I saw a MAGA fan of the former president holding up a sign that said “We need Trump.” My response is “really?” A person voted by over 150 presidential historians as in the bottom five as one of the worst presidents ever? I am sure this poll of historians does not make many far right’ news blips.
The rationale for such a low rating, per one of the historians who so voted, is on top of his policy decisions and making America’s standing in the world fall, his poor handling of the COVID pandemic and his role in the seditious insurrection against a branch of government pull him down. It is not a surprise that his sycophants are trying to re-write history on these two issues.
But, these two issues do not stand alone. Here are a few other things to chew on:
- His one focus his first year was to take away people’s healthcare which would have harmed his constituents as well as other Americans. Thank goodness his efforts failed as a Republican led Congress could not come up with a suitable replacement or follow a better process to get there.
- He decided to set aside a regulation that would require investment advisors to be fiduciaries, meaning they would be responsive to the needs of their customers first and foremost. In other words, this populist president sided with the investment sellers not the buyers. (Sidebar – investors should insist their advisors be fiduciaries).
- He decided to place tariffs on goods and services from China and our allies, which caused rebuttal tariffs on US goods. History has shown tariffs are not very successful at their stated goals and the consumers are the ones who are punished (he consistently lied about the impact on consumers, as well). He also upset both supply and sales chains, causing buyers and sellers to take action.
- He took credit for turning the economy around, but he inherited an economy that was in its 91st consecutive month of GDP growth, with 2 + million per annum job growth for six straight years, and a more than doubled stock market from his predecessor. It did continue on his watch, was made better by a sugar rush of a tax cut before waning and then going into recession with the pandemic.
- He passed a tax cut that primarily benefitted the wealthy and corporations providing some breaks for lower paid workers but punishing the middle class with caps on state and local tax deductions. This not only increased the debt by about $2 trillion per the CBO, but it only gave us a brief increase in the economy for a brief time (like a sugar rush).
- He pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Change Accord making us a significant outlier in the fight against global warming. Note, this change was made a day after Exxon shareholders voted to require management to advise them on what they are doing to fight climate change.
- He elevated the exposure of far right, white nationalist groups allowing them to come out in the open. One of the worst things he said after Charlottesville is there are good people on both sides normalizing oppressive behavior.
Note five of the above examples of this populist president are harmful to the broader population, including those folks who are so enamored with him. This is keeping with what I have said for many years as a former Republican, that most Republicans are voting against their economic interests have no idea they are.
I will say I do agree that he made other NATO countries start coming to the table with the agreed upon funding. Yet, his manner in so doing is off-putting as it is in so many things. But, there is not much I support that this president put in motion. Yet, when you throw his actions leading up to, during and following the insurrection, coupled with his poor handling of the pandemic, his ranking in the bottom five is well-earned.
So, do we need Trump? Certainly not in the White House.