Let’s be fair. To Trump critics and those in the resistance: let’s give Donald J. Trump credit where credit is due. Coming from a business background, not one of service, he has, nevertheless and at times awkwardly so, managed to take down huge swaths of our democracy, institution by institution, principle by principle. He is deep in the process of gutting our economy long term by promoting and signing into law obscene tax cuts to the millionaire/billionaire class of Americans, jeopardizing bankrupting the country in the long term. He has fairly surreptitiously invited Putin and all his former KGB assassins and spies in our backdoor. Trump has engineered the deportation of working, contributing, tax-paying immigrants.
Trump wants credit for crowd size; let’s give him credit for “inspiring” the largest crowd protests of him and his policies, not only in the nation but all over the world in the Women Marches of 2017 and 2018. He’d like credit for the rise in the Stock Market, and we will also give him credit for the DOW being down over 1,000 points, starting in February 2018 and the largest single day drop in recent history.
As the “law and order” candidate, Trump the man, in just a little over a year, has broken contracts and laws with abandon, attacked judges and undermined our court system while filling the last Supreme Court seat with a far right justice , as promised. Trump has seamlessly made white supremacy and neo-Nazis a part of our central government and message emanating from our government. The Donald has emboldened dictators and strongmen around the world, all while baiting and goading unstable dictators into considering nuclear options against us.
Trump has fairly surreptitiously gutted our clean air and water protections, while helping to create the possibility of turning our National parks into mining pits. Constitutionally, he has made a mockery of the Constitution while feigning upholding it.
He has attacked the freedom of the press so successfully that half of the American population is not able (or willing) to distinguish real news from dangerous propaganda. Trump, Sr. has attacked freedom of speech and emboldened actions found in police states.
Donald, Sr. has flagrantly exacerbated racial tensions, divided the country in a way it has not been divided since the Civil War, enriched billionaires while duping vast swaths of the middle class, gotten away (so far) with robbing the government, charging for his stays at his own residences and hotels, and set up back channels and surreptitious meetings with dictators, a particularly cozy one with the biggest, “baddest” one of all: Vladimir Putin. Donald has also managed to convince the majority (if polls are to be believed) of Republicans, that professional assassin (murderer), strongman, anti-democracy President of Russia is a “good guy.” After all, Putin only has journalists and his opponents killed, something that Trump clearly envies.
Trump has demeaned, disparaged, and outright attacked our greatest law enforcement agency while pretending to be a “law and order” “candidate” (forever the “winning” candidate). Trump has been caught in lie after lie without ever once showing remorse, embarrassment, or admitting guilt.
Donald J. Trump has sexually harassed, admitted assaulting women in front of the nation while getting away without consequences. Created a profoundly ignorant Cabinet and chosen a Vice President purporting racist, sexist beliefs, a group of people who sycophantically praise Trump at every opportunity.
We could keep going. Does this sound like a stupid man? An idiot? Hardly. Does any of this sound like a fool, as he has been called. No. Donald J. Trump is none of those. Ignorant of history and science, yes. Ignorant of civility and manners yes. Ignorant of literature, art, and culture, yes. Ignorant of the subtleties and complexities of language, yes. Ignorant of regulations, legislation, and policies, yes. Ignorant of the norms of democracy, yes. Ignorant of reason and consequences, yes, but Donald J. Trump is no idiot. Let’s finally give him the credit he deserves.
Nancy Avery Dafoe