Friday, February 02, 2018

Never is a long damned time

Back in 2016, when the presidential election was well underway, I actively hated Donald Trump. I found his ad hominem rhetoric appalling, suspected his long history of dealmaking to be a marker of an empty political philosophy, and I assumed the sophisticated Democratic Party apparat would peel him like a banana in the general election.

We're two years on. I'm still no fan of his rhetorical style, but everything else I thought about Trump has turned out to be wrong. As far as his rhetorical style goes, what I've subsequently figured out is this -- he's wasn't talking to me, at least not directly, in 2016. Trump has delivered things conservatives have desired for a long time, especially tax reform. He also appointed a worthy successor to Antonin Scalia and is now filling the federal bench with principled men and women who will be in a position to correct the myriad abuses of the Obama years. And, most of all, he's been working to drain the swamp in Washington, DC. Even though he's made a few deals here and there that make me wonder, his overall record is that of a consistent, principled conservative.

It's easy to find conservatives with a podium who remain Never Trumpers. I don't get it, frankly. Yes, Trump is a lout from the outer boroughs and his tastes are less than tasteful. I get why Democrats hate him -- he's a traitor to his class (Wharton grads aren't supposed to get dirty) and he's been busy tearing their playhouse down, because he understands what frauds they are. But what's become obvious over the first year of his administration is that most Never Trumpers are frauds, too -- they are not really concerned with politics and principles -- instead, their primary commitment seems to be getting along with the in-crowd that Donald Trump is systematically routing. And in opposing Trump, they've been as shrill as the Democrats.

It is difficult to see past your own cultural markers, especially the ones you've chosen for yourself. I am a graduate of a liberal arts college that sends out a lot of liberals into the world. Most of my college friends don't see the world the way I do. Because we have social media, I get to see what my college friends are thinking, and what's become clear is they aren't thinking. They've become frightened and reactionary, because change is coming. To an extent I remain sympathetic -- they don't want to give up a worldview that has shaped most of the choices they have made throughout their adult lives. If you've become part of the hive, it's no good when the queen bee is struck down. Still, change always comes, for good or ill. I don't have to embrace Trump personally or emulate his rhetorical style or persona. But if he's doing good work, it's incumbent upon me to acknowledge that. And he is.

11 comments:

jerrye92002 said...

Some things seem obvious, at least to me. People from both sides complain Trump is not a conservative, or that he's a nationalist or racist or something-we-don't-like-ist. But it seems to me he is easy to understand if you think of him as just a problem-solver. That's why he took the job, and the fact that most of his solutions would seem to be "conservative" just says that the conservative approach to most problems is the better one. We all knew that, and where he departs from the rigid orthodoxy is where some other principle, like not deporting good citizens that happen to be illegal, is the "right thing to do."

Bike Bubba said...

Wait a minute. I thought the left liked change. They even put it on all those posters in 2008..... :^)

jerrye92002 said...

Well, they wanted "hope," too. Long on promise, short on delivery. They cannot STAND a President who actually DOES the things he promised.

Gino said...

Welcome aboard the Trump Train, my friend... lots of track left ahead...

J. Peterson said...

Very well put. I had to get used to how he has stated what he states. But I have grown to embrace it once I became used to it. I had issue getting on board early as I thought that it was all just rhetoric. I felt that as bad as Hillary would be it wasn't the gamble that Trump could be. But enough people rolled the dice, and we're all better off for it.
People usually only welcome the change that they have a part in making. The movement against him is what pushed me to him. I became so sick and tired of the constant bashing of him. It got too old and too quick. It always felt too much like the Anyone but Bush craze of years back.
And they act like the economy can't keep on going up and up. Like it has to come back down. We've all become too use to mediocrity. They're going to continue to be surprised as we all are. It's amazing exactly what can happen when taxation, and over regulation are loosened even the slightest little bit. Good economics can't solve everything, but it can solve almost everything.
I went on an interview the other day, and we spent half of the time discussing all of the jobs that are coming back to the U.S. And all of the people complaining about not getting the tax cut. Well then don't live in a blue state. We may see the days when the feds, and the states have surpluses again like it was around the turn of the century. But on a down note I do think that they get him eventually with something. Not even if he actually did do anything. They just want to take him down so bad that I fear that they will.
Luckily he has started something moving in a positive direction that can be pressed on by whoever takes his place. They say that Pence isn't electable at the top of a ticket. He might just be so if everyone has a job and is making decent money

jerrye92002 said...

Somebody has said his greatest success to date is driving the liberals/press/Democrats off the deep end, exposing them for the crazy haters they are. That crap doesn't sell very well at the polls. Like I always say, those people are NEVER going to like you, so just do the right things and hope normal people notice.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

The F.B.I.'s reputation lies in tatters.
The press lies, and shrieks, and clatters.
And Trump just rides along and grins,
Revealing all our betters' sins.

R.A. Crankbait said...

I wrote before the election that if Hillary won, I would cry, and that if Trump won I would laugh my ass off - and then cry. I have to confess to only a sniffle or two since then.

Frankly, I like all the pearl-clutching and undie-bunching he's causing as he goes against all the accepted ways of doing things. Those accepted ways are not good for our country, and they deserve a good shaking. Heaven only knows if it is sustainable, but I like the way he's exposing the hypocrisy of those who say he's style over substance - all while showing that they are all style over substance. I'll personally be very gratified and happy with the results of this election if Trump also crushes the McConnell Republicans - even if it is the death of the so-called party.

jerrye92002 said...

the only thing really wrong with the Republican Party is exactly what Trump said it was – an absence of steel in the spine. They have been so long accustomed to the "go along to get along" theory of Congress that they did not recognize that Democrats changed the game from a sociable bridge club to a street brawl.

R.A. Crankbait said...

Jerry - and that is precisely why it deserves to die. Such lack of awareness signals either complacency or complicity. Either way they are not smart enough to live and keep us suffering.

jerrye92002 said...

And yet the only alternative is the Democrats, who are only "smart" in their ability to ignore reality and dwell in a mystical magical wonderland of their own imagining. The crazy thing is that if the GOP would SHOW a spine, they would win elections handily! They need to understand that the Democrats and their media lapdogs are NEVER going to like them no matter what they do, so they may as well do what's right and then force Dems to explain why they opposed common sense.