News & Politics

'Where Is the Winning?': Columnist Details Trump's Impressive Record of Failure as President

Compared to what he promised, Trump has a pathetic record.

Photo Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Cornelius

President Donald Trump famously made the cartoonish and ridiculous campaign pledge that, "We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with the winning."

But since taking office, Trump has blamed his repeated failures on everyone else — Democrats, Republicans, Robert Mueller, President Barack Obama, the media — while claiming "wins" even when they don't exist.

In a new column Thursday, Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent asked the simple question: "Where is the winning?"

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He pointed out that what are often claimed as wins are merely policies implemented that will, in theory, please his base, even if the policies fail to live up to his own stated objectives. As Josh Barro recently argued, Trump's purported success in overhauling the Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, is much more fragile than it appears, in part because the reforms have valued style over substance.

Sargent argues this point persuasively on the immigration front as well. Despite an initial decrease in immigration rates in Trump's first year in office, the levels have picked back up again in 2018 even as the administration implements cruel and draconian policies along the border. It's hard to see how this is "winning," even by Trump's warped standard.

And one key policy move — separating immigrant families at the border — turned out to be not only a moral disaster but a political liability and an administrative mess. Meanwhile, Trump's foreign policy has been nearly catastrophic.

"The larger question we need to be debating is whether we’re currently witnessing the failure of Trump’s xenophobic nationalist agenda on multiple fronts — and on its own terms," Sargent wrote. "Trump’s trade war, which was also conceived out of xenophobic — and not economic — nationalism, is another case in point. Trump’s tariffs were supposed to make other countries quickly capitulate to our demands; that isn’t happening, and we’re hearing more and more stories of layoffs flowing from the resulting escalation in trade hostilities."

He continued:

The story that Trump told to the “forgotten men and women” was that they were getting ripped off by elites who were transferring their money to border-crossing migrant workers and/or shipping it abroad. Trump would set all this right with a much tougher approach to immigration and trade. Meanwhile, he justified his tax cuts showering spectacular benefits on those elites on similar grounds — it would result in an explosion of job-creating investment. This hasn’t happened, either. And more of the job growth that has taken place continues to flow to parts of the country that didn’t support him.

There are real policies that could actually help those among Trump's base that need assistance. But Trump never offered any real solutions, just boogeymen. So there'll be no "winning" for the people who were counting on Trump to make their lives better — just a long string of his failures.

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.