Donald J. Trump won’t leave a warm and fuzzy presidential legacy.
I feel confident in saying so. He’ll leave office no doubt proclaiming all kinds of economic and foreign policy success.
He won’t, though, be able to declare victory in his stated pledge to “unify” the country after the contentious and bitter campaign that elected him president of the United States.
We are more divided than we’ve been in the past 50 years. More divided than Bush v. Gore and the Florida recount — and a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision — that decided the 2000 election; more than the impeachment in 1998 of President Clinton; more than the fight over the Affordable Care Act in 2010; more divided, even, than during the Vietnam War, when millions of Americans marched in protest against that conflict.
Trump took office and declared at his inaugural that the “American carnage” would end “right here and right now.” It hasn’t.
He has dragged public discourse into the gutter. He has ignited his Democratic Party foes to follow him there. Man, I regret that trend. We hear Democrats using Trump’s own words and behavior as justification for their attempts to out-shout the president and the Republicans.
Trump’s declaration that the media are the “enemy of the American people” has energized his base, which is totally fine with him.
Donald Trump is not the president of the entire nation; he speaks only to his base and speaks only in language that his base understands. They comprise something around 38 percent of all Americans. That’s enough to suit the president.
Does any of this portend a legacy that makes us proud?
Nope. Not as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure a lot of other Americans feel the same way.