Some people think I have been ranting about Trump. I have been ranting about America. I know many Americans and like most of them. But I just cannot understand how Trump can have such widespread support.
In 2016 many people said he won because Hillary Clinton was even worse. First of all that claim mystifies me. I think comparing Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump is like comparing a trickle to a tsunami. I see nothing resembling equivalence there. The far right has hated her since the first time her husband Bill Clinton ran for governor of Arkansas. I know many people hate her, but I really don’t know why. If any of my readers do please let me know.
But more importantly, in 2020 the Americans had a pretty decent alternative. Biden may not have been very exciting, but it’s hard to argue that he was not a decent man. Who can say that about Trump? Yet in 2020 more than 73 million Americans picked Trump over Biden. Thankfully 4 or 5 million more voted for Biden, but that is still a lot of support for Trump.
According to the editorial board of the New York Times,
“Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.”
The Times makes mistakes. Every media does. It is far from perfect, but it is not, as Trump alleges Fake News. It is a serious newspaper with serious journalists and is internationally respected as among the best of the United States media. And yet they came out so strongly in favour of Biden over Trump it is as if the two candidates were in different universes.
The Times did not stop there in their critique. Here is how they continued:
“Mr. Trump stands without any real rivals as the worst American president in modern history. In 2016, his bitter account of the nation’s ailments struck a chord with many voters. But the lesson of the last four years is that he cannot solve the nation’s pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem.
He is a racist demagogue presiding over an increasingly diverse country; an isolationist in an interconnected world; a showman forever boasting about things he has never done, and promising to do things he never will.”
How could so many Americans pick this man as their leader, rather than Joe Biden?
In my opinion, most egregious of all was Trump lying to the American people about the dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic leading many Americans, and even others around the globe in doubt about whether or not they should bother taking measures to protect themselves and their loved ones. As the New York Times editorial board said,
“Mr. Trump’s inadequacies as a leader have been on particularly painful display during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of working to save lives, Mr. Trump has treated the pandemic as a public relations problem. He lied about the danger, challenged the expertise of public health officials and resisted the implementation of necessary precautions; he is still trying to force the resumption of economic activity without bringing the virus under control.
As the economy pancaked, he signed an initial round of aid for Americans who lost their jobs. Then the stock market rebounded and, even though millions remained out of work, Mr. Trump lost interest in their plight.
In September, he declared that the virus “affects virtually nobody” the day before the death toll from the disease in the United States topped 200,000.
Nine days later, Mr. Trump fell ill.”
How could so many Americans pick this man to represent them rather than Joe Biden? Here is what the New York Times editorial board said,
“The foundations of American civil society were crumbling before Mr. Trump rode down the escalator of Trump Tower in June 2015 to announce his presidential campaign. But he has intensified the worst tendencies in American politics: Under his leadership, the nation has grown more polarized, more paranoid and meaner.
He has pitted Americans against each other, mastering new broadcast media like Twitter and Facebook to rally his supporters around a virtual bonfire of grievances and to flood the public square with lies, disinformation and propaganda. He is relentless in his denigration of opponents and reluctant to condemn violence by those he regards as allies. At the first presidential debate in September, Mr. Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists. He responded by instructing one violent gang, the Proud Boys, to “stand back and stand by.”
And this is the man millions chose to lead them rather than a much simpler, ordinary, and decent man—Joe Biden. Does this not tell us a lot about America?
Of course , Trump did much more than that. He polluted the American democracy. He spread vicious conspiracy theories. He mocked handicapped people. He treated soldiers like suckers and losers. He bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Yes this is the man who millions of American voted for. He did not get a majority of the votes, thank goodness. But a lot of Americans preferred him to the much more plain and modest Joe Biden.
God save America. I don’t know who else can.