Trump is the wealthiest president in U.S. history, even after adjusting for inflation.[482] He is also the first president without prior government or military service.[483][484][485] Of the 43[nb 4] previous presidents, 38 had held prior elective office, two had not held elective office but had served in the Cabinet, and three had never held public office but had been commanding generals.[485]
Trump may have criticized Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, in a way I found inappropriate for a President to do, but his opponents have thrown out the millennia-old principle that a man is to be presumed innocent. The President may have enacted tariffs I find harmful to the economy, but his opponents are willfully destroying a good, innocent man so they can keep destroying children.
A few days after my visit to the White House, I went to see Bannon, who was holed up in his suite at the Regency in New York, the same hotel where Michael Cohen was ensconced just a few floors away. Bannon was giddy. He was fresh from Rome, where populist political parties he’d supported had just formed an anti-immigration, anti-European Union government. “Populist nationalism is on the move everywhere in the world,” Bannon boasted. Events seemed to be breaking his way in Washington too. “It’s like my white board’s there and Trump is checking shit off,” Bannon said. He marveled at Trump’s border crackdown and decision to launch a global trade war. “Trump is on the full MAGA agenda,” he said. Bannon admitted that he and Trump still don’t speak, but he gets his ideas to Trump through other channels, mainly Lewandowski and Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows.
On June 1, President Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement saying, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris." Soon afterwards, the campaign announced it would hold a Pittsburgh Not Paris Rally across from the White House.[104][105] The rally was held June 3 at Lafayette Square.[104][106][107] The event was sponsored by the Fairfax County Republican Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia.[104][105][107][108][109][110] Relatively few people attended the event,[104][108] with estimates varying from 200 people (including counter-protesters)[108][110] to "dozens" of supporters.[108][109] By comparison, more people attended the anti-Trump March for Truth, which was held the same day.[111]
Certainly not for women, or Americans of color, or children, or gay men, or religious minorities. In the bygone days that Trump harkens back to, it wasn't so great to be anything but a straight white Christian male. Trump, of course, doesn't specify when, exactly, America was "great," but at no point in history was this country a better place to live as a female citizen, or a black one, or a very young one, than now. The establishment of the republic? We have "Founding Fathers" for a reason: Men (white ones) were the only ones in charge. Women couldn't vote or own property, and they lost their individual rights when they married, since they were legally absorbed into their husbands. Women couldn't enter into contracts on their own but were still automatically liable for their husbands' debts. White landowners, including many of the Founders, owned and enslaved blacks, who were not only ripped from their homes and forced into servitude, but routinely beaten, raped, and resold away from their families. There's also the small detail that American land was stolen from Native Americans, many of whom were murdered directly or killed off by new germs early on in the European settlement of the United States, and who saw their communities torn apart not just by early American wars but by centuries of colonization and land-grabs.
In Duluth, as he stood in front of a sea of red hats, white faces, and blue signs filling the local hockey arena, the frustration melted away. Trump demanded credit for his nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un. (“We had a great meeting, great chemistry.”) He whined that the media would downplay the crowd size. (“Did you see the thousands and thousands of people outside? That will never be reported by the fake news.”) He griped about not being considered a member of the country’s elite. “I have a much better apartment than they do,” he said to the audience. “I’m smarter than they are. I’m richer than they are. I became president and they didn’t.”

Democrats believe in mob rule. Obama was elected twice and as a community organizer he used mob tactics to win political concessions from the Democratic machine in Chicago. This is nothing new, the left has been responsible for the lions share of political violence in the US since the late 19th century. From the IWW in WW1 through communist militancy in the 1940's and the Weather Underground, black panthers and dozens of fringe leftist groups in the 1960's to the OWS, BLM and antifa on present time.
Honduran migrants climb a border fence, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Migrants broke down the gates at the border crossing and began streaming toward a bridge into Mexico. After arriving at the tall, yellow metal fence some clambered atop it and on U.S.-donated military jeeps. Young men began violently tugging on the barrier and finally succeeded in tearing it down. Oliver de Ros, AP
As of April 2018, Trump and his businesses had been involved in more than 4,000 state and federal legal actions, according to a running tally by USA Today.[180] As of 2016, he or one of his companies had been the plaintiff in 1,900 cases and the defendant in 1,450. With Trump or his company as plaintiff, more than half the cases have been against gamblers at his casinos who had failed to pay off their debts. With Trump or his company as a defendant, the most common type of case involved personal injury cases at his hotels. In cases where there was a clear resolution, Trump's side won 451 times and lost 38.[181][182]

Trump publicly speculated about running for president in the 2012 election, and made his first speaking appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February 2011. The speech is credited for helping kick-start his political career within the Republican Party.[362] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election.[363] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president.[364]
Al Franken put his vaunted sense of humor in the deep freeze his first eight years in the Senate to establish himself as a “serious” person. But now he’s letting it back out — “I like Ted Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz,” Mr. Franken writes in his new book, “and I hate Ted Cruz” — and not a moment too soon for his fellow Democrats. Although he’s a thoughtful wonk, it’s his wit that has some Democrats salivating at the prospect of his appearing on a debate stage opposite Mr. Trump.
I find myself in an odd position where, for the first time, I see myself, one of the original so-called “Never Trump conservatives,” voting for President Trump in 2020. I have inevitably concluded at times that Trump would do something to push me away from him. He has not disappointed on that front from tariffs to character issues. But now I do not see how anyone else can offer a more compelling alternative to the President. Each time the President does something I do not like, his opponents play a game of “hold my beer.”
And yet, in the 1980s, there were still limits to what needed to be said about America. Surveying the planet, you didn’t yet have to refer to us as the “greatest” country of all or as the planet’s sole truly “exceptional” country. Think of such repeated superlatives of our own moment as defensive markers on the declinist slope. The now commonplace adjective “indispensable” as a stand-in for American greatness globally, for instance, didn’t even arrive until Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, began using it in 1996. It only became an indispensable part of the rhetorical arsenal of American politicians, from President Obama on down, a decade-plus into the 21st century when the country’s eerie dispensability (unless you were a junkie for failed states and regional chaos) became ever more apparent.
Trump and Kim Jong Un are not the leaders anyone would wish to have for a potential face-off. But more informed and responsible top administration figures see increasing odds of a military response to the North Korean nuclear threat. The desired scenario: minimal deaths and a non-nuclear North Korea dominated by China. More probable would be massive casualties, chaos on the Korean peninsula, and a possible conflict with China.
Trump entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican and defeated sixteen opponents in the primaries. Commentators described his political positions as populist, protectionist, and nationalist. His campaign received extensive free media coverage; many of his public statements were controversial or false. Trump was elected president in a surprise victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He became the oldest and wealthiest person ever to assume the presidency, the first without prior military or government service, and the fifth to have won the election while losing the popular vote. His election and policies have sparked numerous protests. Many of his comments and actions have been perceived as racially charged or racist.
^ Jump up to: a b c d "The Rise of the President's Permanent Campaign". www.kansaspress.ku.edu. University of Kansas. n.d. Retrieved July 11, 2017. Brendan Doherty provides empirical evidence of the growing focus by American presidents on electoral concerns throughout their terms in office, clearly demonstrating that we can no longer assume that the time a president spends campaigning for reelection can be separated from the time he spends governing. To track the evolving relationship between campaigning and governing, Doherty examines the strategic choices that presidents make and what those choices reveal about presidential priorities. He focuses on the rise in presidential fundraising and the targeting of key electoral states throughout a president's term in office – illustrating that recent presidents have disproportionately visited those states that are important to their political prospects while largely neglecting those without electoral payoff. He also shows how decisions about electoral matters previously made by party officials are now made by voter-conscious operatives within the White House.

Mr. Fleiss used to joke that at the end of every episode of “The Bachelor,” the host should tease the Champagne-fueled finale as “The most shocking rose ceremony ever!” On Tuesday, there was Mr. Trump at the United Nations General Assembly, making a roomful of staid diplomats chuckle with the line “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” (Another favorite: “The likes of which this country may never have seen before!”)
Trump's presence on social media has attracted attention worldwide since he joined Twitter in March 2009. He communicated heavily on Twitter during the 2016 election campaign, and has continued to use this channel during his presidency. The attention on Trump's Twitter activity has significantly increased since he was sworn in as president. He uses Twitter as a direct means of communication with the public, sidelining the press.[338] Many of the assertions he tweeted have been proven false.[339][340][341]
I find myself in an odd position where, for the first time, I see myself, one of the original so-called “Never Trump conservatives,” voting for President Trump in 2020. I have inevitably concluded at times that Trump would do something to push me away from him. He has not disappointed on that front from tariffs to character issues. But now I do not see how anyone else can offer a more compelling alternative to the President. Each time the President does something I do not like, his opponents play a game of “hold my beer.”
In 2013, New York State filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump University; the suit alleged that the company made false statements and defrauded consumers.[209][212] In addition, two class-action civil lawsuits were filed in federal court relating to Trump University; they named Trump personally as well as his companies.[213] During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized presiding Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, alleging bias in his rulings because of his Mexican heritage.[214][215] Shortly after Trump won the presidency, the parties agreed to a settlement of all three pending cases, whereby Trump paid a total of $25 million and denied any wrongdoing.[216][217]
The second-oldest U.S. president is not expected to release the results of a full physical examination as his recent predecessors have, just as he won't release his tax returns. During the 2016 campaign, he issued a limited report from a family doctor. He is overweight, bordering on obese, and tries to hide it with loosely tailored suits and long ties hanging below the waist. He doesn't believe in exercise other than golf.
I asked Stepien what the White House learned from the special elections in 2017, in which Democrats won decisively in Virginia, Alabama, and Pennsylvania. “The special elections were elections in a vacuum,” he said. He contended that the candidates in those races ran as centrists, while the party’s midterm candidates, and likely 2020 candidates, will be far to the left of the mainstream. “[Bernie] Sanders, [Kamala] Harris, [Elizabeth] Warren. They’re all going to out-left each other,” Stepien said. “That is a very good thing for this Republican president.”

I have long been critical of Republicans who abandoned principles to stand with Trump and I am as critical of Republicans who abandon principles to oppose Trump. Principle should stay because people go. The Kavanaugh nomination has been clarifying in this regard. Seeing some conservatives willing to aid and abet character assassins because Trump nominated Kavanaugh is disgusting.
If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for...but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time on it that truly intelligent exercise of franchise requires.
Trump's language on the tape was described by the media as "vulgar", "sexist", and descriptive of sexual assault. The incident prompted him to make his first public apology during the campaign,[464][465] and caused outrage across the political spectrum,[466][467] with many Republicans withdrawing their endorsements of his candidacy and some urging him to quit the race.[468] Subsequently, at least 15 women[469] came forward with new accusations of sexual misconduct, including unwanted kissing and groping, resulting in widespread media coverage.[470][471] In his two public statements in response to the controversy, Trump alleged that former President Bill Clinton had "abused women" and that Hillary had bullied her husband's victims.[472]
Even in the so-called golden age of TV, Mr. Trump hasn’t just dominated water-cooler conversation; he’s sucked the water right out, making all other entertainment from N.F.L. games to awards shows pale in comparison. “The Russia probe, Kavanaugh, Avenatti, Rosenstein, Cohen, Flynn, Papadopoulos — we’re a wildly creative community, but this is peak TV,” said Warren Littlefield, who oversaw NBC Entertainment in the era of “Friends” and “The West Wing.” (He says “The Apprentice,” a ratings juggernaut, killed quality scripted TV in 2004, when it got the coveted 9 p.m. slot on Thursdays, a move made by his successor, Jeff Zucker, now president of CNN.)
In late January 2017 several members of Trump's 2016 campaign staff formed America First Policies, a pro-Trump political nonprofit. Those involved included former deputy campaign chairs Rick Gates and David Bossie. Brad Parscale[258] and Katrina Pierson were also involved. Additionally involved were Nick Ayers and Marty Obst, both of whom served as advisors to Mike Pence during the 2016 campaign.[259] Trump's former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh has also joined the organization.[101] Near the end of May, members of the organization (including Walsh) participated in meetings at the RNC's D.C. offices with members Trump's family to discuss campaign strategy.[101][102][103]

These three factions all face one existential issue: What if Trump doesn’t run for re-election, either because he’s impeached, decides he’s had enough, or is so damaged by what Mueller unearths as to be rendered unelectable? Much of the Republican establishment, and even many Trump allies, have been contemplating a Plan B for months. “He could just decide, ‘I’ve made America great again. I’ve kept all my promises. Now I’m gonna play golf,’” said Roger Stone.


On March 14, 2017, the first two pages of Trump's 2005 federal income tax returns were leaked to Rachel Maddow and shown on MSNBC. The document states that Trump had a gross adjusted income of $150 million and paid $38 million in federal taxes. The White House confirmed the authenticity of these documents and stated: "Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns."[454][455]

Trump's supporters have some legitimate grievances. Wages for low-skilled work are depressed, and no longer can a man with a high school education or less expect to work in a factory his entire life and still support his family and retire with dignity. While much of the country is living longer, working-class white men without college degrees are now dying sooner than they used to. The promise of upward mobility is shrinking.


Trump's presence on social media has attracted attention worldwide since he joined Twitter in March 2009. He communicated heavily on Twitter during the 2016 election campaign, and has continued to use this channel during his presidency. The attention on Trump's Twitter activity has significantly increased since he was sworn in as president. He uses Twitter as a direct means of communication with the public, sidelining the press.[338] Many of the assertions he tweeted have been proven false.[339][340][341]
Even Trump’s liberated advisers were causing him problems. The night before Trump rallied in Duluth, Lewandowski appeared on Fox News and responded “womp womp” to a story of a 10-year-old migrant girl with Down syndrome separated from her mother. The comment evoked the casual cruelty of Trump’s immigration policy and promptly went viral. Two sources said Trump was furious that Lewandowski became the story. “He was pissed,” one Republican briefed on his thinking told me. A few days later, Fox News suspended David Bossie after he told an African-American panelist that he was “out of [his] cotton-picking mind” during a segment on Fox & Friends.
According to Michael Barkun, the Trump campaign was remarkable for bringing fringe ideas, beliefs, and organizations into the mainstream.[418] During his presidential campaign, Trump was accused of pandering to white supremacists.[419][420][421] He retweeted open racists,[422][423] and repeatedly refused to condemn David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan or white supremacists, in an interview on CNN's State of the Union, saying that he would first need to "do research" because he knew nothing about Duke or white supremacists.[424][425] Duke himself was an enthusiastic supporter of Trump throughout the 2016 primary and election, and has stated that he and like-minded people voted for Trump because of his promises to "take our country back".[426][427]

The 1950s are often held up as a beacon of conservative American morality; perhaps that is when America was great. When was teen pregnancy at its highest rate since researchers began recording teen pregnancy rates? The 1950s. The difference was that most women (or girls, as the case was) married before the baby was born, often locking themselves into less-than-ideal relationships. Girls who got pregnant and didn't marry were social outcasts, forced to quit school and often shunted off to private homes where they would give birth only to be forced or coerced into adoption. Young white women were expected to marry young and serve their husbands instead of finishing college or pursuing their own ambitions; women of color and working-class women routinely worked outside of the home for depressed wages and little respect, and were often vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault, for which there was little practical recourse. Gay men and lesbians largely lived firmly in the closet; those who stepped out could face public humiliation, loss of their jobs, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, and near-total ostracism. Jim Crow laws didn't meet their end until the mid-1960s, and so while Trump may be enjoying Leave It to Beaver reruns, the black-and-white reality for much of the country was considerably uglier.


When people used to not have the dignity of work, they will be exceedingly hesitant to turn to options that will adversely affect that reality. With the economy growing 4-6% annually (which is possible by 2020,) and unemployment bouncing below 4%, along with the greatest number of workforce participants in two decades, people simply vote their pocketbook. Over the course of our history people’s economic realities have continued to be some of the most reliable indicators of electoral success. That he continues to push records and new thresholds of success for people vis-a-vie wages, vertical job opportunities, and exploding entrepreneurial environments there will be great hesitation to change horses midstream.

While Trump is sui generis, history offers guidance on the folly of predicting distant elections. At this moment in 1989, George H.W. Bush, having kept his promise not to raise taxes and with communism collapsing, seemed invincible. Three years later, he was defeated. In 2009, Barack Obama was in trouble, with unemployment soaring to 10 percent, up sharply from what it was two years earlier, and with his major health-care initiative seemingly stalled in the Senate. Three years later he was re-elected.
The data tell conflicting stories. Mueller’s approval rating has indeed sunk under the weight of Trump’s withering Twitter barrage, but some analyses suggest that Stepien and DeStefano are engaged in magical thinking. An NBC News poll in late June reported that only a third of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Ohio, and Florida felt Trump deserved to be re-elected. Trump’s immigration crackdown also sent his numbers crashing, if perhaps only temporarily. A Gallup survey conducted days after the Duluth speech recorded a four-point drop in his approval rating, to 41 percent; while his disapproval numbers spiked five points. Seventy-five percent of voters said immigration was a “good thing.” Trump’s siding with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies at the Helsinki summit had the rare effect of bringing Democrats and Republicans together against him. But one lesson of 2016 is that numbers like that may not mean very much when it comes to Trump. Everyone knows unicorns aren’t real, and yet, there it was.
On March 17, 2017 the campaign saw what was its highest single-day contribution total, with the campaign and its joint-fundraising-committee raising a combined total of $314,000.[246][247] By the end of May the RNC had raised more than $62 million in 2017. The RNC had already received more online donations than they had in the entire year of 2016.[137]
In 2003, Trump became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show The Apprentice, in which contestants competed for a one-year management job with the Trump Organization; applicants were successively eliminated from the game with the catchphrase "You're fired".[244][238][245] He went on to be co-host of The Celebrity Apprentice, in which celebrities compete to win money for their charities.[244][245][246]
In 1968, Trump began his career at his father Fred's real estate development company, E. Trump & Son, which, among other interests, owned middle-class rental housing in New York City's outer boroughs.[105][106] Trump worked for his father to revitalize the Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which the elder Trump had bought in 1964.[107][108] The management of the property was sued for racial discrimination in 1969; the suit "was quietly settled at Fred Trump's direction."[108] The Trumps sold the property in 1972, with vacancy on the rise.[108]
Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, although in 1990 he came within one missed bank loan payment of doing so, agreeing to a deal that temporarily ceded management control of his company to his banks and put him on a spending allowance.[183] Trump claimed to have initiated this deal with his banks as he saw the downturn in the real estate market, but bankers involved in the matter stated they initiated the negotiations before Trump had realized there was a problem.[184] His hotel and casino businesses have been declared bankrupt six times between 1991 and 2009 in order to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds.[185][186] Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws – they're very good for me" as a tool for trimming debt.[187][188] The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).[189][190]
Nell Scovell, a veteran comedy writer and author of “Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys’ Club,” has another theory. She remembers a cab ride in Boston before the 2016 election. The driver told her he would be voting for Mr. Trump. Why? she asked. “He said, ‘Because he makes me laugh,’” Ms. Scovell told me. “There is entertainment value in the chaos.”
At a time when the big-tent TV show seems all but dead and niche shows proliferate (“Marvelous Mrs. Mais-who?” groaned many Emmy viewers), Mr. Trump has created an unscripted drama that has unified living rooms everywhere. Whether you’re rooting for the antihero or cheering for his demise, chances are Trump TV has you under steady — some would say unhealthy — hypnosis.

Trump did not release his tax returns during his presidential campaign or afterward,[439][440] contrary to usual practice by every candidate since Gerald Ford in 1976 and to his promise in 2014 to do so if he ran for office.[441][442][443] Trump's refusal led to speculation that he was hiding something.[444] He said that his tax returns were being audited, and his lawyers had advised him against releasing them.[445][446] Trump has told the press that his tax rate was none of their business, and that he tries to pay "as little tax as possible".[447][448][449]
Once upon a time, in a distant America, the words “greatest,” “exceptional,” and “indispensable” weren’t even part of the political vocabulary. American presidents didn’t bother to claim any of them for this country, largely because American wealth and global preeminence were so indisputable. We’re talking about the 1950s and early 1960s, the post-World War II and pre-Vietnam “golden” years of American power. Despite a certain hysteria about the supposed dangers of domestic communists, few Americans then doubted the singularly unchallengeable power and greatness of the country. It was such a given, in fact, that it was simply too self-evident for presidents to cite, hail, or praise.
Jump up ^ "Intelligence Report on Russian Hacking". The New York Times. January 6, 2017. p. ii. Retrieved January 8, 2017. We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

As a candidate Trump questioned whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members,[654] and suggested that he might leave NATO unless changes are made to the alliance.[655] As president, he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO in March 2017.[656] However, he has repeatedly accused fellow NATO members of paying less than their fair share of the expenses of the alliance.[657]


Of course, unlike anything else on TV, the story lines coming out of Washington could determine the future of Roe v. Wade, whether immigrant families can reunite and the health of the global economy. Tuning out is a luxury only the most privileged viewers can afford. And yet, it goes beyond being an informed citizen when you find yourself on hour six of watching a panel of experts debate Bob Woodward’s use of “deep background” sourcing for his book “Fear,” Paul Manafort’s $15,000 ostrich-leather bomber jacket (“a garment thick with hubris,” The Washington Post said) and the implications of Stormy Daniels’s lurid descriptions of Mr. Trump’s, um, anatomy. (I, for one, will never look at Super Mario the same way again.)
Jump up ^ Thomas, Pierre (June 19, 2017). "Where things stand with special counsel Mueller's Russia probe". ABC News. According to sources familiar with the process ... [a]n assessment of evidence and circumstances will be completed before a final decision is made to launch an investigation of the president of the United States regarding potential obstruction of justice.
Both the Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agencies reported on a fourth factory, this one in China’s Anhui province, which had been pumping out Trump 2020 flags and banners at a higher rate than usual, with Reuters quoting a factory manager as stating that her “buyers are located in both China and abroad” and that “she doesn’t know if they are affiliated with Trump’s official campaign or the Republican Party”:

Trump did not release his tax returns during his presidential campaign or afterward,[439][440] contrary to usual practice by every candidate since Gerald Ford in 1976 and to his promise in 2014 to do so if he ran for office.[441][442][443] Trump's refusal led to speculation that he was hiding something.[444] He said that his tax returns were being audited, and his lawyers had advised him against releasing them.[445][446] Trump has told the press that his tax rate was none of their business, and that he tries to pay "as little tax as possible".[447][448][449]
To get more of a quantitative sense of the phrase’s evolution, I analyzed the Republican Party platform. All party platforms typically emphasize faith in American greatness, but between 1856 and 2008, the GOP never used the expression “American exceptionalism” or even the adjective “exceptional” to describe the country. By contrast, the final section of the 2012 Republican platform lambasting the Obama presidency was titled “American exceptionalism.” The 2016 platform put the phrase into the first line of its preamble: “We believe in American exceptionalism.” The evolution of “American exceptionalism” into an anti-Obama rallying cry with nativist overtones evoked earlier appeals to “states’ rights” to rouse whites resenting the end of segregation.

There are other economic trends that are cause for concern. The most obvious one is debt. And as my colleague Jeff Spross pointed out last month, corporate debt may be a ticking time bomb. It's already at a record high and the portion of it that's considered high risk is larger today than it was even before the financial crisis. Consumer debt has also returned to historic levels and is set to reach $4 trillion by the end of 2018.


If she runs, Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, would instantaneously be the Democrats’ putative front-runner. Her anti-corporate agenda has made her a fund-raising powerhouse, and she seems to have found an ideological sweet spot between the centrist Clinton and populist Sanders factions. Additionally, thanks to the “Nevertheless she persisted” meme, she’s become a feminist heroine.
Trump launched his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech in which he stated: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people."[296][297][298][299] Later, his attacks on a Mexican-American judge were criticized as racist.[300] His comments following a 2017 far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, were seen as implying a moral equivalence between white supremacist marchers and those who protested them.[301] In a January 2018 Oval Office meeting to discuss immigration legislation with Congressional leaders, Trump reportedly referred to El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and African countries as "shitholes".[302] His remarks were condemned as racist worldwide, as well as by many members of Congress.[303][304][305] Trump has denied accusations of racism multiple times, saying he is the "least racist person".[306][307]
This, of course, is the line that Trump crossed in a curiously unnoticed fashion in this election campaign. He did so by initially upping the rhetorical ante, adding that exclamation point (which even Reagan avoided). Yet in the process of being more patriotically correct than thou, he somehow also waded straight into American decline so bluntly that his own audience could hardly miss it (even if his critics did).

Trump may have criticized Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, in a way I found inappropriate for a President to do, but his opponents have thrown out the millennia-old principle that a man is to be presumed innocent. The President may have enacted tariffs I find harmful to the economy, but his opponents are willfully destroying a good, innocent man so they can keep destroying children.


On January 27, 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13769, which suspended admission of refugees for 120 days and denied entry to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days, citing security concerns. The order was imposed without warning and took effect immediately.[579] Confusion and protests caused chaos at airports.[580][581] The administration then clarified that visitors with a green card were exempt from the ban.[582][583]
Trump and Kim Jong Un are not the leaders anyone would wish to have for a potential face-off. But more informed and responsible top administration figures see increasing odds of a military response to the North Korean nuclear threat. The desired scenario: minimal deaths and a non-nuclear North Korea dominated by China. More probable would be massive casualties, chaos on the Korean peninsula, and a possible conflict with China.
Trump allies — projecting buoyancy about a race the president approaches with historically weak approval ratings — say the bombast reflects his confidence: Trump privately claims to be unimpressed with the Democratic crop, calling its major figures grossly unprepared for prime time and too liberal for the general electorate. Aides and allies said they expect the smattering of public broadsides to pick up significantly after the midterms.
Trump himself began using the slogan formally on November 7, 2012, the day after Barack Obama won his reelection against Mitt Romney. By his own account, Trump first considered "We Will Make America Great", but did not feel like it had the right "ring" to it.[15] "Make America Great" was his next name, but upon further reflection, he felt that it was a slight to America because it implied that America was never great. After selecting "Make America Great Again", Trump immediately had an attorney register it. (Trump later said that he was unaware of Reagan's use in 1980 until 2015, but noted that "he didn't trademark it".)[15] On November 12 he signed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office requesting exclusive rights to use the slogan for political purposes. It was registered as a service mark on July 14, 2015, after Trump formally began his 2016 presidential campaign and demonstrated that he was using the slogan for the purpose stated on the application.[16][15][17]

According to a Comey memo of a private conversation on February 14, 2017, Trump said he "hoped" Comey would drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.[713] In March and April, Trump had told Comey that the ongoing suspicions formed a "cloud" impairing his presidency,[714] and asked him to publicly state that he was not personally under investigation.[715] He also asked intelligence chiefs Dan Coats and Michael Rogers to issue statements saying there was no evidence that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.[716] Both refused, considering this an inappropriate request, although not illegal.[717] Comey eventually testified on June 8 that while he was director, the FBI investigations did not target Trump himself.[714][718] In a statement on Twitter Trump implied that he had "tapes" of conversations with Comey, before later stating that he did not in fact have such tapes.[719]
Trump held his fifth official campaign rally in Cedar Rapids in eastern Iowa.[119][120] The area, home to a large population of working class whites, was seen as a strong region for Trump to find a base of political support.[112] The date for the rally, having been changed several times, was ultimately held on June 21,[121] marking the first time in his presidency that Trump traveled west of the Mississippi River.[113] At the rally, Iowa GOP state chairman Jeff Kaufmann verbally attacked Nebraskan Senator Ben Sasse, who has been speculated by some as a potential challenger to Trump in the 2020 Republican primaries.[122][123][124]
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