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Why I Have Given Up on Trumpism

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I have given up on Trumpism. I realize this declaration will come as a surprise to some readers. I should mention, therefore, that it is a decision to which I came only after considerable reflection. It was not easy. I have plenty of friends who endorse Trumpism. I acknowledge that I did as well. I labored assiduously in those vineyards. But I have changed my mind.

Why?

A decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that I should declare the reasons that impelled me to this separation.

One factor was the increasingly surreal commentary that surrounds the whole enterprise of Trumpism. I have found that many of those discussing it would say the most bizarre things. At the end of the day, I simply could not reconcile what was being put forth under the banner of Trumpism with the political and social realities I saw operating all around me.

Everywhere I looked, I saw a vertiginous disconnection between what was described as Trumpism and what was actually happening. Eventually, the cacophony of cognitive dissonance was just too deafening. I realized that I could no longer support Trumpism.

In brief, I have concluded that “Trumpism” does not exist. Rather, it does exist, but only in the way a unicorn exists: in the dashing narratives of fabulists. “Trumpism” is an imaginary,  mythical beast. Like the unicorn, it may be recognized from descriptions of its peculiar characteristics—for example, any self-respecting unicorn, as its name implies, has but one horn—and its exploits. But, again like the unicorn, it has only notional existence.

Just as there are many different stories about unicorns—some emphasizing its fierceness, some the magical healing powers of its horn—so there are different versions of that mythical figment, Trumpism.

To a large extent, “Trumpism” is a reflection or coefficient of disappointment. Donald Trump was not supposed to be President of the United States. Indeed, pundits, Hollywood celebrities, politicians from Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi on down assured us that the contingency was impossible. “Take it to the bank,” said Nancy Pelosi, “Donald Trump is not going to be President of the United States.”

“Yeah, yeah,” you might be saying, “that’s old news.” Well, yes, it is old news. But it is worth reminding ourselves of the steely certitude with which that prognostication was delivered. And it is worth reminding ourselves, too, about the reaction of the Mandarin class to the news that what was impossible on the morning of November 8, 2016, became actual in the wee hours of November 9.

A few days ago, on the first anniversary of that impossible reality, my friend Max Boot offered a revealing comment on the election at ForeignPolicy.com. “Exactly a year ago today,” he wrote, “the voters of America, in their dubious wisdom, choose the reality TV star and real estate mogul as our 45th chief executive.”

Query: why does Max say that the wisdom of America’s voters was “dubious”? For the same reason that Bill Kristol, to take another prominent NeverTrumper, is organizing a Committee Not To Renominate the President. Bill wants to liberate “conservatism from Trumpism.”

But what is the “Trumpism” from which he wishes to liberate us conservatives? Max Boot, Bret Stephens, and other anti-Trump pundits have told us repeatedly that Donald Trump is a “fascist.” What can that mean? They have read their George Orwell. They know as well as anyone that “fascist” in the context of modern American society is simply a term of abuse, a negative epithet impatient people apply to things and people they do not like. In this respect, “fascist” is a lot like “racist” when deployed on college campuses these days.

Donald Trump’s real tort, I believe, was to have somehow gotten himself elected despite the objections and without the permission of people like Max Boot.

Max confided that he went “to bed late on the evening of Nov. 8, 2016, in a daze, incredulous that my fellow citizens could elect a man so unqualified for the presidency.” The American people really let Max down. And they persist in their outrageous behavior. According to Max, “Trump doesn’t really believe in much beyond his own awesomeness. He didn’t run for office to get anything done; he ran to stoke his own ego and pad his own bank account by increasing his visibility.”

While you are waiting for evidence of these claims, Max wants you to know that he thinks “Trump has been utterly incompetent. Even if he wants to achieve more of his agenda, he doesn’t know how to do it.” He is, you see, “ignorant, petulant, unethical, avaricious, conspiratorial, nasty, shameless, bullying, egomaniacal.”

Quite a litany. But what this really means, I think, is that while Donald Trump’s election was supposed to be impossible, it is still utterly unacceptable. The fantasy of “Trumpism” is an expression of that state of affairs. Even before Trump was elected, some academic historians, fired by nostalgia for the radicals of the 1960s and their protests against the Vietnam War, created a group called “Historians Against Trump” to protest the “dangerous ideology of Trumpism.” “The lessons of history,” they intoned, “compel us to speak out against a movement rooted in fear and authoritarianism.”

Where is the fear? Where the authoritarianism?

I believe that one of the great embarrassments confronting the persistent anti- or NeverTrumpers has been, pace Max Boot, the utter failure of their fantasies about Donald Trump to materialize. He was supposed to be a horrible, xenophobic, racist, militaristic cad, but how has he actually governed?

I have several times, in this space and elsewhere, provided periodic reality checks comparing the hysteria of the anti- or NeverTrumpers to Trump’s actual accomplishments. The list of those accomplishments grows longer and more impressive as the months go by.

By the time his first term is out, Trump will have remade the judiciary as he promised he would, in the image of Antonin Scalia, that is to say after the fashion envisioned by the Founders, who thought the judiciary was the “least dangerous branch” because, commanding neither the army nor the power of the purse, judges had to rely solely upon the rational power of judgment. Congress would make the laws, judges would merely interpret them, making sure they accorded with the principles laid down by the Constitution.

On the run-up to the election of 2016, many conservatives fretted about the fate of the judiciary. What would a Clinton presidency mean for the future of the Court? “If Clinton is elected,” I heard many of them say, “she will complete the left-wing drift of the Court that was pushed along by Obama. If the court goes, so does the country.”

So why aren’t they cheering what Donald Trump has accomplished with his judicial appointments?

Why? Well, why NOT?

Not that his accomplishments end there. I don’t want to rehearse again all that he has accomplished in his first ten months. It is true that he has had to deal with a recalcitrant Congress, which has refused to proffer much legislation for him to sign.

But just think about these subjects: illegal immigration (down by more the 60 percent), energy (America is now the world’s biggest producer of energy), unemployment (4 and a bit percent), growth (3 percent for two quarters running), the market (up more than 5,000 points since November 2016), regulation (huge progress in turning back the counterproductive regulatory environment that has stymied American business), consumer confidence (the highest it’s been in a generation), the military (revitalized), taxes (a bracing if imperfect plan wending its way through Congress), Iran (declining to recertify a deal that paved the way for Iran to become a nuclear power). Et, need I say, cetera.

And beyond the raft of particular accomplishments, Trump has also articulated some important larger principles. In Riyadh, he rallied large parts of the Arab world against Islamic terrorism. At Warsaw, he underscored the importance of defending the values of Western civilization—values that include cultural as well as political values. Before the United Nations, he defended the value of national sovereignty as the most reliable guarantor of liberty. Just a few days ago in South Korea, he reminded the world that when it came to defending America’s interests, his administration had committed itself to policies very different from the accommodationist policies of past administrations.

Does all this add up to Trumpism? I would say “No, not really.” To my mind, both Trump’s enemies and many of his friends are conjuring with a reified hypostasis that functions as a vessel for fears or hopes but which, in the cold light of day, lacks any independent substance.

There are leaders who promulgate -isms or “doctrines.” The so-called Brezhnev Doctrine, for example, articulated a Soviet policy of tenacity when it came to conquered territory: no territory once brought under the Soviet sphere was to be allowed to leave the Soviet sphere. Pundits discerned in Ronald Reagan’s anti-Soviet policies the lineaments of a “Reagan Doctrine,” but I do not know that Reagan ever articulated it as such.

But when it comes to Donald Trump, pragmatism overwhelms ideology. Which is why I believe that there no such thing as “Trumpism.” Its putative author is constitutionally averse to the spirit that would give substance to the -ism.

Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly was onto something essential about his boss when, in his powerful press conference last month, he observed that Trump’s agenda was “what’s good for America.” That is to say, he has no “agenda” as that term is often used, i.e., no set of hidden or ulterior motives for his policies. He simply wants to pursue initiatives that are good for the country: policies that will “make America great again.”

In the course of that press conference, Kelly described Donald Trump as a “decisive” and “thoughtful” man of action. I think his record to date corroborates that description even if his style (those tweets, those off-hand remarks) offend the delicate sensitivities of those who have not gotten over the fact that someone not of their tribe had the temerity to garner the support of enough people to be elected to the Presidency without their permission. I am a supporter of Donald Trump, but “Trumpism,” I conclude, is just a name.

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329 replies
  1. Avatar
    Roy_Lofquist says:

    Donald Trump is our only elected official who is not owned lock, stock and barrel by special interests. He is bringing to fruition Governor Palin’s pledge to govern “with a servant’s heart”.

    • Avatar
      Marianne says:

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    • Avatar
      Rightway says:

      THAT was Trump’s big selling point. He was an outsider, not beholden to DNC, TNC, Chamber of Commerce, Open Borders Foundation, George Soros, Koch Brothers, Sierra Club, BLM or anyone, except for the middle class American “forgotten man.”
      The voters had long realized that Washington was run by the UniParty swamp.

      • Avatar
        Kim says:

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
        On tuesday I got a great New Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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    • Avatar
      Miek D. says:

      And that is why he is despised by the swamp. If the American people can see how much better a government can perform when those running it actually runs it in manner that maximizes benefit to the American people and not to the special interests who purchase policies favorable to themselves, we will discover just how willfully poor of a government we have and how much better of one we could have.

    • Avatar
      Richard Ault says:

      Dragging out the functionally illiterate Sarah Palin for a quote means that your argument is in serious trouble!

    • Avatar
      tom f says:

      You’re right Roy, Trump is not owned by special interests. He is driven by his own interests from the small (forcing the federal government to pay his companies for vacationing at his properties) to the large (pushing a tax plan that will save him millions in taxes).

      • Avatar
        RIP_UN_1945_2017 says:

        Please go share your brilliant and insightful comments over at HUFFPO , where the gobeshite brain dead denizens, will appreciate your simplistic propaganda

        • Avatar
          tom f says:

          I’m glad you recognize my comment as brilliant and insightful, but in all modesty it’s simply fact available to anyone who takes the time to look. For example, Trump deciding to go to his golf clubs and forcing aides to accompany him so that the government has to pay for rooms, meals, golf carts, and maybe even greens fees is a violation of Article 2. Section 1. of the Constitution.

          • Avatar
            A_Nobody says:

            I did and have for many years. I grew up blue collar Democrat and was proud of it until the communist party infiltrated it and changed it to the garbage of today. Take your soapbox elsewhere. Crime is rampant within the Dem party and has been for years.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            This was fun (not). There was one reasonably thoughtful response in this whole thread. Most were simply childish, canned responses (yours near the top of the list). I particularly was impressed with the ones that said essentially get out of here. Apparently, having to make a reasoned reply is too difficult for most that are here. So goodbye.

          • Avatar
            Marshall Gill says:

            Oh NOES! The disingenuous troll is leaving! Please come back and regale us with some more of your imbecility!

            “Most were simply childish” which is exactly what your pathetic post deserves. If you expect to be treated seriously you will have to actually, you know, try.

          • Avatar
            CAmom760 says:

            “Forcing his aides to accompany him”? You do realize he’s the President of the United States, right? And that many of those trips are in order to play golf with heads of state or business people with whom he’s structuring deals – and that he’s – oh, what’s the word – allowed – to have a couple aides with him? And do you know that he’s saved a ton of money in both “vacation” costs and just costs in general – not wasting money?

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            I only know of one head of state that Trump took golfing – Japan’s Abe. But what deal has come out of Trump’s golf. A new NAFTA, a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, China admitting it’s a currency manipulator, a beautiful replacement for ACA. Come on mom, Trump has traveled for personal business more in his first 9 months of office than any other president. How is that saving money on vacations.

          • Avatar
            steves_59 says:

            LOL. When you hold Obama’s golfing profligacy to the same standard, I might deign to take you seriously.
            By the way, he doesn’t “force” anyone to go with him. Read up on the Presidential security detail, and get your head out of your fourth point of contact.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Obama didn’t golf as often as Trump has. Trump criticized Obama for his golfing profligacy (so I guess criticizing Trump is holding them to the same standard). Obama didn’t own the courses he golfed on. And yes, when Trump decides to go to his own course he is forcing others to go with him because they are required to.

          • Avatar
            steves_59 says:

            LOLOL! This is without a doubt the DUMBEST argument I’ve read here this week.
            Pro tip: learn how to present an argument before you come back here.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Steve when you become a pro at constructing an argument, I’ll take your advice. When you can actually make an argument, I’ll listen to you. But you’re right coming to this site to see posts like yours makes me think twice about coming back.

          • Avatar
            OkiefromMuskogee says:

            Step right up folks, see the condescending arrogance of the liberal mind. “All my arguments are intellectually superior, bow to my intellect you hillbilly trailer trash. Perhaps I will spare you my rapier wit.”

          • Avatar
            hamburgertoday2017 says:

            Article 2 Section 1? Are you talking about the ’emoluments’ section? I can see where you’re going with this. Because the President owns the properties he visits and the fees are paid to the business, you could argue that he is indirectly receiving an ’emolument’. Since the legal meaning of ’emolument’ in the context of Article 2 Section 1 has never been determined, it is by no means clear whether a ‘violation’ has occurred. I suggest that you go find some lawyer to present your case before the 9th Circus, so they can render an idiotic decision that will be overturned (again) by SOTUS.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            I commend you for at least replying with something that makes sense, but I take exception to your use of the word indirectly. Trump is the owner of the business so he does profit directly from any and all payments. A simple analogy – the use of indirectly is like saying the owner of a business does not have to pay taxes on the profits because they come to him indirectly. As for emolument the meaning was clear from the time the Constitution was written – it means profit or gain. Now you’re correct that it has never been tested in the courts or congress, but that is simply because no president has done this previously. As for how the courts would interpret this depends on whether they use the actual language or whether they try to interpret the actual language according to their political philosophy. And both conservative and liberal judges have been known to do the latter.

          • Avatar
            hamburgertoday2017 says:

            I have read the Constitution a few times, and my view is that there are sections where it is simply not clear what it is saying. Often, the best approach is to go back to the deliberations and debates surrounding the inclusion of this or that specific section. It’s not at all clear what the intent of the ’emoluments’ clause is just from reading the relevant Section. It says that the President shall receive a Compensation which cannot be increased or diminished during their term of office and cannot receive any other ’emolument’ from the ‘United States’ or any of the individual states.

            Strictly speaking, it seems to me that if, as you say, the President cannot receive any other ’emolument’ from the United States, then the President’s business being paid by the United States to house Secret Service and other members of the Executive staff very well could be a violation. In which case, the President’s business would have to work out a correction to accommodate this interpretation of the clause.

            Still, it seems the clause itself seems odd and unclear as to motive as, in general, the concern with public officers and rewards from office is one of corruption not necessarily the bare fact of having profited in some manner or another. Looked at through the lens of corruption, especially in terms of quid-pro-quo, the President having the United States pay him to house him does not seem to be a case of corrupt reward. However, if, as you seem to hold, the bare fact of the United States paying his business to house the Executive staff in Mar-A-Lago (or any other Trump facility) would appear to go against the ’emoluments clause’.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            When I read the Constitution or law, I follow what the words say, not what I think they say. That paragraph is very clear – the president gets his salary and no other payment from the federal government or state governments.

          • Avatar
            A_Nobody says:

            So??? Your argument is childish rhetoric. he should stay at a competing hotel just to satisfy your sensitivities?

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Staying at a competitive hotel is not to satisfy my sensitivities. It’s to satisfy the requirements of the Constitution.

          • Avatar
            Marshall Gill says:

            At the end of the day the $400,000+ a year salary that he isn’t taking will leave him spending less than Obama, not that you care about spending.

      • Avatar
        Johnathan Swift Jr. says:

        Yes, that is clearly why he ran for office to make money by forcing the government to rent his properties to the people who protect and transport him. That was clearly his motivation and we know that no Republican in history has ever been for tax cuts before, that has never happened. You caught him, now go arrest him.

        • Avatar
          tom f says:

          I don’t know why he ran for president, but as soon as he became president, he chose to make money from the office. By the way it’s not just the Secret Service, it’s other cabinet officials and aides as well. It’s not a lot of money but it is a direct violation of the Constitution. As for tax cuts, yes the Republicans have always been for tax cuts, but Trump campaigned hard for beautiful tax cuts that would significantly reduce everybody’s taxes (just like his beautiful ACA replacement that would insure everybody at a lower cost). That currently is not the case with this bill. As for arresting him, unfortunately I can’t, but Congress can and should deal with his actions.

          • Avatar
            steves_59 says:

            What bollocks. Pray tell, WHAT can and should Congress do to deal with his “actions” and on what grounds?
            Please provide details.

          • Avatar
            steves_59 says:

            So, your “details” are that you state Trump purposely violates the Constitution. In other words, you gotz a case of the sadz because your girl lost.
            Get the hell out of here.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Since you apparently don’t have the skill to find and read the Constitution, I’ll post the pertinent passage –

            Article 2. Section 1. Paragraph 7.
            The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

            Now emolument means payment, profit, gain. The federal government paying Trump properties because he makes the decision to go there and his company bills the US government for services violates that provision. I’m sorry you’re too busy typing LOLOL to read and understand this part of the Constitution. And I’m sorry that the only response you can make is to tell me to get the hell out of here because you can’t understand the simple restrictions on presidential compensation listed in the Constitution. Good bye.

      • Avatar
        HoustonGrandma says:

        The Clintons are the only ex-president and first lady who charge the Secret Service to set up shop on their property, to protect them.

          • Avatar
            Andrew says:

            Are you suggesting that we can’t look at Bill Clinton’s record as president and see if he did the same things you’re accusing Trump of?

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Look at Clinton all you want. I don’t care except when you point to Clinton as a way not to address the subject at hand.

          • Avatar
            Andrew says:

            That’s not what just happened here. You are accusing Trump of something and Houston Grandma is saying the people who actually did what were the Clintons. Now if you can show that is not true go ahead,but it’s not a way not to address the subject at hand.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            No Andrew. My accusation was that Trump was making the decision to repeatedly go to his places of business (as opposed to his home in New York) and thus incurring extra costs paid by the government to his businesses. Grandma said that Clinton was the first ex president to charge the Secret Service for space. She was wrong. That payment is a standard arrangement for all protected persons. That payment is not negotiated but set by a government formula.

          • Avatar
            Andrew says:

            Okay, so that’s how you should have responded in the first place. Was it THAT hard? Look Tom, if you want conversations you can have them, if you want to be an accusatory troll, you can do that too. Which do you want to be?

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Andrew, go read through this whole thread. I started with a simple statement. It was a statement that I knew would not be accepted on this site, but it was a statement that was factual without insult. Look at the responses. Many of them rude and insulting. Some redirecting to something other than the original topic. So if simply pointing out unacceptable financial behavior is being an accusatory troll, then I guess I am one at least to the people who post here.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Andrew what is speculation –

            he is going to his properties and the government is paying his companies for things like golf cart rental. You can find the invoices online.

            he is pushing a tax plan that will eliminate the AMT which cost him $31 million in 2005 (the only tax return we’ve seen), lower the tax rate for a percentage of his business income by 30+%, and eliminate the estate tax which will cost his heirs hundreds of millions.

            What is hypothetical in those statements. And how does the truth of those statements insult Trump.

          • Avatar
            Andrew says:

            Your motive speculation is an unproved and unprovable hypothesis (that’s what’s hypothetical) and a hypothesis which implies a selfish motivation on the part of the president (which is where the insult was). It’s not a fact. You can point out some data which supports your hypothesis, but that’s not proof and others have pointed out that other presidents did similar things in regards to charging the taxpayers for their expenses.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Not speculation. Trump has a history of doing only for himself. Sometimes he admits. Sometimes he doesn’t. He said that presidents cannot have conflicts of interest, and he operates that way. Past conduct as a demonstration of current conduct is not speculation. And I can think of no other president who had the federal government pay him for expenses that the president or his family did not incur. If you know of one, please identify him.

          • Avatar
            Andrew says:

            As has been pointed out to you by at least one other person unless you have the ability to read minds you are projecting, you also are projecting about Trump’s prior behavior. That is speculation. Why do you keep flogging this point anyway? As to prior presidents expecting his staff’s bills to be paid of the budget for his staffing, that would be pretty much all of them.

          • Avatar
            Johnnie Incog says:

            Because you didn’t think those actions were disqualifying when committed by a member of your party. Clintons did as much, or even worse, and you deemed them qualified to hold office. YOU set a standard, and now you want to change that standard based on the current WH occupant. Go find a dictionary, look up the word hypocrite.

        • Avatar
          tom f says:

          Look what up. The fact that the federal government is paying Trump properties. The fact that the current tax bill eliminates the alternative minimum tax, the estate tax, lowers the tax rate for pass through business income.

      • Avatar
        A_Nobody says:

        1.) His plan will cost him and 2.) his hotels are businesses so why do you think politicians should stay free, tinkerbell? It’s not enough he serves without salary” You also want him to give more away? SMH…..more lefty drivel.

        • Avatar
          tom f says:

          He serves without salary by his choice. That salary is the only allowable compensation he is constitutionally allowed to take. Giving it up does not mean or allow that he recover the allowable compensation through his businesses. And no where did I ever say or intimate that politicians should stay free. What I have said is that the president through his decisions forcing the federal government to pay his businesses is against the Constitution. That has nothing to do with right or left.

    • Avatar
      Micha_Elyi says:

      “Donald Trump is our only elected official who is not owned lock, stock and barrel by special interests.”–Roy_Lofquist

      …that you know of. Even more frightening, Donald Trump is one of the “special interests.”

      • Avatar
        Roy_Lofquist says:

        Micah,

        Trump contributed $66 million to his own campaign. He can hardly be expecting a profit. So, what motivates him? Wine, women and song? He doesn’t drink, he’s married to a strikingly beautiful woman and he could have the New York Philharmonic provide dinner music. Fame? Been there, done that.

        Which brings us to my allusion to a servant’s heart. ““For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)”. I am not suggesting that Trump is a pious Christian but rather that what you see is what you get – Make America Great Again is not just a campaign slogan, he really means it.

        • Avatar
          V10_Rob says:

          Clinton’s motivation for running was power. The power to profit from the influence she would wield, and the power to quash and bury any investigation into her misdeeds and outright crimes.

          Trump’s motivation for running was ego. He’s not a selfless saint, but if his sin is pride, it’s at least compatible with defending and promoting America and its interests.

          He wants to go down in history as a great President, like JFK or Reagan. Not just ‘a President’, and certainly not a failed 1-term President. That means he has to deliver on MAGA, bigly, in a way that sticks positively in the public’s brain, and not just a dry list of technical accomplishments.

  2. Avatar
    Scott says:

    President Trump is the only person that could have beat Hillary and he well beat her again in 2020. The country can never thank him enough for stopping the evil old bag from becoming president. And you are giving up. Letting CNN and Hollywood win . Not me not EVER

    • Avatar
      Roy_Lofquist says:

      Scott,

      I think you misunderstood the column. Read the last sentence: “I am a supporter of Donald Trump, but “Trumpism,” I conclude, is just a name.”

        • Avatar
          bloatedfed says:

          “…is like a finger pointing to the moon…..Don’t concentrate on the finger or else you will miss all that heavenly glory” Bruce Lee “Enter the Dragon”.

      • Avatar
        JohnInFlorida says:

        Roy,
        My problem with Roger’s column is that MANY, if not MOST, will not read all the way to the last sentence. Saying that A does not equal B throughout the column and then saying “Oh, I was just kidding!” in the last sentence is, IMO, a sure way to cause misunderstanding in many readers.

        • Avatar
          JustData says:

          The whole column is about how #NeverTrump idiots are raving morons. Who could miss that even if they didn’t read to the end? Besides Scott there, I mean.

          • Avatar
            Miek D. says:

            The article is saying that Trumpism doesn’t exist because Trump is not that weird. The never Trumpers are painting him as someone very weird, but his policies are very sound and straight forward.

          • Avatar
            Micha_Elyi says:

            Slinging around “#NeverTrump” as an insult darkens the intellect.
            You’re gonna need a deeper tank, kiddo.

          • Avatar
            JustData says:

            #NeverTrump is an insult. Even just basic human intelligence allows room for new data to change the assessment when it’s about a four-year Presidential term.
            #NeverTrumpers are self-insulting by staying stuck on stupid.

      • Avatar
        Hofnerguy says:

        I know what you mean, but good grief, what a slog of a read! If you’re not willing to expand your vocabulary by looking up words like “vertiginous,” it’s very easy to see why one might not make it all the way to that last sentence.

          • Avatar
            Hofnerguy says:

            Hey, I’ll put my vocabulary and my command of the English language up against anyone’s. However, this guy’s prose is as laborious as Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s. I can’t fault anyone who doesn’t want to stick it out to the last sentence.

        • Avatar
          NutherGuy says:

          The virtues of having a wife who is a journalism major, minor in English.

          Her college days were before journalists decided that they had to tell us what to think because we were too stupid to deal with facts.

          Well … the vertiginous AG screen — constantly jumping up and down — has got me again so I’ll go elsewhere.

      • Avatar
        D4x says:

        Roger Kimball needed to amend his title, put his last sentence first, with two more edits, clear language, and a better use of the unicorn metaphor, including a donkey with a carrot fake horn: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ab97ab474011726e2cbf21b42749cf85e5573502f5bec52b82ad64bf2890edcb.jpg
        I was in shock with the title, but I did not remember Kimball as a NeverTrumper, so I read. Pundits do not have to use flittery words to prove they are over-educated and DO understand what Trump is accomplishing. The Obstruction’s mass hysteria shows signs of increasing.
        No one is seeing Trump’s strategy and accomplishments in the conduct of foreign relations.

      • Avatar
        Richard Ault says:

        Yes, but I think that the last sentence reads – “I am a supporter of Donald Trump and therefore a deluded moron who wishes only the worst for a once great country”

      • Avatar
        Micha_Elyi says:

        Heh, I knew that the first time someone in the tank for Trump uttered the word “Trumpism”.
        What took you so long, Roger Kimball?

    • Avatar
      Dave781 says:

      Once again the lie that ONLY Trump could have beaten HRC. In fact, Trump was just about the only Republican candidate who could have lost, and he almost did.

      • Avatar
        Rightway says:

        I honestly doubt that. There was no energy behind the other candidates. There was no inspiration to make disaffected conservatives rally behind the Republican candidate, to sway Independents, or to make Democrats switch. Jeb!, Crruz, Rubio, and Kasich were all small-time, and could never have drawn the union support away from the Democrats that Trump did.

        • Avatar
          Dave781 says:

          Disaffected conservatives? Anyone who was “inspired” by Trump is not a conservative. And very few independents voted for Trump. There are a lot of people who would have voted for a Republican but instead voted for HRC or didn’t vote because they couldn’t stand Trump. These outnumbered the union supporters that voted for Trump. HRC was the 2nd most unpopular candidate in recent history.

          • Avatar
            Jayne says:

            Trump’s candidacy exposed a wedge, a deep rift, within the Republican Party.
            And the numbers were on his side of the divide.
            Party unity was destroyed in the 2016 election.
            It’s hard to envision that being fixed going forward.
            Especially with Republicans still continuing their efforts to destroy Trump.

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            You are correct that Trump destroyed the GOP. But I don’t think that the numbers are really on his side. Maybe we will be able to take back the party in 2020, or maybe we need a new party combining disaffected Republicans with moderate Democrats.

          • Avatar
            JustData says:

            Corrupt RINOs destroyed the GOP.
            Every corrupt insider who ran against Trump had a record that kept them from getting any traction with voters across the Midwest. NONE of them would have won PA and MI and WI and OH and FL.

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            What about VA? The fact is that if the Republican candidate had gotten a larger percentage of the popular vote (you know an actual majority) he would almost certainly would have won the electoral college. I can’t say exactly which states those would be, but FL and OH would almost certainly have gone Republican.

          • Avatar
            Padric says:

            OH, yes. FL, maybe. VA? No chance. VA is officially a blue state and will be for at least the next 2-4 election cycles. The demographics show that a lot of people that work in DC have moved into the northern VA area. They are a huge voting bloc and they are all democrats.

          • Avatar
            JustData says:

            Bush3 couldn’t even get into the top 3 in his own state of Florida. Rubio couldn’t even win his home state of Florida either.
            Kasich couldn’t win outside his own state, not even New Hampshire after spending a whole month there.

            The blue wall crumbled in the rust belt ONLY because of Trump’s trade and immigration stances. NONE of the GOP losers had a stance on trade and immigration even remotely close to Trump’s, and none of them would have broken through the blue wall to win the election.
            .
            As for VA, your claim that any other Repub would have won that is fatuous at best and likely just horse manure. Trump won VA in the primary, and if Rubio/Cruz/Bush3 couldn’t win the primary there over Trump, who’s retarded enough to believe they’d win over HRC and former VA Gov Kaine in the general (especially after crooked McAuliff registered gazillions of felons to vote and probably had Dems on his payroll filling in and mailing in those ballots)?
            .
            Losers like Amnesty McCain and Mittens RomneyCare the dog abuser helped elect the first Jihadi President of the USA. GOPe losers and fake conservatives who love big government and embrace corruption would have lost the electoral college and the election. They and you would rather have lumbering old Hilly putting liberal, America-hating Justices on the USSC and judges on the federal bench. She’d be giving amnesty and bringing in millions of violent, freeloading refugees while Dems larded up hardworking Americans and American businesses with more regulations and taxes.
            .
            Just admit you’re a perverted Democrat already, since you want Repubs to lose and Dems to continue running the USA into the ground.

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            A rather long post, but a few points in response:

            1. GOP primary voters are very different from general election voters. Losing the primary doesn’t have anything to winning or losing in the general.

            2. All of the other GOP candidates would have followed the same immigration policies as those which were actually put in place by Trump. Of course none of them would have built a 1500 mile long 50′ high wall and have Mexico pay for it, or deported 11,000,000 million people, but neither has Trump, and he is not going to either. That is because the other candidates were telling the truth and Trump was LYING. I suppose you like liars.

            3. True, Trump may have picked up a lot of votes with his protectionist trade policies, but he lost a lot of votes too. Another candidate could have picked up some of those “blue wall” states by getting some of the votes that instead went to that idiot Gary Johnson, or voted for HRC or like myself didn’t vote for president.

            4. Do you really think that Trump would have gotten more votes running against BHO than either McCain or Romney? I don’t.

            5. Trump is the fake conservative who embraces corruption, and I am NOT a Democrat.

          • Avatar
            JustData says:

            1. The primary voters are a subset of the general election voters, and thus they are exactly a part of the general election voters. It’s fatuous to claim they’re very different. There are more voters in the general, yes, but those primary voters are in the mix and it’s brainless to claim winning the primaries has nothing to do with winning the general.

            2. Other amnesty-loving GOP were on the record and no one believed their lies. We watched McCain claim he’d enforce the law if elected president and then go right back to putting illegals first. Bush3 and MassAmnesty Rubio got beat for their long-term stance on amnesty. Ted Cruz got hammered because he was on the record wanting a massive increase in H1B visas. I posted his website policies to help defeat him. They’re even worse on trade and no one would believe differently. They were all corrupt insider pols who were part of the problem. The rest of your comment is just as full of crap. You’re the one who loves stinking corrupt lying pols.

            3. Nope. Only Trump changed the rust belt math. He picked up Midwest votes by turning out a lot more people than he lost in those areas. Look at when PA and MI went GOP last. Walker and Ryan couldn’t turn WI for Romney who was born in MI. Trump turned WI and PA red and saved those Senate seats too.

            4. Yes, really. Neither McCain nor Romney were willing to take the fight to the crooked, evil Dems. Both Romney and McCain were on the record for YEARS as amnesty-loving, wage/job-killing globalists, and insider pols. McCain was a lot worse than Romney and that’s really saying something.

            5. Gorsuch is the real deal and Bush gave us Roberts. There’s nothing conservative about mass immigration and massive illegal immigration, but both Romney and McCain were for it. There’s nothing conservative about bad trade deals that sell out honest Americans to enrich crooked pols like McCain and Ryan and Rubio and Kasich, but no Repub ever proposed renegotiating them except Trump. McCain voted to KEEP ObumblerCare and there’s nothing conservative about that. Mitt Romneycare isn’t the least bit conservative either. Kasich expanded Medicaid to able bodied adults in Ohio and loved Obamacare and there’s nothing conservative about that.
            As for embracing corruption, that would be the RINOs who love the corruption machine that is illegal immigration plus the crime and fraud that comes with it.
            .
            Please remind me of all the times the Repubs you claim are conservative cut fed gov spending in the last 10 years or cut the size of government. Even the sequester was Obama’s idea and he did it because he expected the GOP to reject it. Heck, even THIS YEAR the Repubs in Congress voted to fund Planned Parenthood and massive numbers of violent refugees that Obama wanted to inflict on us.
            In fact, based on your bad definition of ‘conservative’ and either tolerance or outright love of corruption, yes you ARE a Democrat.

          • Avatar
            aaacccc says:

            Dave781 says:

            “Disaffected conservatives? Anyone who was “inspired” by Trump is not a conservative”.

            “Maybe we will be able to take back the party in 2020, or maybe we need a new party combining disaffected Republicans with moderate Democrats”.

            These 2 statements are flaming contradictions. “Moderate” Democrats are not remotely conservative. Yet Dave wants to join with them. This is typical of the kind of statements we get from Never Trumpers.

            As the article above pointed out, Never Trumpers like Dave are unhinged (Trump’s a fascist etc.) and becoming more so seemingly with each passing day.

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            Not a contradiction at all. The 1st statement is merely a statement of fact. The 2nd is about a possible future coalition. It would not be ideal, but better than what we have now.

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            If Mitt had run in 2016 he would have won in a landslide. As it is he did about as well as anyone could have against a popular incumbent president in 2012. HRC was much less popular than Obama.

          • Avatar
            Padric says:

            No, he would have lost in the primary just like all the rest did. Even if Trump had not run and Romney somehow won the nomination again, he would have lost. There was zero energy behind Romney in 2012 and he wouldn’t have fought back against the attacks HRC’s campaign leveled against him. Past is prologue. He didn’t fight back in 2012, he wouldn’t have in 2016.

            Take it to the bank. Hillary would have made the “Binders full of women” comment a constant drumbeat and he would have, at best, offered some “Golly, gosh gee I didn’t mean to offend anyone” response which implies that he accepts wrongdoing on his part.

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            You seemed to have confused “fighting back” with winning votes. The goal of an election is to get people to vote for you.

          • Avatar
            bsetrader says:

            And that is why McLame and Romey lost. The whole country club republican model is dead as leather. At least you are not that Ault idiot who combines neocon idiocy with lectures on racism while belonging to a country club. Do you really think a GOP country clubber will be taken seriously admonishing us about white privilege?

          • Avatar
            JackOkie says:

            And then what? What have the Republicans done with their victories? Study after study has shown that the country is basically center-right, but the MSM has been able to propagandize a sufficient portion of the electorate to keep the Democrats in the game. President Trump (boy do I like how that sounds :) ) attacks the MSM because without them, the Democrats lose. You seem to have almost as static a viewpoint as the progs.

          • Avatar
            bsetrader says:

            Mitt had nothing to offer that Kasich and Jeb Bush didn’t run on. That agenda was repudiated and Romney, like Kasich, ran a campaign as inspiring as a bowl of plain oatmeal.

          • Avatar
            Padric says:

            Clearly facts are not your forte.

            And very few independents voted for Trump.

            Trump won Independent voters 46-42. That’s 23.2 million vs 21 million. It’s also 5 million more Independent votes than Romney got.

            There are a lot of people who would have voted for a Republican but instead voted for HRC or didn’t vote because they couldn’t stand Trump.

            Again, the facts say otherwise. More people voted in 2016 than in 2012 and he got 2 million more votes than Romey (62.9 vs 60.7). Further only 1% more Republicans voted for HRC than voted for Obama, so a statistical tie. Meanwhile Trump pulled 8% of Dems, the same amount Romney got. Lastly, Trump and Romney both got the same amount of Republican voters, 37 million. So Trump clearly didn’t effect Republican voter turnout or their party loyalty. Those who did vote non-Trump were easily replaced by other GOP and Independent voters.

            These outnumbered the union supporters that voted for Trump

            Now you’re just sounding idiotic. Union households made up 18% of the electorate, approximately 30 million people. Trump lost union households by 9 points, but did get 41% of them, approximately 12 million. So unless these fantastical people that you speak of number more than 12 million Americans, you’re full of it. Especially when considering all the 3rd party candidates combined only got 7.6 million. So no, the “Golly we’d love to vote for a Republican but that scoundrel Donald Trump is on the ticket” people that exist in your fantasy land, don’t exist in reality.

            HRC was the 2nd most unpopular candidate in recent history.

            If you referring to her popular vote total, please realize that over 10% of her votes came from one state alone: California. So her popularity is largely a result of running up the margin in the most leftward leaning state in the country.

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            A lot of numbers, but if the same number of Republicans voted for Trump as voted for Mitt, and more people voted, then Trump got a lower % of Republican votes than did Romney.

            Also, how many union households did Romney win? I should have made it more clear that I was referring to the increase in the union vote that Trump got.

          • Avatar
            Padric says:

            A lot of numbers, but if the same number of Republicans voted for Trump as voted for Mitt, and more people voted, then Trump got a lower % of Republican votes than did Romney

            Umm, no. The increase in turnout was mainly among the Independents which makes sense given that more and more people are registering Indy.

            Also, how many union households did Romney win?

            First, a correction. I incorrectly stated that union members accounted for 30 million. They didn’t. The actual number is 23 million. That said, both Trump and Romney got the same amount of union households, 9 million.

            If you’re looking for why Trump won it comes down to this: 12% of Indy’s voted for 3rd party candidates as opposed to 2012 when only 5% of them did so. How that vote would have broken down if they had been forced to chose between the two candidates is anybody’s guess. But a few million people voting 3rd party is what made the difference.

        • Avatar
          Miek D. says:

          Trump acts the way he does because he can actually read the mood of the people. Most Americans are very angry and that anger had to be held back while Obama was president less you be labeled a racist. Jeb Bush was the least in tune with the Republican/Independent electorate. He probably thought “Hooray, Obama really grew the government, if I can get elected as president, I will get to run a big powerful government without having to grow it”.

          • Avatar
            Richard Ault says:

            Yes, he tapped into anger and bitterness of the people who have been left behind! Unfortunately his act was a huge con and he has proven that his only interest to monetize his brand, and enrich his greedy friends. The Kushner family was literally selling visas in China and no one even noticed.

          • Avatar
            bsetrader says:

            And that is precisely why you voted for Hillary? Most hypocrites are not as insipid and transparent as you, but you insult everyone’s intelligence by not stating the obvious.

        • Avatar
          Richard Ault says:

          Sad, but true! He was also the only one shameless enough to tell lies every time he opened his mouth, and to con a lot of poor stupid saps into voting for him!

          • Avatar
            bsetrader says:

            Tell us why you are really f*ed in the head? Your criticism of Trump lacks legitimacy and is true of just about every president. Your outrage is phony.

      • Avatar
        Jayne says:

        I, too, don’t think that it is a lie. It seems that the other Republican candidates, while appealing to the big wigs in the party, did not connect with the numbers of people within the traditionally blue states in the same way that Trump did.

      • Avatar
        Richard Ault says:

        Great point! She was a truly rotten candidate, and he only won with massive Russian hacking of the electoral process.

      • Avatar
        Dave781 says:

        What do you mean? Has there ever been a POTUS who has not withstood an unceasing barrage of insults and obstruction?

          • Avatar
            Jayne says:

            Correct. This is taking insult and disrespect of the President to news depths. Flicking in to MSM broadcasts leave me broken-hearted for our country. Their naked loathing, smearing and mocking of the President bodes ill for any cohesion among us ever being possible.

            I recall after the election an artist whom I follow was revealing her politics in bemoaning HRC’s defeat. I didn’t agree with that of course, but she raised a point even from the left, that the MSM seeks to divide us. And on that point I heartily agree. Division and chaos pays well for the media. Destroys our bonds as Americans. But, eh, whaddu they care?

    • Avatar
      Micha_Elyi says:

      Even the worst, most RINO Clinton donor candidate on the Republican line on the ballot could beat old Mrs. Clinton in 2016–and he did!

  3. Avatar
    Derek Pandamonium says:

    Excellent article.

    Why does the GOPe want to destroy our Country and our President?

    Trump exhibits the traits of a true leader. He has principles and those principles inform his actions. One of those principles is putting America first.

    The anti-Trumpians are globalists who are not interested in putting America first. In fact they want to eliminate America as a nation state.They’re not interested in guaranteeing anyone’s liberty.

    • Avatar
      Margaret Walker says:

      They are jealous. He has power and they want it for themselves. Look how McCain keeps interjecting himself against Trump to make himself important. Look how Never Trump journalists have to constantly interrupt their narrative by deriding Trump’s personality . Tiresome.

      • Avatar
        sandslug says:

        And President Trump doesn’t cower to all that McCain & Co. sells out to. They hate that the American people see it.

    • Avatar
      Dave781 says:

      Are you saying that the 55% of Americans who despise DJT want to eliminate the USA as a nation state? That is ridiculous.

      • Avatar
        Comment Monster says:

        Everyone who is in favor of allowing continued mass immigration, legal or illegal, from 3rd world countries is trying to eliminate the USA as the exceptional nation that it has been. We see you.

  4. Avatar
    Potomac cynic says:

    “he has had to deal with a recalcitrant Congress”

    A recalcitrant Congress? How ’bout an outright hostile Congress that has attempted to thwart his every initiative… and that’s just the Republicans. It’s a credit to Trump that he’s been able to accomplish so much in the face of Congress critters such as McConnell, McCain, and Graham.

    • Avatar
      Micha_Elyi says:

      “How ’bout an outright hostile Congress that has attempted to thwart his every initiative…”–Potomac cynic

      Are you showing us how prone you Trumpists are to lying or are you just going hysterical?

      P.S. Without Sen. Majority Leader McConnell’s doing, Trump would have no lasting accomplishments at all. (Hint: Justice Gorsuch.)

  5. Avatar
    BayouKiki says:

    “Donald Trump’s real tort, I believe, was to have somehow gotten himself elected despite the objections and without the permission of people like Max Boot.”. Isn’t that the truth!!!!

    • Avatar
      Richard Ault says:

      Yes, that’s correct. Max Boot is an example of a truly competent and patriotic conservative who can’t stand the nauseating scumbag. And for grins it’s becoming clearer every day that he is a Russian agent controlled by sexual and financial black mail.

      • Avatar
        Padric says:

        And for grins it’s becoming clearer every day that he is a Russian agent controlled by sexual and financial black mail.

        So are you an employee of the DNC, the Clintons, Fusion GPS, or the Perkins Coiee law firm? Because if you believe what was peddled in that dossier, you must be.

        • Avatar
          Richard Ault says:

          I’m actually a Republican, but I’m not a deluded moron. And the spritz at the Ritz is real – Make America Wet Again!

          • Avatar
            Padric says:

            If you believe anything from the Steele dossier is real, then you are in fact the very definition of a deluded moron.

            Rule #1 of intel gathering: paid sources are the least reliable because they will say whatever you want to hear and always come back with more “info” hoping for more paydays. Steele paid all of his “informants”.

      • Avatar
        bsetrader says:

        Thats not the tune you were singing when Obama and W. were in office. Boot was part of the war criminal PNAC regime. You were more right and less hypocritical before Trump became president.

      • Avatar
        Johnathan Swift Jr. says:

        No, he is an example of a man who has become so unhinged by his own grandiose petulance that he has become disabled by it. As an educated man, he should know better than to play the fascist card, which no part of the Trump agenda resembles.

        The President who exceeded his legal authority and had to be slapped down by the Supreme Court again and again 9-zip was the last President, one Barak Obama. The President who used the IRS to punish his political enemies again and again and again was not the “fascistic” Trump, but Barak Obama. The President who destabilized the Middle East through starting one war (Libya) and expanding a second one was one Barak Obama, which in turn sent millions of refugees into Europe, destabilizing an entire continent.

        The administration who aided and abetted Iran and sought to make it the hegemonic power in the region – the most noxious regime on the face of the earth, responsible for thousands of American’s deaths – was one Barak Obama. The man who gave pallet loads of cash for terrorism to Iran in the dead of night was not this President but the last one and for that act alone, he should have been impeached. The administration that cooked up a plan to send 2,000 high powered weapons right in the hands of the drug cartels, was not this President, but the last one. The President who sent “unaccompanied minors” that they knew were MS-13 gang members across the country at taxpayer expense was not this “fascist” one but the last one.

        The administration who played nice with Castro and got nothing in return was the last one, not even a sidling glance at human rights in the prison island. The President who politicalized military intelligence was one Barak Obama. If you are looking to apply the “f” word to an American President, one would think the last one was a far better fit than this one – who has only been doing his Constitutional duty and no more. Max Moot and the vast majority of the Never Trumpers who voted for Hillary Clinton wanted the single most corrupt major public official in United States history to be President. Everything evil that the last administration did would have been on steroids had Mrs. Clinton been President and you were all for it, pat yourself on the back for your moral preening.

      • Avatar
        Brother John the Deplorable says:

        The silly part of this whole “Trump/Russia” nonsense is that if you have any perception of history at all, it defies common sense.

        The notion that Putin would prefer Trump, an unpredictable rogue on his best day, over Hillary, who had already turned over large portions of our uranium stores in exchange for a bribe, and who is 0bama’s hand-picked successor, who urges Putin to remain patient until after the ’12 election, is ludicrous on its face. It makes no sense.

        Wipe the Kool-Aid stain off your face. You look like a clown.

      • Avatar
        old doc says:

        Maybe you’d lie to offer some semblance of that thing called “proof” for your claim.
        No?
        See, ain’t got nuthin’ but innuendo.

  6. Avatar
    Cybergeezer says:

    No doubt, Max has PRESIDENT TRUMP totally confused with B. Hussein Obama.
    America NEEDS PRESIDENT TRUMP.
    Not another run of the mill obedient politician.

  7. Avatar
    E. T. Bass says:

    Like all politicians, one must largely ignore what they say (and what their detractors say about them) and watch what they do.

    In deed, Trump is (thus far) simply the most conservative president we’ve had since Ronald Reagan and I am taking that to the bank.

  8. Avatar
    Proud Skeptic says:

    Not exactly sure what “Trumpism” is…usually an author will define such terms in the first paragraph. But, with me, Trump gets evaluated on his individual actions. He gets a D minus for his tweeting and off the cuff comments. He gets an A in border enforcement. He gets a B for his tax plan. My IRA gives him an A, of course. He gets an incomplete on North Korea but I look forward to his final exam. On Paris Climate, he gets an A plus.

    I will never latch on to a president like Obama’s supporters did. I will never defend despicable actions like Bill Clinton’s supporters did.

    That said…the man will always have a soft spot in my heart for crushing Hillary.

    Each day is a new day and new successes of failures get evaluated fresh each day.

  9. Avatar
    sandslug says:

    The funny thing on that Christmas night November8th, we dropped our 3D rose colored glasses stepped on them and
    looked at Washington D.C. and saw only empty boxes and a pile of wrapping paper. This year we have real presents under
    the tree.

  10. Avatar
    Rightway says:

    Every day the Donald Trump is in the White House, rather than The Hag, is a good day.
    Donald Trump derailed Obama’s 3rd Term, and no other Republican candidate could have defeated Hillary.
    For that, and because of the internecine opposition and sabotage from the GOP-elite that Trump has gotten, I give him a lot of leeway.

    • Avatar
      Dave781 says:

      Only Trump could have defeated Hillary? That seems to be today’s talking point. It is not true of course, but if you Trump trolls keep repeating it then maybe someone will believe it.

      • Avatar
        dougf43 says:

        It IS true. There was and is no Republican (ptui) who could have won the States that Trump did. That was what one the election, not piling up more votes in Texas by being supported by the Bush cabal.

      • Avatar
        R.L. says:

        You might have missed the fact that no other republican could beat Trump in the Primary. So how in the world could one of those loser beaten hillary? Never mind it is a rhetorical question.

    • Avatar
      gthomson13 says:

      President Trump spent some of his political capital with China to get the three shoplifting UCLA players out of jail time in China. Why, because he was concerned for them as Americans. He won’t get much credit for doing so back here in the United States and he most likely knows that. However, this “racist” President had compassion for the UCLA young black men without regard for their race. Being the negotiator that he is, President Trump knows that puts him in a position of doing a return favor someday for China’s president. However, his concern for fellow Americans trumped his concern for losing some political capital (pun intended).

      Doing what’s good for Americans and America – I’m behind him all the way!!!

      • Avatar
        DrMaturin says:

        He did the same thing several months ago for an Egyptian-American woman held for three years in prison in Egypt. The Obama administration tried unsuccessfully to do this through diplomatic channels. Trump asked the President of Egypt face to face to let her go. And he did.

  11. Avatar
    Jayne says:

    Fantastic analysis, Mr Kimball. Although I appreciate the fact that conservatives think for themselves (vs the hive mind on the left) that quality is our weakness when it comes to political power. Deranged, destructive writings of those members of the conservative intelligentsia continues at a fever pitch, but it’d be great if this essay found its way to Krystal, Stevens and Boot. And that they could read it without their negativity clouding their minds. We could use our heavy hitters back in the game.

    • Avatar
      malikknows says:

      Yes, indeed. But I fear an establishment who’d rather concede defeat than fight. Witness stunning spectacle on Judge Moore.

    • Avatar
      dougf43 says:

      If you are waiting for them to become ‘sane’ again, you wait in vain. They were NEVER ‘sane’ in the first place and have become completely unhinged due to Trump’s pointing out how useless and obsolete they all truly were.
      These guys are NOT intellectual ‘heavy hitters’. Have you actually read their output ? They are all mantras and rote phrases. They are not helpful now. They will not ever be helpful in the future. The sooner they just wither away the better for everyone who is not them.

      • Avatar
        gthomson13 says:

        Exactly! The Max Boot, Bill Krystal and Brett Stephens of the political world are wedded to an ivory tower ideology vs. a belief system bounded by putting the needs of America and Americans first.

      • Avatar
        Jayne says:

        Oh, okay, I’ll agree on Krystal, I’m unfamiliar w Boot, but I had thought of Brett Stephens as a conservative of intellectual heft. No?

        Furthermore, even lacking as intelligentsia, they commanded possession of the heights, did (do) they not? From their keyboards they wielded pretty formidable opinion shaping pieces, molding conservative thought and directing conservative action, didn’t they? Their defection leaves a jagged tear in conservatism, no?

        My thinking is that conservatism needs all the help she can get.

        • Avatar
          dougf43 says:

          Well I’m kind of biased, I’m NOT ‘conservative’. I’m not ‘liberal’ either’. I’m with Trump. We don’t need more ‘conservative thought’ or opinion. We need RESULTS that are ‘good’ for the USA. In other words we need Trumpian pragmatism.
          So I couldn’t care less what the so-called ‘conservative intelligentsia’ says about much of anything. I’ve come to notice that EVERY line of thought can appear to be insightful if viewed from the proper angle, but it NEVER seems to really translate to RESULTS.
          I think Mike Tyson said it best in his great philosophical moment in which in said,

          https://www.brainyquote.com/photos_tr/en/m/miketyson/382439/miketyson1-2x.jpg

        • Avatar
          JackOkie says:

          Kristol, Boot, et al act like they just found out the Nigras have been allowed to join their country club.

        • Avatar
          Comment Monster says:

          Bret Stephens just wrote an editorial for the New York Times directly advocating repeal of the 2nd amendment.

    • Avatar
      gthomson13 says:

      You should read “American Greatness, How Conservatism, Inc. Missed the 2016 Election & What the D.C. Establishment Needs to Learn” by Chris Buskirk and Seth Leibsohn for a more in-depth analysis of the deranged and destructive conservative intelligentsia. Excellent book and one I wish guys like Krystal, Stevens and Boot would read. However, I think they are pretty far gone over the edge at this point. As Scott Adams predicted, they are suffering from cognitive dissonance because their rock solid belief of a Hitlerish President Trump has not turned out to be true. They were so bought into that belief, and now that reality isn’t fitting with their belief they are going a bit batty.

  12. Avatar
    ResilientSrDem65 says:

    My election surprise was that so many people actually voted for Hillary. What the heck were they thinking, how did she convince them that she would be good for our country…..a mystery still.
    A late Trump campaign rally in Hershey, Pa: out in the middle of the state, far from any major city and 25,000 people show up ..early!…and then I knew, he was gonna win the whole shebang. He did.

    • Avatar
      Dave781 says:

      Nobody (or almost nobody) thought HRC would be good for the country, just that she would be less bad. It was a horrible choice.

      • Avatar
        CosmotKat says:

        less bad…really, Dave? Some 68% of the country reduced her to three words, liar, dishonest and untrustworthy. Someone so corrupt she would broker a pay to play scheme to betray our country was just less bad?

        I agree there seems to be fewer American political heroes in the model of some of our past and great presidents and that is a product of unfettered leftism, corruption of our media, and the degradation of modern culture and values. Good people don’t want to be smeared incessantly, degraded and demonized, and blamed for everything that goes wrong so they don’t go into politics. We get the government we vote for and the vast majority of states preferred Trump and so far he seems to be doing a good job despite the overwhelming agenda in the media, both party’s and people like you who want to take him out.

        • Avatar
          Dave781 says:

          Really, LESS bad. That doesn’t mean good. We do get the government we vote for and that means that this country is in serious trouble. Maybe Trump seems to be doing a good job to you, but I don’t see it.

          • Avatar
            CosmotKat says:

            This country is not in serious trouble due to President Trump, this country is in trouble because of policies that only work for the politically connected and those who are wealthy enough to buy influence. This has been going on for some time, the go along to get along politicians and the war on the American people waged for the last eight years. Perhaps you are satisfied with status quo? Of course you can’t see it you are too blinded by your own outrage. What is at the core of your unhappiness with PDJT?

          • Avatar
            Dave781 says:

            Do you really need to ask? Let’s start with your description of Hillary – liar, dishonest and untrustworthy. Doesn’t that also apply to Trump in spades? And a pay to play scheme to betray our country? I hope that isn’t a reference to Uranium One because that is another disgusting thing about Trump – the way he lies about his opponents. Do you believe that Ted Cruz’s dad killed JFK? Trump is a repulsive, narcissistic megalomaniac. So I suppose that that is the “core” of my unhappiness with DJT, but that is also only the tip of the iceberg.

          • Avatar
            CosmotKat says:

            Yes, I did. It helps to understand what other people think and feel to find some common ground. You ask if the way people thought of Hillary then isn’t it equally true of PDJT? Some, like you, may think so. Others, like me, do not.

            Here’s the difference, in my opinion. Hillary has a track record of deceit and dishonesty in a political position of power stretching back years and her betrayal while SoS boggles the mind. All Democrats have lied about their opponents, but in the past mealy mouthed Republicans simply accepted the smears and two elections were lost to a narcissistic liar who didn’t just smear his opponents he smeared more than half the country just like Hillary Clinton did with her deplorables remark. Why are smears by Democrats acceptable, but not from a Republican? Uranium one is just one of many pay to play and bribery schemes perpetrated by the Clinton’s and the morally bankrupt DNC. How does this implicate PDJT?

  13. Avatar
    dougf43 says:

    So you are supporting Trump but giving up on Trumpism ? That seems to me to be a precious distinction. trumpism is whatever Trump decides is in America’s best interests. Period.
    There is no law that prevents pragmatism being a viable ‘ism’. As Mark Adams has stated in this thread, ‘ Trumpism is the pragmatic pursuit of what’s good for America. I can get behind that -ism.’
    Me too.

  14. Avatar
    Not Chicken Little says:

    What does exist is disgust and contempt for not just the Democrats, but for the Republicans who although they control the Congress, will not back Trump in the good he is trying to do – they don’t want the trough upset, the members of the Uniparty all feed at it.

    It’s still Trump and We the People against the establishment. If we can put the Congress critters out of their misery we’ll all be better off for it. I for one will never fall for the Republicans’ lies again, and would be happy to join a new party based on our Constitution and love of country.

  15. Avatar
    MackeyDIngo says:

    “Where is the authoritarianism”

    (SIGH) one recent example is when trump expressed dismay that the could not order the FBI and the Justice Dept to investigate whomever he wanted.

    Another example, of many like this, came during a meeting with Native American tribes who complained that they were unable to access natural resources in their reservation due to Dept of Interior rules. Trump said, “just do it. I’m president. Just do it. Just take it out. I’m telling you to do it. I’m president.” It had to be explained to Trump that things don’t work like that.

    That is the very definition of authoritarianism. The leader speaks, and that is the law.

    • Avatar
      gda says:

      Musing about the fact that he cannot simply order the FBI/DOJ to do his bidding is not authoritarianism. You clearly have no actual experience of real authoritarianism. I recommend you go talk to someone who lived in the Soviet bloc if you want to learn.

      But I’ll bet you don’t want to learn, really. You just want to spout your ignorant and stupid narrative.

      We’re not buying, thanks.

    • Avatar
      Will says:

      You don’t even know the definition of authoritarianism. Stop spewing talking points from MSNBC hacks and form your own opinion based on facts and critical thinking before you speak. This should stop you from parroting ignorant comments of which you don’t even understand.

  16. Avatar
    Inspector Clouseau says:

    Trump was and is the most qualified to be president because he was not corrupted by many years in politics where even the good become bad after awhile. His greatest feat to date was preventing Hillary from destroying what’s left of America. He has since done many wonderful things to make life better for Americans. He will be knows as a great president. The denial will eventually fade.

    • Avatar
      Will says:

      I’m not so optimistic about the anti Trumpsters and all liberals ever coming out of their denial. Everyday that Trump is president seems to send them into more irrational denial than the day before. Maybe it’s just me, though.

  17. Avatar
    quodverum says:

    Are we to take it then that your friends accept those citizens election in 2008 and 12 of a man of whom they knew virtually nothing reliable as wise? Or even self interested?

    Moreover a man of whom at least several reports from an unquestioning, uncritical, incurious Media were “red flags”

    The first the reason the Chair of the DNC, Nancy Pelosi, and the Second to the selection by Hillary Clinton, that carried the day

    Reported by the openly Onside Media, “Because it was TIME For an Afro – American”. A qualification seeming to be based primarily on his race.

    Review of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 adds to reservations held by some citizens about his legal eligibility in compliance with Article II of the Constitution. AND other records that make his respect for the FUNDAMENTAL, reputed “The Rule of Law”, of the nation at best questionable.

    Added to the “fact checking error” of his 1995, while Senator, Pulitzer Prize “Autobiography”. ONLY after bruited as candidate of the “Democratic” PARTY for “The Office of President”.”Error” corrected.

    Whose first reported Executive Act on succeeding to “The Office of President”: was his SEALING, behind the firewall of Executive Privilege, unspecified documents containing unspecified information FROM the citizens.

    Who “in their wisdom” selected him the Foremost “representative” of their name, their trust and their interests.

    Not Once, but twice. .

  18. Avatar
    Yael says:

    Another of Trump’s accomplishments is his inadvertent exposure of the depth and breadth of The Swamp, including these #RATs who abide there (Republicans Against Trump).

  19. Avatar
    Yael says:

    For all those who object to Trump’s tweets, would you rather have the media interpreting and “sanitizing” his thoughts for public consumption? I for one very much appreciate reading his uncensored comments, much as I enjoyed his off-the-cuff stream of consciousness at pre-election rallies. He makes himself available to be known in a way politicians never habe. It’s a breath of fresh air in a stale room!

    • Avatar
      Dave781 says:

      I would rather have a POTUS whose thoughts didn’t need to be “interpreted” and “sanitized” by his internet trolls. His thoughts are more like a breath of fresh carbon monoxide than they are of fresh air.

      • Avatar
        Will says:

        I guess the truth and facts are a breath of fresh carbon monoxide to those of us living in denial of reality, which is mostly liberals. Not all of them, but quite a lot of them.

  20. Avatar
    Richard Ault says:

    If Donald Trump isn’t a fascist he’s doing a damn good imitation of one. Fascist political movements generally proceed with four organizing principles: (1) An enemy to persecute. Hitler had the Jews, Trump has evil Alien Mexican rapists, (2) An assault on the free press – Every day of his Presidency he conducts such an assault. We hear “Fake News” screamed over and over, when, in fact, fake news was invented by Rupert Murdoch, and its high priest is Sean Hannity. (3) de-legitimizing the electoral process – Trump Voter Integrity Commmsion is an Orwellian named exercise in this very thing – In an era when true attempts to attack our electoral system by Trump’s Russian controller/allies are denigrated as more Fake News. (4) Persecution of your political opponents – “Lock her Up” Nuff Said. A lot of good people were taken in by Trump’s populist con job, when in reality all he really stands for is developing an authoritarian kleptocracy in the mold of his controller/ally, Vlad the Impaler.

    • Avatar
      jckluge says:

      So saying that people living here illegally should be deported is what counts as fascism to you? Moreover, Trump has refused to deport those who took advantage of Obama’s illegal amnesty and left it to Congress. He has a hell of a way of treating his enemies.

      Further, if Trump is a fascist for rightly calling out the bias of the major media, what is Obama who prosecuted multiple journalists in an attempt to stop “leaks” and repeatedly attacked Fox News calling it an enemy to Democracy? If Trump is a “fascist” Obama most certainly was as well. If that is your definition of fascist, you do not have any sort of meaningful one beyond “I don’t like the person”.

      Ensuring that only those who are eligible vote is ensuring the legitimacy of the electoral process. Claiming that stopping voter fraud is an attack on electoral legitimacy is newspeak of the first order.

      A lot of people good and bad have been taken in by the desire to virtue signal and engage in hyperbole regarding Trump in an effort to feel important and to avoid facing the failures of their own views. And you are one of them.

      • Avatar
        Richard Ault says:

        You miss every point I made in a most spectacular fashion, but I will applaud you for answering me with a reasoned argument, however wrong. Most of the idiots on this site simply scream – commie, lib-tard, etc. Debate among those who differ is at the heart of American democracy. Of course, I have engaged in some hyperbole here, but Trump’s evil anti-intellectual assault on American liberties must be stopped. You’d be surprised to know that I have little regard for Obama whose use of executive orders was also an assault on the American political order. But, he was not personally as loathsome as the “P..sygrabber.” I am, in fact, that most loathsome thing of all – An establishment Republican. Good debating you; we’re both good Americans who happen to see the world in wildly different ways. Good on ya’ jckluge

        • Avatar
          jckluge says:

          I have engaged in some hyperbole here, but Trump’s evil anti-intellectual assault on American liberties must be stopped.

          Invective and unsupported assertions is not argument.

          You’d be surprised to know that I have little regard for Obama whose use of executive orders was also an assault on the American political order.

          So what? Saying you don’t like someone doesn’t mean they are a fascist. All you are saying here is that you don’t like Trump. He is not a fascist. Beyond that, Donald Trump is doing more for the cause of liberty by reducing the regulatory state than any President since Reagan.

          • Avatar
            Richard Ault says:

            Your point about the “Regulatory State” reveals you simply to be a Bannonite anarchist who just wants to tear a great country apart for fun. And to invoke Ronald Reagan’s name even remotely in support of what Trump and his FASCIST minions are doing is just plain ignorant. Ronald Reagan was a patriot of the first order and would have been a never-Trumper because he believed in decency and respect in the political process. We will part now – Me to my pain about the destruction of a once great country, and you to celebrate the retreat of America from the evil outside world!

          • Avatar
            jckluge says:

            Your point about the “Regulatory State” reveals you simply to be a Bannonite anarchist who just wants to tear a great country apart for fun.

            Again, invective isn’t argument. First, this country existed for well over a hundred years before there was a code of federal regulations. Second, the threat the regulatory excesses pose to liberty is well documented. There is an entire book on it called “Three Felonies a Day”. The Cato Institute, hardly a group of Bannonite anarchists whatever the hell that is, estimates that federal regulations cost the US economy over one trillion dollars annually. The cost of regulation and the need to do something about it is so apparent even Obama agreed in principle that it was a problem and hired Cass Sunstein to look at doing something about it. Sunstein ended up finding one regulation that he felt was unnecessary in four years of work. So while the effort was half hearted and insincere, the fact that it existed puts lie to your claim that anyone who sees over regulation as a problem is some kind of anarchist.

            And to invoke Ronald Reagan’s name even remotely in support of what Trump and his FASCIST minions are doing is just plain ignorant.

            Again, that is not an argument. The facts are what they are. Trump is going to be the first President in history to leave office with the number of federal laws and regulations smaller and the power of the federal government less than when he came into office. Those are just the facts. Moreover, you cannot rationally claim on the one hand that Trump is a fascist and an enemy of liberty and then on the other claim Trump is a anarchist bent on destroying the government. Those two things are mutually exclusive. The reality that Trump is reducing the number of federal regulations and in doing so reducing the power of the federal government is conclusive evidence that whatever Trump is, he is not a fascist or if an enemy of liberty not a very effective one. Fascists and enemies of liberty increase the power of government. They do not decrease it.

    • Avatar
      Terenc Blakely says:

      Hmmm, which political faction is more likely to become fascist? The faction that wants to expand government power and influence into all aspects of our lives or the faction who wants to reduce government power and rule according to the Constitution? Me thinks, you don’t really know what fascism is or is just a lefty troll.

  21. Avatar
    gthomson13 says:

    As Scott Adams wrote shortly after the election of Donald Trump, (paraphrasing) all of those never-Trumpers who predicted that Donald Trump would be Hitlerish are either going to be right or suffer from cognitive dissonance when he isn’t. With Max Boot I think we’re seeing the cognitive dissonance occurring.

  22. Avatar
    Letscheck says:

    Trump will end up being the best President ever. I have no clue why your weak arguments would convince you to abandon Trump unless you never really understood him much less really backed him from the beginning.

      • Avatar
        E. T. Bass says:

        His point is that he pines for the days of Imam 0bama when the savage Islamists were establishing their Caliphate as opposed to now, when we’re kicking their ass, thanks to president Trump.

  23. Avatar
    CosmotKat says:

    Bravo and well said, Roger! You are correct that Trumpism does not exist and if it did it would imply an agenda and if you call “Making America Great Again” an agenda I am all for it! Those NeverTrumpers and the lunatics of the Democratic Party assigned an agenda and called it Trumpism in order to smear the president. What they are getting, despite their obstruction, is a positive movement forward toward a more economically thriving America, a more equal America, and one that would be more cognizant of those who live outside the bubble and their needs and this goes against their agenda.

  24. Avatar
    Severn says:

    I’m incredulous that the loathsome Max Boot really considers Americans to be his “fellow citizens”. Everything which he (and the members of his class) says reveals his absolute certainty that the American people are a mindless rabble who need the firm guidance of people with the towering intellect and lofty moral principles of ….. Max Boot.

  25. Avatar
    Tom Servo says:

    Sorry, but if Max Boot is still a friend of yours you are a worthless piece of shite and a traitor to this country, just like Max Boot is.

  26. Avatar
    Colt says:

    Max Boot is a clown. I think President Trump is doing a very solid job. The media, the Left, the RINOS and other assorted pinheads can all go pound sand.

  27. Avatar
    tom f says:

    I find it self serving and dishonest when people refer to recent statistics as proof of someone’s successes while ignoring the same statistics for previous years. For example –

    energy (America is now the world’s biggest producer of energy), – America has been the world’s biggest producer of energy for years, not just last year.

    the market (up more than 5,000 points since November 2016), The market is up substantially this year – DOW – 30.8% S&P – 23.6%, RUS2000 – 26.1%. But for Obama’s 1st year of his second term the numbers were DOW – 23.5%, S&P – 27.5%, RUS2000 – 33.3%. Markets go up and down based on profits and economic conditions and not because of who is president.

    unemployment (4 and a bit percent), Yes unemployment is down to 4.1 % a reduction of 15% for the year. But it started at 4.8% Two years earlier it was 5.7%. So we have had a continual decrease in unemployment for years. Some better than last year some less. What was omitted were the jobs created. For the last year it was about 1.7 million. For the year before it was about 1.9 million. For the year before that it was about 2.2 million.

    • Avatar
      ARMSTROB says:

      Obama has no legacy. Some of the things he did were already being done by Bush which he campaigned against. 90% of what Obama did is being erased into thin air which is where it came from. His pen and phone nonsense is not so cute anymore, is it?

      • Avatar
        tom f says:

        Gee what a meaningful answer, but you let it be too weak. You didn’t say Barak Hussein Obama or Obumer, and you definitely forgot to mention Killary. But I agree, Trump should totally erase all things Obama, but then who will he blame when the crap of his actions hits the fan.

      • Avatar
        tom f says:

        I guess when the stats are not to your liking, you simply reject them. There is no propaganda in them. The propaganda is in the article with its implication that all these good things are the result of Trump.

          • Avatar
            tom f says:

            Apparently you have a comprehension problem. I’ll take you through it step by step –

            the author said – “energy (America is now the world’s biggest producer of energy),” the word “now” implies for the first time, but stats show America is the world’s biggest producer of energy for a number of years – https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26352.

            the author said – “the market (up more than 5,000 points since November 2016),” as if Trump was the sole driver of the market. I simply pointed out that other years have had as large or larger gains when Trump wasn’t anywhere near the White House.

            the author said – “unemployment (4 and a bit percent),” I agreed that was true and pointed out that unemployment has been falling for years and not just a Trump phenomena. I also pointed out that jobs created is a more pertinent statistic that the author chose not to relate, probably because it wasn’t better than the years before.

            The whole point, which you apparently couldn’t catch is that I dislike selective use of selective statistics to inflate someone’s accomplishments.

  28. Avatar
    bsetrader says:

    I have to agree with 90% of Kimball’s column. Trumpism is really leftist political derangement that shares much in common with Bush derangement syndrome but much more acute. The big shocker will be Trump’s breakthroughs in foreign policy. Riyadh and Tel Aviv will be united on about 90% of foreign policy issues and America will cement more alliances than existed even at the height of American influence in the late 1990s. I don’t see how Kimball shares much in common with Max Boot and the other doctrinaire neocons who seek to undermine American legitimacy around the world with their democracy around the world via using Soviet means agenda.

  29. Avatar
    DMH says:

    Note that the nevertrumpers share two things in common. First, an irrational fear of Trump, to the point that they’ve invented an alternate universe. Second, they were foursquare behind the Iraq War. They’ve discredited themselves on both accounts.

    • Avatar
      Terenc Blakely says:

      I dunno on both counts. It isn’t fear as much as loathing and there are plenty of people on the Trump bandwagon who supported the Iraq war. You are engaging in the same bs as the NeverTrumpers.

  30. Avatar
    WalkingHorse says:

    The rainbow is coming out the wrong end.

    As to the article, it is a mistake to ascribe a formal ideology to Trump. He is striking and disquieting to many because he is the first emphatically pro-American president we have had in office since Ronald Reagan.

  31. Avatar
    roastytoasty says:

    Whew! When I read Mr. Kimball’s headline, I thought, “Oh no, another plutocrat of the pundit class has decided to reverse his field and rail against President Trump.” What a relief to discover (in the article) the term “reified hypostasis” and then to learn after a minute’s online research that Mr. Kimball’s use of that rather scathing term highlights the fact that his colleagues in higher criticism have based all their argument against President Trump in unsubstantiated fallacy. Drain. The. Swamp. MAGA

  32. Avatar
    The Hillbilly Kitty says:

    The headline is a ploy, Mr. Kimball has not given up on “Trumpism”.
    What he means is “Trumpism” is really conventional conservatism and thus in effect does not exist.
    Thus, he “gives up” on “Trumpism”.
    How disappointing. Here I thought Mr. Kimball actually came to his senses and figured out what a lousy figure Trump really is
    But no. The whole point of the article is that he is doubling down on his commitment to Trump.
    Like so many others, Mr. Kimball still needs a few more anvils to fall on his head before he can figure out the obvious: Trump is a lousy president and not even a very good human being.

  33. Avatar
    ProgressOne says:

    “But just think about these subjects: illegal immigration (down by more the 60 percent), energy (America is now the world’s biggest producer of energy), unemployment (4 and a bit percent), growth (3 percent for two quarters running), the market (up more than 5,000 points since November 2016), regulation (huge progress in turning back the counterproductive regulatory environment that has stymied American business), consumer confidence (the highest it’s been in a generation), the military (revitalized), taxes (a bracing if imperfect plan wending its way through Congress), Iran (declining to recertify a deal that paved the way for Iran to become a nuclear power).”

    Trump didn’t do any of these things. He has passed no major legislation. The economy has been getting better for years, it didn’t magically happen when Trump took office.

    And illegal immigration is not down:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/aug/03/donald-trump/false-trumps-claim-about-illegal-immigration-under/

    • Avatar
      jckluge says:

      Trump told the CPB and ICE to start enforcing the law. That is why illegal immigration is down. America is not the biggest energy producer in spite Obama’s efforts to prevent it. Trump okayed two major pipelines and had EPA take its foot off the throat of the energy sector and by pulling out of the Paris accords removed the specter of draconian measures in the future.

      And the same people who are saying “Trump didn’t cause the good economy” were saying on election night his election was going to immediately bury the economy. He can’t be said to be responsible for any decline and then not responsible for any improvement.

      • Avatar
        ProgressOne says:

        Presidents are typically given credit or blame for the economy while in reality they have very little impact. The economy is a giant ship, and all presidents can do is try to nudge it a little. Major legislation passed by Congress could have the biggest impact, but this impact would be more over the long term..

        Trump has not provided adequate leadership to pass any major legislation. Also, statistics show that the economy has been cruising on the same slow recovery path that the country was on when Trump took office. So all you can really conclude is that he has not harmed the slow recovery.

        • Avatar
          jckluge says:

          Sometimes Presidents have a lot of impact. FRD extended the Depression for another 8 years. Obama thanks to his regulations and uncertainty that accompanied Obamacare presided over the worst economic recovery in American history.

          • Avatar
            ProgressOne says:

            Obama came to office in the midst of an economic crisis and recession and he managed this okay. Things could have been much worse. When he left office unemployment was down to 4.6 percent.

            Obamacare caused a surge in health-care spending as more people got health insurance. This likely more than compensated for any uncertainty that Obamacare created in markets. Now long term, that may be different.

            So Obama should get credit for not making things worse like FDR did.

            But other than not making the recession worse, I doubt Obama had much impact on GDP growth rates. He may have altered it by say +/-.3% per year. But he is not the reason that growth rates have slowed substantially. Productivity gains have slowed for some reason, and he didn’t cause this.

          • Avatar
            jckluge says:

            The 4.6% unemployment rate does not mean what you claim. The labor force participation rate was the lowest in 40 years when he left office. If someone stops looking for work and drops out of the labor force, they no longer count as unemployed. So the UE rate doesn’t always give you a true picture of the labor market. If you have a 4.6% UE rate with a high labor force participation rate, that is a great labor market. If you have one where the rate is at historic lows like it was under Obama and continues to be less so today, that is a horrible labor market and the low unemployment rate a reflection of how many people have given up and just dropped out of the labor force. Indeed, if you look at the raw job growth numbers, they were historically bad for a time of recovery. By any objective measure, Obama presided over the worst recovery in US history. And the fact that he came in at a time of recession actually makes his economic record look even worse. The fact there was a recession when he came in should have set him up for success as he was entering office with the upswing in the business cycle ahead of him not behind him.

            Unless you work on Wall Street and got bailed out by Tarp and let off by Holder’s DOJ for the 08 crash, there is absolutely no defending Obama’s economic record. It was horrible.

  34. Avatar
    DSmith2 says:

    Thank you, Roger. I was distressed when you seemed to side with Kristol, et al. I thought you smarter and wiser than that. And, it turns out, you are. You remain a man of high learning who can see reality in front of his eyes – a more rare trait than most folks, especially those of high learning, think.

    President Trump is, I think, in some ways analogous to President Jackson. Neither is what you would want, or will get, as the norm. But both are greatly stimulative to the American experiment. We need exactly their sort of frontier, common sense, get-‘er-done, appearances be damned, approach now and again. Upset those applecarts, PDJT, the apples were getting very rotten.

  35. Avatar
    martynW says:

    I think the problem is not “Trumpism.” The problem is that actual Trumpism is completely different than what the Democrats and Establishment Republicans have been trying to sell us.

  36. Avatar
    Gary Novak says:

    Kimball is quite right to focus our attention on what Trump is actually doing rather than on what fascist unicorns are expected to do. That is, of course, too much to expect from Democrats who want to impeach Trump, but why are seemingly perceptive conservatives so incapable of outgrowing their anti-Trumpism and admitting that Donald Trump is actually getting a lot of things right (I would include the NFL)?

    I think the late Peter Berger (himself no fan of Trump) gave us a clue in his classic Invitation to Sociology when he observed that in watching the success of swindlers and confidence men, “we are pushed towards the uncomfortable impression that those who hold [respected social identities] ‘legitimately’ may have attained their status by procedures not so drastically different from the ones employed by [con men].” I say that is only a clue and not an answer because Trump is not a con man, and neither are Max Boot and Bill Kristol. But Trump is making it clear that someone without proper academic credentials can pursue policies that will make America great again.

    Perhaps Trump’s success is pushing Boot and Kristol “towards the uncomfortable impression” that legitimacy in politics is based more on good will and horse sense than academic grooming. (A sociology professor once confided to me that sociologists have to pretend to be scientists “or we’re just like anyone else”). I’m not bashing the life of mind, but no great intellectual sophistication is required to see what most ordinary Americans know: the country has been heading in the wrong direction for some time. And in their wisdom, Americans got a strong leader to change our course– despite his lack of “legitimate” credentials.

  37. Avatar
    Severn says:

    Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly was onto something essential about his boss when, in his powerful press conference last month, he observed that Trump’s agenda was “what’s good for America.” That is to say, he has no “agenda” as that term is often used

    I think Kimball completely fails to grasp just how outrageous a doctrine of “what’s good for America” (and even worse, for Americans) is in the eyes of our Mandarin class. And that class includes the majority of the people in the upper echelons of the GOP. The ideas which were only found in the most crazed outposts of the far left a few decades ago have metastasized and become the “conventional wisdom” of our entire twisted ruling class.

  38. Avatar
    mlhouse says:

    Yep, the non-incompetent GOP Congress could not even pass an ObamaCare repeal plan, something they have been promising for 7 years.

  39. Avatar
    Starboard says:

    Dr. Kimball, all your confusion would vanish if you would realize that Donald Trump offends the sensibilities of all those who call themselves NeverTrumpers. It’s no more than that. Everything else they claim to be wrong about him is rationalization of their personal disgust with his “Bridge and Tunnel” personality.
    Buckley said that he’d rather be governed by the first 200 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. Buckley meant it, and he knew how those first two hundred people talked and thought. His morganatic epigones also say it, but they don’t mean it. Those plumbers, clerks, steam-fitters, waitresses and truck drivers of Boston are repellent to the NeverTrumpers.

  40. Avatar
    glendower says:

    About Trump’s accomplishments, I’ll be brief:

    1. Hillary Clinton is not in the Oval Office.
    2. Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court.

    • Avatar
      Travvy says:

      We’re out of TPP.
      We’re out of the Paris Accords.
      American Business Lives.
      ISIS is Dead.
      Coal is back.
      Manufacturing is back.
      The Pipelines are being built.
      Illegal Crossings are down.
      Consumer Confidence is up.
      Our Military is FEARED, once again.
      Jobs are up.
      Unemployment is down.

      I could this, ALL DAY.

    • Avatar
      Dave781 says:

      The Bushes, Rothschilds, Bilderberg, John McCain, the Federal Reserve, CFA, UN, Google, CIA and NSA as the “swamp”? What kind of pro-Russian alt-right crackpot is this Ben Garrison?

  41. Avatar
    Brother John the Deplorable says:

    If I may, the “Reagan Doctrine,” such as it was, might have been summed up with the benefit of hindsight as, “We win, they lose.”

  42. Avatar
    Travvy says:

    “The Business of America, is Business”.

    Indeed.

    And, now we have a BUSINESSMAN running the Ship of State.

    And, he’s shown himself to be AMERICA FIRST.

    MAGA!

  43. Avatar
    sirpatrick says:

    For years the Republican Establishment implored voters to vote not for the most conservative candidate( ie..Tea Party) but the most conservative candidate that could win. Yet when it came down to Trump versus Clinton they either voted for Clinton or an independent candidate who didn’t have a chance. They were shown to be a bunch of lying hypocrites.

  44. Avatar
    WPZ says:

    Well, darn. I clicked into this article in hopes the estimable Mr. Kimball would finally explain to me just what in the world “Trumpism” actually is.
    I leave disappointed.
    Yeah, not really. Heh, heh.

  45. Avatar
    Bad Wolf says:

    Trump is exactly the man America needs at this time. Fearless. Facts and logic driven. Relentless. Understands that deindustrialization, having the industrial world’s highest tax rate driving companies to leave America, strangling hyperregulation costing more that $2T a year in regulatory compliance, hamstringing our military with rules of engagement precluding victory, tolerating trade treaties that open our markets to other countries while their markets remained closed to us are all very bad ideas, ideas supporting policies that have to be reversed for America to re-emerge as a successful nation. MAGA

  46. Avatar
    Micha_Elyi says:

     

    [W]hy does Max say that the wisdom of America’s voters was “dubious”?

    Because the same “wisdom of America’s voters” elected Clinton and Obama. Three strikes and you’re out!
     

    • Avatar
      Sebastian Cremmington says:

      Trump ran against Bush…never has a candidate from one party ran so strongly against a recent president from his own party as Trump did with Bush. With regard to Iraq and trade Trump aligns with Michael Moore.

    • Avatar
      Rick Caird says:

      It is more like Max is the keeper of wisdom and if you disagree with Max, you are dubious and deplorable.

  47. Avatar
    journeymananalyst says:

    Must be pretty hard for Roge to remain friends with some of these hysterics. If Trump accomplishes nothing more during his term, he is still the greatest president in my lifetime. MAGA!

  48. Avatar
    blackdog says:

    The rot is frightened, worried about its future. Scrambling the forces. Now is a dangerous time, they will fight to keep what they have, one and all.

  49. Avatar
    Seerak says:

    After your piece defending hypocrisy post-Eliot Spitzer and your adolescent tittering over Whittaker Chambers’ hatchet job of Ayn Rand in the past, Roger, I find this whored-out terminus of your intellectual trajectory highly satisfying. I just wish I’d called it like she did.

  50. Avatar
    Sebastian Cremmington says:

    What has played out is essentially an incompetent Rubio administration…so we simply chose a clearly incompetent executive but inertia and a Republican Congress are producing positive results. But we clearly would have been better off just electing Rubio and getting his policies and his competence.

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    Martin Sattler says:

    Why can’t Gen Kelly’s characterization, “what’s good for America.” stand as Trumpism? Maybe ideology too rigidly applied is not always good for America? Certainly Barack Obama did not/not use the criterion “what’s good for America.” to determine his policies or his pronouncements. As long as the President adheres to the Constitution and the values in the Declaration, our Country will shake off the extraordinary damage done in the name of ideology by Barack Obama. And that is not only the ideology of progressivism, but of race, diversity, political correctness…ad nausea.

  52. Avatar
    Peonie says:

    Note to editors: There isn’t much point to your site’s existence if you withdraw your support for our president. The media is already quite saturated with the hatred leveled against him. You may have noticed that.

    • Avatar
      RIP_UN_1945_2017 says:

      You have to read to the very last line of the article to get the authors main point, he seems to have jumped off the never Trump bandwagon recently..

  53. Avatar
    Gorgar Tilts says:

    Kimball’s tragedy is that while naming long lists of Jews (see here and his book, The Long march) he is too cowardly to name them AS Jews.

    That, and those stupid bowties.

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