The Atlantic

Trump Is Campaigning on a Platform of Abject Failure

The president’s argument for his reelection is not the kind of argument you make if you’ve done a good job.
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President Trump has laid out his case for reelection.

In a series of speeches over the past several days, the president has spelled out, or at least gestured toward, the major themes of his coming campaign. There will be other themes, to be sure—mostly, one presumes, attacks on Joe Biden—but the president’s recent speeches in Tulsa, in Phoenix, and at Mount Rushmore all outline what appear to be the main components of his affirmative case for a second term.

The argument is an odd one—a brew of nostalgia for an economy that the president’s incompetence has actively helped ruin, magical thinking about the course of the pandemic, and white racial grievance and identity politics.

The argument is not based on any programmatic promises or some kind of policy agenda for a second term about the word . There’s no equivalent to his 2016 assurance that ” or his promises to shake things up or drain the swamp or build a wall. Nor, for that matter, is there anything like his broad assertions about his great powers as a dealmaker, someone who could do business with a hostile Congress as easily as with Vladimir Putin.

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