump, America’s worst president still had 74 million who voted for him.
Throwing Trump out of the White House is a start in the rebuilding of America and restoring its soul, but lots more must be done to make sure he, and his kind, are ex-communicated from the nation’s body politic.
Trumpism is a cancer and eradicating it will not be easy, but we must fight it to save the America we know and love.
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