Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus


Composite: Getty Images and Jan Diehm for the Guardian

In the faint hope that a Trump voter might change his mind, or that one of the endangered species of undecided voters might benefit, WC, on the eve of the presidential election, will undertake to summarize how President Donald Trump has done in meeting his earlier campaign promises. In a sensible universe, that’s how a thinking voter would decide, right?

I will build a beautiful wall along the Mexico border, and Mexico will pay for it.
A little over 300 miles of wall have been built, but only 3 miles are new; the rest is a rebuild of existing walls. The U.S.-Mexico border is a little over 2,000 miles long. The 3 miles of new wall would be 0.015% of the border. Mexico didn’t pay for any of it. The Republican-controlled Congress refused to pay for it. So Trump stole the money from the Department of Defense – the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the earlier District Court holding that Trump illegally stole the funds. The tiny patch new wall is pitifully ineffective. Smugglers and the desperate can cut through the fence with a battery-powered sawzall in moments. Fail.

I will drain the swamp in Washington.
He has set new records for corruption, venality and sleaze. There have been more indictments and criminal pleas in the Trump Administration than in any other in American history, surpassing even the Nixon Watergate scandal. He has made nepotism a norm. The churn in cabinet posts is unbelievable, and Trump’s solution to the turnover has been to illegally appoint “acting” officials in violation of the law. He has enriched himself, his businesses and his family members at taxpayers’ expense. His most recent Attorney General, Bill Barr, has seriously corrupted the Department of Justice. The list goes on and on. He didn’t just fail to “drain the swamp,” he shattered his promise. Fail.

I will repeal the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with something “beautiful.”
That didn’t happen. Instead, seven million Americans have lost their health insurance since he took office. Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the law in the middle of a global pandemic with no plan to replace it. He has completely failed to propose any health care plan, let alone one beter than the Affordable Care Act. Fail.

I will eliminate the national debt in eight years.
On January 20th, the day Trump was inaugurated, the debt was $19.9 trillion. On September 8, 2017, Trump signed a bill increasing the debt ceiling. Later that day, the debt exceeded $20 trillion for the first time in U.S. history. On February 9, 2018, Trump signed a bill suspending the debt ceiling until March 1, 2019. It leapt to $22 trillion. In July 2019, Trump suspended the debt ceiling until after the 2020 presidential election. The debt soon rose to $23 trillion. Trump has overseen the fastest increase in the debt of any president. Fail.

The coronavirus would “go away without a vaccine.”
215,000 Americans dead.

Fail.

WC could go on like this for an even more extended post. But the hard fact is that it’s very hard to find any campaign promise or post-election promise that Trump has kept.

If keeping campaign promises is your measure of whether to give Trump a second term, then the answer is very easy: no.

WordPress. the blogging site WC uses, has completely revised its editor, in the name of progress. The new one is clumsier, involves a lot of unnecessary mouse work, and broke several features WC used, including footnotes. A WordPress “Happiness Engineer” – who thought that one up? – recently confirmed to WC that footnotes are, indeed, broken. Just another little present from CY2020.

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