The essential Joseph Epstein is always a welcome guest at the Stately Manor. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Professor Epstein perfectly captures the Squire’s considered position on our current President.
Professor Epstein, you have the podium:
My son … nicely formulated the Donald Trump problem for thoughtful conservatives. “I approve of almost everything he has done,” my son remarked, “and I disapprove of almost everything he has said.”
Second the motion. I approve of the Neil Gorsuch appointment, the moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the removal of often-strangling regulations from much commerce, the opening of the Keystone pipeline, the tax-reform law, and more.
I disapprove of the bragging tweets, the touchiness, the crude put-downs of anyone who disagrees with him (“Little Marco, ” “insecure Oprah, ” “Sloppy Steve, ” and the rest), the unrestrained vulgarity. America has had ignorant, corrupt, vain, lazy presidents before, but in Donald Trump we have the first president who is a genuine boor.
… A boorish president of the United States presents a problem. The presidency, like the monarchy in England, has a symbolic along with a practical aspect. The president is meant to represent the nation at its best.
… To flip my son’s formulation, I approved of almost everything Mr. Obama said, and I disapproved of almost everything he did.
Add to the list of Trump’s good policies his support of the police, arming qualified and willing teachers, school choice (Betsy DeVos), getting tough with Korea, blasting ISIS out of business, and secure borders/immigration reform. The Squire does part company on The Wall, the greatest boondoggle since the Maginot Line.
For those of us who worship Winston Churchill and admire JFK, however, words matter. They must, to a certain extent, even to this White House, or otherwise why the turnover in the Communications Office? The current press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, performs admirably in what must be the most demanding job in Washington, cleaning up after her boss like the elephant keeper at the zoo.
The Always Trumpers delude themselves that Trump’s trash talk somehow drains the swamp. Generals Mattis and Kelly drained a helluva lot more swamps; they spoke softly but carried big sticks. Trump’s talk —and tweets — serves only to step all over his applause lines. Breeds alligators that come back to bite him.
Blaska’s Bottom line: Imagine a President Pence!