There is no other way of getting around this: Donald Trump is officially a failed president. He is so far removed from fulfilling his obligations as the Commander in Chief that there can be no other way of describing him, or his presidency. The failures are so extreme, so blatant, and so ridiculous that the United States is no longer in danger of becoming a failed democracy — it is now quite literally a failed democracy.
Think of what Trump has done to the office of the presidency over the past few months. He has lied on a daily basis about everything conceivable. He lied about the size of his inauguration crowd. He lied about how many jobs he has created. He lied about his accomplishments within the first 90 days of his presidency. He has lied about the intelligence reports outlining Russian interference into the election. He lied about NATO and how much Europe contributes to it, and he lied about James Comey losing the confidence of the F.B.I. This is not normal.
The lies are bad enough, but the chronic mismanagement and gleeful destructiveness of Trump and his people makes his presidency all the more absurd, and all the more tragic. Reducing the Oval Office to a cheap reality show filled with cartoon like villains might make for great television, but it makes for tragic politics and extreme pain and suffering. The publicity stunts surrounding the decimation of Obamacare might give Trump a boost with Fox News viewers, but the consequences will be felt by millions of people who don’t have inherited fortunes to fall back on.
The private press briefings might save Sean Spicer and Trump immediate ridicule, but they serve to further erode a sense of normalcy. Kellyanne Conway’s dishonest performances on national television may give the Alt Right more ammunition to spread their lies on Breitbart and beat liberals over the head with, but it demeans the office of the presidency and makes a mockery of accountability. Trump’s belittling of the investigations into his ties with Russia and his obstruction of justice are symptomatic of dictatorships, not democracies. This is not how healthy societies work. This is not normal.
Then, there are the tweets. The constant belittling of political opponents, the lies, and insults and the self aggrandizements. Trump tweets lazy gibberish at all hours of the day, not bothering to fact check or even run them by his staff. This is the president of the United States we are talking about here. This is not normal.
The fact that Trump lies so much means there is nothing he says that Americans or the rest of the world can take seriously. His word means nothing, and his authority means nothing. The endless bullshit streaming out of the White House is nothing short of a catastrophe, and it has turned America into a global laughing stock. The damage is now sadly irreversible, and America’s position as the world’s leading democracy is now over for good. This is heartbreaking for responsible, decent Americans who believe in their country and the democratic standards it is supposed to uphold. They are watching their country fall apart in real time and feel completely helpless as Trump makes a mockery of the nation’s institutions. This is not normal.
This is not normal.
Where does this all end? How much more can Americans take of this constant degradation of their intelligence? Trump has won the presidency and laid waste to everything around him, fulfilling the promises of his Alt-Right Svengali Steve Bannon, who claimed he wanted to “destroy the administrative state“. He has done that, and more. Trump has wrecked the institution of the presidency — a sin for which his country will pay for for many years to come. And sadly the damage is not yet complete. As he careens from one disaster to the next, there is no telling what he might be capable of. As Andrew Sullivan wrote in an essay this week, should Trump fire Robert Mueller, the man tasked with investigating his alleged obstruction of justice, American democracy itself will be a thing of the past. Trump will be a failed president residing in an office he is not fit to be in, unable to govern, but free to destroy anything and everything with no one there to stop it. This is not normal. This cannot happen, and Americans must stop him before everything they hold dear is gone.
Trump may be a failed president, but Americans do not have to be a failed people. They can stop this, and they must demand it happens now.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.