Coming to Like Trump

I am beginning to like this guy Trump.

As longtime readers of these posts know, I gave money to and voted for Gary Johnson. I have regularly written about my differences – both stylistic and substantive – with the President. I am often horrified by his thin-skinned immaturity and un-presidential tweets and – more substantively – I am truly worried by his nonchalance about the growth of entitlement spending (typified by his acceptance of the pre-existing conditions aspect of Obamacare) and his threats to tear up the NAFTA treaty. I can read a column like this one ( by die-hard never-Trumper Jonah Goldberg and agree with every word.

And yet, … I think he is doing a lot of good. Let me detail the ways:

– I am heartily in favor of the judges he has chosen; they uniformly take a constitutionalist approach to jurisprudence, which I see as vital to protecting our democratic rights.

– Trump’s EPA was right to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, which was an Obama Administration overreach based on a fanciful interpretation of pre-existing law. More fundamentally, I think that the Trump Administration’s more cautious approach to climate change alarmism is fully warranted.

– In general, I see the Administration taking a broadly deregulatory approach to most issues; such an approach frees us to innovate with less oversight from our supposed betters.

– Betsy DeVos is proving to be a brilliant Secretary of Education; her withdrawal of the infamous “Dear Colleague” letter/edict regarding the adjudication of alleged sexual assaults on campus restores the fundamental rights of the accused, correcting another Obama Administration overreach. Her support for charter school initiatives is an essential part of the shakeup that our education establishment so desperately needs.

– Trump was right to stop the illegal/unconstitutional (because not funded by Congress) Obamacare reimbursements to insurance companies. He was also right to allow many new kinds of insurance and the sale of insurance across state lines – thus increasing competition and consumer choice. (FWIW, I have no doubt that the reimbursements will be back; the cessation was a highly effective way of getting Congress to meaningfully negotiate changes in the law; given the President’s position on pre-existing conditions, I’m afraid that many of the law’s worst aspect will remain, but at least it will be improved by whatever changes he negotiates).

– Decertifying the Iran deal was the best available move, given the horrifying nature of the agreement (not treaty – Obama knew that no such treaty could garner Senate approval) negotiated by the Obama Administration, as are the President’s efforts to shore up our military spending and combat readiness. The Obama Administration’s hope for a true rapprochement with Iran’s mullahs was a dangerous fantasy from the start, and the money he gave them has allowed them to step up their efforts to assert military power throughout the middle east.

– My read on the North Korea crisis is that the President is pointing out that kicking the can down the road has manifestly failed and putting immense pressure on the Chinese to fix the problem that they did so much to create (presumably by instituting regime change themselves). Is Trump playing with fire? Yes – but only because Kim Jong Un cannot be allowed to threaten the world as he is doing and because the Chinese are very much at fault for allowing/encouraging this situation to arise. I do not see Trump as a warmonger; I see him as unwilling to allow Kim Jong Un to extort us.

– The Administration’s proposed revisions to our tax code – which I think will mostly happen – all aim in the right direction: toward a simpler, fairer code with fewer deductions and lower rates. I am convinced that the net effect of these changes will be higher effective taxes for the well-off (due to the lost deductions), clearer incentives for all and better economic growth, and

– One of the finalists to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve is a close friend of mine. I mention this not because I have any personal interest in the outcome based on our friendship – I certainly do not – but because I see it as evidence that the President is truly engaged in choosing people of the highest caliber for important positions.

– I am even coming around to thinking that I may have been wrong all along about the President’s combative style. Do you remember how the press strived to paint Romney – a thoroughly decent man if ever there was one – as a Nazi? I do. They did the same to George W. Bush and every other Republican who has gotten close to assuming power, or actually gotten it, since Goldwater. President Trump doesn’t take the media’s left-wing biases lying down – he does his best to pop the balloon that is their pretense of objectivity, and that drives them insane, which, I have to say, is entertaining. When the smoke clears, he will have shattered the illusion that Big Media – a creature of the self-designated elites – speaks for us all.

Make no mistake, President Trump is winning. He has positioned himself as the President of the common man; in my view, that’s his political strength, but both a plus and a minus when it comes to policy.  He has no time for PC nostrums. He wants to keep illegal immigrants out rather than wink at them; he wants to preserve entitlements because his voters depend on them. He is instinctively mercantilist – which I view as a big mistake – because he thinks that protectionism will help the people who voted him in. He is unabashedly pro-American, in contrast with the cosmopolitan/one-world Obama administration, to which his presidency may be seen as an immune reaction. President Trump may look uncouth to you – in fact, I would bet on it – but that’s because he has positioned himself as in the elites but not of them.  He sees himself as looking out for regular people, and they get it.

And as time goes by, all that stuff about him being a bigot or a Nazi, or in cahoots with Putin, only makes the people who peddle it look silly.


M.H. Johnston

3 comments to Coming to Like Trump

  • John Primm, MPM  says:

    Mark, I am in sync with you. Interesting and good times ahead I think.

  • Dennis Paine  says:

    Welcome, Mark!

    And thanks for a great post, incisive as always.

  • Anonymous  says:

    He is not uncouth to the people who voted for him. This has to be exposed and he is the man to do it. Don’t care about PC. It’s what brought this country to its knees. While he is limited with the establishment, he is chipping away! Don’t care, anything he does does not offend me.

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