In less than two months from now, Americans would have elected their next president. One can only hope that they have elected their 46th president, not reelected their 45th for another four-year term. Electing Donald Trump was nothing short of shooting oneself in the foot with a .45-caliber pistol. Reelecting him will amount to taking that pistol to the head and pulling the trigger.
In four years, this man has caused countless harm to everyone possible, save rich white Americans and even richer American corporations. He has worked hard to reclaim whiteness in America, having done everything possible to ensure that to be American is synonymous with being white. He has characterized Mexicans as rapists and Central American refugees as criminals. Blinded by his xenophobic views, he promised his supporters a beautiful wall on the southern border that would be paid for by Mexico. Employing his executive powers to keep Muslims away from American soil, his exclusionary immigration policies have been openly Islamophobic from the first days of his presidency.
As president, Trump had the opportunity to make a positive impact on innumerable aspects of the lives of its citizens. Unfortunately, anything he turned his attention to — whether it’s education, health care, taxation, immigration, trade agreements or the environment — he managed to make worse. It requires an extraordinary amount of ineptitude and incompetence to accomplish what Trump has in his four years. He has done enough damage to the country — and the world at large — to vie for the unenviable top spot as the worst president in the history of the United States of America.
Enduring the final year of his presidency, I had thought that it is impossible to be surprised or outraged any longer by whatever the man says or does. I was proven wrong. Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has made his previous transgressions seem like a walk in the park. On September 9, he acknowledged that he had intentionally downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic. The White House response was a pathetic effort to mitigate the fallout from the information contained in the upcoming book by The Washington Post’s veteran journalist Bob Woodward.
The COVID-19 death toll in the US is just shy of 200,000, from over 6.5 million cases — the highest in the world. That Trump never cared for the welfare and well-being of his fellow countrypeople was amply clear from his policies and actions over these past four years. That he could turn a blind eye to the calamitous effects of the pandemic and lie to the nation about it likens him to a modern-day emperor, mocking the suffering of his subjects, not much different from Nero who fiddled while Rome burned.
Trump’s bungling response to the pandemic makes him culpable for this exorbitant death toll, which could have been averted had he acted swiftly and decisively, with a plan of action based on scientific findings. Instead of encouraging responsible social behavior from the country, he mocked science with his refusal to wear a mask, by consuming hydroxychloroquine as a shield against the coronavirus and misleading the American public by not only not impressing upon it the gravity of the pandemic but, as we now know, willfully underplaying the dangers of COVID-19. Trump’s callous and reprehensible behavior during the pandemic not only taints his legacy with the unnecessary loss of life, but it also cements his position as the worst president of the country with an insurmountable lead over Andrew Jackson and quite possibly anyone else in the future.
America is a nation that loves to bookmark in history the wars its presidents spearheaded during their tenure. Lyndon Johnson is remembered for launching his war on crime in 1965, Ronald Reagan for his war on drugs in 1982. Today, both those wars have resulted in more than 2.3 million incarcerated Americans, with a disproportionate amount of them being black and people of color. George W. Bush is identified with the war on terror that he commenced soon after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
By contrast, what Trump has managed to do in his four years at America’s helm is wage a full-scale war on humanity. Sadly, Republican politicians have been abetting this war by kowtowing to the president. A vote for Donald Trump this November is an endorsement of his war on humanity and actively lending support to it.