Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States, a first and necessary step towards returning America to normal after four years of disgrace and corruption by Donald Trump, who inciting his already uncontrollable supporters to take down the Capitol and, he hoped, democracy.
By that time Biden spoke, disgraced and impeached (for the second time) Trump and his former nude model wife had spent their last trip on Air Force One as it delivered them to Florida, where could be living on borrowed time as creditors and prosecutors move in for final judgments. Trump became the first president since Andrew Johnson to not attend the inauguration for a successor.
“For a presidency that’s been awash in grift and deception from the start, you could not have scripted a more fitting end,” writes Greg Sargent in The Washington Post. “In his final moments as president, Donald Trump hailed his massive tax cut for the rich and corporations as one of his leading accomplishments — just after pardoning the chief architect of his “economic populism,” all to protect him from facing charges that he literally stole money from Trump supporters with a two-bit scam promising to help build his border wall.”
Trump leaves behind a nation he tried to destroy in a presidency he milked for personal benefit and ego gratification. America struggles from a pandemic that has killed more 400,000 in a tragic year that began exactly a year ago Wednesday. The economy is laid low with businesses shuttered with little hope of reopening.
Donald Trump’s tenure was characterized by colossal incompetence and mind-numbing indifference to the public good. His coronavirus management has resulted in more than 24.1 million cases in the United States and almost 400,000 deaths — projected to exceed 500,000 deaths by May. While overseeing arguably the worst loss of life since the great influenza of 1918, Trump also presided over the worst unemployment since the Great Depression. He is the first president in modern history to see a net loss of jobs during his time in office.
Those bare figures — catastrophic as they are — barely begin to plumb the depths of Trump’s failures, which were moral as much as managerial.
He was the most dishonest president ever: He produced more than 30,000 documented falsehoods.
He was the most corrupt president ever. He used his office to enrich his businesses, interfered in Justice Department investigations, engaged in obstruction of justice, stonewalled Congress, refused to release his tax returns, purged inspectors-general and pardoned his cronies and co-conspirators.
He was the most openly racist president in modern times — arguably since Woodrow Wilson. He consistently tried to fire up his White base with bigotry against people of color. His actions too often matched his vile words — most notoriously when he ordered the children of undocumented immigrants separated from their parents.
Over at The New York Times, Paul Friedman adds:
Folks, we just survived something really crazy awful: four years of a president without shame, backed by a party without spine, amplified by a network without integrity, each pumping out conspiracy theories without truth, brought directly to our brains by social networks without ethics — all heated up by a pandemic without mercy.
It’s amazing that our whole system didn’t blow, because the country really had become like a giant overheated steam engine. What we saw in the Capitol last week were the bolts and hinges starting to come loose. The departure of Donald J. Trump from the White House and the depletion of his enablers’ power in the Senate aren’t happening a second too soon.
Sadly, there are still some who feel Trump was a “good president.” A few even call him “outstanding.” Many are racists, white supremacists, bigots or simply brain-dead.
For a while, I believed that some who supported him were furious about being abandoned by the Democrats, but that concept downed in the toxic waste that surrounds Trump and his immorally and criminal behavior.
Like all good con men, Trump played on people’s fears and stroked their worries with his lies. They became little more than bots programmed to accept all that Trump said was gospel when all he usually says are outright lies. Like propagandists like Hitler, he repeated his lies so often that people had little ability to recognize the truth.
Trump’s domestic terrorism brought America closer to destruction and ruin than Islamic fanatic or goose-stepping Nazi. Trump’s primary skill is arrogant manipulation directed at those weak of mind and devoid of soul. He appeals to the weak-minded who want shortcuts to richness and fame but all he delivers if bankruptcy and dishonor.
Let’s hope that justice is served quickly and without mercy. He deserves punishment to the max.
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