Taking Trump Seriously

Trying to take Trump seriously, Michael’s Barone’s column in the Washington Examiner on Thursday, is significant for at least two reasons. One is that anything Barone writes is certain to be thoughtful, authoritatively researched, and grounded in reality. His columns, like his work in general, are not fired mainly by ideology but by a desire to understand. What Cardinal Newman said of Aristotle could, mutatis mutandis, be said of Barone: about most things, to think like him is to think correctly.

But there is another sense in which this particular column is significant. Given Barone’s stature as a conservative but non-ideological commentator, his judicious and fair-minded assessment may mark a turning point in the broader public reception of President Trump’s initiatives.

Remember: the moment that Donald Trump achieved the impossible, defeating the anointed candidate Hillary Clinton, a vast coalition formed like a toxic mold to blight his presidency and deny him the legitimacy that he had won at the ballot box and the Electoral College.

Irony-free females in pink “pussy hats” marched in their thousands to protest against Trump’s “vulgarity”; B-list Hollywood narcissists made embarrassing videos in which they pleaded with members of the Electoral College to renege on their responsibility to vote for their party’s candidate; frenzied commentators at CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other outposts of woke hysteria regurgitated rumors, fantasies, innuendos, and gossip on the basis of “sources” indistinguishable from their personal political animus; black-masked members of Antifa and kindred covens of criminal disgruntlement rampaged on college campuses, destroying property and injuring people with whom they disagreed in order to protest the violence and intolerance of Donald Trump; the entire academic establishment, that sprawling congeries of preening though unearned smugness and moral self-infatuation, contracted in one brow of hate-spewing woe to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to sclerotic ideological conformity.

“The Embarrassing Ravings of a Mad Uncle”
All across the fruited plain, pampered members of the entitled class shouted at others to “check their privilege” while signaling their approval of a “resistance” movement whose only reality was a resistance to the results of a free, open, and democratic election. On the one hand, it was a perfect illustration of what Charles Mackay called 
“the madness of crowds”; on the other, it was a vivid embodiment of something Sigmund Freud might have congregated under the heading of “infantile neurosis.”

Speaking of neurosis, poor Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the tax-reform plan that Trump just signed as “the end of the world,” “the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress.” Back on planet earth, businesses and markets disagreed. A couple of weeks ago, Trump’s major speech on national security, backed up by a detailed white paper on the subject, put the world on notice about the lineaments of an America First foreign policy.

These and other developments—from symbolic initiatives like Trump’s decision to move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem to game-changing actions like his robust support for America’s energy industry—have made the skirlings of anti-Trump hysterics seem more and more like the embarrassing ravings of a mad uncle.

Why Seriously, Why Now
Michael Barone’s column, taking its cue from
 Salena Zito’s observation that, during the 2016 presidential election campaign, anti-Trump pundits tended to take candidate Trump “literally but not seriously,” opens a new chapter in the evolution, and the rehabilitation, of Trump’s reputation.

“As 2017 is on the point of vanishing,” Barone writes, “it’s worth asking whether it’s time to take Trump seriously, if not literally, as a public policy maker.”

That’s a question that Latinists would describe as a nonne question, i.e., one expecting the answer “Yes.” Barone focuses on two areas, economics, and national security, and two columnists, the free-marketeer (and therefore Trump skeptic) Tyler Cowen and the Trump-friendly commentator David Goldman, to make the point.

Cowen, although skeptical of Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, “sees a pattern where others see only mayhem.” Barone quotes Cowen in a recent Bloomberg column: “The real significance of the Trump economic revolution is a focus on investment.” If this challenges the post-World-War II consensus, so be it. That system was devised some 70 years ago to deal with the reality of a war-savaged Europe and Japan. Times have changed, but not the stale, conventional wisdom. As Barone notes, “A revived Europe has turned sluggish, while low-wage nations in Asia, Latin America, and even Africa are open for investment. First Japan, then China, now others will be moving up as competitors.” In order to meet those new competitors, the United States must compete on a level playing field, a field that favors the Trumpian slogan “fair trade” over yesterday’s mantra “free trade,” whereby “free” was meant a policy that systematically disfavored American workers.

“America,” Barone observes, “has proved competitive at the top levels. But a country whose labor force is always going to include many low-skill workers may have some continuing interest in incentivizing low-skill employment. That’s not Cowen’s view or mine,” he allows, “but it’s apparently President Trump’s. Maybe it’s not just dismissible as crazy ranting.”

Can you hear the tide turning? Listen: drawing on a brilliant column by David Goldman in Asia Times, Barone acknowledges the tension between Trump’s sober national security proclamations and his sometimes incendiary tweets. But he goes on to outline the advantages of Trump’s aspirations:

The national security strategy has a tough enough approach to Russia to disabuse all but the most dogmatic believers of the notion that Trump is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Manchurian candidate. It is sharply critical of some actions by President Xi Jinping’s China. It drops former President George W. Bush’s earnest promotion of democracy in the Middle East and former President Barack Obama’s gauzy faith that Iran will abandon its nuclear weapons program and become a normal constructive power in the region.

The point is not that Barone agrees with Trump. About many things, I suspect, he does not. The point is rather that one of our most thoughtful commentators understands that Trump’s perspective is not necessarily jejune, crazy, or counterproductive.

Rational Re-Thinking of the Postwar Consensus
For example, although Trump’s national security platform reaffirms America’s commitment to NATO (while at the same time calling on our European allies to do more to support their defense) it also relocates the center of gravity of U.S. concern from Europe to Asia. “Europe,” Barone observes, “seems almost a footnote.”

For the last seven decades, of course, Europe was at the center of America’s foreign policy concerns. In the aftermath of World War II, “policymakers believed it was in America’s interest to revive and subsidize Europe.” That was then. “Trump believes that time is over.” Again, the issue is not whether one agrees with Trump’s assessment, only whether his is a justifiable perspective. And it is precisely this that Barone grants him: “That’s one rational response, though you and I may not agree, to how things have changed over 70 years.”

The revelatory novelty, and the admirable maturity, of Barone’s column suggests just how caught up in yesterday’s presuppositions is the conventional thinking—let’s not call it “wisdom”—that undergirds the policy establishment that has set itself tooth-and-claw against Trump.

Barone’s calm, dispassionate description of alternatives suggests two things. One, that the dreaded “normalization” of Donald Trump is proceeding apace, just as it did with Ronald Reagan, who also had been dismissed as an evil, warmongering moron before he was declared a statesman of rare genius. Two, that the vaunted policy establishment in Washington and the media, to say nothing of its support groups in academia and the world of celebrity, are just about to suffer a disestablishment that will rival in vividness, if not in carnage, what Henry VIII visited upon the monasteries of Tudor England.

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231 responses to “Taking Trump Seriously”

  1. I can see it now, laid-off litigators, academics, the whole “practically starving to death” on four times the median national income crowd, going to the coasts to drown themselves, in an epic worthy of Cecile B. DeMille.

  2. Nancy Pelosi epitomizes and represents the body politic of the Democrat Party to a level of perfection rarely seen by the American People.
    I am convinced that HITLERy & Co. would have been astronomically more deplorable and apocalyptic than Obungles & Co.

  3. It has been fun watching the demented liberals suffer one shattered dream after another while President Trump just keeps wining for America. While it is still early in the Trump EIGHT year presidency perhaps it is fair to start calling Trump another Reagan.

    • In all fairness (of which it’s barely detectable with an electron microscope outside conservative circles), Democrats should be calling PRESIDENT TRUMP another JFK.

  4. “Kindred covens of criminal disgruntlement”

    What a wonderfully mellifluous alliteration. I love to read Roger Kimball no matter the subject. His prose are music to my ears, his magazine, The New Criterion, a delight to read right down to the advertisements and credits.

    Mr. Kimball’s prose are matched only by his wit, erudition and knowledge of subjects. His analysis and synthesis of Tyler Cowen’s and Michael Barone’s respective articles herein is incisive showing the change of thinking in the political commentariat about the Trump Presidency if not Trump personally.

    “[C]ongeries of preening though unearned smugness and moral self-infatuation, contracted in one brow of hate-spewing woe to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to sclerotic ideological conformity”

    Absolutely delicious!

    Bravo, Mr. Kimball.

    • You made me look up a word :) Reminds me of the site I came over here from, Whatfinger News. They have a word of the day link on the left that I click daily. Thanks!
      On topic: Kimball did quite well. I’m impressed. I think 2018 will prove to be one of the greatest years in American and human histiory. it will most likely be the year that we see our new golden age revving up in earnest, the destruction of at least one evil regime (North Korea) and the possible overthrow of another (Iran)
      I feel blessed to be alive now that we have a real man and real patriot in the White House MAGA

      • Watch Cuba and Venezuela too. There’s a nonzero chance we will be involved in multiple humanitarian crises this year.

      • It is in the nature of people that, having seen how America failed to help in 2009, that the young of Iran will not now withhold from carrying through on their begun overthrow of their sclerotic clerisy. It is also in the nature of people that the beneficiary of that overthrow will be the men with the guns, the IGRC. We really can see Iran both overthrow their government and double down on external adventurism.

      • SP: thanks for commenting, and you’re welcome. ???? Seriously, that’s funny since I found my way over to Whatfinger News from here.

        Regarding your latter comment, you know the old Chinese curse, right? From your lips to God’s ear.

        Vaya con Dios. ????????✌????????????????????

  5. I was startled when I read Barone’s article yesterday. Over the years I also have learned to believe in his sagacity, honesty and incisive political assessments, but did not expect his coming to grips with Trump’s unorthodox though effective style of…..STATESMANSHIP.

    He hadn’t seemed to loose his mind like Kristol, Will, Goldberg and other past faves, but Mr. Barone wasn’t always rollin’ with DJT like his bud and sometimes partner-in-crime, Byron York. I even commented to my wife how significant I believe Barone’s article to be.

    And so, maybe the tide begins to turn.

    We can only hope that by November enough #NeverTrump’ers will have finally boarded the MAGA Express. I mean, isn’t restoring and protecting America what Conservatism is all about?

    • Meanwhile, over at NR, David French, after whining that he and Goldberg are finding the never-Trumper issue to be getting “tedious”, makes some ridiculous claims:
      1/ There is some distinguishable difference between voting for Clinton vs not voting at all. Nonsense. If an action leads to the election of a corrupt, petty tyrant, as Clinton very obviously was, then that action is the full moral equivalent of affirmatively voting for her. Not voting was nothing more than an option to claim moral virtue and that is all. The option is “in the money” the first time Trump screws up.
      2/ The Republican Party has overcome some sort of “white nationalist” urge residing within the base of Trump supporters. This idea is repugnant and one which makes it extremely difficult to reconcile with these people, who should actually be called never-winners. That working folks might oppose an influx of foreigners who they compete with for jobs, that whites who have toiled for decades to improve relations with blacks only to castigated as “racists” by race baiters, that those who watched Obama’s ridiculous support for cop haters, and that those who do not agree with globalists that we should embrace immigrants who have no desire to integrate into our culture, to claim these people are “white nationalists” is offensive and, frankly, sick. What these never-winners actually hate is America itself. They may as well be a part of the progressives who truly desire to uproot everything about this country which made it great and replace it with some nightmarish society cooked up in universities, egalitarian except for some more equal than others. These folks are just narcissists in the purest sense of the word.

      • As a former fan of Mr. Goldberg’s, I can say with some certaintude that he has effectively beclowned himself for the Ages after his last two years of output.

      • The reality is, the attack on “white nationalist’ is really a veiled attack on Christian values. Because “whites” are still in the majority but not for much longer, I am sorry to say myself. I am not white, I am Hispanic but you might as well call me white because I am a full blooded 5th generation American Christian woman, with good ole’ Texas values. I find the attacks on white Americans repugnant and an attack on my Christian values. This is why our great President is not afraid to invoke our Judeo-Christian heritage back into the picture. Remember folks, the LEFT follows the “satanic” agenda in laymen’s terms. The left hates President Trump……

      • All you have to do is say, “I am an American”….THEN you certainly are….

      • I am using the word just because it is that simple. Let’s not over complicate it. OK? Thanks

      • I didn’t vote for either of them, yet have been pleasantly surprised by this past year. It was no claim to moral superiority, nor was it an affirmative vote for Hillary. My state went considerably for Trump, my vote would have made no difference. I’m unclear why some true believers insist on mind reading me and others rather than reaching out to those of us who are amenable to being converted.

      • The reaching out should NOT be coming from Trump supporters. Most of them have been loyal to their party for decades. Even if they were Democrats, but are no longer, they were loyal at the time to what they professed.
        #NeverTrumpers and those who looked down at Trump and his supporters, what exactly DO they profess ? Except an elitist and condescending ‘betterness’. Morally superior, don’t you know ? Umm, actually I DON’T know any longer. I used to think I knew, but now I think I was ‘wrong’. The pendulum in the West has swung dangerously close to one of the far walls. Our ‘white left’ is an International joke. Also a disgrace, but worse to become a joke.
        I have no problems with Trump. Would that there were a hundred more just like him in Washington.
        So all you have to do is ask. I think the Trump thingy stops for ALL passengers. But its’ probably impolite to demand a seat. :-)

      • I would hardly call myself a true believer. I believe character matters, including the character of those who are dishonest about what they truly believe.

        Why all the immigration reform immediately followed massive lawless immigration? Where’s the character in that? Why all the talk about judging people by the content of their character instead of their color, coupled with castigating folks who actually try to live by that ethic as “white nationalists?” Why all the tolerance and forgiveness for the race baiters and no recognition of the efforts many ordinary Americans have made to help the black community? Why all the anti-global warming rhetoric when in actuality it’s viewed as an integral part of the post war, rules-based, global order? Where’s the character in being deceitful? Where’s the character in not caring about the fate of Americans who have trouble keeping up in a competitive global economy? Where’s the character in just rolling over and licking the boots of a media that despises people who disagree with the progressive order?

        I can get along with anyone who was disturbed on the character issue and had trouble casting a vote for Trump and who now are pleased with results, though perhaps not with style. I have a lot more trouble with folks not voting for Trump who did so advocating others to not support Trump and knowing that non-support for Trump ultimately amounted to support for Clinton. That would include most of the dishonest narcissists over at NR.

        It’s a considerable tribute to the American voters that we ignored the people who we previously viewed as leaders. We chose an imperfect leader, yes, but after the Tea Party candidates were dishonestly suppressed by our own party, the policies we actually want are finally being implemented and, importantly, the media are being re-educated on their role in a democracy.

        So, outreach to you, absolutely. But outreach to someone who wishes to lead me somewhere I do not wish to go and who arrogantly insults me as a moral inferior, never.

      • Regretfully, I cancelled subscriptions to both NR and The Weekly Standard as soon as I realized how dead wrong about voting for Trump were their editorial staffs.

  6. Excellent column. But it does, in a sense, puff up the egos of those this who realized this way back in November 2015…

  7. I have yet to see trump say or do anything anywhere close to as unhinged as what I see our left wing friends saying and doing in response to Trump. I suspect average, non partisan voters notice.

    • as what I see our left wing friends

      They are not our friends. In fact, the opposite.
      Never forget that, because they surely won’t.

      • Indeed.., Putin is “our” friend.., he helped us when we needed it.., not those dastardly Liberals.

      • Lol!! Well then Danny old buddy old pal, since you continue to believe in whole cloth then yes; he’s a lot more friend than the unhinged left that you’re a celebrated part of. That Danny is not indicative of Putins largesse. However it is indicative of just how far around the bend you and the rest of the left really are.

      • Thank you Russian Bot.. Yup, he’s our buddy as his minions continue to spew false information across our social media.

      • Easy partner.., mine was an effort, a failed effort in your case, at sarcasm. We are in complete agreement otherwise.

      • Yep. Not patriotism anymore.

        You guys would rather have president Putin ruling this country than a democrat.

        America exists no longer. Trump broke it the same way he broke football, casinos, and everything else he touches. The anti Midas touch.

      • No.., mine was a failed effort at sarcasm. I am a proud “anti – trumper”. In retrospect I should have added a “LOL” to my statement.

      • Sorry my sarcasmdar has been damaged by so much hell in the past year.

        I’m thrilled that that was irony.

      • Trumpism is the ultimate cult – a Cult of Personality, where empirical facts mean nothing and unquestioning loyalty is everything.

        If DJT told his followers they need to euthanize their pets, you can be certain many, MANY would.

      • But Putin is?

        It’s ironic that republicans genuinely like the Putin regime better than they like democrats.

        It’s fascinating that patriotism is now a figment of the imagination.

      • Well, this is a post-truth presidency, after all. We live in a world where, Putin is a man of peace, Trump had the biggest inauguration crowd ‘in history’, and Nazis are ‘fine people’.

        Up is down, green is red and scientific data is subjective.

    • Trump sent them into knicker peeing frenzy that revealed their truly fascist tendencies. The liberal fascists (both dem and rep) and their fetid pravdas are the clear and present danger to our republic.

    • So, like most right-wingers, you are simply not capable of having any political opinion at all that doesn’t begin and end with “the left,” which is, I gather, whatever it is that’s driving right-wing media ratings on any given day.

      Is that about right?

      • That’s why they always fail when they achieve power. They don’t really know what they are for, they only know that they are against “the left.”

      • Not really. Your problem is simple: you’re watching your hopes and dreams for this country being gutted. This is exactly the problem we had with the previous president.

      • Well said, but unlike the unhinged snowflake left we did not lose our minds

    • Who are these “average, non partisan voters” you speak of? I’ve never encountered one.

    • We aren’t your friends. Our country is in the first stages of our second civil war. Our great experiment is a confirmed failure.

      • Exactly. You are $80 trillion overdrawn and completely dismissive of the principles that make up our foundation. Ignorance and arrogance are a bad combination and the source of your condition. Modern liberalism is what has failed. We’re taking the country back.

      • Actually, the ballot box has worked quite well this time around, please don’t wish for the ammo box….you won’t like it.

      • A few years ago Don Trump jr bragged about how much russian money has been invested in the Trump development projects. Made sense considering American banks would no longer do business with trump.

        Today the Fusion GPS op/ed stated the following:

        “We suggested investigators look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump’s businesses. Congress appears uninterested in that tip: Reportedly, ours are the only bank records the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed.”

        Uh oh….

      • Are you kidding!!! He can’t open what he doesn’t have!

    • He did threaten China, who have not threatened back and they have not dared to pick a US Navy drone out of international waters or confront US Navy ships by clipping them with their fighter plane wings like they did under Obama.

      So the lesson is: LITTLE UNHINGED IS GOOD. I was never scared of a guy carrying a big stick that I knew would never use it (read Obama here). With all the nukes, what good are they if North Korea believes US will not use them.

      • Yep–“Consequences” must include consequences.

    • DJT is taking credit for no domestic airline crashes. How can you not see
      this is insane?

      Particularly since there have been no domestic airline
      crashes since 09.

  8. Excellent piece, and very insightful. I have noticed of late, that the anti-Trump forces seem to be outraged that I am not outraged by Trump, especially his outrageousnes through “lying.” While they ignore their own lying. They have fully beclowned themselves, and it is most amusing to watch them fuss and fume to no avail.
    Bring on the popcorn, this is just starting to get good.

    • I’ve noticed in Canada that in large groups everyone dutifully hates Trump but in small groups there is some acknowledgement that he is doing well.
      The tide seems to be turning.
      Canada’s major media make CNN look sane by comparison and feeds Canadians a huge dose of their Trump Derangement Syndrome every day.

  9. “Michael Barone’s column, taking its cue from Salena Zito’s observation
    that, during the 2016 presidential election campaign, anti-Trump
    pundits tended to take candidate Trump “literally but not seriously,”
    opens a new chapter in the evolution, and the rehabilitation, of Trump’s

    I’m not at all enthused about the supposed ‘rehabilitation’ of Donald Trump, in the eyes of those who aren’t’ nearly as wonderful as they imagine themselves.
    For me The Donald has does nothing that requires’ rehabilitation’. Nothing at all. He’s said some problematic things, but whne you are engaged in killing PC, everything you say will offend someone.
    Oh and I don’t therefore care much what Barone has to say now that he has been proven by reality to be ,very likely,wrong. The time for him to impress was BEFORE Trump was elected. And immediately thereafter. NOT now. Now he’s merely irrelevant. Nice to have but no longer all that necessary.

    • A lot of these “conservative” pundits have been exposed as the frauds they are. Their livelihoods depended on having a dependable opposition to opine against. Now they may have to join the rest of us who actually work for a living.

    • The literally not seriously or seriously not literally phrases confuse me. To me you take someone’s statement literally. In other words you expect people to mean what they say. And you take that meaning seriously. Once you stop taking a person literally, you then start defining the statement according to your own beliefs.

  10. Every prominent person who came out against Trump loved Trump as long as Trump played the part of Daddy Warbucks to their Little Orphan Annie schemes. That scrap of video showing Romney sucking up to Trump for his money says it all.

  11. “Trump’s decision to move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem to game-changing actions like his robust support for America’s energy industry”

    Yet somehow Trump is Putin’s lapdog…. funny that.

    • Putin doesn’t care where we put our embassy and Trump’s supposed “robust” support for America’s energy industry has had ZERO impact on the world wide price of oil (which has been increasing).

      Funny that.

  12. Pelosi and the Democrats are right about how dangerous the tax bill is….to Democrats.

    Letting people keep a bit more of their own earned money is always dangerous to Central Planning Statists.

    • I am called as a Christian to be charitable. You and I might agree to pool our giving and allow a third party to administer it for us. I think faith-based organizations do it better (the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities appear to be very effective), but you and I could agree that government is going to be our agent. Local governments would probably do a better job than state, or especially federal, government, but we could decide through our elected representatives to have governments take money from us and distribute it through various programs, even to the extent of creating an insurance policy that we pool our resources to care for each other (which is how Social Security was originally designed).

      We cross a line, however, when we decide to use the police power of the state to take resources from a third person who is not a part of our scheme and who does not participate voluntarily. Whether it is a pool for charitable giving or an insurance policy, our forcing someone else to participate makes our original noble purpose an exercise in coercion.

      We cross yet another line when we let the recipients of government largesse vote for representatives who promise them yet more benefits at the expense of that unwilling third party. That is what Bastiat, correctly. calls plunder.

      • As to your last point about plunder: This process is the bread and butter of the Democrat long game. My former Blue-state hometown adopted LBJ’s Model Cities program in the late 60’s and became a magnet for foreign born, Spanish speaking, poorly educated and unskilled cheap labor supported by social programs. The situation hasn’t improved in 50 years despite the money spent but they are a solid democrat voting block each election.

      • “We cross a line, however, when we decide to use the police power of the state ….”

        That happens as soon as you make that agreement to use government as your agent.

      • Only individuals will stand before the Judgment Seat of God.

    • The cool part is the targeted nature of the tax cuts: residents of deeply Blue States hardest hit. This was a politically-directed, politically-targeted hit on the Dhimmicrats, and they still haven’t figured out how to react to it.

      People in California are scraping money together to make their second of two property tax payments before midnight tomorrow so they can deduct it from their 2017 taxes along with their first payment. Repeat as needed.

      • Only if their combined property and income taxes are above $10,000, which means this only affects wealthier Californians. Covfefe!

      • LA County propert taxes can exceed $10,000 pretty easily and take a big bite out of the budgets of California’s tax-farmed middle class. “Wealthier Californians” are the Californians who pay the taxes to keep the State of California running.

      • And that will continue BUT, as they have been whining about for years, NOW they can pay those MORE taxes that they wished for…..everyone else that is.

      • I suspect, without having the numbers, that (a) the proportion of Californians who pay more than $10,000 a year in combined property and income taxes is fairly small – I’m sure the top fifth, then (b) the proportion of that proportion that benefits more from taking that specific deduction than it does from the overall rate reduction skews even further toward the high end of the income and property wealth distribution.

      • It may well have been targeted. Or it may have been the smartest move a savvy reformist could have devised. Can you think of any better way to force the residents of those states to wake up and smell the moldy coffee grounds of overtaxation?

        For decades, they have been content to permit their state and local governments to treat their wallets like a state-owned piggy bank, ever dipping deeper whenever they run out of money for their profligate, and lately, lawless, programs; these somnolent taxpayers have been willing to a)actively vote for increased taxes; b)avoid their own civic responsibilities while allowing their more civically aware neighbors to carry the responsibility of affirming or defeating tax increases; or c)elect tax-and-spend progressives and/or RINOs who don’t know the concept of fiscal responsibility.

        They have been content to be so intellectually and civically lazy because they always knew that, no matter how high the SALT, they could always pass the entire amount through to the Federal government, in essence forcing every other state that wasn’t morally and fiscally bankrupt to subsidize their profligacy.

        Now, the amount of that pass-through subsidy is limited, and these blue-state idiots have to take a hard look in the mirror after lo, these many years. That they don’t like the scruffy, lined, and toothless image staring back at them, still thinking they were young and sexy, is what has sent them into a screeching state of horror.

    • And say goodbye to the 20 or so Republican house members from those blue states. Using the tax code to stick it to your enemies may cost control of the house. That doesn’t sound like brilliant strategy at all: Short term satisfaction, long term failure.

      • I don’t think this is just about sticking it to GOP enemies anymore than Obama’s energy policy was motivated primarily to screw over Republican voters in coal country. Ideology plays a major role. In Obama/Democrat’s case, the ideology of climate change and environmentalism generally. In Trump/GOP’s case, the ideology is about lower taxes and tax reform.

        Certain blue states are propping up a failing model through over-taxing their populations. This tax bill makes it harder for them to do that because it eliminates the deduction over a certain threshold. Will it be unpopular among certain voters? Sure. But long-term will blue states be able to continue their current trajectory? They may even face internal pressures to cut existing taxes as a result.

      • So blue states should be punished for spending too much. So Democrats could then introduce punitive taxes on red states if say they don’t spend enough on education. It needlessly divides us.

      • There’s no punishment….only the reduction of a Tax loophole. That’s what Progs have been asking for for years…well, here they are….

      • You (and folks like Hannity) are the ones talking about this being a punitive measure. As I clearly wrote above, it may have long-term policy implications for how blue states govern themselves.

        Will it work? I don’t know. Probably not. But in case you haven’t noticed, the government isn’t going to shrink all by itself.

      • How do you measure ‘failing’ as in the blue states have a failing model? GDP? Highest GDP states are heavily titled toward blue. Maybe investing in education isn’t ‘failing’. Counties won by Clinton represent 66% of US GDP. Think about it.

      • Think about unfunded liabilities. Not just national, but state and municipal. This is not sustainable.

      • Blue states like CA and NY massive fund red states. Why should we pay because you can’t create good paying jobs? And somehow we don’t appreciate paying more ‘for our own good’. Incredibly dumb move if you want to keep the House.

      • I’m not concerned with keeping the House. This is not some sport for me. You seem like a partisan blue state v. red state type and so this is how you see the world. I’m not interested in that game.

        Your earlier comments about education spending as if it correlates to GDP are misguided to say the least. States like NY and California are going to have more GDP based on population, plus little things like NYC, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and California’s status as an agricultural giant.

        If you just compare states by GDP v. states by population the correlation is just as strong. Top 6 are 1 for 1 except for NY which is an outlier for obvious reasons.

        1. NY
        2. California
        3. Texas
        4. Florida
        5. Illinois
        6. Pennsylvania

        1. California
        2. Texas
        3. Florida
        4. NY
        5. Illinois
        6. Pennsylvania

        When you look at GDP per capita, the numbers are completely scrambled.

      • You say you are not partisan. Ok, but I’ve raised empirical points refuting your statement that blue states models are failing, that you deny. What’s left is either lack of information or partisan.
        1) I looked at GDP per capita, not total. And when you exclude some small, resource driven states, the top ten states are heavily blue.
        2)You made the point that education spending doesn’t make a difference, then point is Silicon Valley as a California advantage. Like it appeared out of nowhere? 3) Pension funding, other than basket case IL, large blue states are in the top 40%.
        4) Fairness, blue states subsidize red states already.

        So it’s not economic of fiscal reasons, why would the GOP increase taxes in the job creators? One reason, putative. It’s pretty obvious.

      • I’m not sure you understand the term “empirical.” The closest you came was pointing out that Hillary counties account for more GDP than Trump counties. I wonder if that has something to do with major urban centers voting Democrat all over the country? I happen to live in such a place. The people who produce a large amount of that GDP live in the suburbs and commute. Most of their communities went Trump or slight edge to Hillary.

        As for your blue states subsidize red states argument:

        1. See point above. Many of the more productive people generating those taxes are “red voters” who happen to live inside “blue states.” Conversely, many of the takers in “red states” are, in fact, “blue voters.”

        This sort of partisan bean counting is not my thing. But I think this point is fairly obvious.

        2. Democrats need to decide if they are the party of the poor and working man or the rich. I have a hard time keeping up. It sounds like you are complaining that wealthy people are subsidizing less wealthy people. I remember the days when Democrats thought this sort of arrangement is righteous and just. It was all of 1 year ago.

        I’m glad you can wish away the looming pension problems besetting our country. I’m sure those blue states will figure it all out. That’s clearly where all the smart and wealthy people live. Should be a breeze.

      • The logic behind the empirical comment is notable for its lack of thought. You state that state pension unfounded liabilities are an issue, in the context of defending SALT. One, you seem to imply all blue states are IL, and declare that the fact that NY and CA being in the top 40% of lowest unfounded liabilities as not empirical. Shows how math and proof has been replaced by ‘because I said so’. And if it were true, increasing the tax burden on these states would tend to result in less funding for pensions not more. Done with foolish noise.

      • I’m not terribly interested in proving our country’s unfunded liability problem to you. It is massive, obvious and you can google it yourself. Moreover, I didn’t bring it up to defend a tax plan. Words have meanings. Don’t misrepresent things I write. It is dishonest and dishonorable.
        Your last sentence talks about increasing tax burdens which you claim results in less funding for pensions instead of more. Strange. Most Democrats think higher taxes lead to higher revenues.
        The new tax plan, however, does not “increase tax burdens” on states. It eliminates the ability of relatively wealthy people to write of state taxes on their federal tax returns, while increasing the individual deduction. Meaning most middle income and lower income individuals get lower taxes while most high-wage earners in states and municipalities with high taxes run into a cap on the state/local tax write off (meaning more revenue for the federal government, not less to the state).
        Again – Democrats can’t figure out if they are the party of the rich or the party of the poor. They are, however, the anti-Trump party and so now people like you find yourself in the absurd position of arguing the case for rich people who don’t want to pay their taxes on the absurd premise that, get this, lower tax burdens will somehow help to fund state pensions.
        You are quite “the empiricist.” Now run away from my foolish noise, blue state partisan hack.

      • You can’t seem to grasp that increasing federal tax burden puts pressure on states to reduce their taxes and spending (which is a stated goal) but somehow it won’t exacerbate unfunded liabilities. You are too overly challenged by simple logic to debate.

      • I thought I was just noise and you were done? Not a man of your word, I can see.
        Let me give you a hint, since you are moving the goal posts. I did not bring up unfunded liabilities to defend the tax plan. I mentioned it as a well-known and obvious failing of the blue state model (which at one time, worked quite well).
        If you want to debate ways to address unfunded liabilities, the tax code is not the obvious place to start since the structure of defined benefit plans is outdated in the modern American economy.
        However, to the extent that a tax bill can spur economic growth, lower taxes can, in fact, raise overall revenues. The simple logic that applies to the problem here is that government officials are very reluctant to reform unfunded liabilities – whether we are talking about pensions, SS, medicare, etc. The typical problem is that your standard issue pol would rather steal from tomorrow to pay for today and keep kicking the can down the road.
        To your point that an “increased federal tax burden” (via capping state tax write-offs for the wealthy) puts pressures on states to reduce taxes and spending, and in turn exacerbate unfunded liabilities: your set-up assumes (1) tax revenues cannot increase by a growing economy that was stimulated in part by a tax cut and (2) that government spending cannot be scaled back or reallocated, but must instead remain as is or continue to grow.
        For example, if a state like California spent less resources thwarting US immigration policy and paying benefits to illegal immigrants, it could re-allocate those unspent resources to unfunded liabilities for its actual legal citizens. Just a thought.

      • And clearly reducing revenues solves our federal unfounded liabilities problem. I recommend accounting 101.

      • Seems like you need to read an Intro into Accounting yourself. Perhaps start with the part that covers debits. Businesses don’t have unfunded liabilities like governments because businesses do not have the same ability to print money and borrow without destroying the value of the business itself.

        But ultimately the government is going to break a lot of promises to a lot of people who relied on those promises over the course of their lives. The worst part is that the government continues to use the defined benefit model in full knowledge of this fact.

      • The unfunded liabilities at the federal level are due to the chicanery of Congress. This idea that the deficit means something other than the amount of money borrowed to finance the government is a beltway scam of the people. Why do you think that they are talking about cutting SS and Medicare? To increase their surpluses so the deficit goes down but the debt goes up. Why do you think they use the term debt to the public? So they can hide the debt owed to SS and Medicare. So they can hide the debt owed to government pensions.

      • I haven’t heard much about cutting SS to be honest. I’ve heard about means-testing and such things, but I haven’t heard any politicians call for cutting SS benefits. I’m pretty sure Trump repeatedly said the opposite on the campaign trail. I’m no expert on Medicare so I can’t say much about plans there.

        There is a serious demographic problem where long-term the tax base cannot support these outlays. SS is a good example as a microcosm because in theory it depends on money coming in from the current generation to fund retirees. The program has expanded beyond anything resembling its original intent. There is a serious makers v. takers problem here.

      • The Republican budget signed by Trump calls for $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Something that Trump said would not happen during the campaign. As for SS. I took a SS report a couple of years ago and applied two changes. The first was to maintain the 90% (from the plan generated in the 80’s SS legislation) of income being taxed. The second was to apply the return on investment that CALPERS was getting in it’s management of the CA pensions (I used CALPERS simply because they published their ROI on the net). Those two changes doubled the SS Trust Fund balance. But instead of properly investing SS surpluses, the Congress (both parties) have used the surplus as a source for low interest loans.

      • Sounds like it is time to bring back Al Gore’s famous lockbox idea.

      • Actually, the best example of a “failing model” in recent memory is Kansas, which passed a tax cut quite like this a few years ago. How’s that working out for them?

      • According to the stats at this link, not so bad:


        I have no independent knowledge of Kansas tax policy or economics. I can google the topic and find an alphabet soup of lefty news orgs and think tanks saying these tax cuts were bad for Kansas. These articles tend to make claims that supply side doesn’t work for purposes of stimulating economic growth and Kansas proves it. The NYT described it as a “labratory” case for federal tax cuts. But we already have federal supply side tax cuts to go by in both the 1960s and the 1980s.

        I’m not sure the tax bill that Trump mid-wived is all that similar to the Kansas one, by the way. But I haven’t taken the time to do any sort of analysis. I just note that most of the Kansas stories predate the actual Trump/GOP plan, which ended up being more about reducing corporate taxes than making major changes to individual rates.

      • The Kansas tax cuts were also more about reducing corporate rates – to zero, for pass-throughs. They worked so well that the GOP rebelled against Brownback and repealed them. “Not so bad” is not nearly good enough when you have incurred enormous budget shortfalls in order to spur growth, only to grow less than your neighbors who are not slashing services. As you say, there are many articles about this. Here’s one:
        If you consider Forbes to be “lefty,” then there probably isn’t much point continuing this discussion.

      • I consider NYT, NPR and Think Progress to be Lefty. For any of this to matter, I’d need to understand how Kansas tax cuts compare to the national tax package at issue. I suspect, given the date of the articles I saw, that the similarities are outweighed by the difference.

        Regardless, we don’t have to interpret the tea leaves from Kansas. We can just watch the results from the tax plan that was just passed. It was succeed or fail on its own merits. Not on what did or did not happen in Kansas.

  13. Is there anything quite as delicate as a NeverTrumper?

  14. RK: In the
    aftermath of World War II, “policymakers believed it was in America’s interest to revive and subsidize Europe.” That was then. “Trump believes that time is over.”

    “that time is over” took place with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, nearly 3 decades ago! Still, America remained Euro-centric and even took on the Muslim-rescue operations in Kosovo (late in Bill Clinton’s presidency) something that the Europeans, with the European Union already in existence, SHOULD have done entirely on their own, but didn’t or wouldn’t. What did that humanitarian intervention get us? 9/11!! So much for helping Muslims!!

    Fact is that Europe is rapidly being assimilated by Muslims and is beyond our help…..time to focus on America and our hemisphere!!

  15. shifting the emphasis from Europe to Asia seems to make some sense to me. Europe has become a socialist wasteland of political correctness and no longer serves as a useful ally. As it admits more and more immigrants and refugees is becoming more and more of a third world country.

  16. Antifa may not actually be a disgruntled coven, but it is far from being a gruntled one.
    H/T Plum. :)

  17. 98% of the people spewing radical leftist views are no more than useful idiots being emotionally manipulated by a relative handful of really treacherous, deceitful and even evil people. (Clintons, Obamas, Soros, MSM, Academic and Hollywood elites, et al)

    The goodness and benefits of President Trump’s policies will be clearly evident to everyone in the next 12-18 months and many of these ungrounded dupes will see the light as their personal lives improve accordingly.

  18. Rationality, where have you been?
    It will, of course, be lost on the fevered crowd of haters.

    • Hate, rage and violence is always on display from the liberal/progressives.

  19. Hmm, true to form for right-wing media writers, an article that is supposedly about Trump or about a right-wing cause is actually wildly creative explanation of “the left.” In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever read any article at all on FOX, Breitbart, American Greatness, or NRO that wasn’t about “the left.”

    You know… angry women, B-list celebrities, establishment media-types. I suppose it has to go that way, because the actual content of a right-wing position is usually beyond laughable. I could point out tidbit after tidbit that is utterly false and disprovable, but I’lll stick with just one silly idea that right-wingers have apparently managed to convince themselves of: the idea that, prior to Trump, our laws were “hostile to investment.”

    We live in a world where our central bank just spent 6 years dumping $1,500,000,000,000.00 (that we know of) onto the banking system, and is now- unbelievably, actually beginning to pay interest to the banks on this money.

    We live in a world where Wells Fargo can commit hundreds of thousands of cases of identity theft, be caught at it only because of investigative reporting in a newspaper, and then- unbelievably again- is slapped on the wrist with a penny-ante fine and is allowed to continue as usual.

    And yet, somehow, the right-wing media has convinced 35-40% of the population of this country that the government is too oppressive to banks and investments.

    • Another poor graduate from one of our institutions of liberal/progressive indoctrination. Capitalism beats socialism every time. But they never tell you that in school.

      • Hmm, I see that you can’t address any of the specific point that I raised, but as long as you bring it up, if capitalism beats socialism, then why is it that every 10 or 15 years, the U.S. government has to bail out the U.S. private sector from investment mis-allocation that is so bad that it threatens to topple the entire economy?

        Any chance you could answer that question without tired, trite canards lifted from the pages of right-wing media outlets who have never been right about anything over the long term?

  20. When the liberal/progressives get angry and loud, we know their pu$$y hats must be on to tight.

  21. I prefer that PDT continue to operate in the non-news atmosphere that has existed since his election as he is free to achieve without the left having a clue.

  22. Once again, Roger Kimball repeats the repulsive lie that Trump is somehow comparable to Reagan.

  23. So far, Gorgar is most pleased with Trump’s humiliation of Bowtie Conservatism’s cucked apparatchiks.

    That said, Kimball is possessed of an intellect as formidable as it is curious. Who else could have penned The Long March, a study of Jewish subversion in which he never actually uses the word “Jew”?

  24. Indeed, one is wise to read Barone carefully. Neither would I be surprised if Kimball is not correct: the conventional thinking is long overdue for a re-think. It could easily be Trump who brings it, and he is well started on the path. But even if not, it is definitely Trump who has shown it’s time to do something about the ossified international system.

  25. Unlike his predecessor, Trump will actually be judged by his accomplishments and he knows it.

    So far, so good.

  26. Great article. Barone has come a long way. His editor- P. Klein – left the GOP over DJT. Barone also wrote a column saying the presidential choice was the worst since the election of 1856 or words to that effect. I have to discount the falsely alleged antisemitism of the President, as merely an excuse and a phony prop for the likes of Bill Kristol, in view of the status of one of the President’s daughters, which has not been in question at any material time. The hostility to the President has just been unprincipled disdain that one of the “swamp dwellers” was not elected. Kristol effectively ended his career over it.

    There are 2 people who need to go – Kevin Williamson and Jonah Goldberg.

    • They need to be accompanied by their boss, Rich Lowry.
      They are bastardizing the basic concept of Conservatism.

  27. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. “Mahatma Gandhi

    Remember when all most people had was” What funny hair he has.” This led to the powerful MAGA hats. Trump uses his enemies attacks to his advantage.
    He knows how to win. You may not like him but you need to respect his strength in battle. Underestimation has crippled his opponents. They think he is beneath them while he mops the floor with them.

  28. yes trump is the second coming of reagan for what thats worth

  29. Whoa, so Barone is just now realizing all this, and Roger is praising his wisdom? The Trump train done left the station a long time ago, and y’all weren’t on board! Talk about trying to lead from behind…

    Thank God the American people don’t listen much to all these pundits and so-called experts – their voices have been like the annoying whine of pesky flies and mosquitos, no one pays them much attention (and rightly so) except to swat them away.

  30. I think we can count on more hysteria from our Press who believes You Tube Videos cause spontaneous riots of crew served weapons. Which is to say, Manhattan Media will remain a castrated and impotent opponent for the foreseeable future. Good Times.

  31. And We just left a smaller-than-expected tip on the UN’s table!

    The United States is experiencing what may be termed “Our “Arab Spring.” Obama’s behavior in office was the last gasp of a Bretton Woods existential continuum. We didn’t realize it but, for Barry Soetero, one can take the boy out of the Muslim school, but one cannot take the Muslim school out of the boy.

    • So some of us just can’t get that Muslim nonsense about Obama’s religion out of their minds. Has anyone ever produced a photo or proof off any kind that Obama ever attended a mosque anywhere anytime? On the other hand, how do we know that Trump is a Christian? With 40 yrs of public appearances, can any of you produce a photo of Trump ever entering or exiting a church, that wasn’t a photo op? The answer is, we believe Trump is a Christian because he says he is and we believe Obama is a Christian because he says he is. Of course, a lot of you just won’t accept any rational explanation about Obama because it just doesn’ comport with your wishful thinking.

      • I expect I failed to make my point: At least to you. It is irrelevant whether Barry ever attended a mosque or whether Trump is a Christian. My point is that, in a religious school, certain attitudes are imprinted on the minds of youth in attendance there, and such imprinting lasts for life.
        Of course, in secular schools – if we believe rumors from some quarters – secular attitudes are imprinted with increasing frequency and these attitudes track the secular dimensions of what the little boy in the Muslim school got. And the staff of these secular schools seem to be propagandists and not educators, seem to be airheads who don’t even use good grammar.

      • Sorry, your thesis doesn’t hold water. Millions of Catholics who attended catholic school well into their teens, no longer follow Catholice teaching and rely on their own experiences to guide them. I attended Hebrew school until I was 16, and I and millions of other Jews left those religious teachings behind and my world view has nothing to do with my own religious background. This also applies to millions of Muslims as well. The fact that Obama insists he is a christian and his world view is shaped by everything other than his few years in a Muslim school when he wsn’t even considered Muslim by that school itself.

      • What I take away from your critique(s) is what one generally takes away from those imbued with liberal secularism. The rock-steady certainty of opinion held by such continues to be staggering. Do you believe, also, in man-made global warming? (apart from those thermometers that are placed near urban areas, that is?)

      • Verifiable concepts that contradict preconceived narratives CAN be staggering. What I do believe about human enabled climate change is that I believe the US Pentagon which has announced various contingincy plans to deal with the floods, droughts, mass migrations, evacuations, storms, forest fires, etc that result in civil wars and tremendous human disruptions caused by ‘climate change’. A perfect example is the Syrian civil war that was caused by severe drought that caused many farm workers to leave their farms, head for the cities where there was no work,resulting in mass protests against the ASSAD regime causing the civil war. The Pentagon believes that drought was directly caused by climate change caused by human activity. You can believe this is all a hoax or ‘fake news’ or just plain wrong. We choose to believe it’s real.

      • I will ignore your attempt to obfuscate and return to your earlier allegation that early school imprinting does not last (that is, among the intellectually aware and gifted)…..since you offered the personal anecdotal snippet of a lapsed Jew, I can offer – in return – an anecdote of our Preezy’s activity at the onset of his early visit to the Saudis. What did his deep bow to that Muslim Chief Bottle Washer in the handshake line communicate to you about the longevity of early years’ behavioral imprinting?

  32. The party of peer pressure, group think, and political correctness needed a guy like Donald Trump to destroy it.

  33. So the establishment want to board the Trump Train? I am not sure they should be welcomed. The kiddie train is “over there”.

    • Fortunately a lot of Americans who got on the Trump train on Nov 8, got off as soon as it stopped at the first station, Trump’s nasty, divisive inauguration speech. Now, as that train seems to be approaching the spot (Mueller’s investigation) where all the cars go off the rails, even more are getting off, heading for the high ground & safety.

      • Wow. You could use a reality check. What’s your yellowbullet screen name?

      • More and more are jumping back on as the tax cuts make the train so much more attractive. We won’t hold it against them.

  34. Thinking about the “Resistance” and what in heck happened to Tudor Monasteries back in olden-days I went and looked it up. If Roger Kimball is right, we have much to look forward to and should be smiling at the moment.

  35. The Left
    The Clinton mob
    The rest of that garbage is being taken out in robust fashion by We the People

    Enjoyed them going fom pissed off to pissed on

    • As long as “we the people’ represents about 35% of all Americans and shrinking daily, the other 65% of us have little to worry about!

  36. “The real significance of the Trump economic revolution is a focus on investment.”
    The Democrats are rubbing their hands together and chortling with glee because they are sure that people are now thoroughly sick of economic growth and yearn to return to the grim decline of the eight-year-long ‘Recovery Summer’. They are also equally certain that El Donaldo will assume a Bush-like lassitude and let the Progressive propaganda din drown out the real accomplishments of his administration and motivate their base while depressing ours without making any attempt to rally his followers. Once again they have completely misjudged what is going on and absolutely fail to understand the Trump phenomenon.
    2018 should be fun and exciting.

    • I agree. I would add that the left misses the point by focusing on Trump’s unusual character. The overriding issue is our quarter century of failure since the Berlin Wall fell. We are led by a cabal of career politicians, bureaucrats and MSM who were effectively cattle for the slaughter if someone outside of that ring could be elected. Trump filled that void nicely.

  37. Spot on assessment Mr. Kimball. I enjoyed your eloquence in delineating your analysis.

  38. At some point, does Trump get credit for the fact that he was a billionaire by the time he was 40? That he might have some clue about economic policy? And that he has some negotiation skills that might serve him well in dealing with foreign policy?

    There is a wide gap between thinking someone is the greatest president of all time and thinking he’s completely unqualified for the job. Taking the latter position just proves that his critics are nuts and/or corrupt.

    • No, Trump does not get credit for being a billionaire by the time he was 40.

      Trump is CLUELESS about economic policy.

      Trump has NO experience leading any organization that he DOESN’T OWN.

      What “negotiating skills”?

      Trump IS a complete idiot and totally unqualified for the job.

  39. Would have liked to have read this, except the crappy ads and web design kept bouncing me from the article.

  40. Wow. This site is unreadable on mobile. What a shame seemed a good article

  41. Trump is the first political force to challenge the Progressive Project, which we now know, includes much of the Republican establishment.

    He is also the only Republican (maybe ever) to truly understand the media, and how to use it. Only now are media geniuses beginning to realize they’re being trolled by the dumb, incompetent billionaire Manhattan real estate developer & reality TV Star.

    An underlying progressive predicate is people are stupid and need govt to coddle them. Hence, higher taxes because nameless, faceless bureaucrats know best.

    We, the people, disagree.

  42. President Donald Trump has apparently always understood the nature and personification of his real enemies:

    Former Director Robert Mueller has been with Clinton – from Benghazi to Trump.

    Our Federal Bureau of Investigation has been married for years to the Clinton Curse. And apparently former Director Robert Mueller has always been Hillary’s “Best Man”.

    Recall Robert Mueller was FBI Director during the Clinton disinformation campaign over the death of a US Ambassador in Benghazi. CBS reporter David Martin reported a team of FBI Agents were “…first to arrive on the scene in Benghazi, Libya to sift through the wreckage for evidence”. That FBI team evidently helped US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton deflect blame for four American deaths and avoid the awkward truth that Clinton had dispatched her Libyan Ambassador, Chris Stevens from his very secure Embassy in Tripoli to an unprotected US Consulate in Benghazi as her liaison for transferring thousands of SA-7 heat-seeking missiles from Libyan armories to Syrian Rebels. http://www.businessinsider.com/us-syria-heavy-weapons-jihad…

    FBI Director Mueller continued his infection of our FBI as he arranged to make his bff, and another Clinton flunky from Whitewater days, James Comey, replace him as FBI Director. Director Comey was then given a sleazy anti-Trump Dossier by another Clinton friend, Senator John McCain (who dutifully called Hillary a “Rock Star”).

    Director Comey then quickly leaked McCain’s anti-Trump Dossier to the press.

    FBI Agents who were supposedly investigating Hillary Clinton’s Weiner-tainted emails and Donald Trump’s Dossier-inspired collusions were sharing text messages about how important it was to defeat Republican Trump and to elect Democrat Clinton. One of these FBI Agents even threatened (in an email to an FBI lover) a secret “insurance policy” to keep Donald Trump out of the White House if he defeated Hillary Clinton.

    And now Special Counsel Robert Mueller is supposed to investigate the penultimate pinnacle of unintended consequences from all those various crimes he so carefully arranged. And here we are: FBI Director Mueller and his flunky, FBI Director Comey have completely corrupted and politicized our FBI in the name of Hillary Clinton.

    What bothers me the most is why have all these easily-researched facts about Hillary and Bob and their FBI not been fully – or even partially – explained and detailed in our so-called News Media?

    • And most insidious and devious plan of all was Comey, in spite of a hard rule that no investigation into candidate for president was to be opened by the FBI less than 60 days before that election, did in fact reopen the Investigation into Hillary’s emails just 11 days before the election and then announce just 3 days before the election that the investigation was closed,in a secret plot to throw the election to Hillary.Call me crazy but doesn’t that seem counterproductive to helping Hillary win. I am sure one of you guys can explain this apparent contradiction. Thank you.

      • Comey thought, like everyone else, that Hillary would win, and re-opening the email investigation was a warning shot across the incoming president’s bow, warning her that he had a lot of info on her and not to mess with him while she was in the Whitehouse.

        Problem is that Trump won, and so the wusskie nonsense.

      • That is certainly a creative response even though it makes no sense, even to you.

  43. Barone’s article, with its acceptance that Trump’s policies might be rational, is a grudging but nonetheless valuable exercise in critical analysis. Critical analysis requires the writer to actually inquire into the facts and theses of an article or policy and it is explicitly an opinion piece. In other words, the writer can’t pretend that he is writing facts because it is the these he is analyzing..

    The reason so few elitists can engage in real critical analysis is that their vanity prevents them from acknowledging even the possibility of their subject’s/opponent’s views. All modern pundits engage in criticism, but virtually none even understand critical analysis. Ad hominem, straw men, changing the subject, and argument by assertion just don’t fit in critical analysis. Which is why so few establishmentarians are even aware of the term.

  44. Trump will never be taken seriously by the American liberals, the Democrats and media in particular. Trump was written off until the day the election results were announced. There were probably one or two polls that predicted his win with small margins and he destroyed them at the electoral college. It is that shock and denial that is leading to discounting Trump and demeaning Trump as this crazy guy who cannot be trusted, who will destroy America, will start a third world war, etc. etc.

    And would do we have.

    The crazy Trump dropped 59 crazy Patriot missiles on one airport and then dropped the “mother of all bombs”. Allah’s army started drying out and ISIS are pretty much history disbanded like the Nazis with the Jews trying to find them. The ISIS war is won and of course it was all because of what Obama did.

    The crazy Trump just warned China for selling oil to North Korea and promised sanctions and instead of the usual attack back, without a whimper China denies any wrongdoing.

    Taiwan’s the small little island just called China’s misbehavior in the region and it may be the first call to declaring its full independence from China. Maybe that was what that first call to President Trump in early January was. We don’t see an aggressive China.

    And finally Iran’s mullahs are getting a test of the power of its young. Its own young are finally telling its mullahs to get the F out of Syria. The best win will be a democratic Iran sitting with the democracies of the world and not with the Muslim nations run by mullahs and Sheiks.

    The vote on Jerusalem, if it were redone today, it would have India’s vote, thanks to its ambassador sitting with a terrorist in public. And under the threat of economic sanctions, China would probably quietly abstain with a little prick on the side before the vote. That would be nearly half the world not with Palestine.

    Saudi Arabia is changing a lot. Women are finally getting some privileges. The Saudi King was beside Trump all of his visit after Trump made a comment that the King did not come to meet Obama at the airport.

    We all learnt in high school to not bully a kid that could wield a stick he carried. So, yes, a crazy Trump is great for foreign policy with crazy dictators, sheiks and mullahs who are kept guessing as to when the patriots will rain. What good is a $700 billion dollar military budget if the world is certain that “Obama” will not use. Lets see the Chinese touch a US Navy Drone in international waters or clip its ships in international waters.

    Let NATO nations share the cost of protecting themselves from Russia. Russia is a threat to EU nations and not the US until the US decides to fight someone else’s wars. Let the EU Nations rise until they have an equitable debt.

    A crazy Trump is one that will keep the enemy respecting the US Military and not finger it like they did under Obama who went on a “Apologizing Trip” to the very nations feeding off US donations.

    Great Job Trump! Give me a 2018 where;
    1) The stock market roars another 25%
    2) Unemployment drops below 3%
    3) The federal deficit and national debt are controlled (Obama and Bush who criticize the most gave our unborn children a $20 trillion debt at a growth rate of more than $1 trillion a year)
    4) Subdued Iran moving towards democracy
    5) North Korea thinking of eliminating the crazy family and on the path to democracy
    6) Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Muslim nations falling in line to support a freer Muslim World without terrorists.
    7) A sustainable healthcare plan with no preconditions and maybe a self paid Medicare plan for those under 65
    8) Immigration controls to maintain the US population at 300 million with a balance of citizens with required skills. Cant let the boat sink with too much overcrowding.
    9) A plan to 100% control illegal immigration and no refugees on the border, they must come through an embassy in another country so they can be vetted properly. Real refugees don’t need to travel thousands of miles. And illegals are arrested, documented and handed over to the country through whose borders they arrived or back to their country. Repeat offenders should be jailed in private jails in far away countries.

  45. Lol. The only people who think Reagan was a great statesman are the people who think Trump is a business genius.

    This is the mot eloquent example of putting lipstick on a pig I have ever read. Mazel Tov.

  46. Without any doubt, the Democratic opposition has indulged itself in regard to the Emperor. But surely if anything qualifies as the embarrassing ravings of a mad uncle, it is HM’s uninformed musings.

  47. I .love American Greatness but all the pop up garbage not so much.

  48. The people who hate Trump the most are the ones who think a college professor or government bureaucrat knows more about the economy than a billionaire. And when you suckle at the teat of academia and the media as they do, you also reflexively accept identity politics, and instinctively bend over and grab your ankles whenever the far left wants to probe you for incorrect thoughts. Trump is wrecking their whole world.

    Those are the people who hate Trump most, especially in the Republican Party. The ones who constantly apologize and act like they deserve it when the far left demonizes them.

    • Do you actually believe that because Trump is a billionaire that means he knows anything about the economy? This delusion seems to be at the center of the Trump cult.

      What about other billionaires who think that Trump is a moron? People like Bloomberg, Mark Cuban and yes, George Soros? They have so much money that they make Trump look like a pauper. But YOU are so much smarter than all of them that YOU and you alone can decide which billionaire is knows more about the economy than all of the others.

      That fact is that Trump is totally clueless on the economy. Even if you believe that he is a fantastically successful businessman (he is not) that doesn’t mean that he knows anything about macroeconomics. Trump is so ignorant that he didn’t even know until recently that the government could print money. When he first took office he called Gen. Flynn (yes, the same Gen. Flynn) in the middle of the night to ask if a strong dollar was good for the economy or bad for the economy. Trump believes in mercantalism. But people like you, who know nothing about economics yourselves, think that Trump is a genius.

      It has been said that Trump is a stupid man’s idea of a smart man and a poor man’s idea of a rich man. This seems to apply to you.

  49. The year 2037: “Daddy, were there really people stupid enough to think that a self-promoting reality-TV con man would be a good president?”

  50. Isn’t it interesting that the only thing Trump got praise for by his bitter opponents was lobbing cruise missiles at Syria.

  51. Trump’s “legitimacy” is yet to be established. Follow Mueller’s finding to see if Trump was in fact legitimately elected. I somehow doubt it.

  52. All politicians deceive in some respect, but Trump lies with a frequency and boldness that defies comparison. Is there someone who can defend his preposterous statement that the new tax cut was going to cost him a fortune? It is a small lie in the grand constellation of all of his lies and deceptions, but it surely represents the administration’s north star: plausibility is superfluous. I’m pretty sure that “whataboutism” is all you’ve got here.You can find a time when someone else lied and therefore his are not a problem.

  53. Kimball comparison of Trump to Reagan is offensive in the extreme and calls into question his expertise and opinion. Reagan was nothing like this buffoon, nor did he garner the same enmity from a majority of the U.S. citizens. Trump is vile and disgusting and has never held office before and has no idea how to comport himself in the high office he holds. Reagan was presidential and even his enemies knew that. No one with half a brain can say that about Trump.

  54. Trump said he had a health care plan that was beautiful and would cover everyone and would be cheaper. Lie.

    He said he wouldn’t sign tax legislation that would increase the debt. Lie.

    Mexico would pay for the wall. Lie.

    A trillion dollar infrastructure investment bill is now a 200 billion bill. Lie.

    He personally wouldn’t benefit from the tax bill. Insulting bald faced lie.

    He lies so much America just shakes their head and chuckles. Biggest inauguration crowd, best reception in history in china, most legislation passed, etc. It’s all lies. They flow like water. It’s not presidential. It’s PT Barnum. This is governing the most important country in the world, not up-selling Trump university, trump steaks, trump water, trump taj majal, trump airlines or trump SOHO.

    Remember when conservatives savaged obama for “if you like your doctor?” Do they give trump a pass because of his party affiliation? Color of skin? Why?

    Over half the country calls him a liar and is utterly disgusted by how he has devalued the office of the presidency. The minority eats all the lies and excuses the behavior because trump has an R by his name

    Tribalism has killed our country. The last time we were this tribal as a nation was the civil war. We are at the beginning of our second civil war. It’s well overdue.

    • Do they give trump a pass because of his party affiliation? Color of skin? Why?

      Because we know how government works.. The democrats are having a tantrum and pounding on their high chairs instead of governing in the best interest of their constituents. When that happens, we have to use extraordinary means to pass even simple bills..

      If you wanted a better tax reform package, better results on healthcare or anything else, you should have joined republicans at the table like adults, instead of gumming up the process and becoming the party of “No!”

      That is why Trump gets a pass – Because we understand civics and how government works.

      • Are you serious? How hard would it have been to get Manchin or Heitkamp to the table? The GOP didn’t even try.

      • We did get Manchin once, and the leadership made him come back and change his vote.

        They decided to obstruct and posture instead of leading.

    • If you believe tribalism has killed the country, then you recognize Obama as the worst president in American history because that was his entire belief system, right? I’m sure you know the name Jeremiah Wright, and noticed that race riots and protests steadily increased over the 8 years of his presidency, and recognize it was no coincidence.

      I’m sure you also realize that Obama’s approval rating was between 35-45% for most of his presidency. And I’m sure you realize that if you want civil war, most members of the military and most gun owners will be against you. Maybe you can blind your enemies by throwing vegan, gluten-free, organic kale smoothies at them.

  55. It was bound to happen. Donald Trump is serious. He’s a legitimately elected US president and the most powerful man on earth. The political establishment had to come to terms with that at some point, or they would lose their own legitimacy.

    The few people who refuse will only marginalize themselves. They will forfeit their place at the table with the adults, actually making policy. Breaking your (proverbial) sword over something out of your control is usually a foolish choice. Serious people in politics realize this and the unserious ones will join the ranks of NeverTrump! and “The Resistance!” standing outside the window, looking in.

  56. your favorite p-grabber is about to permanently destroy the concept of democracy
    but he lowered taxes for his corporate and real-estate sponsors and buddies

    good for them
    they now have more after-tax money to rig elections

    • Are you personally happy with the conduct of the FBI over the last 2 years? And you think Trump is ruining democracy? I suggest you recalibrate.

  57. Congrats to Donald Trump for being the least popular and most personally disliked president in the history of polling. And a happy new year to Robert Mueller, keep up the good work.

    I’m looking forward to 2018 and all of the stock upcoming buybacks. May they trickle down to the Trump country rubes and make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. ????

  58. Trump has been the most conservative president since Reagan, and in some ways even more conservative. I have been pleasantly surprised and am full square behind Trump’s agenda and re-election.

  59. Saying that an ideological propagandist is “a non-ideological commentator” shows that this article deserves to be ignored from the get-go. Trump is psychologically imbalanced, insecure, and the US has declined in both power and stature due to his incompetence. Other countries ignore the US now, we’re not taken seriously thanks to Trump. He has ended any sense of “American greatness.” The US is an ignored and rather impotent power at this point.

    • Pretty sure Trump would be thankful for your comment, at least from the perspective that the stupid and off point spew of his detractors simply set him up for continued victories over the battered landscape of his denigrators. It’s almost not fair but the idiots in our midst hand Trump the fuel he needs to keep “WIINNING.”

      • Meanwhile his approval ratings are the lowest for a President this early, the rest of the world is ignoring America, Democrats are winning elections and Trump is a loser and a fat, insecure pussy.

      • Two things – first, the polls were and continue to be wrong. I regularly lie to pollsters.
        Second – almost every president gets a honeymoon where they don’t do much, the press gives them a pass and their approval ratings remain high. Trump was battered by unimaginable forces immediately after his historic victory. So that might explain his “low approval ratings this early”.

      • The polls are wrong? The approval ratings are consistent by every pollster! You’re in deep denial. Also, the polls for the general election predicted a 2-3% popular vote win by Clinton. That was what she got – but the electoral college was different. So the myth that the polls were wrong is just that – a myth. Second, Trump is clearly mentally unstable, lies incessantly, and is very insecure. He’s a joke, and the rest of the world is laughing at the US, as we have become relatively impotent, thanks to poor leadership. But his mindless fans seem oblivious to reality – but the elections of 2018 and 2020 are likely to wake them up with a dash of cold water in their faces.

    • “….the US has declined in both power and stature due to his incompetence.”

      You Libs are just so divorced from Reality that it’s nice to at least attach a face to this Mental Disease!

      Guess you believe that mouthing “Red Lines”, as your hero Obama did, without any backbone to back it up, brought “power and stature”.

      Guess you also think Trump’s decimating the Junior Varsity that is ISIS, while Obama did squat, is destroying our “power and stature”.

      Some world you live in, Scotty!!!

      • ISIS was decimated while Obama was President. Trump is a loser – and the world is laughing at us. He’s fat, insecure, weak, a liar, and suffers dementia. If you support him, you show you are completely out of touch with reality. I mean, a Democrat won in Alabama. Thank Trump!

      • You are out of touch with reality and being dupped by an insecure con man. Trump is laughed at around the world. The US isn’t taken seriously, as China becomes ever more influential. Obama’s policies defeated ISIS, by January 2017 they had been decimated. Trump is insecure, mentally unbalanced (likely has dementia) and is a symptom of rapid American decline. But his mindless minions will buy the con. That’s OK, 2018 and 2020 will be a rude awakening for folk like you.

  60. re “black” American citizen professional football players kneeling as a protest against “racism”, instead of the customary standing for the flag and national anthem, there are a couple of things that might be mentioned.

    The video of Michelle, help mate and partner of the “First Black President” Barack Hussein Obama at the 10th anniversary ceremony for 9 / 11 / 01.

    During the traditional honor to the Flag mouthing clearly “all fhis for a “damn flag”..

    Extension of her earlier contribution that she felt proud of this nation ONLY after her husband was elected President. Dismissing her privileges not accorded citizens of Caucausoid origins. The in principle and law FUNDAMENTALLY unlawful Affirmative Action O[PEN

    SHE and HE representing “The PARTY OF The AMERICAN People.

    Of which PARTY other eminent representatives ALSO OPENLY despise The People . As “stupid citizens, and a basket of deplorables”.

    EXCEPT as tools to WILLINGLY provide them the wealth and power for their goals.

    Asserted BY “The First Black President” AS “The FUNDAMENTAL transformation of the nation”. OF those stupid deplorables, AND racist, sexist guns and religious bigots. .

    AND second, that until EACH athlete individually decides otherwise, THIS America, with all its faults and its stupd deplorables is ALSO THE nation of those “black” extremely highly paid AND honored athletes.

    This nation and its peoples DOES NOT, as some other nations have within recent history STOP any of them to removing themselves to more “acceptable” nations.

    For example African nations even now with tribal discrmination and even intra tribal wars. And some with, not to put too fine a point on it, defacto if not necessarily de jure human slavery.

  61. It’s important to take president Trump seriously, just as it’s important to take a cancer or pneumonia diagnosis seriously. As author of a thousand falsehoods in his first year, as instigator of attacks on the fourth estate that is orders of magnitude more important to our traditions of democratic self rule than he is, as the loosest lips putting at risk of sinking who knows how many ships, Trump is indeed a serious condition.

  62. All my uncles were sane, nothing like Trump. His misogyny and idiocy stand by themselves.

    Trump will use that shovel he has to bury himself, and Social Security and Medicare back lash will take down the GOP.

    Good luck, suckers – you are in for a wild ride next year.

    • And you’re sitting in the caboose. Oh wait, no more of those. Sorry, you’re sitting on the side of the tracks with a Hobo stick.

  63. What I write here is true. I have always voted for a Democrat except the second term of Bush and for Trump. I actually registered as a Democrat so I could get her on the ballot the first time against Obama because I saw that she was better than Obama; and I am still right. So read with an open mind because I think I right the truth.

    The conclusion is that Trump will win and he is winning easily because his opponents underestimate him. And I think he wants his opponents to underestimate him because he likes winning the street fight, and he can punch a person who disrespects him harder and without feeling bad later.

    The most memorable wins are by underdogs. They are even more memorable when the top dog is brash and tells the under dog you are “dead meat”, “you will be crushed”. That was the 2016 election. It was actually worse. It started with cynicism well before Trump came on the scene. Remember the days when Trump was insulted at a State Dinner by comedians. Jokes are fun when they are not on you.

    Do keep David and Goliath into your mind. I was not there, but I cannot think but that David was teased, laughed at, shouted at and told to run and save his skin. This last Presidential election was no different.

    Trump was laughed at and for some dumb reason, the Republicans in the primary used him as the punching bag rather than the person who was the lead. And guess what. Trump spoke plain and brash like we do at dinner discussing our elected leaders. And this was his first election. The Trump, the David in this story, once in the ring had no choice, fight or be humiliated by comedians. And so the street fighter we see in him, fought. His plain speak of politicians, their corruption, their selfishness and to not trust their false promises was received well by us who have been saying the same things of politicians for decades. He starting taking Goliaths down…..Bush, Rubio, Cruz each spent over a $100 million (combined over $350 billion) and most of their time bashing Trump, the David with just $76 million. Then came the might Goliath Hillary, who outspent Trump, ridiculed Trump, and was the obvious winner until the counting began. David took down Goliath with one stone.

    It has been a year. Our politicians as inept as they are and as brash as they are still underestimate Trump. And with that underestimation, fight a weak battle.

    Trump is winning. He has silenced many Republicans, much of the establishment, much of the FBI (and his faction there is getting strong and leaking what the dirty FBI did to stop him), stopped the Clinton Foundation and other lobbyists with one executive order, ISIS that Obama said just a year earlier that could not be downed for 10 years, is out in less than a year of Trump, the Saudi King bowed on his visit, every leader who was critical of Trump will not say it on his face (and that is not politeness but cowardice and scare), and the list goes on.

    The World Leaders are slowly lining up behind Trump nd so are the Republicans. Just like the world did in WW2 behind the Queen who I think killed, robbed and cheated more people than Hitler. And she is still loved and so will Trump when this is all done.

    At the next elections, Dems will remind the voters as to how bad Trump was. Lets try.
    1) The world does not disrespect him (The ISIS, Iran, Syria and North Korea hate him)
    2) He destroyed America (the tax cut, the lowest unemployment since Obama, cut funding to the In by $285 million, soon the post office will become profitable from a near $70 billion debt)
    3) He has not fulfilled his promises (did not repeal Obamacare, did not build the wall, did not end illegal immigration….sure Trump will say that exactly, don’t vote the Republicans who stopped me from doing it and the Dems who protested for four years and did not work…..and guess what, I have no reason to believe otherwise.

    I could go on and on.

    The truth is that Trump is winning. He is gaining power each day since he threw his hat in the ring of the Republican Primary.

    The fact is that Hillary is not our President. Obama is not our President; India gave a Presidential welcome to Ivanka and ignored his friend Obama. Trump, our President wins, America wins.

    The earlier the Dems get this, the better chance they will have fighting someone they think is no good.

    • About 2hrs ago under these comments I pointed out the stupidity of the anti Trump virulence. I just realised that thank God my effort will be fruitless. We are so buried by a cabal of career politicians, bureaucrats and MSM that we need to continue the Trump administration a full 2 terms and only his enemies’ blindness can guarantee that outcome.

  64. One thing is becoming clear – Trump truly is playing 3-D Chess, and as pundits are finally waking up to – he may be one of the smartest, if not the smartest President we have ever had.

    Case in point, once Trump realized that the Democrats weren’t serious about a bi-partisan tax deal, he doubled-down and went out of his way to disrespect and taunt the Democrats even more. The Dems and their sycophantic media went crazy with rage which led directly to Chuck Schumer making the biggest political blunder of his career.

    Once Schumer saw that the GOP had the votes to pass the tax cut, the smart political play would have been to release the 10 Democrat Senators up for re-election in red states to vote for the cut. But he didn’t do that. Instead, Schumer circled the wagons, forced ALL the Dems to vote NO, and in knee jerk fashion – called it a tax cut for the rich and the end of the world as we know it. Ooops!

    Now the entire Democratic Party, including all those red state Senators and Congressmen have to spend all of 2018 explaining why they didn’t want 143 million hard working Americans to keep more of their own money.

    By using their Trump Derangement Syndrome against the Dems, Trump’s brilliant and audacious schoolyard vulgarities may have just singlehandedly saved the GOP majority in 2018.

    • DJT is one of the smartest and Gay Barry was clearly one of the dumbest.

    • Thanks for this. They did the same thing to Romney, painted him as the evil rich guy. I have met more than a few rich men and strangely have never met the left’s stereotypical rich guy.

  65. That the mere suggestion of questioning policy that is 70 years caused the political elite to have the vapors. That is when my support for trump solidified like concrete. Both the GOPe and of course the democrat-media party are stuck in a death match and no longer care about all of the carnage they have been inflicting on the less privileged in our country.

    Only trump is willing to smash both of them in the face if need be. God bless him.

  66. Thank you for such a beautifully written article which is very thought-provoking and a refreshing change from the usual ‘Trump is wonderful/Trump is Satan’ fodder.

  67. Praise God for Trump’s *righteous* victories!

    However, let’s not overlook that even if Trump were able to fulfill all of his campaign promises, a future President and/or Congress will likely overturn all of these. This volatility is the inherent nature of government not established upon an immutable/unchanging standard, only found in Yahweh’s moral law.

    The following illustrates the disparity between man’s ever-changing standard and Yahweh’s never-changing standard:

    “Two people could have walked down any U.S. street in 1930 – one with a bottle of whiskey under his arm and one with a bar of gold in his pocket, and the one with the whiskey would have been a criminal whereas the one with the bar of gold would have been considered a good law abiding citizen. If the same thing happened in any U.S. city in 1970, the one with the whiskey would be the law abiding citizen and the one with the gold bar would be the criminal.” (W.W. Turner, The Amazing Story of the British Sovereign (Nashville, TN: 1970) p. 4)

    In a mere forty-year period, man’s standard had completely reversed itself. The same transposition of ethics has occurred innumerable times under all governments based upon the traditions of man.

    The same is true for the Supreme Court:

    “…Judicial records expose this capricious tendency of the United States juridical system:

    ‘…law not founded upon absolutes is very dangerous to society. Consider that without absolutes, the Supreme Court has reversed itself over 100 separate times!’28

    “The actual number is more than double this figure:

    ‘The Court had reversed itself in 219 cases by 2000. Of this total, all but seven instances came after the Civil War. All but 28 came after 1913. Over 60 percent came after 1941. This process is accelerating.’29

    “Judicial “standards now change as rapidly as the Justices. This causes an uncertainty for society; and, in fact, often establishes a dubious standard which, in effect, is no standard at all.”30 Unlike the Bible, the Constitution is not an infallible standard. Returning to a more “pure” constitutionalism is not the answer. The answer is found in returning to Yahweh’s perfect law and altogether righteous judgments….”

    For more, see Chapter 6 “Article 3: Judicial Usurpation” of free online book “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt6.html.

  68. Trump correctly recognized big problems which the establishment ignored, dismissed, minimized or attempted to misdirect attention elsewhere
    1. Deindustrializing America was a bad idea. It is a particularly bad idea when the emerging internet of things will put tech money in the same location as manufacturing money to make tech integrated devices (without Trump that would be China).
    2. Failing to use our energy resources to achieve energy independence is a bad idea. Environmentalists with data free thinking who drove the suppression of US fossil energy were merely shifting such energy use to less efficient, more CO2 producing environments – all the while failing to take into account the high carbon footprint required to manufacture and transport the “renewable” sources of energy.
    3. Importing 20 million low education, low skill, low wage illegals to fill entry and low skill jobs and force the existing low skill US workforce on to welfare was a bad idea.
    4. Importing millions of Muslims when one can see the consequences of large scale Muslim immigration in florrid display in Europe was a bad idea. Only highly vetted immigrants free of Islamofascist ideation and bringing skills or capital to become self-supporting people capable of assimilating into a high tech, high liberty environment should be allowed in.
    5. Having the industrial world’s highest tax rate and among the world’s most business hostile regulatory environments forcing major US corporations to flee the US and dedomicile their HQ and the jobs that brings while forcing manufacturing and other work overseas was a really bad idea.
    6. Massively proliferating regulations to the point where the cost of regulatory compliance (>$2T, more than the entire federal government directly) is a really bad idea.
    7. Suffocating our economy to keep it at a 8%/y is a suicidal idea long term.
    8. Burdening our military with White House based micromanagement of military operations by people with no military training and enforcing rules of engagement that precluded victory is a really bad idea.

    Trump has been addressing all these problems despite endless obstruction and resistance and America is better off because of it.

  69. The modern Democratic Party is the largest hate group in America. It has a lot in common with the Party that created the KKK, which of course, is the Democrat Party.

  70. The electorate in 2016 had two burning desires, one elect a non establishment, non politician. Two, send the MSM and all the know it all pundits a ginormous middle finger salute. Mission accomplished on both counts.

  71. Trump spent years denying Obama’s legitimacy. What on earth entitles Trump, who apparently won with the hacking help of America’s arch enemy to win the electoral college, to more legitimacy than he gave to President Obama?

    Until we know what happened with Russia, his administration is tainted with illegitimacy. That’s his own foreign policy advisor’s doing for telling the Australian ambassador two months before they were released that Russia had hacked emails to help Trump win.

    An Australian diplomat triggered the Russia investigation. Now ironically Russia is also working to undermine Mueller’s work.

    Mueller is a Republican. People who love their country want the whole truth. If Republicans don’t mind Trump coordinating with Russia before and after the election (easing sanctions) it really destroys the concept of patriotism, friends.

  72. I’m not sure which is more dangerous: taking DJT serious and risk normalizing his buffoonery and profound ignorance, or not taking him seriously and risk being caught off-guard by an unforeseen catastrophe…

  73. Spot-on assessment.

    My simpler take is thus:

    Anything the progressives/left/Liberals argue for IS/MUST/HAS TO BE bad for America. So there..