Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Donald Trump is in Orlando to announce the kickoff of his re-election campaign. We're here to announce our endorsement for president in 2020, or, at least, who we're not endorsing: Donald Trump. Some readers will wonder how we could possibly eliminate a candidate so far before an election, and before knowing the identity of his opponent. Because there's no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump. After 2½ years we've seen enough.
Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies.
So many lies -- from white lies to whoppers -- told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity.
Trump's capacity for lying isn't the surprise here, though the frequency is.
It's the tolerance so many Americans have for it.
There was a time when even a single lie -- a phony college degree, a bogus work history -- would doom a politician's career.
Not so for Trump, who claimed in 2017 that he lost the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally (they didn't). In 2018 he said North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat (it is). And in 2019 he said windmills cause cancer (they don't). Just last week he claimed the media fabricated unfavorable results from his campaign's internal polling (it didn't).
Trump's successful assault on truth is the great casualty of this presidency, followed closely by his war on decency.
Trump insults political opponents and national heroes alike with middle-school taunts. He demonstrates no capacity for empathy or remorse. He misuses his office to punish opponents, as when he recently called for a boycott of AT&T to get even with his least favorite media outlet, CNN. He tears down institutions, once airily suggesting the U.S. should try having a leader for life as China now allows. He seems incapable of learning a lesson, telling an ABC interviewer last week -- just two months after Robert Mueller's report on election interference was released -- that he would accept dirt on an opponent from Russia or China.
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