Presidents tend to get too much blame and take too much credit for most things. Trump is exceptional on both sides, as he accepts no blame or responsibility and claims credit for some things that he had little or nothing to do with.

Trump has had some accomplishments and positive outcomes, but no where near what most of his supporters tend to believe. I read a pretty good analysis that said he has kept about 1/3 of his promises; 1/3 were stuck; and 1/3 he won’t keep (no Mexico won’t pay for the wall, and the record trade deficit means trade wars aren’t ‘easy to win’).

Good grades for Trump on the Economy before the pandemic, but it follows trend lines and growth put in place during the Obama Biden administration, which had some economic measures better than Trump’s. They got us through the Global Financial Crisis, the biggest economic challenge since the Great Depression, saving General Motors, the banks, and setting our economy and stock market on a pace that Trump is now claiming credit for. Strong leadership and the right team will be critical to get our economy back on track with the pandemic.

Leadership counts, and by nearly all measures Trump is a terrible leader. His White House has been a revolving door – some very smart, capable people who got fed up and left; and others whose only qualifications were praise for him. No real strategy or plan for the good of America, just whatever it takes to stroke his massive ego and get him re-elected. His poor leadership and lies about the pandemic have had consequences for us all. The world has watched his failures in leadership as he trashes allies and praises dictators.

Even many of those who will vote for Trump think he is a rather disgusting human being. A corrupt con man, an adulterer, racist, misogynist, draft dodger, and pathological liar who promotes false, unfounded conspiracy theories. He has no respect for our brave soldiers and veterans (‘suckers and losers’); his religious supporters (‘…they believe that ****’), and if you’re not a wealthy member of his club, he only cares about average Americans as long as they rally around him and keep him, his family and cronies in power.

I believe the most critical consideration in our Presidential election is a vote for democracy, which is a very fragile institution. Trump has continually attacked our free press; our institutions; the rule of law and has fired those investigating or challenging him; has denigrated our free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power; and now we can’t even have a civil Presidential debate. Most of the world is aghast at America, whose brave men and women gave life and limb, along with allied soldiers, to protect democracy around the world, and who are now watching democracy in decline.
So a menu of choices for us all – some positive outcomes; poor leadership; poor individual values and beliefs; and our democracy at risk. A very critical vote.

David Stene
Pelican Rapids