Oban asked me last weekend, in a quiet and genuine way, what I saw in Trump aside from his tearing up the politically correct rulebook and offending all the people I like to offend. My reasons were as follows:
- Trump has already legitimized people talking honestly about issues that political correctness insists should neither be mentioned nor discussed. His candidacy is a partial victory. A few years of straight New York talk about people and situations will powerfully assist the process of de-Bolshevizing our society’s thought controls.
- No one has spoken for the American working class since Reagan. Trump speaks for all the people being ruined by free trade, which has shifted jobs to Mexico, China and eventually, Cambodia. Since many modern jobs can be done by machines, the question to be asked is why should those machines not reside here, and why should not the presiders over machines reside here in North America. Maybe it is a matter of tarriffs, maybe it the cure lies elsewhere. At least the question is being asked.
- Trump is not a religious bigot. There will be no White House prayer breakfasts under his regime. He is not beholden to the religious right, if there is such a thing. I say this as a practicing Anglican, not as a secular humanist.
- Trump is left wing by Republican standards, such that there will be appropriate levels of social and economic intervention by government where sensible people require them.
- Trump promises less rather than more predictability in foreign relations. By this I interpret him to mean that the United States will not be able to be relied upon for soft answers and turning the other cheek when some regimes need slapping about the ears.
- Trump thinks the climate change agenda is commie bullshit. There will be a rollback of counter-productive environmental (anti-fossil fuel) regulations.
- He is a wise guy: he knows when someone is trying to con him. He is from New York, and can be relied upon for New Yorkers’ sophisticated sense of other cultures and getting along to make a buck, and with calling a spade a spade.
What is bad about Trump?
- He is a graceless egotistical blow-hard whose performance will tire us out very quickly.
- He is too thin-skinned to tolerate political opposition with the necessary forbearance.
- He is ignorant about much of the US constitution and workings of government.
- When he is elected, he will need good staff and it is not clear he will know that he needs to amend his ignorance, or will know when to listen to advice
- Having been a self-employed entrepreneur, he will be unused to the limitations of the power of a US President. (same as 3 above)
- He frightens allies as much as or more than enemies. He may put up too much for renegotiation.
Despite the fact that the Donald has some deeply unattractive aspects to his self-presentation, and more important, possibly to his character, I believe that he has the necessary qualifications to shake up the Democratic party’s ruling assumptions as much as he has already shaken the Republican Party. Whether he will make a good president is unknown. But the reason we have election campaigns is to sort these things out. I am happy that the decision is not mine to make.