Dan Calabrese: Trump Won't Be Given the Magnificent Legacy He Deserves - But Whose Fault Is That?


On policy grounds, you have to call the Trump presidency a success on balance. And the balance isn’t close either.

The 2017 tax cut reinvigorated the economy and freed up billions in capital for private businesses to invest in growth, expansion, job creation and product development.

Trump’s judicial appointments, with a big assist from Mitch McConnell, have completely transformed the federal judiciary and set the stage to protect constitutional rights for a generation.

His leadership on the development of the COVID vaccines has brought astonishing success, not only embarrassing the media “fact-checkers” who told us it couldn’t be done but also saving millions of lives.

His promotion of domestic energy production has helped make the United States a net exporter, and ended the days when we rely on hostile foreign regimes for our oil.

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And his policy in the Middle East, mocked by the vaunted experts, has put Israel in its strongest strategic position in decades while marginalizing Iran.

I would have preferred some spending restraint and a market-based replacement for Obamacare – and it’s no small problem that we didn’t get these things – but we probably wouldn’t have gotten them under any other president either.

What Trump achieved in the realm of governing should easily rank him among the top half of America’s presidents.

He deserves to go out by taking a bow and receiving the thanks of a grateful nation.

Do you think Trump will get the legacy he deserves?

But he won’t, and it’s largely his own fault.

The initial lawsuits and investigations into voting irregularities were perfectly reasonable in the direct aftermath of the election. There was a lot that went on throughout the country – largely owing to the explosion of mail-in ballots and the Democrats’ exploitation of the virus to make up rules as they went along – that stunk and deserved to be looked into.

But once these lawsuits and the accompanying investigations yielded no evidence to change the outcome of the election, Trump should have accepted reality. Instead, he listened to grifters and bitter-enders who not only refused to accept reality, but insisted on tarring anyone who told them they should as some sort of traitor.

Even now, when the Electoral College has voted, Trump is ranting about Dominion software and stolen ballots and everything else you can imagine. And sadly, this will be his legacy.

It shouldn’t be. Right now, at this moment, people are getting vaccinated because Trump was right when he said we would get a vaccine by the end of the year.

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This was absurdly “fact-checked” by media types who thought for some reason that they could “fact-check” the prediction of a future event. This amounted to little more than interviewing “experts” who disagreed with Trump, and using that as the basis to claim Trump’s quick-vaccine prediction was “false.”

Except that it came true. And today he should be crowing about that fact while the media are forced to eat crow and admit he was right all along.

But they aren’t going to do that because he keeps making it easy for them not to. Even today on social media he’s still ranting about how he not only won, but won “in a landslide,” and telling everyone that the entire election system in our country is corrupted and not to be trusted.

The tragedy is that, yes, there is much that needs to be reformed. But Trump has become a messenger with no credibility on that score, because he’s made it all about himself and the completely absurd claim that he somehow won an election he clearly lost.

Donald Trump doesn’t deserve this as his legacy, not when he achieved so much on the policy front. But he’s the one who’s hanging this legacy around his own neck. No one is forcing him to.

I understand Trump is the kind of guy who never admits defeat, and it’s one of the reasons he’s gotten as far in life as he has. So I suppose he won’t admit this defeat either. That’s his choice. But the nation is going to move on without him, whether he does or not.

And he’s robbing himself of the excellent legacy he otherwise deserves.

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Dan Calabrese has been editor of since 2012 and was the syndicator of Herman Cain's newspaper column from 2006 to 2012. He has written for a wide variety of publications, from The Detroit News and Human Events to Transport Topics and Pet Age. Dan lives with his wife and son in Royal Oak, Michigan.