The Trump Aberrancy Index

Tired of people shrugging their shoulders at America’s crisis, chuckling Trumpism off like it’s somehow just politics as usual?

Sick of your favorite source of news repeatedly giving this President the benefit of the doubt (despite the five alarm flames he’s fanning), simply because he’s president?

Struggling to maintain a grasp on reality, to claw your way out of the weeds and see the big picture, when every day brings a new outrage?

What follows is a reminder, a reference point, a working list of basic, self-evident statements about this presidency that you could not reasonably apply to any previous U.S. presidency.***

THE TRUMP ABERRANCY INDEX
Last updated: 3.24.2020

I. The President’s fundamental unfitness:

  • Aside from, well, being President, Donald Trump has no experience, whatsoever, in government…
    • and he doesn’t seem to care to know or understand what that job entails.
  • The President’s best supposed qualification for the job is his business acumen, which is an abject fraud.
  • Indeed, the President’s entire career is marked by criminal, fraudulent behavior that has continued into his presidency, and a whole lot of failure and bankruptcy.
  • The President, on an almost daily basis:
    • shows signs of significant mental incapacity;
    • shows signs of dangerous narcissism and instability;
    • struggles to piece together sentences;
    • does not appear to understand the most basic workings of the U.S. government; AND
    • does not and/or cannot perform the most basic functions of his job.
  • The President is open about the fact that he sees himself as President of only those who support him…
    • and he routinely uses his office to punish his critics and perceived enemies.
  • The President watches TV constantly, and often makes sweeping policy pronouncements (or false allegations against “enemies”) based on what he saw on the tube that morning.
  • The President brags incessantly about the economy, but his economic philosophy appears to be built solely around trade deficits and tariffs…
    • and his every public statement indicates that he does not understand either.
  • There is no “White House” or “Trump Administration” in the way that there has been in every previous presidency – there is no lengthy roster of career public servants…
    • just Donald Trump, his daughter, his son and law, and a bunch of shit-heel sycophants.
  • The President tweets (and often talks) like a drunk tipped halfway over at the end of the bar, all day, every day.
  • If you’re being honest with yourself, you know that you would not hire this individual (the President) to run a 7-11.

II. The President’s fundamental untrustworthiness

  • The President is an accomplished con artist.
  • The President continues to hide from the American people his financial entanglements…
    • but there is ample evidence that President has massive international financial interests that could conceivably color every decision he makes…
    • and the President has, on many occasions, made both foreign and domestic policy decisions that appear to be aimed at protecting/bolstering his finances…
    • all while his closest “advisors” (his daughter and son-in-law, members of his cabinet) have repeatedly used their position to secure sweetheart treatment from hostile foreign adversaries.
  • The President’s guiding light when it comes to all policy and uses of Presidential power appears to be driven by, in this order:
    • his financial interests,
    • his personal political interests,
    • who he hates the most,
    • and who flatters him the most.
      • There is no evidence that the interests of the American people are ever a consideration for this President.
  • The President has undercut U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies many times on the world stage, siding with dictators over his own FBI and CIA…
    • The President has revealed classified information to foreign adversaries on many occasions.
    • The U.S. intelligence community was so concerned that the President could not be trusted with state secrets, that it pulled a high-value asset from Russia to protect that individual from Putin/Trump retribution.
  • The President has shown a willingness to lie about – and to direct federal agencies to lie about – basic science, basic numbers, and basic facts.
    • We’ve reached a point where information emanating from anywhere in the federal government is inherently suspect, if it feeds any nonsense narrative the President has expressed an interest in.
  • The President has, many times, abused the powers of his office to take punitive action against his political rivals…
    • and American businesses…
    • and American citizens…
    • and entire cities or states that the President views as disloyal.
  • The President has lied to the American people, as of August 5, 2019, at least 12,019 times; he lies about little, insignificant things, and very big things.
  • The President’s hangers on have adopted his approach of constant, shameless mendacity…
    • And the President rewards and “likes” the ones who lie the most shamelessly.
  • One more time, for those up in the cheap seats: the President is an accomplished con artist.

III. The President’s assault on America’s stature in the world

  • In a moment when democracy is in retreat across the globe:
    • the President seems obsessed with currying the favor of dictators;
    • the President seems obsessed with undercutting our democratic allies; and
    • the President seems obsessed with dismantling our democracy, the world’s oldest and most powerful force for democratic values … until now.
  • The Trump Administration has all but eliminated the defense of basic human rights as American policy,…
    • and human rights abusers are stepping into the void, and ramping up abuses at a shocking rate.
  • The President is a fucking terrible dealmaker, especially when it comes to international affairs:
    • He has elevated and rewarded a ruthless dictator in North Korea, because that dictator sends Trump love letters;
    • He has launched a nonsensical trade war with China…
      • Without any clear goal…
        • Without any apparent understanding of the issues at play…
          • And Americans are footing the bill;
    • He tore up a good deal with Iran – a better deal than he’ll ever get with North Korea – because Obama made fun of him once;
    • He announced withdrawal by the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords – a small but meaningful step towards addressing a massive international crisis – because Obama made fun of him once.
  • The President has built up an absurdly subservient relationship with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, which should be shocking, were it not for…
    • The President’s even more unsettling submissiveness when it comes to  Kim Jong Un, which would itself be pretty unbelievable, were it not for…
      • The President’s utter fealty to Vladimir Putin.
  • To that end, there is significant reason to believe that the President feels and/or IS indebted to hostile foreign powers…
    • and the President acts, constantly, like he’s beholden to hostile foreign powers.
  •  The Trump Administration and the Republican Party are engaged in an outright war on science…
    • With their number one goal undercutting efforts to address climate change, the most serious and dangerous existential crisis humanity has faced since WWII.
  • As of the time of creation of this Aberrancy Index, the President had recently picked a fight with Denmark out of pique…
    • He does this sort of thing roughly once a month.

IV. The President’s assault on the America, its values, its democracy

  • The “Trump Administration” has…
    • buried research and reports that do not support the President’s political positions;
    • forbidden civil servants from using certain language, from acknowledging climate change, from protecting marginalized communities;
    • purged career civil servants throughout the government;
    • defied long-standing U.S. law with regards to immigration, civil rights, and a range of other areas;
    • intentionally sabotaged the Affordable Care Act, at the expense of the American people; and
    • installed the worst possible people at every level of the U.S. government.
  • To that end, the President very much hires the worst people:
    • The Trump Administration has baldly politicized critical security positions, where the potential for abuse is enormous…
      • installing a corrupted Attorney General, who appears to place doing Donald Trump’s bidding above any considerations for the integrity of the Justice Department, or the American people;
      • installing a pathetic sycophant as Secretary of State, who takes whatever madness the President spews on a Tuesday morning, turns it into State Department policy by Tuesday afternoon;
      • installing loyalists in some of the most critical intelligence positions in our government; and
      • installing outright villains to oversee components of U.S. law enforcement, and especially immigration enforcement.
    • With a recession looming, the President chose his financial advisors because he likes how they talk on TV.
    • The list of scandals and corruption in the Trump Administration is … long.
  • The President single-handedly launched the longest government shutdown in American history because some people on TV told him to.
  • The President and his GOP enablers have engaged in a assault on the free press…
    • Revoking press passes of reporters they don’t like;
    • Calling the press the “enemy of the people”;
    • Applauding the abuse of the press by dictators abroad;
    • Acquiescing to the murder of journalists by dictators abroad;
    • Ending daily press briefings altogether;
    • Lying, incessantly, to the press and the American people;
    • Propping up disreputable, conspiracy-mongering “news” sources, while incessently attacking ethical outlets.
  • The President has, on many occasions, used his massive megaphone to:
    • encourage insane, dangerous conspiracy theories;
    • give tacit (and in some cases explicit) approval to violent white supremacist movements;
    • build up an enemies list for violent extremists to follow.
  • The President is proudly fanning the flames of a race war, because he is a racist, and because he believes it is to his political benefit.
  • Multiple violent extremists have committed murder in the President’s name…
    • and dozens more have attempted or planned to commit murder in the President’s name…
      • but the President has repeatedly downplayed those attacks, and given those terrorists cover.
  • The President uses language and tells lies that are intended to incite violence against…
    • People of color
    • And women
    • And women’s rights activists
    • And the LGBTQ community
    • And Democrats
    • And Jews
    • And Muslims
    • And the American press…
      • All of those communities have seen an uptick in violence against them, some in horrific fashion.
  • The President has directed the U.S. government to commit grave human rights violations…
    • and has weaponized U.S. immigration enforcement as part of a terror campaign against immigrant communities and persons of color in the United States.
  • The President and Republicans are engaged in an aggressive court-packing scheme in which woefully disqualified and/or ideologically radioactive far-right partisans are receiving lifetime appointments…
    • Republicans stole a U.S. Supreme Court seat, and broke all norms to confirm a now-Justice who vowed retribution against Democrats;
    • The President has made clear, again and again, that he believes that his judges, and his SCOTUS, will ultimately be loyal to him;
      • All of which undermines the basic premise of judicial independence.
  • The President has attacked and undermined the functionality of Congress in unprecedented ways…
    • Republicans in Congress have acquiesced to becoming an arm of the White House, doing Donald Trump’s bidding to, for example, undercut the Russia investigation, or submarine legislation that Fox News doesn’t like.
  • The President and Republicans have openly worked to undermine the integrity of U.S. elections…
    • They are actively working to prevent Americans from voting on a level we’ve never seen before;
    • They are actively spreading misinformation to confuse and exhaust our electorate; and
    • They refuse to pass even the most basic election reforms to prevent foreign interference in 2020.
  • The President and his campaign happily accepted aid in 2016 from a hostile foreign power, and lied hundreds of times in order to protect that hostile foreign power.
  • The President and his GOP enablers understand that the world’s hostile powers – Russia, Saudi Arabia, North Korea – really enjoy the Trump Presidency…
    • and will be glad to help get him re-elected…
      • And the President and his GOP enablers are fine with that.
  • The President and his GOP enablers have driven America’s democracy through every conceivable guardrail, and the President behaves, every single day, like an aspiring authoritarian.
  • The President has weaponized his one great political superpower, the willingness to be utterly shameless in all things…
    • to degrade and defame American values to no end, to burn this country down…
      • all because it feels good, serves his interests, and/or “owns the libs”…
    • and the entire Republican Party – right down to local Republican leaders, even voters – is learning to do the same.

 

FOOTNOTES:

*** “Ah, not so fast kind sir,” you exclaim, “as I read through your list, I see a handful of items that theoretically could be applied to previous Presidents!”

Good for you. Now find another comparator. And another. And 300 more after that.

The point is that the massive scope of this President’s aberrancy – the way each of the items above exacerbate and play off of one another – makes what we’re up against a little different than everything we’ve seen before.

If you disagree, kind sir, you’re not paying attention.