Joe Scarborough: Trump is a ‘threat to American democracy’ — and voters will need to confront that threat in 2020
Joe Scarborough (MSNBC)

Throughout 2019, Joe Scarborough (co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”) was among President Donald Trump’s most vehement critics on the right. The former GOP congressman made it clear that he viewed Trump as disastrous for the conservative movement and disastrous for democracy in general. And Scarborough, in a December 30 op-ed for the Washington Post, stresses that in 2020, it will be up to U.S. voters to hold Trump accountable.

“As another tumultuous year of Donald Trump’s presidency draws to a close, “ Scarborough writes, “it seems like a good time to ask: where does one look for a political equivalent in a year when the president’s supporters chanted ‘send her back’ about a non-white member of Congress? Should we attach a bland label like ‘illiberalism’ to such a wretched public display when ‘fascism’ fits so much better? And what term best describes a 2019 political rally where a U.S. president, who had previously suggested the shooting of migrants, laughed as a supporter shouted that they should be gunned down at the border?”

Looking back on 2019, Scarborough asserts that Trump made it abundantly clear that he is a threat to democracy.

“I knew Trump fairly well before he entered politics,” Scarborough explains. “Like many, I saw him first as a cartoonish figure, colorful but innocuous. Then I saw him as an entertainer, superficial but engaging. Then I saw him as a threat, appealing but erratic. Then, at last, I saw this reality TV president as a malevolent character, inspiring fascist chants while proving to be more hapless than any of his 43 predecessors. All versions of Trump have been cynical and manipulative, but his latest incarnation has proved to be destructive to his party, his country and the world.”

Nonetheless, Scarborough doesn’t consider himself pessimistic and seems confident that the United States can overcome Trumpism just as it survived so many challenges in the past.

“Ever the optimist, I suspect that a country that, during the 20th Century alone, survived numerous financial crises, the Great Depression and two world wars while also beating back the spread of Nazism and Soviet Communism, can survive four more years of Trump,” Scarborough asserts. “But why tempt fate?”

Scarborough concludes his op-ed with an assertion that 2020 will give U.S. voters an opportunity to reject Trumpism and everything negative that it represents.

“Though you may not know Trump as I once did, you do know that only a weak man speaks endlessly of his strength and only an ignorant man brags incessantly of his wisdom,” the conservative ex-Republican writes. “Despite these debilitating flaws, or perhaps because of them, Adm. William McRaven — the man who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden — believes Donald Trump is the greatest threat facing American democracy. How voters respond to that danger in the new year may well determine the arc of our future for a generation to come.”