Trump's 'assault on truth' leaving US with a severely 'damaged' reputation: ex-Reagan speechwriter

Trump's 'assault on truth' leaving US with a severely 'damaged' reputation: ex-Reagan speechwriter
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

When Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, Americans who applauded the victory ranged from progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City to right-wing Never Trump conservatives such as former GOP strategist Rick Wilson, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Washington Post columnist George Will. Another Never Trumper who was delighted to see Biden win is veteran columnist/author Mona Charen. But in an article published by The Bulwark on December 2, Charen is warning, in essence, that Biden's incoming administration will be inheriting a country with a severely damaged reputation.

"In the internet age as much as in every previous era, credibility comes down to reputation — which is why we have much damage to our own standing to repair," writes Charen, a former speechwriter for First Lady Nancy Reagan. "Trump's assault on truth, his insistence that all news critical of him is fake, is reminiscent of the world's worst regimes. The first thing to go when the jackboots come is the free press. Trump's attacks on the press were rhetorical, not literal. But it's no coincidence that his term, 'fake news,' has become a favorite of thugs worldwide."

Those who are familiar with the 63-year-old Charen's books and articles know that she has a long history of bashing liberals and progressives. The titles of her books range from "Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First" to "Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help." But Charen has been a blistering critic of Trump's presidency, and after Biden won the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, she made it abundantly clear that she would be voting for the former vice president despite some policy differences.

Charen believes that Trump has been terrible for the Republican Party and terrible for the conservative movement and that he did major damage to the United States' reputation when he expressed his fondness for authoritarians like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Our own reputation for honesty has taken a severe hit under Trump," Charen laments. "How will other nations trust the word of the United States when we elected someone who supported the lies of (North Korea's) Kim Jong-un and other corrupt and cruel dictators, and valorized our own war criminals? What does it tell the world when our president conducts a non-stop jihad against the press? Who can respect this nation when our president, in defending Putin, expressed his belief that we commit just as many sins?"

Charen never actually mentions President-elect Joe Biden by name in her article, although she does slam the far-right conspiracy theories aimed at his son, Hunter Biden. But even without mentioning Joe Biden by name, Charen discusses the United States' "post-Trump era" — stressing that repairing the country's battered reputation will be an uphill climb.

"Australia is showing courage by standing up to China, and paying a price," Charen writes. "The White House has announced this week that it will be serving Australian wine, which would have been a better gesture if this president had not allied us with the world's liars and criminals for four years. In the post-Trump era, the most important restoration will be that of truth."


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