Is it too early to begin thinking about how history is going to judge Donald J. Trump’s term as president?
I think not.
We’re well into the second year of Trump’s time in office. I am beginning to ponder how history might end up categorizing this most unconventional, chaotic, tumult-filled presidency.
Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace during the Watergate scandal; Gerald Ford restored a sense of decency in government; Jimmy Carter was bedeviled by the Iran hostage crisis; Ronald Reagan is remembered for restoring the nation’s sense of confidence; the Cold War ended on George H.W. Bush’s watch; Bill Clinton got impeached and he oversaw tremendous economic growth and the balancing of the federal budget; George W. Bush took us to war against terror after 9/11 and endured a financial collapse that rivaled the Great Depression; Barack Obama helped rescue the economy and ordered the death of the 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden.
Trump’s time in office?
I have begun looking back on it and I keep coming up with a course that hasn’t yet been charted.
He took office in January 2017, delivering a grim and foreboding inaugural speech and then ratcheted up his war against the media. He has described reporters as the “enemy of the American people.”
He uses “fake news” to disparage anyone who reports anything negative about him. He has burned through several Cabinet secretaries and key White House advisers.
Trump awakens every day and fires off tweets attacking anyone who sits in his crosshairs.
The president is facing a serious shellacking in the midterm election coming up later this year. Democrats might retake the U.S. House; the Senate is within reach, too. Then it might really, really rocky for the president as he sets up a re-election campaign for 2020.
He signed a tax cut into law. He has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He pulled us out of a deal that seeks to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Trump yanked the United States out of a climate accord signed by virtually every other nation on Earth.
Through all of this, the president refuses to acknowledge what intelligence officials have said already, that the Russians meddled in our 2016 election and has declared war against the FBI and the Department of Justice.
What a legacy — so far. I am quite certain we’ll have a whole lot more drama in store as this presidency heads toward the next election.