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Trump has exceeded expectations — in using the presidency to spread hate and misinformation

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After 30 months of President Trump’s 48-month presidential term, an awful lot that could have gone wrong, or was predicted to go wrong, has not.

The stock market did not tank. Indexes have instead reached new records, as the wider economy has continued to boom. The worst trade wars have not materialized; impulsive though he may be, the commander in chief has not started any actual shooting wars.

No wasteful wall mars the U.S.-Mexico border. Courts have here and there demonstrated their independence, most recently in the Supreme Court’s thwarting of his plan to add a politically motivated citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Yet in a crucial respect — perhaps the most crucial — Trump has exceeded expectations: using the presidential bully pulpit as a platform from which to spread hate and misinformation. His repugnant outburst, questioning in racist terms the patriotism of several Democratic congresswomen of color is only the latest in a long, sorry list of examples.

Many voters, both pro- and anti-Trump, assumed that the actual exercise of presidential authority might modulate the generally venomous language that he employed on the campaign trail, and on social media, during the 2016 campaign.

After all, on April 22, 2016, Trump promised to abandon Twitter if elected. “I’ll give it up after I’m........

© Washington Post