It is impossible to overstate how horrible Donald Trump is as a man or as a president. I can’t think of a single thing he has said or done that I agree with, which is a pretty amazing record. The only silver lining is that he will be out of office eventually, although not for another 27 months. Most everything he has done in office can, and should, be reversed by the next president – just as most things Trump has done have been 180-degree reversals of things Obama did. The only exception to this rule – assuming he does not start a foreign war – will be the damage to the environment he will have caused by not moving to combat climate change. (Personally, I think the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v Gore let this horse out of the barn; Trump is only speeding up what was most likely inevitable, but his actions are nonetheless dispiriting.)
There is one thing, though, that the election of a more enlightened president and Congress – i.e., Democrats – won’t cure, and that is the division, a/k/a polarization, of our country, which has affected society as well as our government. Rather than unite the country, Trump has done everything he can to divide it, by denigrating and attacking everyone who doesn’t fawn over him, and that’s a pretty substantial majority of the country. When Trump is defeated in 2020, and he will be, how likely is it that his followers will accept this defeat and allow the next president to unite and lead the country? And if our political parties remain bent on defeating the opposition, rather than governing, what will stop America from falling further and further behind countries, whether democratic or authoritarian, where resources are devoted to improving living conditions instead of enriching the already rich and fighting pointless foreign wars that no one is willing to “lose”?
Obama and others are right that Trump is a symptom, not a cause. We can get rid of him, but the problem remains.