The Digressor

Politics, Culture, Life, and Unusual Takes

To Trump or Not to Trump, Is that the Question?

May 11, 2018


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.

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4 thoughts on “To Trump or Not to Trump, Is that the Question?

  1. BrianR says:

    Good column and interesting topic.

    Well, here’s my $0.02. I was a Ted Cruz guy from the git-go, but once Trump secured the GOP nomination, I was convinced that the choice at that point was binary, and a win by the Dragon Lady in the Pantsuit would spell the end of this country.

    The subsequent behavior of the left, as well as the sycophantic Establishment GOP hacks and “Never Trump” yahoos, in their rabid obstructionism to all of his proposals, and denial of the value of his policies, has proven that assessment to be accurate.

    I’ve maintained for years, if not a couple of decades, that the political establishment had become too inbred, with the differences between the two major parties withering away to such an extent that the Establishment GOP was in reality nothing more than the Dem-Lite Party.

    What this country needed was someone willing to take center stage and start throwing fireballs to burn everything down so something new, and hopefully better, would replace it, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of its own destruction.

    I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing with Trump. Does he do some things that I wouldn’t do, like his endless tweeting? Sure. But then, he also seems able to use it to his own tactical, and sometimes strategic, advantage. He drives the left – and the Never Trumpers – nuts, and that makes them do and say stupid things of their own, which he’s really adept at taking advantage of.

    More importantly, I don’t expect perfection from politicians – or really anybody – because perfection in human beings doesn’t exist.

    My bottom line: Trump is managing to do what’s needed doing for a long time now if we’re actually going to save this country. I don’t think anyone else could have pulled it off.

    As the old cliché goes, if you like hot dogs, you don’t want to visit the factory and watch them being made.

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    1. MJP7200 says:

      I used to think others could do it without being so dickish about it, but not I am not so sure. He is such an unusual character that he is doing things no one else could do. However, the division in this country is growing, and the idiots on both sides are leading that charge. We will see where this goes, but I tend to think it is going to get worse before it gets better.

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      1. BrianR says:

        That could well be, but so what?

        Since the mid-‘70s I’ve been saying to anyone who’d listen that we were on the same historical arc as the Western Roman Empire, and for at least the last two decades I’ve repeatedly maintained that things had gotten even worse: we are in the midst of a civil war as profound as the one that took place in the 1860s. The only thing missing has been the military battles.

        Staying on the path we’ve been on was never going to result in some Kumbaya moment of accommodation and accord. The ideological differences are simply too fundamental to be resolved that way.

        One side or the other is going to win this war, and there’s no way to reach that resolution that’s not going to get ugly.

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    2. MJP7200 says:

      I agree. A division is inevitable. I know you think separation/seceding is illegal, but what could be done about it if there is such division in the future?

      I agree we are in the fight for the soul of this nation, and the divide is growing. Remember, I moved here from DC, and I can assure you the worlds are completely different. And that just has to do with the size of the areas. People think Laramie is too big! It has 30,000 people.

      But the divide between ideologies is growing even faster. Left/right, gay/straight, black/white, immigrant/non/immigrant, gun advocate/gun control, pro choice/pro life, etc. All is getting insane.

      We will see what happens, but I do agree with you that something has to give.

      Like

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