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Trump Leaves – A Heavily Damaged America (#367)

Updated: Feb 17

On January 20, 2021 Donald J. Trump’s Presidency comes to a traumatized and bitter end.

Instead of healing and rebuilding America as he promised four years ago, ending what he termed as ‘American carnage’, he in his first term did the exact opposite of what he promised.

Trump is leaving a shattered and shell-shocked America, bitterly divided, attacked and under siege from within, physically the sickest of all other nations from the global pandemic, and economically broken, sustained only by unprecedented monetary easing by the Federal Reserve, and equally unprecedented record-setting government spending and debt.

The political, social, health and economic carnage that Trump is leaving in his wake, will take years if not decades to repair - if it can ever be fully repaired.

Also, Trump leaves behind a glaring trail of broken and unfulfilled promises that had fired the imagination of his believers, those that thrilled to his slogans of ‘Make America Great Again’, and ‘America First’. He selected as his base, that portion of America that felt under siege from the changing American demographics becoming increasingly non-White, and increasingly non-Christian. That portion of America that felt the neglect of the changing economic trends that steadily and inexorably left the vast majority of middle class America behind, as its skewed Capitalist system concentrated the wealth of the nation into ever fewer hands.

Internationally, Trump picked on the most prominent and easily defined ‘America’s enemies’ to engage in non-military ‘battle’, using his supposed superior negotiating skills, and the economic and political clout of America, to subdue and win against - North Korea, Iran and China.

Trump tried and failed rather miserably on all counts.

The Wall never got built, and of course Mexico never paid for a thing.

North Korea never gave up any of its nuclear weapons, and in fact became more emboldened by the bizarre flirtations of Trump claiming a ‘special relationship’ with the cherubic Kim Jongun.

Iran was freed from its restraining ‘international nuclear agreement’ when Trump foolishly broke it, positioning America as the ‘bad guy’ for breaking an international agreement that five other major countries had signed, and kept. Today, Iran is refining more nuclear fuel than ever before, and legitimately blames America for breaking an agreement that it had verifiably kept, with the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany; and also the United Nations.

As for China, Trump promised that he would bring back American jobs and factories from China, and would reduce and reverse the ‘Trade Deficit’ that had been in China’s favour for many years. None of it happened. Most jobs and factories never came back, instead investment in China increased, as has the trade deficit in its favour – which currently is at its highest ever.

Additionally, China is fast catching America as the World’s biggest economy, and in the next few years is projected to pass America as the World’s biggest and most powerful economy. Trump leaves a China that is on the ascendency with a far better controlled pandemic, a recovering economy, inflows of higher foreign direct investments, higher trade deficit in its favour, and in leadership position globally.

The Trump engineered retreat of America from its global leadership position has allowed China to step into the resulting vacuum and lead in both economic and geo-political matters. With the insurrection in America (also engineered by Trump), America’s credibility and reputation as the World’s leader has been heavily damaged and will be for some time to come. As a result, economically and financially, America is arguably at its weakest as Trump leaves the Office, and as a result of all of Trump’s foreign policies, America no longer leads the World in anything.

Inheriting a seven-year steadily rising economic and stock market recovery, and a historically low unemployment rate from Barack Obama, Trump claimed the achievements as his own, when it was the two terms of Obama that established the verifiable trends in all three, the healthy economy, the booming stock markets, and the low unemployment rates, after the financial crisis of 2008, which Obama had inherited from the George W. Bush Presidency.

Trump’s great ‘accomplishment’ was a major tax break that primarily benefitted the rich and had a very short-lived economic benefit for the country (confirmed by most prominent American economists). While the Republicans, big corporations, and America’s wealthiest rejoiced in the tax breaks (their constant one and only Holy-Grail), middle-class and poor Americans struggled with continued eroding living standards, even as America’s national and international debt soared as Trump grew the country’s deficits to record levels in boom times, making ‘greatest financial crisis’ inheriting Obama look downright frugal by comparison.

Neither America’s rust-belt, its farmers, nor its coal or steel industries revived or thrived under Trump as he had promised. In fact, America’s farmers suffered in Trump’s trade and tariff wars with China, as it switched buying its agricultural commodities from other countries like Brazil, and the coal and steel industry still lost ground to other energy sources, and other countries.

The cruel irony is that a major portion of Trump’s support comes from the mostly White working class that is engaged in these areas of manufacturing and agriculture, both of which Trump promised to revive and ‘make great again’ but couldn’t. At best Trump could only subsidize the farmers, and the coal and steel workers with American taxpayers funds, and try and shield them with higher tariffs from international competition, which often back-fired to their and America’s detriment.

Trump openly and unabashedly enflamed his base’s fears and insecurities as White or Christian Americans losing ground to non-White Americans, foreigners, illegal migrants, and he blasted American companies for ‘off-shoring’ industry, jobs, and money (even though he and his family continued to do business with China and others, and neither industry nor jobs, nor off-shore money ever really came back), he demonstrated his alignment with White Supremacy and Neo-Nazism, and encouraged and praised the ‘Confederacy’, and because of it he became their messiah, and retained their loyalty through his abject failures for them.

One of his other great failures was to provide the ‘greatest healthcare ever’, of which neither he nor the Republican Party could produce even ‘a Plan’, after 4 full years of his presidency.

His staggering irrationality, ineptitude and irresponsibility in dealing with America’s greatest health crisis exacted a terrible toll and made Americans the ‘greatest affected’ of all other peoples of all other countries, with the most people infected, and with the most deaths. To-date, the Corona Virus pandemic has infected over 23 Million Americans, and over 398,000 have died. The death toll in the US is expected to rise to over 500,000 in the coming months, as the incoming Biden administration starts to tackle an out-of-control pandemic.

As if all that was not bad enough, Trump leaves a broken America that is at war with itself. The most damaging aspect of Trump’s legacy is the conviction of almost of 40% plus of Americans (mostly Republicans) that his persistent lies are in fact true, and his failures are in fact successes, and his feigned love and patriotism for America is sincere.

Trump is known as a pathological liar and has demonstrated an ineptness to govern that has been shocking. He has openly sold-out to Putin and Russia, and failed to advance America’s interests globally, and failed to protect America from enemies foreign and domestic.

Throughout his life Trump has never cared about anyone or anything that did not serve his own personal interests, and he used the latent and historic divisions within American society and their feelings of entitlement to be the ‘greatest’, devoid of reality and historical context, to get and hold on to power at any cost, even at the cost of a civil war based on his big lie that he won the election. In doing so, he fanned the flames of hate and division, and of suspicions and conspiracies, to undermine the Constitution itself.

At the very end, Trump drove his delusional and reality denying hordes to mount an armed insurrection and physically attack the government at its work in the Capitol, to try and overthrow the results of a legal and fair election that he legitimately lost. Trump and his mob failed, and that last act of ‘sedition and insurrection’ will be his overarching and enduring legacy.

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