Editorial: Trump's 'winning' ways?
When candidate Donald Trump promised Americans that if he were elected they would be “so tired of winning” that they’d need a break, that America would be tops in the world in all ways, we’re certain he didn’t mean in the ways America is now leading the world.
Let’s count a few of the ways, starting with the novel coronavirus:
• Yep, America is top in the world. Not only do we lead the world in number of deaths from the virus (117,858 as of June 15 and 119,132 the next day), but we have more than a quarter of the world’s total deaths. We’re not only “winning” that dubious category, we’re almost triple the next closest country, which is Brazil at 43,389 deaths.
It’s worth a moment to review those countries in the top 10 just to put America’s top spot in perspective. The United Kingdom ranks third with 41,698 deaths followed by Italy (34,345), France (29,407), Spain (27,136), Mexico (17,141), Belgium (9,655), India (9,520), and Germany at 10thin the world at 8,870. In the next tier Iran is 11th at 8,837, while America’s northern neighbor, Canada (12th) has managed to keep total deaths to 8,146 (no wonder Canada won’t reopen its border with the U.S.). Russia is 13th at 6,948 deaths and China is 18th at 4,634 deaths.
Remember back in late January and early February when the outbreak in China was dominating world news with a terrible unknown disease, and how Trump said it would never come to America and that we were perfectly safe? Remember he even boasted he had “everything under control,” and urged Americans to behave as if nothing were amiss?
He lied. Again. Not only did Trump not prepare the nation, but we’re still not addressing the crisis effectively.
According to the current new infection rates throughout the world, America is leading the way with 22,681 new cases of the virus daily, compared to Brazil with 21,539 in second. China has been in the news with a crackdown on new cases, but the new cases there are just 36 daily. Yes, that’s right; just 36 cases per day in a nation with a population four times larger than ours.
What that shows is how far out of control this pandemic is in America.
Adding insult to injury, Vice President Pence recently encouraged governors to lie to residents by suggesting the rate of infections is under control and that the media criticism is “overblown,” even as an average of 750 Americans die every day of the disease. As Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman writes: “In nearly half the states infections are increasing, while in others they are remaining stable, which itself is not a victory — it’s a nightmare… Stabilization is not what we want (as our European peers have successfully lowered the rate of infection and deaths substantially)… As for the 750 dead Americans each and every day that he (and Trump) considers a great success, if we continue that pace it would mean another 150,000 more Americans dying from the pandemic by the end of the year.”
Yes, leadership matters; and Trump’s buffoonery has led America to be the “greatest” loser in the world in terms of infections and deaths by the coronavirus.
• On foreign policy “wins,” Trump is striking out as well. A quick list proves the point: pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Arms Agreement and failing to pursue or win a better deal as he promised; bargaining with North Korea, in which Trump badly bundled that relationship, has less bargaining power than ever, and now tensions between North Korea and South Korea are strained worse than at any time in decades.
• In world trade, China has taken the lead in the economic development of Africa nations and even some parts of South America, while Trump picks fights over climate change and trade wars with our European allies. And his trade war with China has forced products to increase in cost (effectively a tax put on American consumers) without accomplishing his claimed deals for American workers.
• What about his promise to bring back big steel and coal mining jobs? Hasn’t happened. In fact, the number of coal miners today is 1,000 less (out of 54,000 employed) than when Trump took office.
• If there are success stories, it could be in his perverted view of environmental policies in which he has cut regulations to allow industries to pollute more, grab more public lands for private gain, and set back the nation’s targets to lower carbon dioxide emissions. Similarly, through his tax cuts for the wealthiest few, he has widened the wealth gap for the rich and put the interests of the top 10 percent of Americans over the other 90 percent.
• And socially, we have the worst public protests over Black Lives Matter and police brutality that we’ve seen in 60 years.
• On a personal level, he has set the record for the most number of lies told as president with 16,241 in his first three years; was impeached for his willingness to bribe a foreign country (Russia and Russia-controlled Ukraine) to try to frame a political opponent with false allegations; is the first president since Harry Truman to not release his tax returns for public inspection; has been accused of multiple sexual assaults and has fired more cabinet appointees (or had them quit) than any president in memory. All of which (and more) makes him one of the least trustworthy and most corrupt presidents in the nation’s history.
That’s certainly superlative, but not in the sense of greatness Trump promised his too-eager-to-believe supporters. Oh, by the way, this week the number of American deaths due to COVID-19 surpassed the number of deaths in WWI and is now the third most deadly event in American history — another of Trump’s claims to fame or, rather, infamy.
Yes, I’d say we’re all pretty tired of Trump’s definition of winning and of his perspective of greatness as defined by greed and self-promotion.