Let’s face it—Donald Trump has logged one of the worst political years of any modern American president, save perhaps Richard Nixon, who was actually driven from office in 1974. From his abysmal domestic and foreign policy to his administration’s boundless corruption, Trump’s incompetence has really outshined that of every U.S. commander in chief dating back to Watergate. Outside of managing to install Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court as Justice Anthony Kennedy’s replacement (a big win, to be sure), Trump has pretty much laid a goose egg in terms of accomplishments. Yet on the negative end of the ledger, he has truly stacked up loss after political loss. So here’s a look back at Trump’s worst moments in 2018—may they bring you a little joy and good cheer at the end of a hard-fought year. (**Author’s Note: This was written before Trump’s epic end-of-year meltdown on wall funding, Syria, etc., so please keep cut me a little slack.)
There was nothing quite like watching Trump fold like a house of cards on the international stage as he kowtowed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the man who directed millions of dollars toward a concerted effort to subvert the will of the American people.
4. The Khashoggi cover up
Watching the U.S. government get turned into a political spin machine in order to cover for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after he ordered the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was truly unimaginable until Trump took the reins. But with Trump, anything’s possible, including selling out America’s reputation in order to cover up a gruesome murder.
3. 2018 Midterms
Trump prosecuted a racist anti-immigrant campaign that led to House Democrats’ most sweeping gains since Watergate and the biggest popular vote margin for either party in any midterm wave election in the last few decades.
2. Perpetrating a felony
No one but no one has a talent for attracting crooks like Trump. The guilty pleas and convictions resulting in a combined 22 criminal counts for his former personal lawyer, campaign chair, deputy campaign manager, and foreign policy/national security adviser were unprecedented, to say the least.
But where Trump really distinguished himself was by being implicated in felony misconduct in court filings from federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. Impressive: Defrauding the American people to win the presidency, because the Kremlin’s well-resourced and concerted effort to install Trump atop the U.S. government apparently wasn’t enough to clinch the deal.
1. Family separation
The Trump administration’s horrific policy of forcibly separating children from their parents at the nation’s Southern border was as misguided as it was unconscionable. Trump used the federal government to terrorize desperate migrants, kidnap their children, and in some cases permanently orphan those kids. Systematically wielding the might of the federal government to inflict pain and trauma on some of the globe’s most vulnerable and defenseless people may not be the downfall of Trump’s presidency, but it was by far his lowest, most depraved episode in 2018 and worthy of an unceasing and indefinite amount of scorn and humiliation. It was monstrous, and Trump should never be allowed to live it down.