Reference News Network reported on January 22 that the website of Spain’s El Paíaña published an article “Trump’s Toxic Legacy” on January 16, written by George Parker, a contributor to the Atlantic and New Yorker.
The full text is excerpted as follows:
To assess the legacy of Donald Trump’s presidency, we must first quantify it.
More than 376,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since February, one in five of the global deaths caused by the disease and the highest number in all countries.
In the three years leading up to the pandemic, 2.3 million Americans lost their health insurance, resulting in more “over-deaths” (more than 10,000 people).
Millions more have lost coverage of health insurance during the pandemic.
The U.S. score in the annual index of the human rights organization Freedom House fell from 90 out of 100 under President Barack Obama to 86 under Trump, lower than Greece and Mauritius.
Trump has removed the United States from 13 international organizations, agreements and treaties.
The number of refugees admitted to the United States fell from 85,000 to 12,000 every year.
The government has built more than 600 kilometers of the wall on the border with Mexico.
The whereabouts of the parents of 666 children detained by federal agents on the U.S.-Mexico border are unknown.
Trump repealed 80 environmental regulations.
He has appointed more than 200 judges to the Federal Court, including three justices of the Supreme Court. Of the 200 judges, 24% are women, 4% are black, and 100% are conservative.
According to the American Bar Association, Trump has appointed a “unqualified” judge far more than other presidents have appointed over the past half century.
The national debt increased by $7 trillion, or 37%.
In Trump’s last year as president, the trade deficit of the United States has increased to nearly $600 billion, the largest since 2008.
Trump signed only one important bill during his term, the 2017 Tax Bill.
According to a study, for the first time, the bill lowered the tax rate of the 400 richest Americans than that of all other income groups.
In his first year as president, Trump paid $750 in taxes.
During his presidency, taxpayers and political donors contributed at least $8 million to his family business.
During Trump’s presidency, the United States lost its freedom, and inequality increased.
It became a more divided, isolated, more indebted, deeper, dirtier, mean, weaker, more painful country, and more self-deception.
In his years in office, the most destructive consequences of Trump have been his 25,000 false or misleading statements.
These remarks spread widely on social media and cable news networks, polluting the minds of tens of millions of people.
Trump’s lies will last for many years and poison the air like radioactive dust.
Presidents often lie about issues ranging from sexual relations to health. If the lie is serious, it will have a corrosive effect on democracy.
Lyndon Johnson deceived Americans in the “Tokyo Bay Incident” and other aspects of the Vietnam War. After the Vietnam War and Watergate, Americans never fully regained their trust in the government.
However, the lies of previous presidents only appeared for a limited time, and their purpose seemed logical: to cover up scandals, forget disasters, and confuse people to achieve specific goals.
In a sense, it can be said that Americans accept a certain degree of lying by their leaders.
However, Trump’s lies are different. They appear in the post-modern era.
They are not attacking one or that fact, but the truth itself.
They have gone beyond public policy and invaded the private sphere, overshadowing the thinking ability of all people in a shared environment and blurring the difference between truth and lies.
Break the rules
Trump never lied for the traditional will to hide shameful events from the public.
On other things the president has done to keep a low profile, he is bluntly surprising: his true feelings about Senator John McCain and other war heroes; his desire to get rid of his unfaithful subordinates; he wants law enforcement to protect his friends and hurt his enemies; his good impression of Kim Jong-un and his admiration for Putin; His positive view of white supremacists; hostility to racial and religious minorities; and his contempt for women.
Trump’s favorite liers generally carefully restrict these ideas to private conversations and recordings.
Trump publicly expressed his opinion.
This is not because he is unable to control his impulses, but deliberately and even systematically overturns the rules that would have limited his power.
For his supporters, his rudeness became a sign of strength and sincerity.
For Trump’s opponents, following the rules is like a fool’s game.
As a result, the political discourse system of the United States has been hit hard, leaving a shameful deficit.