Even his mother wouldn’t insist that Trump’s presidency is off to a flying start. However, we shouldn’t let our milk of human kindness turn sour. Even if we can’t sympathise with the president, let’s try to empathise with him.
Yes, he lacks the subtlety without which it’s hard to get anything done in US politics. Yes, his links with Putin are suspect, and those of his advisors are even worse. Yes, he doesn’t realise that some ideas good in theory aren’t achievable in practice. Yes, there might be skeletons buried in his cupboard.
All that is true. However, none of it was a secret on 8 November, 2016, when his country voted to put Trump into the White House.
As my regular readers know, I have reservations about modern democracy run riot. However, Americans are confident that arithmetic, rather than, say, philosophy, history or political science, is the best discipline to apply to the task of choosing their government.
Operating within this system of political thought, once chosen, the government must be allowed to get on with its job. The US, after all, is a republic, not a direct democracy. People don’t make political decisions – they choose those who make decisions for them.
Now, looking at the anaphoric paragraph above, where every sentence starts with “Yes’, and realising that none of that prevented Trump from being elected, we should expect the country to unite behind him and let him do his best.
This should include those who didn’t vote for Trump or may even abhor him. They must realise that the country has much to gain from his success and much to lose from his failure.
Now, I’ve often deplored Trump’s links with Putin. If it can be proved that Trump isn’t acting as a free agent in that relationship, this would constitute grounds not just for impeachment but for criminal prosecution.
Yet since no such proof has so far been presented, we’re duty-bound to discard this possibility and ascribe Trump’s obvious affection for Putin to ignorance, a failing he shares with too many people to mention.
Other than that, he obviously lacks the experience required for his job. But then, unless a president is elected for a second term, the same can be said about any candidate – none of them has been president before.
I’m not sure to what extent experience in other political jobs prepares a person for US presidency. Hillary Clinton, for example, has plenty of political experience. So, to balance things politically, does Sarah Palin. Would either of them make a better president than Trump?
The president is ludicrously accused of trying to suppress freedom of the press – just because he referred to the Fourth Estate as “enemies of the American people”.
The phrase ‘enemy of the people’ was coined during the French Revolution and popularised by the Soviets via Ibsen. Hence Trump’s use of the phrase is unfortunate, but then he probably neither knows much about the French and Russian revolutions nor has seen the Ibsen play.
In his press relations, Trump does act like a cornered animal. But could it be because he’s indeed cornered? As Golda Meir once said, even paranoids have real enemies.
Look, for example, at how the media pounced when Trump’s statement about Muslim immigration to Sweden could be construed as a reference to a specific terrorist act. He should have phrased more precisely, but violence is being committed by new arrivals to Sweden every day. Stockholm bystanders are killed by hand grenades tossed by Somali gangsters. Malmö, which is 40 per cent Muslim, has more murders than the rest of Scandinavia combined.
Freedom of the press, or of anything else, comes packaged with responsibility. The latter is the price of the former.
Whatever one thinks of Trump, it’s impossible to say that the press has treated him responsibly. Ill-founded, savage, almost universal attacks are the order of the day, with Trump being routinely compared to Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and other unsavoury personages.
I don’t recall anything remotely like that since Watergate – and Nixon had committed a crime. Exactly what crime has Trump committed?
We could go over his proposed policies and find some of them good (such as lowering business taxes) and some questionable, such as his protectionism – especially since it’s expressed in the language of a barroom in a bad part of town.
It was quite funny when the president extolled Made-in-America rectitude when standing in front of a Boeing aircraft featuring a Rolls-Royce engine, along with hundreds of other imported components. But funny doesn’t mean criminal.
The ‘progressive’ media are baiting Trump not for anything he does but for everything he is: someone who refuses to accept the PC Zeitgeist encoded into the DNA of progressivism. They sense he’s hostile to everything they stand for – and act accordingly. Unlike the country at large, they have a vested interest in Trump’s failure.
Now I detest that Zeitgeist as much as Trump does, probably more. I also like to think that I can express my opposition in a more reasoned and informed way. But then I can only talk about my opposition – he can actually do something about it. Inasmuch as the media are trying to sabotage his whole presidency, they’re indeed enemies and deserve to be treated as such.
One only wishes that Trump learned that charging the windmills of the media, judiciary and intelligence agencies with quixotic abandon isn’t the best way of going about it. More subtle tactics than a frontal assault are required.
Is Trump capable of them? Somehow I doubt that a 70-year-old man used to having his way can change dramatically. If Trump can’t, he’s unlikely to make life better. But he’s guaranteed to make it interesting.