In 2020, we know that he’s wisely followed the Federalist Society’s guidance in nominating three Supreme Court justices. We know that by persevering through occasionally bipartisan and international opposition, he ushered through tax reform, slowed the growth of the regulatory state, signed the First Step Act, moved our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, brokered three Middle East treaties/agreements (let’s not quibble about Sudan being in the Middle East), taken on China’s persistent intellectual property theft, pushed our allies to contribute more toward their own defense, extricated us from the punishing Paris Climate Accord and the Iran Nuclear Deal, presided over record economic improvement for blacks, Hispanics, veterans and women, allowed cabinet secretaries to make significant improvements in federal policy (three cheers for Betsy DeVos’ Title IX rule changes!), and more.
On the other hand, he lies as easily as he breathes, he shows no interest in controlling federal spending or the national debt (and didn’t pre-COVID), his trade and immigration policies are wrongheaded and economically harmful, he politicizes government functions which should be immune from politics, he doesn’t have the discipline to stop posting self-destructive and often false tweets, and, perhaps most importantly for voters at this moment, his Coronavirus response has been woefully inadequate. It’s not just my opinion: At a particularly good “closing-argument” speech in Pennsylvania on Saturday, the president said “I give ourselves a D or maybe an F in terms of (COVID-19) public relations.” Indeed, if Joe Biden becomes our next president, that failing grade will be the reason.
All politicians, especially all presidents, are double-edged swords but never have both blades been as sharp as Donald Trump’s are.