'A failed president': Paul Krugman lambasts Trump as the quintessential 'horrible boss'

'A failed president': Paul Krugman lambasts Trump as the quintessential 'horrible boss'
CNA YouTube screenshot

This week, President Donald Trump has drawn widespread criticism for his outrageous suggestion that the United States should postpone its presidential election in order to avoid rampant voter fraud, which is a crisis only in Trump’s mind. Liberal economist Paul Krugman weighs in on the controversy in his New York Times column, equating Trump with the type of “horrible boss” and “every worker’s nightmare” who “refuses to step aside” despite the fact that “everything they handle turns to crud.”

“So, of course, he’s now talking about delaying the election," Krugman writes. "This was predictable; indeed, Joe Biden predicted it months ago, amid much mockery from pundits — none of whom, I predict, will apologize.”

The good news, Krugman notes, is that Trump doesn’t have the power to order that the election he postponed — that isn’t one of the executive powers he has as president. But the bad news, according to Krugman, is that Trump can inflict damage in other ways.

“What Trump can do, if he loses, is claim that the election was stolen — that there were millions of fraudulent votes, that the results aren’t legitimate,” Krugman warns. “Hey, he did that after losing the popular vote in 2016, even though he won the Electoral College. Such antics almost surely wouldn’t let him stay in the White House…. but they could produce a lot of chaos and quite possibly, some violence across the nation. And anyone who doesn’t think disgruntled Trump supporters would try to sabotage a Biden administration — including its efforts to deal with the pandemic — hasn’t been paying attention.”

Comparing Trump to an “utterly incompetent boss” who will “pull out every stop, violate every norm, to stay in that corner office,” Krugman stresses that his response to the coronavirus pandemic has been disastrous from both a health standpoint and an economic standpoint.

“Has any previous president failed his big test as thoroughly as Trump has these past few months?” Krugman asks. “He rejected the advice of health experts and pushed for a rapid economic reopening, hoping for a boom leading into the election. He ridiculed and belittled measures that would have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus, including wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.”

Krugman adds that “over the past week, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 averaged more than 1,000 people a day, compared with just four — four! — per day in Germany.”

Because of Trump’s “failed” response to the coronavirus pandemic, Krugman laments, the U.S. has “stumbled into a completely gratuitous economic crisis.”

The economist stresses, “Trump has completely botched his job, bringing unnecessary pain to millions of Americans and unnecessary death to thousands. He may not care, but voters do…. At this point, Trump is simply a failed president, and everyone except his diehard supporters knows it.”

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