Throughout the Trump era, I’ve been told by Trump supporters that “at least he loves America.” Leaving aside the questionable belief that previous presidents did not love America, I’ve long wondered just how much Donald Trump does love America, both in terms of the country itself and the people who make the country what it is.
The Bible tells us, “You will know them by their fruits” and that “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” So what sort of fruit has the Tree of Trump been bearing lately?
The biggest story is the president’s persistent and false claims about election fraud. As I wrote yesterday, those claims are bringing the country closer to political violence the likes of which has not been seen since 1968, if not 1861. Even though those claims have been dismissed by courts everywhere, including by the three justices that Trump appointed to the Supreme Court, many people still believe the hype and no small number may be willing to take up arms against their fellow countrymen.
A second story that caught my eye was the fact that the Trump Administration declined to contract for larger numbers of the Pfizer vaccine. NBC News reported that Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that the White House turned down “multiple” offers to lock in additional shipments of the Pfizer vaccine beyond an initial order of 100 million doses, enough for 50 million people. Another 100 million doses have been ordered from Moderna, per Forbes.
The news comes as the virus surges around the country and the US approaches 300,000 dead from the pandemic in only nine months. One would think that securing enough vaccine doses for every American who wants one would be the Administration’s top priority, but that does not seem to be the case.
Another issue that doesn’t seem to be the president’s top priority is defense. Providing for the common defense is one of the first enumerated powers of Congress, but President Trump has threatened to veto this year’s National Defense Authorization Act over partisan demands. Although there is strong bipartisan support for the bill, the president wants the bill to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and objects to a provision that would rename military bases that are named for Confederates.
Regardless of your opinion of Section 230, and I think it is a good thing that makes the internet as we know it possible, it is not appropriate to hold up a necessary defense bill to have a fight over enforcement of social media community standards. Likewise, I’m sure that most Americans would support removing Confederate names from military bases.
Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump has brought the country closer to political violence, fumbled the job of ordering enough vaccine doses to stop and deadly pandemic, and subordinated national defense to his own partisan aims. Are those apples tasty or rotten?
Does President Trump love America? I can’t see inside of the president’s heart so I’ll take his word that he does. When I look at the focus of Donald Trump’s time in office, however, it seems to me that he doesn’t love America as much as he loves himself.