Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Trump - Gump or Chump?


This video tries to present Trump's 4 years with his achievements and failures.

Do you agree?

First, let's call a spade a spade. This is (or was) the "Trump Presidency", not the Trump Administration. Because calling what they did over four years, "administration" is arguable and generous. Just consider the turnover of the Cabinet members (not covered in the video, because rightly, it is not usually considered an achievement or failure, but is indicative or symptomatic of a dysfunctional... "administration". Or "Dysadministration".) So it is NOT in question that Trump was the 45th POTUS. So call it the Trump Presidency. "Trump Administration"? Laughable. Arguable. Debatable. But I will let it pass as a customary nomenclature rather than an objective and accurate descriptor. 

Second, some of the achievements or failures are subject to the judgement of history and/or are multifaceted and would depend on the perspective and the lens thru which it should (or would) be seen. For example, was Trump's confrontation with China good or bad? Achievement or Failure. It's not easy to say at this point in time/history. Or you might say, it depends on your perspective. US perspective? Even so, that depends on the long term objectives and US's role in the unfolding history. If the US is on the decline (from the perspective of history) and China is in ascendency, then though Trump was not ready to concede the 2020 election weeks after the result was obvious, he readily ceded US global leadership (in some/many aspects) to China. 

Third and finally, this video assesses Trump's "achievements" and "failures" as if this presidency's endeavours were thought out and thought through. That the achievements are intentional, and failures were just badly executed, unfortunately timed, or undermined by opponents or historical events. That is generous. The evidence suggests that Trump "Forrest Gump" his way to the Presidency, and his achievements. As for his failures, they can all be traced back to his lack of understanding, interests, and intellect. Or his bias/prejudices. 

And some of the achievements in this video were wrongly attributed to him. Getting to pick 3 conservative Supreme Court Justices was due to the machinations of Mitch McConnell more than the astuteness of Trump. 

It may be too soon, but eventually, history will ask, "President Donald Trump - [Forrest] Gump or Chump?" Or maybe some are already asking. Or some believe they already know the answer.

[Edit/ Addendum: From a Washington Post newsletter (The Daily 202), of 25 Nov:

Trump will be the first president since Herbert Hoover in the Great Depression to leave office with fewer Americans employed than when he started. More problematic is that, as a lame-duck, Trump is aggressively trying to box in his successor with new rules, regulations and orders that are designed to tie the hands of the incoming administration.

The federal budget deficit was $3.1 trillion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, by far the biggest one-year gap in U.S. history. Trump promised as a candidate in 2016 to eliminate the national debt over eight years. When he took office, the debt was $14.4 trillion. It now stands at $21.1 trillion.

While Trump has lost in the court of law, he was won to some degree in the court of conservative public opinion. By baselessly sowing doubt in the integrity of the results, and with the complicit consent of Republican lawmakers who stayed silent for so long, Trump is convincing millions of gullible supporters that his successor is somehow not legitimate. This will make it harder for Biden, who strives to be a healer, to bind the national wounds into which Trump has been rubbing salt these past four years.

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