#NeverTrump: Objectively Pro-Democrat
I'm thinking about the NeverTrump people again.
That's Jonah Goldberg, a normally sensible guy, complaining about Trump's character. There are a couple of obvious — to the point of being hackneyed — answers, like "And we think Hillary's character was better? Why?"
Since people keep making me defend Trump, it's well to recall that I was not a Trump fan. I'm slowly becoming more of one because I'm slowly starting, I think, to understand him. Here are what I think are the keys.
First, as I started seeing when I wrote "What is Trump's deal?", I don't think he has a lot of deep ideological views about politics or anything, other than some vague impulses toward mercantilism. (But even then, when he started with the tariffs, he also was pushing for completely free trade agreements; and it's not like the EU, China, Japan, and South Korea don't indulge in a little mercantilism of their own.) What he has in its place is a deep belief in, and need for, Closing The Deal, along with a sense that he should dance with the one whut brung him as long as it's at least convenient. So he talks about tariffs, and then relents when some other country offers him a deal that seems better than we had; making a deal with what he sees as some profit in it is better than holding out for perfection. But having promised to nominate SCOTUS judges from his list, and seeing no advantage to be gained by breaking that promise, he's sticking to that list.
Second, I think he understands mass media better than just about anyone in history: he understands their motivations, and he knows the buttons to push and the knobs to twist to get what he wants.
And third, I think he has a puckish, somewhat malicious, mischievous sense of humor, and he's not above trolling people for a laugh. Especially if it advances Closing The Deal. In this, he is marvelously assisted by the collective couch-fainting of the Left in particular and the Ivy-League Clerisy in general.
His policies, though, have turned out to be much better, and much more libertarian-conservative, than I'd expected — with the exception, of course, of his trade policy. But a good SCOTUS justice and the prospect of another one — that's a win. (And please, let his sense of humor drive him to nominate Willett, who I not only think would make a good justice but who would cause a pandemic head-explosion of lefties looking at Willett's Twitter.) Tax cuts? Definite win. The reversal of decades of regulatory overreach? Big win. Foreign policy? Dude, we have North Korea negotiating and a railroad from the port at Haifa to Saudi Arabia being planned. No one even semi-conscious cannot see that as progress.