Four years ago, we elected Donald J. Trump President of the United States. The election now under way is a referendum on Trump and his efforts to “Make America Great Again”. Here are ten ways Trump has wasted his opportunity, undermined efforts to secure justice, liberty, and prosperity for all, and in general trashed the country we love and the values we cherish.
Refugees: Trump has reversed our long-standing national policy to provide a safe haven for refugees around the world and to offer them an opportunity for freedom, prosperity, and peace. He has rejected applicants for asylum, separated refugee children from their parents, and in general failed to “lift our lamp beside the golden shore”.
Rhetoric: Trump has employed public rhetoric that is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. His language is partisan, mean, and full of cruelty. The press, knowledgeable people of all kinds, and elected leaders who resist his agenda have been pointed objects of his verbal abuse. In so doing, he has unleased among his tribe a tsunami of vicious and violent behavior that threatens to disrupt the peace in ways not seen in decades.
Debt: Trump signed the tax reduction bill that reduced the amount of cash flowing into the government (mainly from wealthy individuals and corporations).. This decline in revenue coupled with the economic crisis brought about by his mismanagement of the Coronavirus has plunged the country into debt not seen since the Second World War.
Judges: Trump has filled the federal courts with judges that represent only a narrow slice of the population that comes before them as plaintiffs: young white men, ideologs of a particular approach to the law, with limited experience and narrow sympathies, most intent of undermining the wide range of liberties secured through the courts over the last 75 years.
Dictators: Trump has shown strange attraction to dictators around the world, including those in Turkey, Russia, and North Korea. He has failed to promote human rights, civil liberties, and democratic reforms where he has had opportunity to do so. He has shown nothing but disdain for our historic democratic partners, thus dimming the hopes of millions for a better, more just social environment.
Art: Trump has denigrated the art community throughout in the United States, hosting not a single concert or artistic recognition during his four years in the White House nor attending even one year of the Kennedy Center Honors. Each year his proposed budget has recommended cuts to, or elimination of, funding for the arts and public radio.
Justice: Trump has failed to respond to the nationwide, grassroots call for justice for the marginalized communities of color in our cities. Instead, he has denounced their calls for reforms and encouraged local police, national guards, and even rouge militias to respond to public protests with unflinching force and little empathy.
Partisanship: Trump has spent his four years in office holding rallies for his tribe of voters rather than appealing to the common interests and values of all the American people. Rarely has he attended non-political events and rarely has he created opportunities to address all of us as American citizens with shared interests in community, cooperation, and human kindness.
Environment: Trump has reversed much of the progress our nation has made away from fossil fuel and toward renewable energy. He has isolated us from the global effort to address climate change and embrace strategies of environmental sustainability. He has even undermined efforts of individual states and corporations that have been leading the way toward this necessary future.
Virus: Most of all, Trump has mismanaged the federal effort to address the COVID pandemic, failing to understand its threat to human life and economic flourishing, refusing to heed the warnings of public health professionals, and neglecting to practice even the most basic protocols of safety. In these ways, he has brought untold damage to families, businesses, and communities throughout the country, harm that will last for decades.
Donald J. Trump does not deserve more time in the White House. I have already voted for Joe Biden and have received an email, a text, and even a phone call from the Georgia board of elections to tell me my vote has been received, accepted, and counted. I’ve done my part. Make sure you do yours!