Jim Crawford: Who do you trust?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 20, 2020

The 2020 election will hinge on one issue more than any other for the leader of our nation: Do we trust Donald Trump?

Sure, every election has pundits and prophets reminding us that it is the economy that determines how voters decide the presidency, but this year, and this president, changes all of that. For, if a leader cannot be trusted, he or she cannot lead. Donald Trump fails the “trust test” in ways no previous president has ever failed the American people.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll asked this question: “Do you trust the information President Trump is providing about the coronavirus, or not?”

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Fully, two-thirds of respondents said “No,” they did not trust the president with the most important issue of our time. Likewise, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found nearly identical results, with 64 percent reporting they did “not so much” or “not at all” trust the president on the coronavirus.

The loss of trust is also reflected in the assessment of Trump’s leadership skills. In the Quinnipiac polling 63 percent of respondents said they did not believe Trump has good leadership skills. 66 percent said the president is not honest.

Americans do not expect their president to be an expert on every issue, Americans expect the president to be surrounded by some of the best and brightest advisors and wisest counselors. But Trump discards knowledgeable advisors, denies experts, and refutes facts.

Yet, he asks for our trust in his re-election.

Can we risk another four years with a president we cannot trust? A president we do not find to be honest?

Consider just one topic, science. This president denies or ignores science daily. Science, fact-based, tells us that masks save lives in the coronavirus struggle. Trump says the experts are incorrect, after acknowledging to author Bob Woodward that he knows the coronavirus is transmitted via airborne particles. Can we trust Trump to protect the lives of Americans, their families, their children when he ignores facts and directly places lives at risk?

Our experts tell us we will likely have a vaccine for the coronavirus by mid-2021 or later. Trump tells us there will be a vaccine in October. Can we trust the president, whose most likely motivation here is not at all saving lives, but instead is winning re-election by offering up any vaccine at all, regardless of its risk?

Trump blames California for the raging West Coast forest fires, while experts define the causes as years of droughts, higher average temperatures and higher winds. Who do you trust, those with knowledge, or a president who seeks to blame Democrats for wildfires?
This president denies climate change while our forests burn, ocean temperatures rise, and the Arctic and Antarctic ice melts. He quits the Paris Accord on climate because Barack Obama led the accord. Does this president know more about climate than the science?

Does this president deserve our trust on climate while actively working to damage the environment to benefit business?

Trump poses an ongoing risk to the health and safety of the nation by discarding science and expert knowledge in favor of Fox commentators and his own ill-informed knowledge base. The “stable genius” Trump has lost the trust of the American people. That trust cannot be restored, neither can his leadership of the nation.

There is one more science that Trump would like to ignore, polling results. Trump trails Joe Biden in virtually all polling, and trails

Biden in the key swing states. That ignorance of science will catch up with the president sooner rather than later.

The American people are ready to vote in early voting and in November, and the question on the ballot is “Who do you trust?”

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.