Jerry is a retired high-school Government teacher residing in San Diego County, California. A major goal of his teaching was "to install in students a special inner ear capable of detecting either nonsense or unsubstantiated claims."
Trump is headed for the dust-bin of history and will join James Buchannan, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding in the basement apartments of ex-presidents. With the exception of Johnson, most of those who live in that neighborhood were simply feckless. Trump, like Johnson, did actual harm to the government he was elected to lead. Besides being crude and boorish, his decisions (and his non-decisions), policies, lies and meddling misuse served to weaken the structure of most of the governmental agencies and international “understandings” he was nominally charged to support. His ignorance of both government and history buttressed his indifference to any coherent foreign policy.
He did not read. According to many who worked in the White House, he had the attention span of a four-year old. He treated most of the agencies and departments of government with either scorn or indifference, allowing them to flounder without leadership or replacements in the face of departures. Chiefly, his decisions began and ended with one question: what will this do for me? If the matter did not affect him personally, he ignored it.
Biden’s first task will be to aggressively focus on the pandemic currently holding the nation in its grip. Beyond that, his job will consist largely in the restitution of good order to the agency of government. It is reassuring to know the country will once again have a leader who accepts the judgment and the integrity of science as a guiding source in the establishment of policy.
Further, we may also look forward in the coming year to a restoration of close relationships with our traditional friends and allies in the world. We will quickly rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, and I would not be surprised if we also rejoined the treaty established with Iran with such difficulty.
Hopefully, with our allies, we will be able to overlook as a temporary aberration the last four years. It is likely this will be the case as it is in everyone’s best interest to do so. Donald Trump was a source of intemperate curiosity to the world just as he was to Americans. The demise of Trump will be of regret only to those countries in the grasp of undemocratic authoritarian regimes, those Americans whose politics begin and end with the words “profit” and “loss” and other Americans whose cultural sympathies are complemented most readily by those of the Silver Shirts of the 1930’s and the Know-Nothing Party of the 1800’s.