America the Incompetent

President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township, Mich., October 30, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
Donald Trump’s critics are right that it will take the United States years to recover its reputation. But there is much more than Trump from which to recover.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I tend to agree with National Review editor Rich Lowry that Donald Trump’s main appeal always has been his (generally) unspoken seven-letter campaign platform, which begins with an “F” and ends with a “U.” But Trump promised something else in 2016 that appealed in a trans-partisan way to many Americans: competence.

It seems preposterous in retrospect — and, indeed, appeared preposterous to many of us at the time — but Trump’s reputation as a businessman and a getter-done-of-things was critically important to his story in 2016. The Trump proposition last time around was that what Washington really lacks isn’t creative new

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