Unexamined Premises

Donald Trump, Black Swan

I was on Fox and Friends this morning to discuss my op-ed in today’s New York Post that’s been getting some attention:

From its start, the Trump administration has been plagued by charges of “chaos.” From the revolving door of senior staffers — including two secretaries of state, three national security advisers and two chiefs of staff — to the president’s brash and sometimes boorish personal style, to his politically incorrect taunt-tweeting, Donald Trump has refused to conform to his political opponents’ conventional notions of what constitutes an effective White House operation.

And yet, the economy is humming, hosts of regulations have been rolled back, the unemployment rate is down, job openings are soaring, taxes have been cut and black joblessness is at an all-time low. Prototypes for the wall along the Mexican border are being tested, raids by ICE are rounding up dangerous illegal aliens and the “travel ban” against several Muslim nations was argued last month before the Supreme Court, where the president’s authority over immigration will be upheld.

In foreign affairs, the two Koreas are talking to each other, with a summit between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un slated for June in Singapore, the ISIS “caliphate” has been effectively destroyed and just last week Trump yanked the carpets out from under the Iranian mullahs and canceled the nuclear deal negotiated — but never submitted to the Senate for ratification — by the Obama administration.

In short, this has been the most effective administration since FDR’s first term. And it’s being accomplished in the teeth of the so-called “resistance,” which includes the overt hostility of nearly all the mainstream media, the embedded civil service, the Democrats, the never-Trump Republicans, rogue elements of the intelligence and investigative agencies and Robert Mueller’s investigation into charges of “collusion” with the Russians.

Some “chaos.”

I come on, interviewed by Ed Henry, around 32:45.


My point is that the Democrat-Media Complex has one definition of what constitutes an orderly presidency and, naturally, Trump’s does not qualify. There’s too much churn, too much rivalry, too much activity. To those for whom everything they learned they learned in kindergarten — and that would especially be today’s snowflake media — Trump’s brashness offends them to the core. Meanwhile, among the reporters of my generation, Trump is very much of the “not our crowd, dear” school of politician:

The truth is, as much as they hate Trump’s policies, the president’s enemies hate the man even more. Donald Trump offends the establishment on a personal, visceral level. His opponents are the same folks who idolized Adlai Stevenson and thought Ike was just a dolt who somehow won World War II. Who worshipped John F. Kennedy (but were repelled by LBJ), hated Nixon, thought Reagan was an amiable dunce and erected shrines to Obama. They are the Ivy Leaguers, the credentialists, the Georgetown establishment for whom there is only one right way to conduct a presidency, and that is the Harvard-Democratic-groupthink way.

The heck with that. We’ve had a skein of bien-pensant presidents, starting with Poppy Bush and continuing through Barack Obama who, despite his ideological bias, really got far less accomplished than he should have, owing to his love for basketball, hip-hop parties, and Air Force One. Not so Trump:

What Trump understands, however, is what many great leaders have understood: that “chaos,” not consensus, is the way ideas are tried and tested. That if someone or something isn’t working, scrap it and try something else. Results are what count, not consistency: Trump’s ability to morph from saber-rattling lunatic to charming glad-hander infuriates them because they see it as phony.

So what? It’s also highly effective:

Trump’s very unpredictability doesn’t just frighten the Beltway bonzes and chin-pullers, it also terrifies his opponents. While North Korea’s Kim remains hard to read, he’s also no longer firing missiles over Japan. The Saudis, following the strong American horse, have made their antipathy for the Iranian regime clear and are threatening to acquire their own nukes should Tehran overtly resume its nuke development. Having survived domestic uprisings in 2009 and 2017 by the restive Iranian young people, the graybeard mullahs won’t be so lucky a third time.

Not that he’ll get any credit for it. As I tweeted the other day, Trump could end the Korean War, sort out the Israelis and the Palestinians, and cure cancer, and the Left would still loathe him; after all, they continued to despise Nixon til the day he died, all because he defeated their beloved “pink lady,” Helen Gahagan Douglas, in a Senate race in California that happened in 1950. But as the wheels come off the Mueller investigation, the economy keeps humming, and the administration’s geo-political successes continue, that’s just too damn bad.