Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He compared himself favorably to George Washington.

During a radio interview this morning, Trump claimed he would be more popular than George Washington, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage out of control in the United States (but not most other wealthy countries). 

I don’t know if you’ve seen, the polls have been going up like a rocket ship. George Washington would have had a hard time beating me before the plague came in, before the China plague. And then, you know, like every other nation, like other countries, when you get hit, it affects you, and we went down a little bit.

Here is the state of Trump's "rocket ship" in the polls:

Even by Trump's standards, comparing his popularity to Washington's is absurd. Opinion polls, political parties, and even the popular vote didn't exist during George Washington's presidency, but he was elected unanimously twice. Trump lost the popular vote by three million votes, and his approval rating has never once hit 50%. 

Washington could easily have won a third term, but declined to run because he was afraid that if he died in office, it would encourage Americans to think of the presidency like a monarchy. Trump routinely "jokes" about staying in office for a third term or longer, and has quite un-jokingly refused to promise that he will leave office peacefully if defeated in the election. 

Trump's remarks came before the announcement that Joe Biden has picked Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate. As a former prosecutor, a woman of color, a political moderate, and relatively young by presidential standards, Harris is widely viewed as a politically smart choice for this election. 

Trump presumably agrees—he's a political supporter of hers. He donated a total of $6,000 to her campaigns for state attorney general in 2011 and 2013. (Harris gave Trump's money to a charity that helps Central Americans.)

Why should I care about this?

  • Trump may actually believe this, which is a very bad sign for his mental stability.