Trump impeached, breaks every campaign promise, and still he runs

Donald Trump will be running for reelection in 2020 with the worst track record of any president who has sought a second term. Trump violated his oath of office in every way imaginable and broke nearly every campaign promise.

In impeaching him, the House of Representatives decided for practical purposes to concentrate on only two of his multiple transgressions—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. These were the two for which there was both overwhelming evidence and simple stories—shaking down a foreign leader for political gain then stonewalling the Congressional investigation into that attempted extortion. Then Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton described the whole thing as a “drug deal,” code for an illegal and highly corrupt action.

The House could have added several other articles of impeachment for which there is ample proof, including obstruction of justice. Given the limited political literacy and attention span of most Americans, the House wisely decided that in this case less is more. Nevertheless, Trump will be the first impeached president to run for reelection. He will also be running on a track record of broken promises.

These unkept promises include first and foremost the vow to bring manufacturing jobs back. Actually, manufacturing is in a big slump right now with no end in sight. Trump did not revive manufacturing. Rather, he contributed to its tailspin by imposing big tariffs on China, raising the cost of goods to consumers and the prices of parts used by American companies to make their products. The tariffs also provoked China to raise its own tariffs thus decreasing U.S. manufacturing exports.

Trump ran as a “populist.” Populism can have two very different meanings. The traditional one is opposition to trusts, monopolies, concentrated corporate power. The other more current one amounts to racist and xenophobic demagoguery. Trump incredibly ran on both meanings but has governed consistent only with the second meaning. On bigotry Trump has been a world beater. But when it comes to the other meaning, it’s another story. Trump, a rich, entitled man who has lived high all his life amid the glitter of Manhattan. In his campaign, however, Trump ran against the coastal “elites.” Hilariously, his most abject bootlicker, Sean Hannity, called him a working-class billionaire.

But Trump has governed for the economic elite. As the New York Times reported, the tax bill Congress approved in 2017 and Trump signed had one top priority: to comfort the corporations. That’s the very opposite of what the populist movement of the late 19th and late twentieth centuries tried to do: bust the trusts, end monopoly.

The result is that while the stock market has soared and unemployment has dropped, for most people the economy is hardly great, as Trump claims. CEO pay has skyrocketed, profits have increased dramatically, but average pay has flatlined and the middle class is smaller and less well-off. Those whose money works for them, like owners of big blocs of stocks, have done fabulously. Not so much those who work for a living (and by and large own no significant number of stocks). Predictably, inequality is at a record high under the working-class hero president.

Trump in his campaign and rallies promised no more “endless wars”. Now, with his targeted assassination of the top military leader in Iran, he has [possibly] started another war that promises to be eternal while sending even more troops to the Middle East. Another broken promise.

Remember the wall to be paid for by Mexico? Trump had to know from the outset that Mexico would never pay. After being elected, Trump was told repeatedly by the Mexican president his country would not pay. He desperately tried to get the Mexican president to refrain from declaring that publicly and failed. Here we have not only a broken promise but also a brazen lie. Trump instead of getting the money from Mexico has billed the American taxpayer, but Congress has balked at the prospect. Trump has tried to make an end run around Congress by raiding other budgets, including the biggest and most sacrosanct one of all, the military budget. But the wall is still mostly a figment of Trump’s sick imagination.

With all this, many people think he could win. What is wrong in this picture? Everything. The antique Electoral College. The “enduring South,” the epicenter of a far too large pool of racists amid us. The political illiteracy of far more Americans than I ever imagined.

It will be a very ugly campaign and a very important election. All that could be avoided but for a totally shameless president. Lyndon Johnson refused to run just because he almost lost the New Hampshire primary. But Trump has no shame. He will run as defiant as ever and will be even more divisive. It is almost incredible to think that he would be capable of an even greater level of racist vitriol.  But he is.

Heaven help us. Or somebody: Allah, Buddha, anybody. Help! We need it.