If you doubt the world needed another 500 words of, “I think voters got it wrong in 2016, Donald Trump is really bad at this,” don’t worry. This is the editorial board endorsement that will finally put America back on top.
It’s been a rough four years: the collapse of the rule of law, alarming acts of right-wing terrorism, the increasing regularity of deadly political violence on our streets, and a surge in attacks on religious and ethnic minorities. When you add to this list a so-bad-it’s-funny level of incompetence, you get what historians might someday call “The Rise of Dumb Fascism.”
Oh, and this pandemic that’s killed 217,000 people so far, without a plan to address the virus or the millions of livelihoods that have been wrecked as a result. All while Trump’s Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to deprive 20 million people of their health insurance (Personal note: one of those 20 million is me).
We have pinged from one bizarre case of corruption, one abuse of power, one devastating crisis, to the next. We have blown past the worst predictions made when he was elected. It spirals downward forever. There is no bottom. We have learned by now that it always gets worse.
The Trump presidency has been a revelation about ourselves. In 2016, there were enough voters, in just the right states, to elect a president (despite losing nationwide by three million votes) who exploits our worst impulses, winks at the support of white supremacists, and sends the message that it’s ok to be racist in public again. He has targeted a travel ban at Muslim-majority countries. Not only has he shut the door to refugees, but “Demonizing Somalis is at the heart of Trump’s Minnesota strategy.” Not only has he continually characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, he has permanently separated immigrant children from their families. To distract from his unending failure to address the pandemic, he has repeatedly called Covid-19 the “China Virus” and the “Kung Flu.”
It’s hard not to laugh at the weirdo in the White House constantly hurling kindergarten-level slurs. Then you remember this is someone with influence over the attitudes and actions of millions. He lifts up the kind of hate that leads to violent attacks, verbal assaults on the street, and other acts of everyday racism. According to a United Nations report, “1,800 racist incidents against Asian Americans in the United States have been reported over an 8-week period from March to May 2020.” According to the FBI, hate crime violence in 2018, most notably against Latinos, was at the highest level since the years immediately after 9/11.
As a white person, I get to be occasionally very offended by all of this. But our neighbors, friends and loved ones who are Black, Asian, Latino, immigrant, Muslim — they must exist in public spaces with the extra burden of living in Donald Trump’s America (all the racist hotspots of Regular America, just with more gasoline).
As he fails, as he plunges our country deeper into a bottomless ditch — he hurts people. His failure hurts people. He thinks the solution for this, the way to obscure his failure, is to hurt more people. And don’t forget: it always gets worse.
There’s reason for hope that this is all about to end. If you’re within reach of my words, I very earnestly ask you to vote. We can’t begin to make it better until we put a stop to Donald Trump. We can withdraw permission for the hate, the cruelty, the brazen corruption, and the failure.
Vote for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and other Democratic candidates all the way down your ballot.