Trump’s Legacy: The Right to be a First Class Jerk

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Boorish, idiotic, and rude behavior didn’t begin with the election of the disgraced former 45th president. In my nearly six decades on this earth, I’ve run across several of these types — present company excluded. However, what we see these days when it comes to a lack of basic decency and etiquette, I will lay a considerable, if not primary, blame at the feet of the failed blogger/president. When historians take a look back at his failed presidency, surely this will stand near the top of his already disastrous legacy.

Ever since the infamous ride down the golden escalator, we’ve been subjected to his insults, lies, and politically incorrect behavior. His command of the daily narrative, usually starting early in the morning before most of us had started sipping our coffee, ruled the media throughout his four years in office. They, and many in public, couldn’t wait to hear what he’d say or do next.

And many of his most ardent supporters voted for him for that very reason. They loved the fact that he spoke his mind, regardless of who it may have offended. Most of the subjects of his derisive comments were aimed at those he liked to call the radical left. “Owning the libs” became his administration’s chief policy goal.

And then came 2020, a year most of us would like to forget ever happened. A raging pandemic infected the world, and Donald Trump was the wrong guy at the wrong time to be president of the United States. Instead of setting an example of how to behave, he flaunted not wearing a mask, held massive rallies railing against ‘Democrat’ governors from states who took the virus seriously and insulted prominent scientists who warned of the danger that confronted us.


Meanwhile, out in the American public, we started to see his followers take on the characteristics of their dear leader. Not a day went by, it seemed, where we didn’t observe an idiot here or an idiot there, behaving like six-year-olds at grocery stores, restaurants, and other public places. Of course, Tik Tok and Twitter were the landing spots for many of these performances, and those who use those platforms were more than happy to invite us in to see the spectacle playing out in real-time.

How dare these places tell me what to do? I’m an American, and you’re denying me my freedom, damn it! Unfortunately, many of these anti-maskers even resorted to violent and physical acts directed at employees who were simply there doing their jobs. Some extremists of the extreme even managed to launch a plot to kidnap the Governor of Michigan, who had the nerve to try and quell a pandemic that was killing people by the thousands.

That said, though, perhaps no other industry on the planet saw this ignorant and rude behavior than did the airlines. Time and again, people refused to put masks on; they resorted to cussing out flight attendants and, in some cases, resorted to violence. Recently, Southwest Airlines removed a female passenger from a flight for allegedly punching one of the employees, who lost some teeth in the process.

In another example, on a JetBlue flight from Miami to Los Angeles, a woman was fined $15,000 after allegedly yelling obscenities at a flight attendant and hitting him with her body. The captain subsequently diverted the plane to Austin and removed the passenger.

This year alone, according to Travel and Leisure Magazine, the airline industry has logged more than 2500 incidents of rude and sometimes unlawful behavior, the majority of which are related to passengers who refused to comply with the federal mask mandate.

These incidents are becoming far too familiar, which has resulted in the FAA enacting a zero-tolerance policy, which can result in thousands in fines and jail time. The mask mandate ends in September, but we can only imagine what might or could happen in the coming months.


Can we place all the blame on Trump for this kind of horrific behavior? Not all, but the evidence is compelling nonetheless. If we’d had a president who showed concern, wore his mask in public at all times, and took the virus seriously from the beginning, perhaps the example itself would have prevented a substantial amount of the kinds of behavior we see in America daily.

Of course, these incidents of pathetic and rude behavior are not all pandemic related. We see it popping up in other areas of society as well. The former president, who stoked racial divisions throughout his term, seemingly gave his followers carte blanche to unleash all of their pent-up racial animus. Cell phone cameras? Not a worry in the world. Some of these folks are more than proud for the world to see their hatred. If their president is ok with it, why the hell shouldn’t it be alright for them?


We owe much to the disgraced former president — an epically failed response to the pandemic, economic ruin, and incitement of an insurrection to overturn an election, to name but a few.

But I’d be hard-pressed to find anything more endearing to his failed legacy as was his complete ruination of the public discourse: his lies and deceit; his pathetic and childish demeanor; his insulting disregard of anyone who had the nerve to say a negative word about him. All of these traits define who he was as president — and as a man.

During the pandemic, his actions, or lack thereof, merely gave his devout followers more than enough ammunition to behave in public in a way they may have not before. And, it’s continuing to this very day. How long it lasts is anyone’s best guess. Knowing that so many of our fellow Americans gravitated towards this behavior, and that president, should alarm us all.

Luckily, in Joe Biden, we have a president now who exhibits none of the behaviors practiced by his predecessor. We can only hope that some of his characteristics and traits — like being a nice guy and showing empathy towards others — will rub off on some of our fellow citizens. Leading by example used to be a trait we commonly expected from our political leaders.

That all went away in 2016, unfortunately. The only example by which we will remember Donald Trump is that he brought out the worst in many of our fellow Americans. When the books are written, the right to be a first-class jerk will be one of his most dubious and long-lasting legacy achievements.

49 comments

  1. You have said that very well. And Marjorie Taylor Greene immediately comes to mind as an example of that “being a jerk.”

    What’s particularly crazy, is that if Trump had listened to Fauci and done a tolerably reasonable job of handling the pandemic, that would have gotten him re-elected.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Neil. Right? You’re absolutely correct. If he’d handled the pandemic with even a modicum of competence, he certainly would have been well-placed to win again. In a sad irony, though, thank God he wasn’t!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Jeff, well said, but the sad truth is there are several attributes and actions to choose from as his legacy. This is one. But, it could be how to deflect criticism with “fake news” claims. It could also be how to control the news cycle – if the news is bad for you, change the subject. It could be how to make your followers believe you are one of them, when you have spent your life taking advantage of people like them. Or, it could be how to enrich your own cause by being president. Or, some other thing. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Jeff, I do have a question. What would be in said library? The person professed not ro read books. Briefing materials had to be short with pictures. His administration violated the requirements to save things. So, I guess we could have a big room with iphones for reading his tweets. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It would all have to be pictures and busts of him and brief one and two word sentences, like: Trump was great…Trump was the best POTUS ever! Trump saved America….stuff like that. LOL! Admission $25-payable to him or his Trump Org. He’d probable make a killing with the MAGA crowd.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Would he even be able to comprehend the book? I’m thinking Dr. Seuss may be a little to intellectually challenging for him.😂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. While you know I agree with you, that Trump was the catalyst for so much of the ignorance and buffoonery we see today, at the end of the day, the responsibility lies with … We the People. If we fail to educate ourselves and fall for the lies, the conspiracy theories, the racist ideologies … then WE are at fault, we are in the process of destroying not only the nation but the wider world. Humans do seem set on destroying themselves, don’t they? Good post, partner … Hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, we have, more than anything else, an unbelievable education deficit in this country. There’s no other way to describe it. Some people just refuse to read a book, look at different news sources, or exhibit anything close to intellectual curiosity. That, unfortunately is not something easy to fix. In other words, we’re stuck with the idiots Jill. UGHHHHH

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just don’t know how much more of all this I can take, my friend. It’s heartbreaking to see the complete and total destruction of this country happening right before our eyes and we are powerless to stop it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It certainly is heartbreaking. Just yesterday, I saw the ridiculous hearing in the good ol state of Ohio where the quack doctor and nurse were spouting conspiracy theories. It of course went viral. THIS is what we’re dealing with Jill. Complete idiots. And it’s a growing population of them. UGHHHH

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, I wrote about that one a post or two ago … why … WHY does she even have a license to practice medicine??? Are the standards in this state really that low? The ignorant are taking over this country and I’m torn between wanting to just get the hell out and wanting to fight the good fight. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I left the state in 2004 Jill. I have no regrets. Oh, I miss family and friends. But what’s become of it since then really breaks my heart. Electing these fools time and time again? I just don’t get it. I do respect DeWine at times, though. I don’t agree with most of his policies but he at least tried to get Covid under control, while his Republican friends in Columbus keep going bat shit crazy. UGHHHH

        Liked by 1 person

      5. While I’ve had a few disagreements with DeWine, I think he does have the best interests of the people at heart, unlike far too many of our lawmakers! All I heard from Representatives Warren and Jordan were that the mask mandate was illegal, unnecessary, and that DeWine was acting as an authoritarian. I fully supported the mask mandate and shut down requirements last year, and I still think there should be a mask mandate. As you say … UGHHHH

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  4. A very salutary and well thought out analysis Jeff. The USA teeters on the brink of history.
    In his masterful incisive work “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” the late Vincent Bugilosi laid out the rational reasons why Oswald was the killer and how Ruby got away with in turn killing him; in his conclusion he warned that Conspiracies and the ‘cottage industry’ as he named in were corroding the perspective of the American People and thus left them open to the fantasy world (my re-phrasing).
    In your journey the USA has shown as with other nations it has a tendency for large groups to foster the inward looking and the hostility to outsiders as a means to cover up failure and fear. Know-Nothings; KKK and so forth.
    An arguable turning point was the collapse of USA policy in Vietnam and the gradual rise of the enlightened liberal. The former causing anger and pain; the latter a target to blame; at this stage you witnessed the rise of the snake-oil brand of evangelists and ‘shock’ radio con-men. All this served to stoke up the worst part of the White Prejudice.
    There was the failure of the Right to bring down Clinton and there was the trauma 9/11. By good fortune the Right was kept in check by George Bush jnr’s election and oddly enough the rise of the Neo-Cons, an establishment style grouping who played by the rules.
    Sadly with Obama’s election all restrains were off and the mob howled for someone who would sing their tune.
    And they found their action toy, at the bargain basement sale of the 2016 primaries. Due to the fluke of your system they got their wish.
    A creature they manufactured and thought it was its own master.
    6th January proved they are loose, indulging their quasi-semi-erotic fantasies.
    It is a hard, sad road you are treading. One History indicates many nations are called to tread.
    The previous Occupant of the Whitehouse (one could hardly think of it as a president) is a mere manifestation of a groudnswell many decades in the making.
    Of course it is a shock, an horrific one. Ask any racial minority how you cope with this visceral hatred and destructive ignorance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Roger, and again, your mastery of what’s happening over here is spot-on. As you know, our new president is heading across the pond for a visit in your neck of woods. I’m hearing much about some of the mistrust that exists now, thanks mostly to the last 5 years of holy hell we experienced from the ‘creature,’ as you so aptly described him. I’d love to hear your thoughts in a few days after Biden’s visit is over. Like, how is he being perceived? How did him and Boris get along? What to your fellow Brits think about him? etc…
      He has a tall order to fill Roger. It’s going to be tough to mend fences. I’m hearing that many Euro leaders are, quite frankly, skeptical he can do anything. That someone else could win in 2024 and totally reverse what Biden is trying to do as far as NATO, dealing with Russia, Iran etc…In other words, it’s a mess. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Jeff for your kind words.
        Currently I don’t think there is much opinion in the UK on Biden’s character apart from the fact that he is the one who got rid of Trump. There far right wingers who supported Trump (not that they made any sense on social media) and there are Left wingers who are never satisfied.
        Johnson will do anything to keep his job, and that means being friendly to the USA president, so Biden should not have too much trouble (particularly as the UK government is rushing about the world looking for any deals outside of the EU).
        He does have a very tall order with the majority of the Republican Party behaving like adolescents having been told they have to tidy their room.
        Yes there is a chance of it being all undone by another right-wing brat. However the 6th January will be forever in the conscious and since the majority voted against them unless an old school republican comes back to purge the party, they will have a very hard time trying to brain-wash the majority.
        Anyway, we’ll see how PRESIDENT Biden’s visit goes and I’ll let you have my views.
        Take care Guys

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for sharing that Roger. An interesting article indeed. So far, it seems as though it’s going pretty well. As many have said, the bar set by the previous inhabitant of the White House was set extremely low. So Biden doesn’t really have to do much. But seeing him there with all the other world leaders makes me proud to be an American again. He clearly believes in these alliances, whereas ‘you know who’ only believed in ‘America First.’
        We cannot have a go it alone approach in this crazy world. I think Biden is doing his level best to bring us back to where we’ve always tried to be(not without failures), a reliable and trusted partner in the civilized world, ready to again be a proud example of good governance and a beacon for democracy. Hint: we’ve got a lot of work to do in that department. Our own house over here is leaking and in need of repair after what we’ve been through. Just yesterday it’s been revealed that Trump’s Justice Department was spying on Congressional Democrats. I don’t think we’ve reached the tip of the iceberg yet in the amount of corruption and depravity the previous guy resorted to. There must be accountability. I only hope our new Justice Department is up to the task. I’m not quit so sure yet.
        Anyway, much thanks Roger. Take care friend. Keep up the hope for better days ahead!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Jeff.
        Yes Boris is doing his best to mend fences, make accommodations; he is an arch-opportunist and a shrewd operator such as MR. Biden the 45TH PRESIDENT of the USA will pick up on that.
        I wouldn’t even give the previous occupant the credit for being ‘America First’. All he really cared for was satisfying his vocal supporters with immature antics.
        Compare him with a genuine America Firsters like Eisenhower; JFK, Nixon & Regan (I think the other post-WWII presidents were more concerned with societal changes- one way or another) and he doesn’t even qualify for The Stumble-Bums, much less The Also-Rans.
        Here’s hoping PRESIDENT Biden can halt the rot and start the re-build.
        PS:
        Up-date:
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57436035

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Maybe the proper slogan I should have used was: Trump First. Because in reality, that’s what it always is when it comes to him.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Quite so Jeff.
        Although the history goes go back to the to arrival of the printing press and the invention of the pamphlets which had similar consequences.
        There again Greek and Roman politicians were pretty adept at working up a mob. And in imperial china even as far back at the 7th century could work up a bit of social storm.
        The causes and the audiences haven’t changed but as you point out the access and the ability have grown exponentially; like wild fire in a very dry and hot summer.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yep. Frightening stuff Roger. And an under-educated populace like ours puts the whole thing on a collision course with the very idea of democracy. I don’t know that we will ever be able to put the proverbial genie back in the bottle. Sigh

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Aye. It is a hard time for The USA.
        All nations must go periodically through these times of trials where the political infrastructure is tested.
        One the size of the USA is particularly susceptible to these strains when groups which have been kept under control by another section of the population start to challenge the old order.
        Whereas a ruling class / elite / system can adapt; the base on which it has relied does not. It sees its identity threatened and reacts ; in this case the White MAGA: The ones whose forebears assumed they were ‘better’ than others, and it has to be said from history were indulged (albeit at arm’s length) somewhat by the ruling groups.
        What has happened (and this does take decades) is that as this group overtly pushes back no longer do only the minorities racial and social feel threatened but also the liberal / moderate groupings of White communities whose sympathies with the minorities puts them in the same camp, as far as the White MAGA are concerned. Thus the tensions ratchet up.
        This is not post WWII new. We’ve had accusations of ‘Pinko’ ‘Bleeding Heart Liberal’ etc but previously the political class generally remained above this. Sadly one large wing has seen fit to descend far too deep into the danger of the populist mire. It let the mob create their own action toy. And now is in a swamp it cannot drain without a lot of courage and stifling of personal ambition.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Quite true Roger. In many ways, it’s the perceived threat from those minorities that’s most likely the main driver of the push towards authoritarianism. When you’re number one-numero uno-the favored class, if you will, and a minority is elected to the highest office in the land for the first time, panic ensues. Thus, you have one political party exploiting that fear, which had been brewing anyway. But now, it’s fever-pitched. Yes, we’re really being tested now. Perhaps not since 1860 America. How we navigate this, will tell us a lot about what the future holds. Right now, I’m worried Roger. More than I have been in a long time.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Very true Jeff the parallels with the late 1840s through to the 1860s are sadly similar, this time the divide is not so geographical more social.
        I can understand your worry Jeff. These are the times which ‘test people’s souls’.
        There are these two possible brighter outcomes or combinations.
        1. Tough (and ruthless) pragmatists within the Republican party.
        2. Cities demonstrating an independent and determined liberal / moderate approach outside of whatever the Republican state legislatures try and rig.
        It will require a read deal of determination and above all, there can be no ‘Voting Doesn’t Matter’ mindset, that opt out mentality is useful only to MANGA.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, Chief, but you are NOT over-reacting. You are merely stating the facts, or speculating based on the facts. I saw tonight that Biden arrived DEMANDING … xyz … and my first thought was, “No no no no no … we don’t DEMAND! We have no right. We ask, we explain, we compromise, we negotiate, but NEVER should we DEMAND!” Sigh. I fear we have started out on the wrong foot. Your thoughts?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well, thing is Jill, you are in a war for the heart, soul and unity of the USA, so from the perspective of a region where struggle, conflict and zero-sum games have been the way for a 1,000+ years BIden should ‘Demand’ at times, but use the word sparingly.
        It signals to the minorities, as well as those who prior to 2016 jogged along thinking all was kinda cool, that here is a guy who is willing to kick back against the Unholy Church.
        It’s a hard road ahead Jill…you will need to Demand at times (and play dirty)…Realpolitik…it’s the only game in town.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I know.
        But Wars aren’t just fought on battlefields with tools of killing.
        It would be a nice world were Calm and Reason prevailed and were delivered with carefully thought out debates and negotiations….
        Sadly no one has convinced me that Realpolitik does not prevail.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Humans really are flawed beings … if they don’t have something to argue about, they’ll invent something and carry their argument to the nth degree, whether they believe their own points or not. Hence, we have wars on battlefields and in boardrooms and governmental branches … wars that, I might add, nobody actually ever wins.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. You got it Jill!
        In matters military; Battles get won, so do campaigns even wars, but in the long term whether the winner profits from any of those, that’s a whole different Long Game. And History teaches us, it’s The Long Game that counts.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. I think that even though one side or another, one candidate or another claims a win, there are always more losers than winners, whether on the battlefield or in Congress/Parliament. And it seems more and more, at least on this side of the pond, that we disregard the lessons of history … think how hard this nation is trying to force schools not to teach about the darker parts of our past, even making it illegal in some states to teach about slavery, Jim Crow, etc. Sigh.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Yeah they do that…I mean humans in general.
        You get it with Nationalists and Political groups in general. Everyone gets a bit spikey when you start to turn over their particular rocks and find their history’s heroes were not all noble and romantic.
        I’ve heard some that would fit in with a MAGA mindset quite comfortably. (and that’s from The Liberal / Socialist / Minority wings)

        Liked by 2 people

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