The Los Angeles Times skewered President Donald Trump in an editorial on Sunday, calling him “untethered from reality” and “full of blind self-regard.”
The editorial was the first in a series of four the paper will publish under the title, “The problem with Trump.”
On Sunday, the paper slammed Trump for his crackdown on immigration and so-called sanctuary cities, his repeal of President Barack Obama-era regulations aimed at curbing climate change, his failure to push the GOP’s replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act and the bill’s potentially disastrous effects, and his proposed inflation of the Pentagon’s budget despite a promise to reduce the country’s role in international conflicts.
But those policies, the paper added, were not the most worrisome aspect of the Trump presidency so far.
“What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself,” the editorial said. “He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation.”
It added: “His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, [and] his craving for adulation,” while effective on the campaign trail, were “nothing short of disastrous” in the Oval Office.
The editorial noted that while many traditional conservatives favour often-touted Trump policies like stricter immigration laws and tighter border security, “Trump’s cockamamie border wall, his impracticable campaign promise to deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally and his blithe disregard for the effect of such proposals on the US relationship with Mexico turn a very bad policy into an appalling one.”
The paper also ripped into Trump’s lack of respect for longstanding pillars of American democracy, like judicial independence, the free press, intelligence agencies, and the electoral system itself. “His contempt for the rule of law and the norms of government are palpable,” the editorial said.
The president’s dismissive attitude toward evidence and facts is an additional source of worry, the editorial asserts. “Whether it is the easily disprovable boasts about the size of his inauguration crowd or his unsubstantiated assertion that Barack Obama bugged Trump Tower, the new president regularly muddies the waters of fact and fiction.”
It added that Trump further encourages his supporters to thumb their noses at fact-based evidence, science, non-partisanship, and the media and to reject those institutions in favour of ideology and conspiracy theory. This is a “recipe for a divided country,” the editorial said.
Despite its assertion that “nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this trainwreck,” the editorial expressed its hope that Trump would be reined in by the rule of law, voters, and protesters. It also urged members of Congress — particularly Republicans — to stand up to Trump’s “reckless and heartless agenda,” adding that “everybody has a role to play in this drama.”
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