Three times in the last month, President Trump has been asked the most basic question for every president seeking reelection: If voters give you a second term, what will you do with it?
Each time, Trump has struggled to come up with an answer.
Every presidential candidate bungles an interview now and then. But no incumbent has ever struggled with the key question — why are you running? — three times in a row.
So Trump wasn’t just having a bad day. When it comes to policy, he really doesn’t know what he’d do in a second four years. He’s out of ideas, and his staff hasn’t produced any new ones for him to mention.
It’s not unprecedented for an incumbent to run without a detailed second-term plan. Ronald Reagan reportedly did it in 1984, when his campaign theme was “Morning in America.” It was a time of economic recovery and national optimism, and Reagan won in a landslide.
That appears to have been Trump’s plan, too. But with the coronavirus crisis spiraling out of control and the economy staggering, he doesn’t have a Plan B. Rather than provide leadership in the battle against the pandemic, he complains that it has hurt his campaign.
Trump has never shown much interest in the details of governing. His 2016 candidacy and the presidency that followed have been about attitude, not policy.
His first campaign didn’t propose detailed policy goals until 17 days before the election. His current campaign website doesn’t even have an “issues” page; it merely displays a list of actions the White House says Trump has taken.
Six in 10 Americans say President Donald Trump does not deserve to be reelected. Overall, the poll paints a picture of a President who has done little to improve negative impressions of him or his work during his time in office.
The President’s approval rating remains about where it was in mid-August, with 39% approving of the job he’s doing and 55% disapproving. Although any change in the last few weeks has not been large enough to be statistically significant, his disapproval rating is the highest it’s been since early February, with approval the lowest since January.
His recent volatility including several sudden shifts on policy on guns and trade as well as stubborn defenses of demonstrably untrue statements has led to a worsening of public trust in official communications from the White House.
Following several months of turmoil in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread anti-racism protests, the poll forms more tangible evidence of the challenge Trump faces in keeping his re-election plan alive. Instead of “Making America Great Again,” the entirety of the American Dream is in jeopardy. Failure of the government to appropriately respond to the pandemic, which has resulted in a U.S. death toll in excess of 130,000, has led Americans to denounce the current administration as a “crisis of leadership.” These failures are outlined below:
First is President Trump’s inability to deal with domestic, complex political challenges. His handling of internal problems, from failing to reprimand the police officers responsible for the killing of George Floyd, sparking riots across America, to his decision to greatly reduce the sentence of his ally and political confidant Roger Stone, and later attempting to sue the publishers of a book written by his niece explaining “how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric,” has exposed Trump to direct criticism.
These events have irreversibly damaged his public image even among his most ardent of supporters.
Second, the Trump administration’s failed management of the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the U.S. into one of the worst social and economic crises in its history. President Trump’s inaction during the early stages of the global pandemic when America was on the front foot, and later his slow and uncoordinated response to rising cases, all underlined by a denial of science and facts, has marched the American economy into free fall.
Instead, the administration has launched a campaign to shift the blame onto others. The result is that the GDP growth rate could fall by as much as 50 percent, American economists believe, with unemployment reaching as much as 30 percent.
A recent IMF analysis has projected a fall of 8 percent in GDP. The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research has already announced the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, as well as its broad reach across the entire American economy, which warrants the designation of this episode as one of the worst recessions in history.
Another point is that, Trump’s doggedness and stubbornness in pursuing a trade war with China on top of the pandemic is adding immense pressure on the American private sector, which is reliant on global value chains and international trade.
At the bilateral level, Trump has also implemented a policy of aggressive confrontation toward smaller countries such as Venezuela and Cuba. This has led to unnecessary conflict in Latin America, supported by Trump’s two “watchdogs,” the Brazilian and Colombian presidents.
Finally, countries and leaders have found themselves bullied or confronted by the U.S. in the name of “collective benefit” while displaying blatant self-interest.
Reports that Trump had attempted to buy exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine being developed in Germany triggered anger in Europe.
Meanwhile, placing pressure on the likes of China, Europe, Venezuela, Iran, and Mexico due to coronavirus handling, elections, sanctions or other behaviors doesn’t align with U.S. interests, turning countries away from much needed global cooperation.
President Trump threatened UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other European leaders to shut Huawei out of their 5G networks.
A few days ago, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman accused China on social media of promoting the mass sterilisation of Uygur women, following a retweet of a U.S. State Department report. This phony report post led Chinese Ambassador to Brazil Yang Wanming to state that Chapman has a “special mission, which is to attack China with rumors and lies.”
The road to recovery will only be possible with careful, adaptive, and long-term planning implemented by current and future administrations. As Americans look to vote in a leader who can get their economy, country, and lives back on track, the future of Donald Trump’s position in the White House is hanging by a thread.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK