Friday, January 19, 2018

New York Times Readers for Trump

It feels momentous, not least because it has never happened before. At least, it's worth a blog post. The New York Times, leader of the anti-Trump Resistance gave all of its editorial page to letters from Trump supporters. It will do the same for those who are disillusioned with Trump and with those who despise Trump. Fair and balanced… bring it on.

You might have noticed that the New York Times is now under new management. The reign of Pinch Sulzberger is over. His son, A. G. Sulzberger is now running the show. Perhaps he prevailed upon the editorial board to open itself up to those who favor Trump. Perhaps he thought it was bad business to be so negative all the time… not just in the editorials—which no one reads anyway—but in the way the Times slants the news.

Or perhaps, it is showing a sign of humility. After all, the Times’s leading polemicist, sometime economist Paul Krugman famously predicted, during the night of November 8, 2016 that the stock market, having sold off on the news of the Trump victory, would never recover. Perhaps it’s too much for PK to show some shame, but the Times seems to want to be out in front of the issue.

The higher truth—I know you wanted to know the higher truth—is that after the media spent a year running and screaming about how The End Is Near… the Trump administration has not been as bad as predicted. It yields a basic truth. Why you traffic in apocalyptic prophecies you are not going to be looking very prescient when the facts fail to bear them out. In fact, the more apocalyptic they are the less likely are they to come true. If they really do come true we will not be hear to gloat in our prophetic powers.

Anyway, the Times letters are intelligent and thoughtful. The Times could have chosen letters that sounded like they were written by high school dropouts. It chose to allow Trump supporters to present their best. 

To its credit, the Times seems also to have edited the letters, thus they read as well-written. No one else is mentioning this, but the average citizen will normally make a number of mistakes and include a few infelicitous expressions when writing a letter. That the letters do not show it, must mean that the letters were edited.

The theme that runs through the letters is that the Trump supporters do not like the president’s Tweets. They do not like his bullying persona. But they believe that he has gotten something done, and has gotten something good done for the country. Thus, they are willing to make a trade-off… to give up something in order to gain something.

Without further ado, here is a sampling:

Donald Trump has succeeded where Barack Obama failed. The economy is up, foreign tyrants are afraid, ISIS has lost most of its territory, our embassy will be moved to Jerusalem and tax reform is accomplished. More than that, Mr. Trump is learning, adapting and getting savvier every day. Entitlement reform is next! Lastly, the entrenched interests in Washington, which have done nothing but glad-hand one another, and both political parties are angry and afraid.

Who knew that all it would take to make progress was vision, chutzpah and some testosterone?

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President Trump has exceeded my wildest expectations. Yes, he is embarrassing. Yes, he picks unnecessary fights. But he also pushed tax reform through, has largely defeated ISIS in Iraq, has named a number of solid conservative judges, has prioritized American citizens over illegal immigrants, has gotten us out of several bad international agreements, has removed a number of wasteful regulations, is putting real pressure on North Korea and Iran, has reined in a number of out-of-control agencies, and so on and so on.

I loved George W. Bush, but he failed on policy over and over again. If it takes putting up with Mr. Trump’s brash ways to see things get done, that is a deal I’m willing to accept. To be honest, I’m not sure he would have accomplished what he has so far without being an unrelenting public bully.

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Not all Trump voters are Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables.” Many of us are well-informed and highly educated, and we are weary of the Democrats’ tiresome focus on identity politics, class warfare, and disparagement of corporations and the “wealthy.”

Opinion polls give Mr. Trump a low rating, and I would, too, for character, personality and temperament. But I would give him high marks for policies and programs that are stimulating the private sector, which, after all, pays the bills for the Democrats’ extravagant welfare programs. And because of Mr. Trump we have an education secretary who actually cares more about educating children than appeasing the teachers’ unions.

Even more important, we desperately needed a seismic change in the pusillanimous foreign policy pursued during the Obama years, which emboldened our adversaries, including China, Russia, North Korea and Middle East militants. I also support a more robust approach to border security and illegal immigration, which could still entail legal residency for law-abiding Dreamers but not an undeserved pathway to citizenship.

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Much of the media, as the hotbed of hatred against Mr. Trump, has pushed me more toward him than his social behavior has done the opposite.

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So far I am thrilled with his performance. Numerous reasons, but here are a few: recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; letting the generals crush ISIS; stronger plans to prevent North Korea and Iran from using nuclear weapons; getting out of biased United Nations organizations; and respect for the flag and the rule of law.

I thank my dear New York Times for asking to hear from Trump voters. It’s been difficult to read the paper this past year. It’s anti-Trump in everything from the front page to fashion. It’s so pervasive that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s not another loyal New York Times reader out there who voted for Mr. Trump and that I’m sending the only submission. New York Times, I will always love you, despite our disagreement.

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How’s he doing? He has turned a fragile nation “anti-fragile” (the scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s term). Before Mr. Trump, we were scared of any volatility. Oh no, ISIS! Oh no, banks! The more chaos there was, the worse we were.

Now volatility is our friend. The more chaos, the better! Entrepreneurship up. Optimism up. Good old American problem solving is back! You know who loves change? Capitalists. Mr. Trump has led us on that spiritual exodus.

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That said, I am shocked at how well President Trump is doing. I give him a B-plus. His performance under extreme pressure and harsh criticism has been admirable. Some of the many positive results of his policies are a booming economy, low unemployment (record low for black Americans), soaring stock market, lower taxes, the repeal of mandatory health insurance coverage, ISIS defeated in Iraq, and much, much more.

I do not understand why people still believe anything that the media, or politicians and pundits who have an agenda, say. They have been wrong about practically everything since long before November 2016.

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I’m thrilled with the progress that President Trump has made in defeating ISIS, cutting taxes for middle-class families and making court appointments. Thanks to the tax cuts, my husband and I stand to keep a much larger portion of our paychecks. I’d like to see more work in securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, improving our infrastructure and combating political corruption in D.C. (in both parties).

I’m thrilled at his support for Israel. Nikki Haley is one of his best appointments, and I love seeing strong women stand up for what’s right on a global stage.

What I like least about his presidency so far is the tweeting. It’s often immature and lowers the tone of the debate while debasing the office of the presidency. That said, I think the media needs to be a lot more evenhanded in its coverage of him and keep its personal opinions in check.

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Mr. Trump’s language is often inappropriate and juvenile, and I had hoped he would rise to his new position. But although words are indeed important, I thought his tough take-no-prisoners manner and, yes, even his unpredictability might be what was needed at this particular time to cause offending persons and countries to sit up, consider us seriously, and think twice about taking advantage of us financially and otherwise.

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However, even though I’m a “women’s libber” from the late ’60s, and I feel that we should have had a female president by now, Hillary Clinton was not worthy.

Mr. Trump is a vulgarian in the way he tweets and sometimes talks. However, as Rich Lowry wrote in National Review, his presidency is better than his tweets, and he has made significant progress in nominating and appointing conservative judges.

He has undone many of President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders. He has been rolling back burdensome regulations. He shepherded through Congress a tax bill that most people think will be a boon to the economy and “lift all boats.” Obamacare is mortally wounded.

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The very fact that we have a tax cut, a roaring economy and stock market, a magnificent new Supreme Court justice and a wonderful attorney general with not only a moral compass but also a determination to actually enforce the laws of the land gives me great hope for this country’s future.

I think President Trump is doing just fine, particularly when one considers the sustained assault of the media, Hollywood, talk shows and, dare I say, “the paper of record,” which has abandoned all pretense of objectivity to join, if not lead, “the resistance."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will take substance over style anytime I have a choice. Every time Clinton would give a speech all the elites would be agog lauding him. I used to take the time to read his speeches and they were nothing to laud for they lacked real substance. The same was true with Obama may be even more so. Much of it was vacuous, more political than solution driven.
I think many people miss what Trump is doing to get difficult problems on their way to a possible solution. I think Trump is a man, and why he is successful as indicated in many of the comments made in the NYTimes, because he loves being in the arena. This can also, I believe, be attested to by the fact that his health at 71, given all that has been thrown his way, is extremely good
Can one imagine how Clinton, both Hillary and Bill's, Obama's, et al would have been under the extreme stress that has been a daily part of Trump's presidency? People always remark about how much presidents age in office, but I suspect he just enjoys it.
I would posit that the NYTimes and other bastions of the "media" would open their minds, and not emulated Alan Bloom's books, they would find that there are a large number of Trump supporters, as educated or more so that his enemies, who pay little attention to the "media." It is why the "media" never sees what is coming. How did a Krugman ever get the patina of being an expert at anything? It could also be asked of most of his brethren.

James said...

The "Times" crowd is worried. This is a CYA move on their part.

Sam L. said...

You mentioned Paul Krugman, whom I refer to as Paullie "The Beard" Krugman, who is a staunch supporter of Britain's NHS. Saw a link at Maggies Farm this morning to an article on an NHS cancer hospital which doesn't have enough nurses, which I'm sure he would say is wrong, wrong, wrong because the NHS is run by the British government. As he writes for the NYT, you can most likely understand why I distrust him and anything else the NYT prints.

sestamibi said...

I like his substance AND his style--the scrappiness of an outer boroughs NuYawker with matching accent (just like mine!). The second generation neocon vermin so sanctimoniously attacking him (Kristol, Stephens, Podhoretz, et al.) ought to remember that such an environment is where THEIR parents came from too!

Ares Olympus said...

MinnPost's Eric Black, who is pretty far left, wrote:
https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2018/01/crossing-divide-how-we-might-get-through-next-few-years-together
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Hats off to the New York Times for a special feature it ran today consisting of 15 letters to the editor from Trump supporters. I encourage Trump-dislikers (among whom I number myself) to read them. You won’t agree with much of anything in them. You will want to dispute some of their facts and most of their conclusions. You may suspect these 15 calm epistles are not typical of the tone and thinking of typical Trump supporters. But if you bring the right attitude to your reading assignment, the letters will promote the hope that we can get through three more years of this together.
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Overall what it shows me is this "movement" isn't about Trump. So Trumpers are following the belief "How can things be any worse by having a bully run things?"

Its really difficult to imagine someone on the left as equally bullying, but of course we had a real bully in FDR who famously said this. Trump's self-image fits the bill perfectly on the first two sentences at least, while perhaps the third is arrogance anyway, imagining rivals by only vice, and the 90% top marginal tax rate perhaps helped create the conservative backlash against government that Reaganism offered.
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Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match.
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Anyway, we all love a good bully who gets things done despite a system that tries to get in his way, so as long as he's fighting for us, and against our enemies, real or imagined.

Anonymous said...

No problem for T's quotidian unsophisticated speeches & msgs. He's targeting the largest audience possible.

Conventional Wisdom for speeches to urbane college graduates is 8th or 9th grade level. Odd, but true.

I stifled my vocabulary till it hurt. Common (to me), but possibly unknown (to others) References too.

I disrelished Mr. O. But wasn't Obsessed. Mr. T Obsesses people. Like Sarah Palin. -- Rich Lara

HMS Defiant said...

I think President Trump has overwhelmed his opposition and succeeded because he has taken on the vile media with his own open twitter channel to the people and communicates directly without the putrid shills of the democratic media spinning and ignoring what the man himself has to say. The bullying is part and parcel of clearing a swamp. You don't do it with kindness and polite requests. You do it by kicking ass and taking names and making threats. Trump reminds me of Horatio Nelson.

"When I am without orders and unexpected occurrences arrive I shall always act as I think the honour and glory of my King and Country demand. But in case signals can neither be seen or perfectly understood, no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy."

Trump is engaging the real enemies of this country every single day and I find that a most refreshing change from the shallow narcissist that he replaced in the White House.

Also, I tend to think that there are plenty of Americans who can write a good letter to the Times without the need for any editing.

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