Top Reason: Trump is failing to effectively respond to a global health pandemic and has put countless lives in the U.S. at risk.
Despite advance notice, Trump ignored warnings from international health experts about preparing the nation against the virus and then lied to the American people about the severity of the outbreak. He fired key staff that challenged him including Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, and the Pandemic Inspector General, Glenn Fine, who was responsible for oversight of the $2 trillion coronavirus package. As the virus swept America, Trump forced states in desperate need of medical equipment to fight over the national stockpile. He refused to adhere to CDC public safety recommendations about face-coverings. Trump also moved to defund the World Health Organization in the midst of this crisis, blaming them for America’s lack of preparedness. He also tweeted support for public protests against the science-based statewide shutdowns that are stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives.
Trump is eliminating healthcare for millions of women and aims to make abortion illegal.
By issuing the first-ever domestic “gag rule” that prevents women’s health clinics receiving Title X funds from providing or discussing abortion with patients, access to abortion and birth control is plummeting. This president (who once called himself pro-choice) is putting millions of women at risk. Currently, four million women across the country rely on Title X-funded clinics for not only birth control, but for cancer screenings, HIV testing, and STI testing and treatment. Trump is simultaneously limiting health insurance coverage for birth control while aggressively pushing an abstinence-only sex education model. Trump’s rhetoric has intensified hostility towards abortion, and 25 new abortion bans were signed into law across the country in 2019. Trump also successfully won the appointments of two conservative justices to the Supreme Court who can ultimately threaten nationwide access to abortion.
Trump is fueling hatred and a rise in white nationalism.
While Trump has defended the flying of the Confederate flag as “freedom of speech,” he is rejecting the call for racial justice and equality for Black communities and is instead stoking division in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. It’s no secret that inciting fear and division is a cornerstone of Trump’s political power. He kicked off his campaign for president by scapegoating immigrants and calling Mexicans “rapists.” He used the power of the presidency to send troops to the border in response to what he called a migrant caravan “invasion,” just before the midterm elections. He failed to disavow white supremacy, saying there were “bad people on both sides” after violence erupted when white nationalists marched with torches in Charlottesville, and he enabled chants of “send her back” about an immigrant Congresswoman. Trump is fueling divisions that pit Americans against each other and result in a culture of intolerance and violence, in the U.S. and around the world.
Trump rejects science and is reversing our ability to stop climate change.
In the face of a multinational scientific report finding that by 2040 the impacts of climate change – drought, flooding, fires, crop destruction, and dangerously rising sea levels – would be irreversible, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. Rejecting the historic agreement to lower emissions and stop global warming was a slap in the face to the world. Trump has repealed environmental regulations on the automotive, mining, fossil fuel and off-shore drilling industries. He has embarked on the biggest protected land rollback in history, is allowing oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and has expanded oil and gas drilling in virtually all coastal U.S. waters. Meanwhile, Trump openly mocks climate change and is actually selling branded plastic straws on his campaign website.
Trump is undermining our democracy and a free press.
Trump built his image on maligning and tearing down the press, directly challenging the boundaries of our First Amendment rights. By consistently labeling credible news sources as “fake news,” and “failing piles of garbage,” Trump is undermining the validity of essential investigative reporting and evidence-based data, creating a wild west in which opinions are stated as facts and facts are no longer trusted. Trump regularly incites anger and hostility against reporters at his events, enabling harassment and menacing of journalists by his supporters, and he even mocked a disabled reporter in a campaign speech. Trump has alarmingly rebranded the media an “enemy of the people,” discrediting those charged with holding him accountable, empowering adversaries, and silencing critics.
Trump is stripping away LGBTQ rights.
Trump rescinded protections for transgender students at school, banned transgender people from serving in the military, and is pushing to remove anti-discrimination workplace protections that prevent employers from firing or retaliating against employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Beyond these policies, Trump is bolstering a culture of misogyny and homophobia that devalues women, girls, transgender people, and the LGBTQ community.
Trump is reshaping our courts to be more white, more male, and more conservative.
At a breakneck speed, Trump has appointed judges who hold lifetime tenures. In addition to assuring an anti-choice Supreme Court, Trump has also appointed nearly 1 in 4 of the nation’s federal appeals court judges, and 1 in 7 of district court judges. Trump’s cadre of judges is 87% white, 78% male, and 100% conservative. To put the potential impact in perspective, the Supreme Court hears arguments in about 80 cases per year, while the federal circuit courts handle tens of thousands of cases each year.
Trump has dealt devastating blows to the reputation and integrity of the U.S., creating global chaos.
On Trump’s watch, the U.S. has abdicated its role as a global conscience and defender of democracy. Trump accepted the word of Vladimir Putin that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election over evidence found by our own U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, NSA, and the FBI, and he is failing to act to protect future elections from foreign interference. Trump refused to hold Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable for the brutal murder of journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, sending a chilling message that the U.S. will no longer speak out against murderous governments or prioritize the defense of human rights. Trump has bullied longtime allies while openly admiring authoritarian leaders with egregious records of abuse against their own people. Trump’s impulsive tweeting has destabilized financial markets and confused diplomatic agreements and negotiations.
Trump is enforcing reckless immigration policies, endangering families and children
Trump instituted a discriminatory “Muslim ban,” needlessly blocking tens of thousands of people from entering the country. He has implemented harsh, new asylum rules, making it much more difficult for victims of domestic violence and others to seek refuge in the U.S. And his administration is the architect of one of the most inhumane policies in recent history, separating nearly 3,000 children from their parents at the border and detaining migrants in deplorable and overcrowded conditions. A Justice Department attorney actually argued in federal court that soap, blankets, proper sleep and showers were not essential to meet the basic standards of safe and sanitary conditions required–and this is for children. Since the practice of family separation was formally “ended” by Trump, almost 1,000 more children have been separated from their parents. The multi-generational harm and lasting trauma has yet to be fully understood. At least seven migrant children have died while in U.S. custody in the past year.
Trump puts loyalty to his base above the public interest.
After back-to-back mass shootings that killed more than 30 people, Trump briefly demonstrated support for expanding background checks for gun purchases. It took only one call from the N.R.A. to get Trump to return to false talking points that focus blame on mental health issues and ignore the undeniable connection between white extremism and deadly gun violence. (Since 2018, 65 people have been murdered by white extremists in the U.S.) Trump has repeatedly rejected scientific evidence from U.S. federal agencies when it runs counter to his political interests. This includes trying to bury the National Climate Assessment, blocking testimony by the State Department on the impact of climate change on national security, and even ludicrously forcing scientists in his administration to reverse their claims that Trump was wrong in his assessment that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama.
Trump is a serial sexual predator who upholds dated gender roles and a sexist view of manhood.
Equating violence with strength, employing bullying as a political tactic, proudly stating that he refused to engage in child care, and defending campaign manager Corey Lewandowski when he violently grabbed a woman reporter, Trump’s view of manhood is steeped in harmful stereotypes and victim-blaming culture. In fact, Trump has become the unofficial spokesman for the #MeToo backlash. During the fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Trump said, “It is a very scary time for young men in America.” Trump has repeatedly gone on the record to defend perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse: from endorsing child abuser Roy Moore for Senate to defending the late Roger Ailes, the ousted CEO of Fox News who sexually harassed at least twenty women. At least two-dozen women with credible sexual assault or harassment allegations against Trump have come forward, yet he continues to escape culpability.