Whole books will be written about the presidency of Donald Trump, with a focus on his greatest accomplishments and failures. Likewise, one only has to look as far as social media where supporters of the former president continue to tout the low gasoline prices, low unemployment, and his efforts to build bridges between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East.
It is absolutely true that Donald Trump did have some notable accomplishments, but his critics are correct in pointing out his numerous failures as well.
Some on the left consider him one of the worst U.S. presidents ever. Here is a short sample of his mistakes while in office:
Donald Trump: The Great Divider
Former President Trump never promised to be a unifier, but he arguably divided the nation more than any president since the American Civil War. It is also true that Trump may have never been given a chance, as some of his critics refused to accept him as a legitimate president from the moment he won the 2016 election.
However, Trump’s crass use of social media hardly helped matters, while he also resorted to name-calling and bullying in a way not seen in modern politics. Even the most ardent support of the former president must admit they’d like to see him put down the phone and not feel the need to constantly respond to everything via social media. It is unnecessary for him to offer opinions that are outside the realm of governing – but Trump simply cannot stop being Trump.
His response to the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was an especially low point for his administration. By stating that both sides were responsible while there were “very fine people” on both sides essentially failed to condemn the violence.
Failure to Confront Covid
Here is a simple fact: it is highly unlikely that anyone could have done better or worse at handling the Covid-19 pandemic. But that also doesn’t matter.
Trump was the guy in the Oval Office at the time, so he had to own it. Though his Operation Warp Speed brought out the vaccine in record time, some of Trump’s early policies may have allowed the illness to spread.
Separating Families at the Border
President Joe Biden seems completely overwhelmed by the ongoing crisis at the southern border and has botched it as badly as anyone.
However, Trump’s hardline approach to reducing undocumented immigrants – where children were separated from their families and placed in small cages – was not a good look for the Trump administration or the United States of America.
Retaining Classified Documents
Here is another situation that could be dismissed as “everyone is doing it” as classified documents were found at President Joe Biden’s home and office, while other documents were discovered in the residence of former Vice President Mike Pence.
However, Biden and Pence each responded quickly and cooperated with investigators. Trump has largely made excuses, while there are reports he went out of his way to impede the investigation, possibly even destroying video evidence.
Inciting Violence on January 6
The biggest failures of the Trump presidency were his failure to accept defeat in the 2020 presidential race, then the efforts to overturn the results, but most damningly the violence that resulted on January 6, 2021, when Trump incited protestors.
There may still be many Americans who cast doubt on the outcome of the election, but Trump has only served to make matters worse. As a result, he faces indictment in Georgia – just one of several criminal cases at the federal and state level brought against the former president.
It is absolutely true that some of these charges have been politically motivated, yet that still doesn’t mean he didn’t do anything wrong. Regardless of what he may have done as president, his legacy will forever be tied to January 6, 2021, as well as the numerous criminal investigations.
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.