Donald Trump has only four days (counting today) left in office, and he’s making the most of the time he has left to cause as much damage as he can. As far as I can tell, his purpose is not to leave a lasting beneficial mark on the nation. It is to make the job of the incoming administration as difficult as possible. Or maybe he wants to hurt us all as much as he can in vengeance for our refusal to reelect him.
Trump, as I write, is weakening environmental regulations to allow more pollution to the environment. And he has just delayed fines on auto makers for failing to make their vehicles less damaging to air quality. He has reduced the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, weakening our ability to hold the nation’s enemies at bay. Presumably at Trump’s direction, Mike Pompeo, the outgoing Secretary of State, has made the incoming administration’s diplomatic job inestimably more difficult by eliminating restrictions on diplomatic contacts with Taiwan and applying terrorism designations to Cuba and Yemeni’s Houthi rebels.
Worst of all, Trump has speeded up executions. Yesterday morning, the U.S. federal government executed Dustin Higgs, the thirteenth person to be put to death by the Trump administration in the span of six months. Before Trump’s execution spree, it had been seventeen years since a federal execution had been carried out.
What kind of man is Donald Trump to take deliberately damaging steps against the country as he leaves office? What kind of leaders are the Republicans who empower him? What kind of nation have we become?
I remind readers that Trump is still in office for three more days after today. He remains the most powerful man on earth for fewer than 90 hours. What kind of injury will he inflict?