Donald Trump’s broken record

Published 10:56 am Friday, June 7, 2024

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In 2016, Donald Trump ran as an outsider, as someone who was able to criticize the political record of his primary opponents (although he primarily used insults and lies rather than real policy analysis). He of course attacked Hillary Clinton in the general election. 

Again, he didn’t point toward her legislative actions as a Senator but rather he recklessly extrapolated from the equally reckless Wikileaks digital dumps. He claimed hundreds of times that he loved Wikileaks, but then later said he knew nothing about them. He also thanked Russia for helping Wikileaks!

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But now, in 2024, he has a personal, political, and, historically, criminal record. 

– His radically irresponsible downplaying of COVID-19 led to hundreds of thousands of Americans dead by the end of 2020.

– He still brags about appointing Supreme Court “justices” that have now taken away women’s control over their own reproductive rights, over their own bodies.

– He deregulated key environmental protections, making our air, food, water, and soil more polluted, more toxic, and more dangerous to Americans.

– His 2017 Trump Tax Law delivered a bonanza of new unearned wealth to those who are in the very top one percent of America’s wealthy, and almost nothing but a massive national deficit and debt to working Americans.

– Trump recklessly reversed a positive nuclear weapons’ reduction trend begun by Ronald Reagan – the arch conservative who signed the first nuclear weapons’ reduction treaty with Moscow in 1987. Trump took us out of that important treaty and several other crucial treaties that safeguard against nuclear war. His actions have made it much more likely that Iran now has nukes, that Russia is actively prepping for nuclear war, and that new classes of Euromissiles are being deployed that radically ratchet up chances of accidental nuclear war.

– Virtually all U.S. presidents have told one or more lies, but Trump’s documented, provable record number of them is not just shattering total U.S. president falsehoods, it shattered any trust any independent fact-seeking citizen (of the U.S., but also everywhere else) might have in him and in the U.S. in general. Increasingly, the failure of his base and his political allies to challenge or even question his buck-naked lying is seen as demonstrating that he uses them at least in part as a loyalty test – to require his base and allies to now only believe him, but to then take action on his behalf based on what any reasonable person could easily see is a lie.

So now, with a verified record, anyone can plainly see and decide for themselves – is this a leader good for America? May we all decide that we value our ability as free Americans to make informed choices and to seek a diversity of views to inform those choices. It is important to test all claims, to spend at least a bit of time seeking honest, truthful confirmation of claims made by anyone.

Then we will make an informed choice when we vote. 

(Dr. Tom H. Hastings is Coördinator of Conflict Resolution BA/BS degree programs and certificates at Portland State University.)