I realize newspapers have a fundamental right to post editorials, which are, after all, statements of opinions, not factual news, and I do not begrudge The Signal exercising this time-honored prerogative. I am sorry the quality of The Signal’s news reporting has declined so precipitously under their new right-wing management, but that is a letter to the editor for another time.
It is not often an editorial makes me snort my oatmeal through my nose, but The Signal’s exercise of fantasy in endorsing Donald Trump did accomplish that. The Signal’s drivel spanned three columns and yet there was but a single, passing mention of COVID-19, the signature event of the Trump administration. It would be like The Signal analyzing the Lyndon Johnson administration and ignoring the Vietnam War.
It can be strongly argued that Trump’s abject failure with this virus by itself disqualifies him for a second term. I guess that is why The Signal ignored it since there is no way they could put lipstick on this pig. Presidents are judged by their handling of crises. Abraham Lincoln is rightfully venerated for guiding America through the Civil War, as is Franklin D. Roosevelt for the Great Depression.
However, Trump doesn’t remotely deserve accolades for his handling of COVID. He instead gets relegated with the likes of James Buchanan and secession, or Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. Trump’s accomplishments? What about the deaths of nearly a quarter of a million Americans, going toward 400,000 by the end of his term? On this The Signal’s editorial is silent.
Also ridiculous is how The Signal, like all right-wing news sources, stops their regurgitation of the economy in February 2020, as if Trump’s term had ended then (if only that had been so). In one of the most disingenuous statements in this whole farce of an editorial, The Signal extols the record-low employment rate for women at 3.2%, ignoring the fact the current rate for women is over 8%. Indeed by any reckoning the economy is in tatters but you wouldn’t know that reading this farce.
President Barack Obama came into office with a shattered economy that was bleeding 400,000 jobs a month and turned it around so by 2015 we were adding 225,000 jobs/month. Trump at his best never achieved that kind of job growth. The right wing refuses to acknowledge it, but Trump inherited a strong, growing economy. And like everything else he has inherited in life, he wrecked it. His mishandling of COVID-19 has a direct connection to the economy imploding and his continued mismanagement of the pandemic has symbiotically negatively impacted the economic recovery. You can open up businesses to your heart’s content but if people believe patronizing them will make them sick, they won’t go. If 95% of Americans would simply wear a mask tens of thousands of lives would be saved, with a corresponding improvement in the economy. Why Trump, or for that matter Republicans, can’t make that connection is beyond me, but that is where we are.
Trump may or may not be the worst president in history, but he is definitely on that short list. And no amount of selective accounting of his record by The Signal can change that.