Given his uncanny ability to somehow always make things worse for himself and the country, it’s difficult to say for sure that this current moment represents the nadir of Donald Trump’s presidency. But the case is a compelling one.
COVID-19 continues to kill Americans daily, with over 113,000 deaths and over 2,000,000 infections so far. This colossal public health failure can be laid squarely at the feet of a president who refused to act soon enough and who still seems far more interested in reopening the economy than saving lives. One estimate shows that if the White House had pushed for social distancing just one week sooner 36,000 lives could have been saved. Trump never took the coronavirus seriously enough and Americans are dead because of it.
At the same time, the past few weeks have seen a nation coming apart at the seams as law enforcement officers, with Trump’s blessing, have responded to protests over the George Floyd murder with shocking brutality.
President Trump himself had peaceful demonstrators attacked and dispersed with tear gas and flashbang grenades so that he could make his way to a church for an inane Bible photo op. In the process, members of the clergy were gassed and expelled from the church grounds, prompting Mariann E. Budde, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, to denounce Trump’s actions.
On top of all that bad press, Trump also had to contend with exceptionally harsh words from his former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his former Chief of Staff, General John Kelly.
Throughout it all, Fox News has been beating the drums of “law & order” in defense of this lawless president, stoking bigoted white fears over the protests and smearing the majority of activists as violent rioters. Thankfully, there are some sane voices left at the conservative outlet.
Fox’s Chris Wallace, a man who hasn’t been afraid to criticize Trump even as it earns him the vilification of many of his network’s viewers, appeared on The View to give his take on recent events. His analysis was less-than-flattering to our president.
“Trump is positioning himself as a law and order president, but these movements that we are seeing in the streets are protesting law enforcement as we know it. He is also reigniting the fight now over taking a knee in silent protest during the national anthem. Is this, in your view, the right tone for the president to be taking in this moment?” asked host Sunny Hostin.
“Well, I’m not going to talk about it in terms of right or wrong. I mean, you know the president has his base and he has his beliefs, and he’s entitled to them. Let me talk about it in terms of politics. And I would say that the last week was a very bad week for the president in terms of politics, in terms of his potential reelection prospects,” said Wallace.
“I mean when you’re getting called out by the Episcopal bishop of Washington and the archbishop of the Catholic Church of Washington, when you’re getting called out by everybody from Jim Mattis to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen, and even your own current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper breaks with you, that’s not a good week,” Wallace added.
The sober-headed analysis was spot on and bodes well for the country. What’s bad for Trump’s reelection prospects is good for America.
Watch the interview below.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace tells us he hopes to see “reform and improvement” in race relations following protests sparked by George Floyd’s death, but says it was “a very bad week” politically for Pres. Trump after his handling of it. https://t.co/f8u2wbJuik pic.twitter.com/clI7exuUJb
— The View (@TheView) June 9, 2020
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.