AuthorLueders, Bill
PositionCOMMENT - President Donald Trump's legacy and President-elect Joe Biden's job to undo it - Viewpoint essay

The damage done by Donald Trump will not end with his presidency. It will take years, perhaps generations, to flush out the toxins he has injected into the body politic.

No, the soon-to-be-ex-President did not invent racism, xenophobia, demagoguery, or disdain for truth. But he elevated these in the national consciousness, to a level his followers will seek to sustain--if for no other reason than to affirm Trumps perverse legacy.

Trump has used racism as a tool to gain political advantage. He responded to police brutality by egging it on. He not only denied the existential threat of climate change but seemed intent on making it worse. He handled the COVID-19 pandemic by mocking mask-wearing, rebuffing experts, and hosting super-spreader rallies estimated to have infected more than 30,000 people, killing more than 700 of them. His response to losing an election has been to proclaim it illegitimate, as he vowed to do if the result displeased him.

Trump did not lose the election because a cabal of his enemies committed massive electoral theft. He lost because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris received the most votes and won the Electoral College. Sheesh.

Yes, its dispiriting to see how close Trump came, drawing more than seventy million votes. Some 80 percent of the nations substantial white evangelical population support this known adulterer, serial sexual predator, and foul-mouthed faux-Christian.

The President has disparaged broad swaths of the public--people who serve in the military, Gold Star families, immigrants, people with disabilities, Muslims, and the media. He called Harris, now the nations Vice President-elect, a "monster." He has fired those who refuse to abide by his delusions--including, just after the election, Defense Secretary Mark Esper--and used his office to punish his enemies and enrich himself and his grifter family.

Trump accused the doctors and nurses working heroically to save COVID-19 patients of fabricating death counts for money. He shunted aside experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci and centered his response to the pandemic on the advice of Scott Atlas, a crackpot Fox News squawker who thinks everyone in the country should contract the virus. He riled maskless acolytes into chants of "Fire Fauci!" His former adviser Steve Bannon called for the severed heads of Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray to be hoisted on pikes outside the White House--a threat Bannon's own lawyer took seriously enough to drop him as a client...

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