The Worst President
For all but the very beginning of Donald Trump’s career as president, I’ve freely admitted that I considered him to be the worst president of my lifetime, but not the worst president of all time; that position was held by James Buchanan, who, I noted, actually broke the country. After today, however, I have to say I’ve changed my mind; Donald Trump is, without qualification, the worst president we’ve ever had.
You are free to disagree, of course, but you are wrong. James Buchanan allowed the country to fall into the Civil War because he believed (erroneously, in my opinion) the principles of the country could not stop it from happening. He was wrong, terribly wrong, but at least there was a principle behind it. Trump, it is now perfectly and unambiguously clear, would be delighted to have the country fall into a civil war, not for principle, but simply for ego. He would destroy our country and democracy because he can’t abide what he now is: a loser. He can not and does not care about the nation, nor its principles, nor any of its people, save the ones of the sort who will trash a capitol for him. James Buchanan, awful a president as he was, was better than that.
Nothing Trump can do now will stop him from being what he is: A loser, a wretched president, and a historic low point in the annals of our country. He did not get there on his own, to be sure — it was a decades-long project of the GOP to get us to this point — but his own character and weaknesses define him. He will never escape his awfulness, even as the rest of us, thankfully, start to leave him behind two weeks from now. All he can do now is what he is doing: Proving over and over again the depths of his petulance, his pettiness, and his malice. Proving over and over again that he is, definitively, the worst.
It would be lovely if we did not have to endure it for even two more weeks. It would be lovely if Trump resigned (he won’t), if Vice President Pence invoked the 25th Amendment (he won’t) or if Trump were impeached by the House (he might be!) and then convicted and removed by the Senate (he won’t be). It would be lovely, but in point of fact, it won’t happen. He will have to be endured. And we will see, in the time he has left, just how much worse he can get.