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Almost Half the Country Thinks Donald Trump Has Been the Worst President

Donald Trump’s presidency has been the worst in American history, according to the results of a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll that was conducted last week.

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

A survey of 1.173 adults and 1,012 registered voters from January 11-13 found that 47 percent – including 83 percent of Democrats and 13 percent of Republicans – believe that Trump, who served only a single term, ranks at the bottom of the barrel of abysmal commanders in chief.

Trump’s job disapproval rating – 57 percent – is also historically high for an outgoing president, even when compared to Richard Nixon or George W. Bush.

That list also includes more distant figures such as Warren Harding, Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, and Franklin Pierce.

But when it comes to the worst of the worst, Trump belongs in a category of his own, Tim Naftali wrote in The Atlantic on Tuesday.

Although “Trump was a serial violator of his oath – as evidenced by his continual use of his office for personal financial gain,” Naftali lists three specific items that isolate Trump from his predecessors.

The first, Naftali said, was Trump’s transparent unwillingness “to put the national security interests of the United States ahead of his own political needs,” highlighted by Trump’s cozy relationship with dictators like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump “put his political prospects ahead of any sense of duty,” wrote Naftali.

The second was Trump’s cataclysmic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which as of today has claimed 410,000 American lives. Trump has “presided over needless death and suffering,” Naftali said, resulting from his maniacally negligent – if not downright homicidal – denial of the seriousness of the crisis and his dereliction of duty to protect the public.

The third mortal sin committed by Trump, which according to Naftali was the most egregious, was Trump’s attempts to steal the 2020 election, culminating with a Trump-directed violent insurrection at the United States Capitol while Congress was certifying the results of the Electoral College on January 6th.

“Although racism and violent nativism preceded Trump, the seeds of what happened on January 6 were planted by his use of the presidential bully pulpit. No president since Andrew Johnson had so publicly sympathized with the sense of victimhood among racists,” Naftali noted of the siege.

Trump was impeached a week later for inciting an insurrection and is currently awaiting trial in the Senate. He is the only president to have been impeached on two separate occasions.

“There are many verdicts on Donald Trump still to come, from the Senate, from juries of private citizens, from scholars and historians,” Naftali concluded. “But as a result of his subversion of national security, his reckless endangerment of every American in the pandemic, and his failed insurrection on January 6, one thing seems abundantly clear: Trump is the worst president in the 232-year history of the United States.”



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