Trumps End-of-term Final Report Card

This is the 3rd Trump Report Card. I did it once before he took office, and once at the end of year one. I’ll stick to the same categories. (Also at the end of year two, I tried to list 10 good things about Trump.)

Global Warming: F. From Day One, Trump did everything he could to roll back and sabotage any efforts to address climate change. Pulling out of the Paris Accord, changing the cost of a ton of carbon, removing all mentions of global warming from federal websites, etc. History will not treat Trump or the GOP kindly. Fortunately the trends already in motion minimized the damage done. The private sector stepped up, and technology trends (many goosed under Obama’s stimulus package) accelerated. Renewable energies are now economically competitive with fossil fuels.

Nuclear Weaponry: C. He threw away NATO and buddied up to Russia. He used unnecessarily harsh language, and escalated tensions in Korea. But in the large picture, not so bad.

Pandemic: D. A new category! First, ere are some positive things the Trump administration did:

  • Shut down China travel early (even if done poorly).
  • Operation Warp Speed.
  • Not overly politicizing first round of stimulus relief.
  • Buying 100 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna. This was done when it wasn’t at all certain either company could successfully develop a vaccine. Buying enough for 100 million Americans was a pretty good gamble.
  • The pressure he put on the FDA was good. They were overly conservative, never properly balanced the urgency of the situation against their normal process.
  • …and many of the countries that had much better leadership had lots of problems, the connection between bad policy and outcome isn’t quite so black and white.

But here we are a full year later, and there was never a federal plan. There was never any federal plan. Even the most diehard libertarian understands this is where big government is needed. It takes the vast powers and scope of the federal government to deal with a problem that crosses borders — but Trump wouldn’t. He constantly undercut scientific advice. Not only didn’t he rally the country around mask wearing and social distancing, he did everything he could to undercut it. Even after getting the actual disease, he didn’t change his tune. History tested Donald Trump, and he failed. Hundreds of thousands of deaths are directly attributable to him.

Threats to American Democracy. Fail

He is the biggest threat to American Democracy since The Civil War. He gets a zero.

  • Trump believes he is above the law. He believes the law is there to serve him. That’s what we call a king, it’s what we got rid of. One of many examples, firing his handpicked Attorney General for refusing to corruptly stop the Mueller investigation.
  • Trump implicitly and explicitly refused to help and be the President for states that didn’t vote for him.
  • Trump lies constantly. Ignorant and venal, he further drove the discourse of the country into the gutter. Democracy doesn’t work without shared facts, and Trump refused to truck in facts.
  • The undermining of basic facts is incredible. Right now, the majority of the GOP honestly believes the election was stolen. Think about that. They don’t believe the mass media, the many non-partisan groups, the experts in the federal government, fact checkers, or the unending string of court losses. The credibility of every neutral group has been attacked steadily so Trump can simply assert lies and his followers will believe it.
  • Remember Russia? Maybe you’ve forgotten their stated goal: To make Western Democracy unable to function productively. Can anyone doubt their success? And while Trump may not have actively sought out Russian help, he was eager to accept what they gave. Treason.

The rest: Some other things happened, but anything else is chicken feed compared to these four.

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