“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” Presidential nominee Donald Trump, July 21, 2016.
“I don't take responsibility at all.” President Donald Trump, March 13, 2020.
When Donald Trump was running for president, he assured us he would fix America’s problems. At his inauguration, Trump spoke about the crime that had “robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.” He then pledged, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
The implication was that he would stop senseless violence and bring domestic stability.
Instead, he has promoted violence and hate, blaming everything on leftist groups, even though right-wing extremists are responsible for 76 percent of domestic extremist killings in the U.S. in the past ten years; left-wing extremists are responsible for just 2 percent. (Anti-Defamation League report)
Trump criticizes antifa for the riots and destruction and excuses right-wing violence, such as the two murders in Kenosha, Wis. by the 17-year-old right-wing militia member. As columnist Eugene Robinson said, “Inventing scapegoats is always much easier than accepting responsibility.” (Washington Post, Sept. 16)
Now Trump says that if he is re-elected, he has the solution to all this violence. He’s president now. If Trump has a solution, why doesn’t he use it? If he hasn’t got one, how will re-electing him magically produce a solution? He said he takes no responsibility. That’s exactly how he behaves, as an incompetent failure.
Trump also failed in his response to the coronavirus. Trump claims the reason he deliberately misled the American public about the severity of COVID-19 was that he didn’t want to create panic. That’s not how real leaders work.
A real leader would have understood the situation, gathered experts, created a plan (producing adequate supplies, establishing testing centers, etc.) and then calmly told the American people that a serious virus was coming but the federal government was prepared. A real leader would have told people where to get the help and information they needed.
No real leader would jump up and down and scream, “We’re all going to die!” The fact that Trump thought the only choices were screaming or lying proves what a failure he is. Governors who told the truth about the virus had much higher approval ratings than those who followed Trump’s lead and lied to their people.
People can handle the truth. Real leaders don’t lie; they plan, inform the people, and follow through. Trump’s failure has now resulted in 200,643 deaths as of Sept. 18, 90 percent of which could possibly have been prevented if he had actually done his job (Business Insider, April 15, 2020).
Trump saying he didn’t want to create panic is laughable. Trump’s main campaign strategy is creating fear. Remember the supposed caravans of immigrants who were heading for the U.S. in 2018? Trump said they had MS-13 members and Islamic terrorists, and we were supposed to be very afraid. Surprise! No such caravans entered the U.S.
Now he is spreading fear of minorities moving into the suburbs. Trump claims they will loot and burn and kill, and only he can keep the suburbs safe. Again, a ridiculous lie, but all he has.
During his inaugural speech, Trump made several promises. How have those worked out?
“We will make America wealthy again.” In March and April 2020, America lost all the jobs created in the previous 10 years. In the second quarter 2020, the GDP dropped by over 32 percent annual rate, the worst drop in U.S. history. Tens of millions of people have lost their jobs; millions are in danger of becoming homeless. Small businesses are going bankrupt. Our trade deficit is at record highs, and our national debt equals our total GDP.
“We will make America proud again.” Trump has trashed our leadership in the world. A recent poll showed that only 29 percent of the world approves of Trump while 64 percent of the world had confidence in President Barack Obama. The world views us with pity and revulsion. (USA Today, Jan. 8, 2020)
“We will make America safe again.” Hundreds of thousands of Americans are dead of COVID-19. Trump cries “Law and Order”, but we’re in far more danger of dying from the coronavirus than dying during a riot. His followers threaten violence if Trump isn’t re-elected, and Trump stands silent.
As Trump truly said, he takes no responsibility at all. A president should protect the people. Trump has failed miserably. Why should we trust him for another four years?
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at email@example.com.