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Opinion | What Will Trump’s Legacy Be?

3 min read

To the Editor:

Re “Trump’s One-Term Legacy,” by Steve Inskeep (Op-Ed, Nov. 30):

Mr. Inskeep claims that President Trump, like other one-term presidents, will not leave much of a legacy. Au contraire! As a president who has sullied all the norms of American democracy and greatly coarsened political and diplomatic discourse, Mr. Trump leaves a legacy for our country to repair in the future. Mr. Trump’s self-dealing and alleged crimes are a legacy for the incoming president, Joe Biden, to handle.

If Mr. Trump is indicted and convicted, he will leave a legacy as the first and only president convicted of at least one felony. Mr. Trump’s legacy of over 200 appointed conservative federal judges, aided by his henchman, Senator Mitch McConnell, will endure in our country for many years.

Ben Myers
Harvard, Mass.

To the Editor:

Steve Inskeep fails to give James Polk his due. During Polk’s 1845-1849 term in office, he accomplished all of his stated legislative goals (e.g., tariff rate reduction and independent treasury laws), significantly expanded the borders of the United States (with California, Texas, part of Oregon Territory and most of the Southwest), and kept his campaign promise to serve only one term.

Indeed, historians consistently place Polk in the top 15 in historical rankings of U.S. presidents.

James Alec Gelin
Avondale Estates, Ga.

To the Editor:

Allow me to challenge Michelle Goldberg’s cheery assessment of Donald Trump’s post-presidency (“The Post-Presidency of a Con Man,” column, Nov. 15). She writes that “there are reasons to think that when he is fully rejected from the White House, he will become a significantly diminished figure.”

It is Ms. Goldberg’s contention that the ex-president will be so entangled by civil lawsuits, criminal investigations and massive debt that he will end up like other faded right-wing figures such as Tom DeLay and Sarah Palin, performing on “Dancing With the Stars” or “The Masked Singer.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Trump is no flash in the pan. Once he is out of office, I see Trump book deals, endless tweets, hours of free TV time, massive rallies and carefully chosen endorsements for his Republican co-conspirators — all as he slouches his way back to the White House in 2024. It’s time the Democrats and their pundits quit their magical thinking and recognize Mr. Trump for what he is and will always be — the greatest threat to our democracy in American history.

Ed. Weinberger
Arcadia, Calif.
The writer is a TV producer and author.

To the Editor:

Re “When Can We Stop Thinking About Trump Every Minute?” (The Conversation, nytimes.com, Nov. 30):

Bret Stephens, you are so right that for the past four years President Trump has “consumed all of our mental bandwidth” and that finally we are able to breathe a sigh of relief.

But for this to last and have a positive effect, how about if you and your colleagues don’t write about him and his family for at least six months (hopefully more) so that we can regain our equilibrium?

Barry Marcus
Lenox, Mass.

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