'Trump could destroy the world': Is Robert De Niro right?


Fact Box

  • On May 28, 2024, entertainer Robert De Niro, associated with President Biden’s campaign, stood outside the criminal court adjudicating Trump’s hush money trial and said, “Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country. And eventually he could destroy the world.” 
  • Robert De Niro (aged 80) is an actor, producer, and director known for a wide array of films. From classics like The Godfather II (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), and Good Fellas (1990) to Meet the Parents (2000), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and Dirty Grandpa (2016), de Niro’s been an active part of Hollywood cinema for decades.
  • Donald Trump’s professional history also includes entertainment. He appeared on many films and tv shows as himself, and starred in and produced the NBC show The Apprentice from 2004-2017.
  • The latest 538 poll has Trump’s favorable rating at 41.4%. The national Emerson poll taken in mid-May found Trump’s electoral support up two points over Biden: 46% compared to Biden’s 44%.

Curtice (No)

Robert De Niro is a great actor, but as a political analyst…he's a great actor. What DeNiro and other anti-Trumpers seem unable to recall is that Trump has already been the US President. He is not an unknown entity as President. If Trump intended to 'destroy the world,' he already had four years to do it. Yet, he didn't. But destroying the country and nearly sparking a World War III has happened under Biden.

Russia's Putin did not attack Ukraine during Trump's presidency. Yet, smelling the weakness of Democrat foreign policy, Putin took little time invading Ukraine once Biden took office. In addition, even the not-friendly Newsweek stated that Trump was the first president since Carter not to enter US troops into a new conflict. Further, Trump held unprecedented talks with North Korea's Kim Jong-un and did much of the leg work on troop reduction in Afghanistan prior to Biden's poorly executed withdrawal.

Just because Trump is at odds with Biden on policy doesn't mean he wants to 'destroy the country' or anything else—quite the opposite. Biden has drained our oil reserves because he refuses to drill, advocated for an open border (allowing in over 15 million illegal migrants to enter at extreme levels), gender mutilation procedures to be allowed on children, and the forced statewide adoption of abortion—all of which literally endanger the American people and the survival of our nation as a whole.

Financially speaking, the nation fared better under Trump when the inflation rate was always under 3% and sometimes under 2% during all four years. Inflation has peaked at 9% under Biden, a forty-year high.

Whether one thinks there were some vote-counting irregularities or not during the 2020 election, Trump did leave office peaceably after completing his term. All of these actions under Trump are the antithesis of someone out to “destroy the world.” However, the jury is still out on his predecessor. 

Andrew (Yes)

We are living in fraught times where genuine diplomacy, skillful communication, maturity, and long-term thinking are absolutely necessary for promoting peace and prosperity. Former President Trump lacks these qualities entirely. Relations with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the abhorrent destruction and collective punishment dealt to the Palestinians by Israel, and the encroachment of China on freedom in Taiwan and Hong Kong, are three very real situations with the potential to explode at any moment. Di Nero's assertion seems very reasonable when considering that a nuclear conflagration is a possible result of mishandling, particularly in Russia. 

Trump has shown that he has no need or regard for the truth through his near-continuous lying on nearly every subject, from his inauguration attendance to his election losses; he has torn at the fabric of our society by placing basic facts into doubt. Trump's excessive use of social media means his lies and hate speech spread rapidly and widely with little chance of accuracy. If we can't agree on simple factual happenings, how can we continue to live together in a world as interconnected and interdependent as ours?  

Trump has a track record of disregarding, disrespecting, and dismantling institutions within our own government. Given his reckless disposition and history of damaging these bodies, it's a reasonable assumption that Trump would attempt to destroy anything that hinders him. Ultimately, Trump only cares about Trump; anything broken along the way is simply collateral damage.

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