This is in reference to Thank You, Donald | The Weekly Standard
Writing in mid-June, a couple of days after Donald Trump announced his candidacy, we offered the judgment that he should not be our next president: “We’re not Trump enthusiasts. We’re not even Trump fellow travelers. We’re closer to Trump deriders.“
Full disclosure. I like The Weekly Standard. Ever since my wife Ellen put me onto it years ago, we’ve been subscribing to it, even getting the printed version (I keep forgetting it’s two weeks behind the on-line version). It is the only publication we get; we cancelled the National Review long ago (too far off on some weird tangent) and even the American Spectator. There is so much on-line, who needs print? (It’s impolite to say where the hard copies of The Weekly Standard are being read.)
OK, last June The Weekly Standard declared they are Trump deriders. And it’s been downhill ever since. Never mind facts, never mind intellectual integrity, never mind intellectual honesty, or even the journalist mantra of “fairness” and presenting a complete story, let alone “both sides of the story.” Just dump, dump, dump on Trump. You do have to ask, what has the guy ever done TO them? or fail to do FOR them?
A recent (but not most recent) dump on Trump is Boss Trump. For this piece, The Weekly Standard had to reach out to a SWEDISH author. Couldn’t they drag a guest writer out of the woodwork at the National Review? This article starts out great, but suffers from glaring overwhelming omissions, which render it worthless as an argument against Trump’s candidacy for POTUS.
It is his business credentials that ultimately make him a formidable candidate. And he knows it. We see this in his observation that the “deal” with Iran is the worst he has ever seen (because he knows the art of the deal); that he will make Mexico pay for a border wall (because he knows how to drive a hard bargain), a wall that he will finish in record time and below budget (because he is a builder); that he will be capable of rounding up and deporting 11 million illegal aliens (because he runs a worldwide organization) in a humane way (because his employees like him); that he will stare down Vladimir Putin (because he has stared down union leaders and business competitors); that he won’t be pinned down on policy questions since he wants to be “unpredictable” (goal achieved), an effective strategy in business negotiations. In short, Trump without his business career would not have been a serious candidate.
From here the author proceeds to deconstruct this conclusion, trying to demonstrate that
business experience put to use in politics is more likely to be a liability than an asset.
To prove this point, the author proceeds to make self-servingly erroneous claims about Trump and about the nature of governance and politics; and as an example he offers the failure of Sweden’s socialist prime minister who used to be a labor leader, and, like Trump, has a record of making deals with corporate fat cats.
OK, OK, let’s get back to Just The Fats, Ma’am. What did this author get wrong and FAIL to include in this dump on Trump?
1. The nature of governance. It is only in western democracies, most notably the US, where we believe and at least pretend to act as if
Governing is not about winning. It is about allowing for the flourishing of a social ecosystem where people can form their lives according to their own values and aspirations. It is the sum of all these persons’ behavior and beliefs that forms a nation. It begins and ends with citizens, not with the administrators they hire to manage shared assets and assignments.
PLEASE tell that to 0bama, Reid, Pelosi (and Boehner and Ryan?) and all the “Democrats” who still have the gall to pretend they are not socialists plain and simple. In THEIR view, governing is about an elite class RULING an obstinately stupid rabble who don’t know what’s good for them. They actually believe that crap from Plato about the ideal ruler being a Philosopher King, and fancy themselves to be so anointed,
2. The nature of politics. In western democracies, such as the US, we like to pretend that politics is about the “common good.” Our Founders may have been motivated by that enlightened attitude, but anyone who’s ever been around politicians knows that politics is about POWER and EGO — the pleasure of beating the opposition and forcing them to accept your terms. Compromise occurs in the name of “getting things done,” or “go along to get along,” but the common threat there is another obscene feature of politics, CORRUPTION: I’ll support your raid on the people’s money if you support mine; or worse, I’ll make a contribution to your slush fund if you support my bill; either way, see, “everybody” wins.
3. The biggest error — no, an outright lie by omission — is the nature of Trump’s business. Except for maybe education and defense, real estate is the business most sensitive to political influences and calculations. You could therefore reasonably expect that someone in that business, especially at Trump’s level — not only with NY City and NY State politicians and bureaucrats, but also governments of all sorts world wide — would have gained considerable POLITICAL experience from being in that business instead of another. Carly Fiorina has a similarly reasonable claim; and her work, at her level, certainly does bring in lots of experience in dealing with bureaucrats and politicians at the federal and international level, perhaps even more so than Trump’s.
None of this makes Trump a “statist,” a “liberal,” a “socialist,” or any of the other derogatory terms that all the dump-on-Trump writers throw at him. At worst, he may be a pragmatist; the guy who has a long track record of dealing with the daily realities of the political and business climate, and has no time and no use for ideologies to guide his actions (not my favorite attitude, but I understand it). At best, maybe he really does mean what he says. He certainly has convinced a huge portion of the voters of that.
Whether they like him or not, you would think that the conservative media, unlike the “main stream media,” would feel obligated to exercise a bit of intellectual honesty and journalistic integrity, and bring us, not hit pieces and rants, but factual reports on the judgement, character and trustworthiness, not just of Trump but also of all the other candidates, based on interviews with colleagues, coworkers, employees, business partners, clients, government officials — anyone who ever had dealings with him. THAT would be a great service and a sign of respect for their readership, subscribers and advertisers who keep their publications afloat. Being self-admitted “deriders” does not do it.