There is an old joke asking how you know a politician is lying? You know when their lips are moving, of course.
If we were honest, even most of his admirers would admit that the presidency of Donald Trump brought that to a new level. Well, it didn’t take long for that to become the ‘new normal’. When asked about the slow rate of vaccination, several governors are blaming the Federal government by saying the Feds need to ship more vaccines.
We can cut right to the point and just say ‘that is a big lie’. Governors who have failed to plan to effectively combat the biggest health crisis in a century aren’t about to take the blame. They have to put it somewhere and so they say they need to get more vaccines and blame the Federal government. If we look at the actual information we have, we can see the real problem pretty readily.
Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. As such it’s hard to be objective in any discussion about his legacy. His worshippers think he could do no wrong and his detractors do not give him credit for even obvious accomplishments.
There can be no doubt that Trump has accomplished some good things. Peace agreements between four Muslim-majority countries (three of which are in the Middle East) and Israel are historic by any measure. Operation warp Speed and the development of not one, but several, vaccines for coronavirus in less than ten months is a feat of government-private partnership.
Yet detractors will point out, among other things, that Trump’s abrasive and childish nature turned off allies overseas and divided a nation, even friends and families, at home and that he was one of only three Presidents to be impeached and the only one ever impeached twice.
Many have written of what they believe will be Trump’s legacy, both good and bad, and there are indeed many examples of both. Yet, frankly, for all but his most ardent followers, he will be remembered in history for his last two weeks in office and his actions leading up to the riots of Jan. 6.
There is, however, one area of the Trump Presidency that has been left without comment. To fill that gap, the discussion that follows explores that area and, to be objective, uses Trump’s criteria to measure Trump’s performance.
On this Friday, examples of people who just can’t make up their minds on which side of a question they want to be on, so they just change depending on the day. And, to be fair, examples from both political parties and one from the media.
Joe Biden was inaugurated yesterday as President. As promised, he signed several executive orders that undid Trump executive orders. One of those, was that Biden recommitted the US to the Paris Climate Agreement.
As this author wrote in 2017 as President Trump pulled out of the Agreement, the practical effect of the Paris accord was very small but the cost was very high.
In that piece (link provided below for ease), which is worth re-reading after President Biden’s actions, the discussion focused on objective measures which are often difficult to discuss since global warming/climate change has become almost a religion to so many people.
In short, it’s a bad agreement because: 1) China and India, the world’s two largest ‘offenders’, are not required to do anything on emissions for a decade. 2) the US is required to foot the bill for several other countries to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, 3) it will cost the US economy an estimated trillion dollars is lost jobs and compliance expenses and 4) all of that is estimated, even by ardent environmentalist, to reduce the rate of increase in temperature by ONE DEGREE. A pretty hefty price for one degree, even if everything works as well as proposed and every country completely complies.
Forget Paris. At a time our economy has already taken a big body blow, even if it were a good agreement now is not the time for the economy to take another hit.
In retrospect, it’s clear that I should have shared my thoughts on the legacy of the Trump Presidency before January 6. My goal was to share some objective thoughts on a divisive figure, who I once felt gets too much praise from his worshippers and too much hatred from his detractors.
Yet the attack on the Capital, the very seat of our government, and the attempt to capture lawmakers who were meeting at the time forever sealed the legacy of Donald Trump. To all but those he said infamously (but shockingly prophetically) would follow him even “If I murdered someone on 5th avenue”, he will go down as the President who tried to overturn an election with violence.
Let’s not be naïve and think that his selection of January 6 to hold a rally was coincidental. It was not. Yet few of us would have imagined the events that followed. After encouraging his followers to ‘march to the Capitol’ and show some strength, he was followed by his son Donald Jr., who encouraged followers to march to the Capitol and ‘fight’ for what was ‘right’ and then by his lawyer who encouraged the mob to put lawmakers through ‘trial by combat’. The mob obliged and attacked the Capitol, several photographed holding plastic handcuffs and wearing body armor while hunting for lawmakers amid a crowd chanting “Hang Mike Pence”.
Donald Trump’s legacy has been sealed for history. If you are like me, you still have trouble wrapping your mind around the events of Jan. 6 and that a number, though a very clear minority, of seemingly decent Americans excuse or minimize it. In my wildest imagination I never dreamed I would see video of someone beating a Capitol police officer with an American flag and people breaking windows to get into the House and Senate chambers, and I have not even been able to formulate words to say.
Yet, in coming days, Thinking Man will have some thoughts to share on what four years of a Trump Presidency have left us. Stay tuned.
It is still hard to process all the events of last week’s attack on the US Capitol, the very seat of our government, and on the lawmakers who were meeting and were forced to flee.
The bigger picture issues are still yet to be addressed, and our leaders will need unbelievable wisdom to sort those out. There are several actions that are coming to light that would be of tremendous significance in normal times, but these are not normal times. Nevertheless, they are worth noting, especially since they involve public servants, who receive our tax dollars, which were involved in the attacks on our government.
In another example of the capacity for self-delusion, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is botching the rollout of vaccines for the biggest health crisis in a century, only months after writing a book congratulating himself on his leadership during the pandemic.
Unfortunately for New Yorkers, by almost every objective measure the state of New York has suffered most from the pandemic and has far more deaths than any other state. So bad has it been, and so bad has the response been, that the last several months have seen hordes of people fleeing the state.
The shameful display of the riots that attacked our seat of government and our lawmakers gave America’s enemies an opportunity: China compared the riots to Hong Kong protests. Russia, Iran & Venezuela all mocked America. Zimbabwe argued the US lost its “moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy.”
Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell said Friday that President Donald Trump should resign immediately after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the counting of votes by the Electoral College.
“I wish he would just do what Nixon did and that’s step down,” Powell said in an interview on NBC.
“Somebody ought to go up there and tell him, ‘It’s over. Plane’s waiting for you. You’re out,’” Powell said.
The events of two days ago were so stunning that, frankly, Thinking Man hasn’t been able to wrap his mind completely around it. Who would have ever imagined that here, in the United States, we would ever see a scene like this picture where Capitol police are literally barricading the doors of the House of Representatives to try to prevent rioters from entering the chamber.