Just Do It

The Washington Post editorial board is launching a series of editorials that might be called “Stating the Obvious”. But this is well-done:

After he is nominated at a pared-down Republican convention next week, President Txxxx will make this argument to the American people: Things were great until China loosed the novel coronavirus on the world. If you reelect me, I will make things great again.

Seeking reelection in the midst of the worst public health crisis and sharpest economic downturn of our lifetimes, this may, realistically, be the only argument left to him. But, fittingly for a president who has spoken more than 20,000 lies during his presidency, it rests on two huge falsehoods.

One is that the nation, his presidency and, above all, Mr. Txxxx himself are innocent victims of covid-19. In fact, his own negligence, ignorance and malpractice turned what would have been a daunting challenge for any president into a national disaster.

The other is that there was anything to admire in his record before the virus struck. It is true that the economic growth initiated under President Barack Obama had continued, at about the same modest rate. Mr. Txxxx achieved this growth by ratcheting up America’s deficit and long-term debt to record levels, with a tax cut that showered benefits on the wealthy.

But beyond the low unemployment rate he gained and lost, history will record Mr. Txxxx’s presidency as a march of wanton, uninterrupted, tragic destruction. America’s standing in the world, loyalty to allies, commitment to democratic values, constitutional checks and balances, faith in reason and science, concern for Earth’s health, respect for public service, belief in civility and honest debate, beacon to refugees in need, aspirations to equality and diversity and basic decency — Mr. Txxxx torched them all.

Four years ago, after Mr. Txxxx was nominated in Cleveland, we did something in this space we had never done before: Even before the Democrats had nominated their candidate, we told you that we could never, under any circumstances, endorse Dxxxx Txxxx for president. He was, we said, “uniquely unqualified” to be president.

“Mr. Txxxx’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together,” we warned. “His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.”

The nation has indeed spent much of the past three-plus years fretting over whether that experiment could survive Mr. Txxxx’s depredations. The resistance from some institutions, at some times, has been heartening. The depth of the president’s incompetence, which even we could not have imagined, may have saved the democracy from a more rapid descent.
But the trajectory has been alarming. The capitulation of the Republican Party has been nauseating. Misbehavior that many people vowed never to accept as normal has become routine.

A second term might injure the experiment beyond recovery.

And so, over the coming weeks, we will do something else we have never done before: We will publish a series of editorials on the damage this president has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term. And we will unabashedly urge you to do your civic duty and vote: Vote early and vote safely, but vote.


Hell, you can vote early, vote safely, vote late, vote unsafely. Just vote.