'This president does not so much govern the country as harass it': Washington Post editorial board
Donald Trump and Jeb Bush following the CNN debate (Photo: Screen capture via video)

The Washington Post editorial board on Friday published a scathing indictment of President Donald Trump's first term in office, and warned that the damage he has wrought could become permanent unless he is thrown out of office.


The editors note that while presidents are often divisive, most of them at least try to represent the entire country rather than only the people who voted for them.

Trump, they write, has shattered this norm and is instead focused on nonstop antagonism of everyone who gets in his way.

"This is a president who does not so much govern the country as harass it," they write. "In fact, the flow of invective is so constant that it can become overwhelming, almost numbing -- but must not be normalized just the same. This is especially true with respect to his repeated use of xenophobic, racist and misogynistic themes and tropes."

The editors warn that while the president has already done a massive amount of damage to America's social fabric, it will only get worse if he wins a second term.

"By showing that name-calling and vendetta-pursuing 'work,' in the narrow sense of short-term political gain, and by licensing his opponents to respond in kind, Mr. Trump has set precedents that will be difficult to undo," they conclude. "The necessary condition of reversing the damage to the nation’s civic fabric, though, is denying him another four years in office. Otherwise, it could be permanent."