The Politicus

In praise of Donald Trump


From the moment Donald Trump won his surprising victory on Election Day, a new cottage industry sprung up to offer sympathetic profiles of the supposedly long-overlooked and long-suffering voters who rallied to him. The New York Times has been at the forefront, delivering on-the-ground stories from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan within days of the balloting. But as President Trump’s ever-growing cascade of calamities drove down his approval rating to just above Ebola and just below chlamydia, the Times responded with tales of his undeterred supporters for whom no sin could shake their faith in his ability to Make America Great Again. He is the enemy of their enemies; if liberals are angry, then Trump must be doing something right.

The nation’s paper of record wasn’t content to rest there. As if to codify the right-wing stereotype of effete coastal elites out of touch with salt-of-the-earth “heartland” Americans, the Times added climate change denier Bret Stephens to its growing stable of conservative columnists. Further concluding “it’s not them, it’s us,” Michael Kinsley introduced a feature to “point out positive things Mr. Trump has said or done from the viewpoint of The New York Times and its readers.” But by week three, Kinsley had to ask: “Is it possible there is nothing nice to say?”

But if you and everyone you know passionately believe one thing while half the country believes the opposite, it may be time for a reality test. That is the purpose of this feature: not to persuade people that President Trump is any kind of good guy, but to ask whether it’s possible that he has done or said anything good during his campaign and the first months of his presidency.

Well, of course it’s possible to say something nice about Donald Trump. You just have to know how to say it.

For example, Donald Trump has helped us see the all-too-human side of our presidents.