During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Donald J. Trump promised America that if elected, there would be so much winning, and everyone would get tired of all of the winning.
Let me readily admit I am, indeed, so very tired of all of this winning and hope it comes to a merciful end with the 2020 election.
Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord and recently claimed at the G-7 Summit in Biarritz, France that he is an environmentalist (really, he said that), and we have the cleanest air and water.
He did this while also boasting that the United States is making much more money with its gas and oil reserves. He was the only G-7 member not to attend the meeting on climate while the climate crisis continues to accelerate. That is winning alright, winning for the fossil fuel industry. That is winning, of which I am sure, as he predicted, quite tired.
How about all of that winning regarding the ballooning national debt? Well, the figures are quite revealing. During former President Barack Obama’s administration the statistics were as follows: In 2009 the United States federal budget deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2010; $1.3 trillion (2011); $1.3 trillion (2012) $1.1 trillion (2013) $680 billion $483 billion (2014), 2015 $439 billion (2015) and $587 billion (2016).
During the Trump administration, the figures took a rather drastic turn: In 2017 the federal budget deficit was $666 billion, 2018 $779 billion, 2019 $896 billion and, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, for 2020 the federal budget deficit is expected to exceed $1 trillion once again.
So, who won?
Those in the top 1% of wealth who received more than 83% of the benefits of the Trump tax plan and the top one-tenth of 1% of wealth who received more than 63% of the benefits of the Trump tax plan whose tax breaks contributed significantly to the ballooning national debt since estimated economic growth projections by the Trump economic team fell far short of projections. For me, more than enough winning, please make it stop!
Who are the winners of the Trump initiated a trade war with China and others, including our closest allies? Not the American consumers who pay for the trade tariffs on imported goods.
Not the American manufacturers and farmers who lost markets due to retaliation by the countries on whose products the Trump tariffs were imposed.
Soybeans, anyone? So who is the winner of Trump’s trade war, a trade war he so cluelessly boasted would be “easy to win.” The only winner I see out of this trade war is not any of the players directly involved since no one wins in a trade war. No one except, maybe, President of Russia Vladimir Putin who wins every time the United States of America is diminished in some way, as has happened with this ill-conceived trade war.
Hate crimes have exploded, and racism is rampant. Has anyone really won as a result of Trump’s racist, xenophobic rants and rhetoric that has succeeded in bringing racism and xenophobia out from behind the curtains to full-blown mainstream?
Were the congregants of the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh winners when they were massacred by a gunman inspired by the Trump anti-immigrant rhetoric. Were the shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso winners as they were mowed down while shopping for back to school needs by another gunman also inspired by the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Trump?
The only winners were the white supremacists who chanted “the Jews will not replace us” as they marched in Charlottesville some two years ago since Trump did find “some very fine people on both sides, on both sides.”
So, despite the campaign promise of unlimited winning, it seems that Trump has brought a great deal more losing than winning with his administration. The children separated from their parents at the southern border did not find any winning. Our closest allies, who Trump succeeded in losing their trust in America, have not found any winning.
Most of all, the attacks on our democratic institutions and values by both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have only served to demonstrate just how much losing this country is currently undergoing. Legislation passed in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to protect our elections from further Russian influence lay dormant on McConnell’s desk since it has no support from Trump. Likewise, legislation to close loopholes on background checks for the purchases of guns also lays dormant on McConnell’s desk as it, too, awaits support from Trump.
Our democracy is sabotaged every time Trump refuses to allow any member of his administration to testify before Congress. The separation of powers of the three branches of our federal government is a critical component of our Constitution to ensure the existence of checks and balances so that one branch does not overpower any of the other two.
When our president stands before the world at that G-7 summit in Biarritz and literally hawks his own personal golf club in Florida to hold the next G-7 summit in clear violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause which forbids obtaining anything of value from a foreign entity by anyone holding the office of the president, our democracy is losing, not winning.
No, there are no winners when it comes to the Trump presidency, only losers, and no more so than Trump himself.