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What Trump Means to 70+ Million Americans

This is my quick reply to a member of my discussion group.

I think your comparison to an effective doctor whom you would want even if he is a jerk is kind of what I have been trying to say, if less well. 
The first thing I ask people apoplectic about Trump – a question almost none are able to answer – is this: 
“Which would you vote for: A) a President with a wonderful personality who is taking your country down. Or B), a President with an irascible, jarring character, who is saving it?”
They stop. Look at me flustered, and then try to slip out of the question. 
Sad to say, most people suffering from TDS can’t answer because they have never thought about it.
If we think of a box-graph where right is on the right side of the box, and left is on the left, and imagine America starting at the bottom right in 1776 with its Declaration of Independence, then its Constitution in 1787 – both of which laid out guiding principles for a conservative-style classical liberalism for the entire Western world, I think America, like Canada, and all other Western democracies has been moving in a Zig-Zag fashion upward to the left hand top corner ever since. 
The Zags by such as Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan, get offset by the larger leftward Zigs of such as Roosevelt, Clinton, Carter, and now Biden [I have left out a lot of Zigs and Zags]. 
My concern is the Zig-Zag direction of this process, leaning to the left upper corner. So I say to so many who can’t see this: “Take your eye off the ball. It isn’t telling us much, because the whole field is moving to the left.” 
That is why I have easily overlooked Trump’s character faults. Because he has been moving the whole field back to the right. Of his fiscal/economic moves, foreign policy gutsiness, and so many other moves, his biggest and most enduring legacy is his many court appointments at the local level and especially on the SC. 
I believe historians of the future commenting on efforts to move the whole field back to the right will applaud a great many of his moves as of historical importance
Some of them may even argue that without his brassy, jarring inelegant character, he could never had done it. Why? Because the elegant political class in the coastal regions had fallen into such disrepute among the almost 70 million “deplorables” that they turned off politics completely, having lost all hope. 
Those citizens were drop-outs until brassy, tell-it-like-it-is Trump came along and woke them up again with his direct Tweets to them, his unscripted speeches (and yes, frequent untruths, exaggerations – what Huck Finn called “Stretchers”). I don’t think as a polished, Ivy-league style man he would have got their attention. It took a politician whom they recognized as “one of them.” They got excited by his frank truth-telling, even when he wandered into untruth. And their previously dormant patriotic, flag-hugging, freedom-loving feelings for a country that they had felt was slipping away from them were revived. They loved feeling those feelings again. And they loved the man who made them feel that way.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Thomas Partlow

    I agree wholeheartedly! I especially like the question, “Which would you vote for: A) a President with a wonderful personality who is taking your country down. Or B), a President with an irascible, jarring character, who is saving it?”
    Perhaps those suffering from TDS (Trump Disgust Syndrome?) might argue that America will be a better place without him but I believe they will have a very difficult time backing up their claim!

  2. Mike

    Bill, why would you assume that those parties who have supported the “Zigs” would agree with you that it might be better to have a vulgarian such as Trump as President if that person is for the betterment of the nation? It would be my position that in fact most of President Trump’s opponents most certainly do not feel his actions are better for the country. Many of those leading the Democrats (and not a few Republicans either) have benefitted mightily from the Free Trade treaties and the large influxes of “undocumented workers” (pls excuse my euphemism). There are a very large number of people in positions of influence who don’t want to support our cherished concepts of equality before the law and free speech, not mention basic democracy.

    1. William Gairdner

      I agree such people exist whether Ziggers or Zaggers. I was trying, perhaps unsuccessfully, to make two points
      1) That the general direction of the Zig-Zag is leftward
      2) That part of Trump’s appeal to his base may be the genuine-ness of his off-putting, shoot-from-the-hip behaviour. Many of them do not approve of this kind of behaviour, and wouldn’t accept it in themselves or from family members, but in the circumstances they find it a refreshing push-back against the insincere, duplicitous, oh so nice political deception of the Swamp. In other words, they see “nice” political behaviour as deceptive, and therefore candid, rough behaviour as genuine.

      1. Mike

        It is certainly true that Trump’s base of support come from individuals who identify with his crass behaviour. A significant portion of American society has been lied to and misled with respect to the economy, protection of the rights enshrined in the Constitution, basic law and order, etc. So when somebody who is not of the “swamp” comes along and offers to kick the bums out, that is a very appealing message. Ironically, it was pointed out after the 2016 election that while Trump’s opponents decried his appeals to the white working class voters as a form of “racialized” identity politics, this form of identity politics had been practiced by the Democrats for years in pandering to certain ethnic groups (thereby exposing their hypocrisy). Trump’s acceptance was, in my opinion a rejection of the status quo. With respect to the general direction of the Zig-Zag, of course it has been going to the left because that’s where the votes are. Why wouldn’t large segments of the population vote for a politician who will give them “free stuff”? Our state broadcaster and the larger private media organizations certainly don’t promote Conservative values. I don’t live in Toronto, but I find most media in Ontario very Toronto centric, as if the only opinions that count come from there. I have perhaps rambled a bit, but I agree with your premise.

  3. Peter Jackson

    For me it was only Trump’s behavior which proved that he was not just another in a long line of professional politicians all members of the same club behind closed doors. No member of that club could possibly change anything of significance, let alone slow the leftward drift you so accurately describe. Trump actually did the things he promised, a first for a President in my lifetime, and against resistance that would have crushed any other man. Actually, there were no surprises with him, he did what he said he would and fought passionately and relentlessly for those things, attacking back at all attackers.

    Requiring that the right person for any job be someone you must also like personally is terribly childish logic. It was Trump’s behavior that proved he was his own man not controlled by anyone. That was the foundation of what energized his base. No one can honestly make that claim about Joe Biden. Whoever was elected if it stands and will be steering, we can be quite sure it won’t be him.

  4. Tom Thorne

    Your thesis about equity and equality combined with your acceptance of Donald Trump as a healthy disturber of the status quo seems specious especially when you accept his lies and untruths as part of a process leading to the right. Leading to the right with lies and propaganda has a long historical experience leading to dictatorships. With the free Epoch Times in my mailbox with your opinion piece has lead me to your viewpoints which I find intriguing to spark discussion or a liberal exchange of views.

    1. William Gairdner

      Tom – all along, and in everything I write, I have tried to make a clear distinction between Trump’s flawed character and his policies. I wish he were a more appealing person. He is not. But I think most if not all of his policy moves have been terrific for America. Such as: cutting corporate taxes, defunding overseas abortion, making America energy independent. moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, his 2 for 1 law on excess legislation, his program to get minor crime cases out of jail, hia placing strict constitutionalists on the SC. ALL of these (there are hundreds more) are positive policies for America and if continued help make her Great Again. If you want to argue against those policies (for for higher taxes, more abortions, energy dependence, etc,) I would like to see your points.

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