How will Trump be remembered

Published 5:20 pm Thursday, February 18, 2021

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By: Jack Bernard 

“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in,” poem recited by Trump.

Most national figures care about how history will view them. However, a few do not. I believe that Trump is in the latter category and Nixon was in the former. 

Richard Nixon did some very good things as President that are not generally recognized by the average American. He started the EPA, for instance. He also made significant progress with China, recognizing them. He ended the draft and the deteriorating war in Vietnam started by his Democratic predecessors. He signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the USSR, decreasing dangerous tensions. In recognition of his accomplishments, Nixon was re-elected in 1972 in a landslide. 

But Nixon also did some horrible things. He promoted racism via the successful GOP “Southern Strategy” of wooing the Southern politicians away from the Democrats by appealing to their bigotry. We are living with the negative results of his actions today. 

However, what the American people remember most about Nixon is that he resigned in disgrace due to the Watergate break-in. In retrospect, this act was not nearly as bad as what we have recently seen from Trump. 

Nixon was experienced, very tough and strong. Why did he resign? Because arch conservative Senator Barry Goldwater and a small group of GOP members of Congress told him to resign or be removed. And because he believed Ford would pardon him, as he did. 

President Trump’s first and only term has been marred by numerous disasters, despite the majority of GOP members of Congress being too afraid of the brainwashed base to admit it. Through his barrage of lies and inflammatory tweets, Trump has caused the majority of Americans (Democrats, Republicans and Independents) to be skeptical about their government. 

He has stoked the fires of racism and bigotry. The Charlottesville white power march and murder were a direct result of Trump’s coddling of white supremacists. 

He virtually destroyed the reputation of the USA as a world leader. He frequently attacked our allies, including NATO. At the same time, he cozied up to tyrants like Putin and Kim. 

We had over 400,000 Americans dead of COVID-19 on his watch. Most medical authorities have been appalled at the Trump Administration’s lack of honesty and systemic incompetence in handling the worst pandemic in over 100 years. Incredibly, Trump claimed to have “full authority” to deal with the pandemic while at the same time saying he took “no responsibility” for the way it was handled. Trump’s motto will always be remembered as the “buck does not stop here.” 

Finally, we have Trump’s two impeachments. Clearly, Trump obstructed justice during the first House impeachment proceedings regarding him pressuring the President of the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Although Mueller’ swishy-washy report was purposefully overly legalistic and confusing, the point about obstruction was clear. The only reason Trump was not clearly cited for other offenses is that Mueller believed DOJ guidance prohibited the indictment of a sitting President. The fact that only Senator Mitt Romney voted to convict is an indictment of the entire party, but especially Majority Leader McConnell. 

Trump’s second impeachment offense, “inciting an insurrection”, was even worse than the first. Specifically, Trump encouraged a large murderous mob intent on kidnapping and harming Pence and members of Congress to invade our Capital. As one observer stated, he said “fight, fight, I’ll be with you and then he went away to watch his TV”. He told them afterwards that he “loved” them. Although these events were fully documented on television for us all to see, only 5% of GOP members of the House voted for impeachment and 7 Senators to convict. The GOP should now be known as the ReTrumpican Party. 

Most certainly, Trump will go down in history as possibly our worst President. And these two impeachments will stand out as recognition that his Democratic opposition documented his offenses, but his un-American GOP enablers were unwilling to act. 

Trump has done many things that would warrant his removal. But 17 GOP Senators would have had to stand up for what’s right rather than what’s in their political best interests.  And that simply did not happen. It’s a pity that Senator John McCain was no longer alive to give his fellow Republicans the backbone to do the right thing.