While not a Trump fan, I will attempt to subjectively analyze his 2016-20 presidency.

Pluses

Troops: He has not only spoken against our country’s seemingly never-ending involvement in usually fruitless Middle East wars, aka “police actions,” but has begun bringing some of our troops home.

Too many immigrants: There should be no doubt our country cannot absorb the hordes of hungry and often abused people who would like to settle here, and Trump’s actions have reduced the number considerably. The flip side is our methods to deter them have sometimes been cruel and even illegal.

Economy: This is a mixed bag. Trump claimed he created the best economy ever … a questionable boast. If the current level of the stock market is the only criteria, that would be believable, but if history is the guide, the claim is doubtful. Additionally, the pre-COVID-19 economy was doing very well but was boosted by a record-setting $1 trillion deficit increase. Furthermore, while many Americans are doing OK, millions are out of work and struggling to pay their bills. Economic assistance to the struggling multitude has not been delivered by Congress; Trump is not responsible.

NATO: Trump persuaded most other NATO countries to contribute to the defense budget at a higher level than they had been paying.

Minuses

Ego: Probably his primary liability is his opinion of himself as a “very stable genius.” Judging from the fact he ignores the advice of most experts in various fields, he considers his instincts superior to everyone else’s learned opinions; views they have reached by education and real-world experiences.

One of his destructive actions has been (apparently) convincing a near majority of citizens our government is run by corrupt public employees and politicians, excepting those who support him of course. Very damaging to our country are his continual assaults on the integrity of personnel of all governmental agencies/employees that are not loyal to him. Their duty is to provide honesty, not blind loyalty. Only naïve people believe all public servants are above reproach, but only very gullible people believe Trump’s claim that a mysterious and treacherous “deep state” controls our government.

The 2020 Election: Obviously, Biden has won the presidency, but many are surprised at how close the election was. Pollsters gave Biden an 8 to 10% advantage, but the actual percentage was around 3.5%. What happened? Reportedly, about 50% of voters are Democrats or Independents leaning left, while around 40% are Republicans or Independents leaning right. Those figures should have resulted in Biden getting 10% more votes than Trump. Possibly part of the less-than-expected Democratic success has been the complete lack of honesty Trump and many of his accomplices have displayed. Some have compared the Democratic party with socialists, communists and worse yet, child abusers. The Democrats have championed many social programs, and the vast majority of Americans as well as most citizens in all countries favor these plans.

Iran Nuclear Agreement: Iran signed the agreement that greatly restricted its nuclear program. All the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China and the United States, plus Germany and the European Union signed the pact. All signatories agreed Iran was complying until President Trump, without providing any proof, as is usual for him, declared Iran was not complying and pulled the U.S. out of the pact. President Obama was a main “player” in the accord; could President Trump’s dislike of everything President Obama accomplished have been the real reason for Trump trashing the agreement?

He insulted our longtime friends and cozied up to the autocratic dictators of Russia, China and North Korea. His relationships with two of the three have cooled, but Putin remains a buddy apparently.

Paris Climate Agreement: President Trump withdrew the U.S. from this agreement which most of the world’s leaders signed. It pledged to greatly reduce the unhealthy gases polluting our Earth. The very conservative and the oil and coal industries opposed it.

On balance

President Trump’s minuses outnumber his pluses. His term does not end until Jan. 20, 2021, and not even then according to him and his supporters. Trump continually proclaims the election was stolen from him due to widespread fraud. As always, he never supports claims with facts. On Nov. 15, 2020, Trump acknowledged Biden won, but then claimed the elections were rigged against him, so he did not concede. Nevertheless, once his fruitless efforts to overturn legal elections in a few states are defeated, I expect he will leave the White House on Jan, 20, 2021. There will be no official concession speech from ex-President Trump; he will continually insist the election was stolen from him by crooked Democrats and the “deep state.”

It would not be surprising if an unofficial swearing-in ceremony was held on Jan. 20, 2021 … for presidential pretender Trump. A great number of his followers would attend, including members of the KKK, Neo Nazis and the Proud Boys. Expect trouble.

Ted Shannon is a Mokelumne Hill resident and retired California Highway Patrol officer. Contact him at tsuj12@yahoo.com.

Ted Shannon is retired California Highway Patrol officer and  Mokelumne Hill resident. Contact him at tsuj12@yahoo.com.

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