Donald Trump is the “greatest threat to world peace,” ahead of Russia’s Putin and Kim Jong Un, say Germans in a new poll. The poll by YouGov found that 41 percent of Germans feel Trump is the most dangerous of five globally important leaders.
The list also included Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Kim was chosen as most dangerous by 17 percent of the Germans polled. Putin and Khamenei were each chosen by 8 percent, while Xi, who has committed massive human rights violations in Xinjiang, was chosen by only 7 percent.
Trump is not terribly popular at home, either. He trails most Democrats in polls. He is behind in surveys of likely voters, even though any other Republican President in his shoes would have a big lead over the Democrats. Trump benefits from both the growing economy, and the extremism of the Democrats’ policy positions. Yet he still trails Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden.
Even Biden, the purported moderate running in the Democratic primary, is actually very liberal. Biden “is anything but moderate” compared to Hillary Clinton, notes McClatchy News Service. “Biden has proposed ideas more ambitious and liberal than policies supported by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign, a McClatchy review of the candidates’ platforms found.”
Other Democratic candidates are far to Biden’s left, such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They support the $90 trillion Green New Deal, which is so costly that it could bankrupt our country. Yet, for rigidly ideological reasons, they support shutting down clean, carbon-free nuclear power plants. That would not only harm the economy and the reliability of our power supply, but also make achieving a green economy even harder. And they support a legion of harmful regulations that economists almost universally oppose, such as rent control, which economists say would harm the economy. Most of the Democratic presidential candidates also support many unconstitutional policies, such as race-based reparations and improperly-apportioned wealth taxes.
Unlike Trump, many Republican governors have benefited from a growing economy and the extremism of their Democratic opponents. As a result, swing-state Republican governors, unlike Trump, are often quite popular. Florida’s conservative governor Ron DeSantis, who was endorsed by Trump in his 2018 primary for governor, has a 68% approval rating. Even most minority voters approve of how he is doing his job. This is true even though DeSantis was barely elected in 2018. His image was damaged by hostile media coverage that favored his radical opponent in the general election, Andrew Gillum.
If Trump had behaved in a presidential fashion, he could have benefited from a growing economy, too. And benefited politically from the extremism of his Democratic opponents. Instead, he squandered his edge by engaging in impeachable conduct, such as trying to use foreign aid for a purpose contrary to Congress’s intent — to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political adversary. That investigation was sought in order to inflict political damage, rather than unearth any illegal acts.
Of course, Trump will not be convicted by the Senate for this. The Senate has only the power — not the obligation — to remove presidents for impeachable conduct. And it hasn’t used it for that purpose. Most presidents since the 1930’s have gotten away with impeachable conduct, in the sense of committing acts that unconstitutionally abused their authority. They never got impeached, much less removed, for their impeachable conduct.
That includes past presidents making war on foreign countries without Congressional approval; using the FBI, IRS, and other government agencies against political adversaries, such as conservative broadcasters; and deporting many people without due process, including some innocent citizens by mistake.
Trump also needlessly frittered away support with intemperate rhetoric and pointless fights (such as trade wars that ultimately achieved nothing, or cost far more than they ever obtained in concessions, or antagonized allies) .
Like his predecessor Bill Clinton (who committed perjury by lying under oath), Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct, and yet will not be removed from office for it.
But unlike Clinton, Trump lacks the reservoir of good will with voters to ride out the controversy largely unscathed. And he will carry the political damage with him, like a heavy weight, into the 2020 election. It is too bad Senate Republicans are not willing to remove him and replace him with Mike Pence.