Good Trump vs. Bad Trump

Because of the east coast elitist liberal media’s obnoxious, unprofessional, distorted, biased and dishonest ad hominem attacks on President Trump, administration officials, Republicans in general, conservatives specifically and millions of Americans who support the policies of the aforementioned, my commentaries have generally been of a defensive nature in terms of the aforementioned. On the other hand, I have consistently expressed my disdain for the presidential personality and persona.

Most would agree that Trump is not presidential in ways that we normally think of presidents. In some ways, this is a refreshing departure from the norm. He has come to Washington with a mandate to upend a long established corrupt bipartisan establishment that has become an American aristocracy – the swamp as he has labeled it. This includes most of the monolithically obstructionist Democrat Party, some go-along Republicans and that enormous increasingly powerful bureaucracy that some refer to as the “deep state.” Because this latter group is beyond electoral accountability, they arguably represent the greatest threat to the republic.

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On the other hand, President Trump is his own worst enemy. This is the unconventional president who engages in petty disputes, sophomoric name calling, excessive egotistical behavior and statements of dubious accuracy, to put it mildly. He provides his political adversaries with sufficient grist for their adversarial media mills.

As he moves forward with anti-liberal swamp draining policies, the press ratchets up the attacks to the point of questioning the president’s very sanity in clinical terms. Correction, not “questioning,” but offering up unprofessional armchair diagnoses as news analysis. In many ways, their obsessive attack on his personality is a diversionary tactic designed to conceal their contempt for his otherwise popular conservative appointments and policies. They cannot defeat Trump based on policies. It is those policies that got him elected despite his pugnacious personality – my vote included in that category.

While every president has the bully pulpit, it is not necessary or even beneficial to be a bully. In many of his communications, Trump exhibits the personality of a street thug – full of threats, name calling and braggadocios statements that often lack a factual foundation. They report all this as “playing to his base,” which itself is an arrogant insult to people who support Trump based on policy. Even many of his most ardent supporters fault Trump on style and cringe at his tweets.

Trump came to office with the reputation as a brand master and the impresario of optics. He has proven to be quite the opposite. He has not only failed to advance his political brand, but proven to be the proverbial bull in the optics china shop. This is a president who, in my early judgment, would befuddle his critics and grow his fragile public support base. He could well have routed the liberal establishment, retreating them into the corner of political irrelevancy – a place to which the voting public has been assigning left wing politicians and all their big government policies since 2010.

Trump could have grabbed that wave and been enjoying favorable polling numbers above the 50-point meridian. The failure to achieve such a goal rests solely on the President’s shoulders.

Many saw benefit in the fact that Trump was never a professional career politician, but rather a businessman. This general description fails to take note of a significant fact. Trump was never the head of a broadly-based corporation in which he rose from the ranks. He was the head of a sole proprietorship that he inherited from his father. Yes, he grew the company, but it was always his and his alone. His opinions were synonymous with corporate decisions. He was the boss.

That experience is not necessarily compatible with being the chief executive of the nation, where one must lead by consensus and deal with a complex array of power centers – not just those other two branches of government, but even within the Executive Branch itself. A president can be strong, powerful and determined, but he cannot run the country from the Oval Office with an autocratic micromanagement strategy – a lesson President Carter learned too late in his incumbency to save his presidency.

Trump’s business experience has led him to believe he could run the White House like his family business – even to the point of making his children and in-laws his key advisors. This was especially problematic since his closest family advisors shared his inexperience in both executive public office or in operating a broad-based shareholder corporation – an experience closer to national chief executive role.

To his credit, Trump seems to have made very good appointments to carry out is anti-establishment swamp draining agenda. Even as he is too often bogged down on needless and avoidable controversies, much of the policy reforms he articulated are being implemented by his various appointees. While the mantra of the press is that Trump is achieving nothing, his administration is doing a lot to upend and replace the liberal policies of past decades – especially the very liberal Obama years.

In some ways, his advantage in accomplishing these goals has been the myopic and obsessive attention his media critics have placed on this personality and petty issues of the day – a slurred word in a speech, how he gets the wrinkles out of his suits or number of Diet Cokes he drinks. All these and more are inflated and spun to the level of national crisis.

But, it is also true that Trump’s major obstacles to personal success and high approval ratings are style and personality. It is too pugilistic and egocentric. He destroys his own credibility with statements that can only be described as gross exaggerations and misrepresentation of facts.

Despite his reputation as a salesman, Trump has proven himself to be perhaps the worst salesman in his administration. This is compounded by the fact that his ego drives him to take the center stage as the principal salesman when others can do a much better job. Why is he such a poor salesman?

A major part has to do with his ego. Trump offers himself up as the savior of a downtrodden public. He and only he will save the nation. He fails to understand that the strength of America is the collective goodness of the American people. One of President Reagan’s strengths was that he always put the American people out front. He was simply the instrument of our nobility.

Trump’s ego has consumed too much of the oxygen in the political atmosphere – with public debates of crowd size and endless reminders of his election victory. He wallows in tasteless self-praise – often exaggerated self-praise – to the detriment of more important issues – issues that would actually put him in a better light. It is no small irony that it is his obsessive promotion of his own importance is precisely what diminishes his stature and obfuscates is accomplishments.

Trump also has an unfortunate tendency to say things that are almost right, but subject to interpretation – giving both supporters and detractors ample opportunity to define his meaning. After Charleston, he said there were good people and bad people on both sides. He was correct since many of the demonstrators were not white supremacists and not all the counter-demonstrators were bent on violence, but in the way he expressed it there seemed to be an endorsement of the bad folks on one side. His calling out violence on both sides resulted in critics seeming to claim that, based on the cause, there is such things bad violence and good violence – or at least justifiable violence.

Trump is not a person to can take criticism – constructive or otherwise. His adherence of striking back at even mild admonitions has him seemingly at odds with everyone at one time or another. While strident public discord has been a growing cancer in our public discourse, Trump has given it a shot of adrenalin.

Because of his personality, Trump receives very little credit for his significant accomplishments as President of the United States. It would seem that 2018 may be another referendum on good Trump versus bad Trump – whether his policy accomplishments and future potential will trump his flawed personality, as it did in 2016, or whether the unrelenting attacks on his personality will take hold.

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  1. Trump has expose the two party hypocrisy lies and deception as well as the Pinocchio media and partisan FBI institution plus more.I don’t need a presidential acting liar like Obama but rather have a rough talking serious person leveling with the American public and actually getting real things done. The hell with acting presidential.

  2. I disagree with your assessment of Trump’s appointments. Most people want to see a BALANCE not this Left/Right Ideological divide. In GA where I am from we have multiple CANCER clusters which are a direct of Corporations being allowed to pollute and not clean up their waste. That is a documented FACT not opinion. Some of these places as were on the verge of finally after 30 years of fighting for it being cleaned up. OVER NOW. We have to balance regulations with common sense and not simply gut the EPA etc.

  3. imo trump is not after the liberal establishment alone. he is after the mossad likud zionist cia mic killers of kennedy, etc. about whom there is nothing liberal at all unless it is their application of death and destruction to anyone they see as their opponent or just moderately useful to destroy. these folks are a very delicate business and they require very careful, shrewd judgement. it can be useful, according to sun tzu, to be thought less capable than one is by one’s opponent. where weak appear strong, where strong appear weak.

  4. THE biggest problem conservatives/republicans have had in the past is that when the communists/democrats challenge them and call them racists, homophobes, etc. they have gone on the defensive and tried to convince people they weren’t. Trump was laughed at, scorned, attacked and lied about by the media, democrats, rinos and everybody in politics. Trump chose to fight back to win, and he did! nothing has changed if he goes on the defense now they will run him off the field. the American people, not a bunch of you elite know-it-alls, want someone who will fight for himself and for our country. they are tired of suckass weak-kneed, professional politicians who can’t talk without a teleprompter and an opinion survey. the media takes everything he says and distorts the meaning and contests everything in it and puts their slant on it. if Trump walked on water the headlines would be TRUMP CAN’T SWIM!!!!!!.

  5. Excellent article and review of Mr Trump ! I have felt the same regarding his personal flaws, but also feel that his accomplishments far outweigh his petty tweets. He doesn’t have the polish of a career politician, which is part of his appeal. I truly believe he cares about America and its people and is able to connect to the common man .

  6. I believe that great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and weak minds discuss other people and their faults. We citizens of America needed a wake up call, we needed Donald Trump.

  7. Pushing the new tax law, the way Trump did, only verifies, that he does not care about the average American citizen; but rather his billionaire cohorts, who are receiving most of the benefits of this new tax legislation. Another Reagan benefit – trickle down theory!!

  8. Excuse me, I would be very interested if you could please list the president’s accomplishments that will be to the ultimate benefit of the majority of the American people, the environment and something that future generations can benefit from and look back on with pride, not just large corporate entities and rich people.

    • If you follow my commentaries on Punching Bag Post, I have dealt with that subject.

      • Very evasive reply to the above person. Trump hasn’t done anything that will benefit anyone long term except for a few of his unqualified snake relatives and friends mostly in the fossil fuel industry that he’s busy filling the swamp with.

  9. I’m consistently amazed at the assumption corporations are the evil empires of he world. What is the US Government if not the largest corporation the world has known? They can lien, take your property, and rob its citizens blind with excessive taxes and still be thought of as the great equalizer. Trump is a wizard at the shell game, offering distractions to consume media attention while cleaning the swamp with his other hand. it’s always going to be about the money! Get a clue! Trump knows this and knows how to manage the direction it takes. We can’t have it all but perhaps we can have balance, and to that extent, competition, not government, will be the most effective tool. Like it or not, he’s making America Great Again!