This is the defining political question of our current time. Is Donald Trump a good thing, or is he dangerous? I’ll start by saying that he is not going to make the world stop turning. There will be a tomorrow, whichever side you take. You will not burn in your beds because of Donald Trump, despite the rhetoric to the contrary. So, before I begin: everyone calm down.
Now, is Trump a net positive? That’s a good question. In some ways yes, he is, very much so. In others, I am not so sure. I can have this discussion without discussing his achievements, which to some extent are subjective. However, there are other tangible things that he is doing that are very positive, and others not so much.
Why is Trump good? He is destroying much of what has become toxic in our nation’s politics. He thinks on his own and does not follow convention. Convention had become a religion all unto itself here. It allowed insiders to rule and make it more difficult for an outsider to do anything. He is tearing down this convention, which is a good thing.
He is also demonstrating the absurdity of Obama’s role in passing legislation. While Obama may not have written the most executive orders, executive orders he did write were of prime importance to legislative efforts beyond executive function. Trump is showing how easy it is to change those. Obama also set in motion some foreign policy initiatives without making them treaties, and these were very controversial in nature. Trump, then, is ripping those to shreds.
So, Trump is changing the culture and exposing expedient leadership. That is very good, and we should be thankful for that. However, he is also brash and sometimes offensive. This causes him unnecessary enemies and problems he need not have to overcome. With this, he does cheapen our nation and his position. Will this make it harder for future presidents, well, that remains to be seen.
But part of his brashness is that it becomes a tit-for-tat war with liberals. And that is a problem. He is simply doing what the left does to the right back at them. While it does excite many people, it is also a detriment to thought and discussion in our politics. It drives us apart, not together. People on the right now act fundamentally no different than their counterparts on the left.
We all lose in that situation. We may win some battles, but the war will be lost by everyone.
Trump may be tearing down some barriers to effective government, but he may leave us with a gap too big to recover from if we are not careful. My opinion on the answer is still not determined. He is doing good things, but he is also treading ice on some important areas. We cannot afford to much longer divide out country.
One hopes the left sees that, too, though somehow I doubt it, which really leaves us in a bad place. And Trump has nothing to do with that.