EDITORIAL: Toxic Leadership Rejected

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Former President Donald Trump
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When Trump won the presidency in 2016, millions of Democratic voters were devastated. But they accepted the results, because they believe in the democratic process. Trump apparently believed in the process then, too. Not once did he or any of his supporters complain about the electoral process. Now that he is on the brink of losing, however, the process is suddenly tainted, fraudulent and rigged. But recounts and court battles won’t change what the rest of us already know to be true: Trump’s toxic leadership has been rejected. The White House will soon be a Trump-free zone.

His aberrant behavior and chaotic leadership over the last 4 years has been perfectly okay with his millions of supporters. Even those who were clearly embarrassed by his words and actions embraced his view of America and “making it great again.”

It is difficult to understand what happened over the last four years. How did a man who publicly ridiculed people with disabilities, attacked the people he hired, disrespected women repeatedly, lied to the American public every day, regularly downplayed the COVID-19 deaths by refusing to wear a mask (until he was rushed to the hospital) and irresponsibly held super spreader rallied and events, and intentionally polarized the nation along racial lines by playing footsies with white supremacists to cultivate his voter base, end up the new modern-day Jim Jones for Christians and working class whites?

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Most of us are at least three-years-tired of the man-who-would-be-king and his rulership by fear and fiat. And we are as entitled to the same respect for our decision as we accorded that of Trump’s supporters when he won. It’s time for Team Trump to reel it back in and accept the will of the rest of the people.

Whatever the reason, however it happened, major damage has been done to the republic. The integrity of the process by which we govern ourselves has been severely questioned. Generations of pent-up hostility has been loosed, and Americans have been made to feel set free to use violence to express their dislike and hatred of other Americans. Trump’s toxic leadership is over, but many in the GOP who feel pressed by their constituents to follow in his path will no doubt continue in the ways now expected of them. Sadly, the deep divisions that have once again come to characterize our nation are back and won’t easily go away– but the old ways will never be tolerated in this nation ever again.