The Good News about Donald Trump

By Lueders, Bill | The Progressive, June-July 2018 | Go to article overview

The Good News about Donald Trump


Lueders, Bill, The Progressive


Looking at the nonstop train wreck that is the presidency of Donald Trump, it's easy to become despondent.

The damage that Trump is doing to our nation is profound and it will be long-lasting. From his appointment of extremists to the federal bench, to his casual shattering of political and behavioral norms, to his foolish courtship of conflict in Iran, to his attacks on efforts to combat climate change and protect clean air and water, to his encouragement of bigotry and violence, Trump is creating a legacy that will take decades to erase.

But it would be a mistake to conclude that nothing good has or will come of Trump's tenure in office, however long (or short) it may be.

Trump's utter incompetence at governing has stymied, or at least slowed, his mean-spirited agenda. He is seen as a buffoon, not just in his own country (where his closest associates use terms like "idiot," "dope," and "fucking moron" to describe him), but throughout the world. Republicans, including the always-odious House Speaker Paul Ryan, are jumping ship. Trump's role in wide-ranging misconduct could lead to his impeachment and even ouster from office.

All of this is good news.

Let's take a moment to reflect on some positive things about Trump's presidency. Here's a top ten list:

1. He's Brought Us Together

From coast to coast, political progressives are motivated and united, focused on defending shared values now under attack. There are burgeoning movements working together in support of immigrant protections, LGBTQ rights, police accountability, sensible gun restrictions, sane environmental policies, and an end to sexual harassment. The connections among these issues have never been clearer. Trump is the Great Uniter... of the majority of Americans who oppose his foul reign.

2. People Are Getting Involved

There's nothing like having a morally bankrupt, sociopathic liar with his tiny finger on the nuclear button to remind people of their civic obligations. Trump's presidency has galvanized the left and made people realize they must do more for their democracy than just vote.

"Tens of millions of Americans have joined protests and rallies in the past two years, their activism often driven by admiration or outrage toward President Trump," reported The Washington Post, citing a poll it helped commission. "One in five Americans have protested in the streets or participated in political rallies since the beginning of 2016. Of those, 19 percent said they had never before joined a march or a political gathering."

3. Public Opinion Is on Our Side

A recent poll by The Economist/YouGov found that more than half the U.S. population feels the nation is on "the wrong track" and less than a third say it's "headed in the right direction." More people disapprove of Trump's handling of the economy and international relations than are in favor. Nearly half think transgender people should be able to serve openly in the military, compared to just 34 percent against. And all this was from a sample group in which 60 percent of respondents identified as "moderate" or "conservative," compared to just 25 percent "liberal."

And, of course, huge majorities of the American public support universal background checks on gun sales and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And most Americans want action on climate change, oppose a border wall, and favor protection for "Dreamers"--undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children.

4. Some Presidential Abuses Are Being Kept in Check

To date, three federal judges have rejected Trump's cruel effort to end the Obama-era program that protects Dreamers from deportation, rejecting arguments that it is somehow unlawful; even the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene. In April, the high court struck down another law meant to spur immigrant deportations, with Trump's hand-picked justice, Neil Gorsuch, joining the court's liberals in declaring that the law was impermissibly vague. …

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