(June 2): It will be eight years on June 16 since Donald Trump made his theatrical entrance into the 2016 presidential race, descending an escalator into the lobby of Trump Tower in New York and dragging the nation’s politics down with him.

No reasonable assessment of his effect on public conduct and national unity can conclude anything other than that Trump has been a disaster. His lack of character and competence make him a chaos agent, attached like an incubus to the body politic. He always declares that he wants to make America great again, but he has not done so and never will. Voters should abandon any thoughts of returning him to the White House.

If Trump’s good intentions are what he says they are, if he wants to put America first, he should withdraw from the race and let the country choose a new leader unencumbered by rage, vendettas, and investigations. He will not do that, of course, although polls consistently show he is deeply and irretrievably unpopular with the wide public and therefore capable only of leading Republicans to unwonted defeat.

Those who are ambiguous about Trump, generally approving of his policies while deploring his character, often exaggerate his success on the former. But he did not achieve as much as is claimed, especially by him.

Trump never came close to “draining the swamp” or to finishing the border “wall,” never came close to reducing the trade deficit or adding manufacturing jobs, and did not even remotely tame China….

Trump boasted of shutting down the country in the face of the pandemic — Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is attacking him aggressively for that — and praised China for its pandemic response. Under his leadership, the wealthiest nation on Earth experienced the third-highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita of any country in the world.

As for his signature issue, stopping illegal immigration, the record is patchy. In his four years, the 1,980,210 Border Patrol “encounters” of illegal immigrants exceeded those of either Obama’s first term (1,724,443) or second term (1,660,343)…. [The rest of this magazine cover story is here.]



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