For a lot of Americans, while President Trump’s mannerisms are not always where they want them to be. But they saw that the supposedly well-mannered President Obama was an existential threat to the country, while Trump is making America stronger at every level. This would never show up in Obama’s approval ratings because so many decent Americans are simply terrified of even the thought of being considered racist.
However, Americans also understand that good manners don’t necessarily make a good president.
Good manners don’t cancel out lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, good manners don’t cancel out stoking racial tensions at every opportunity, such as lying about what happened in Ferguson; good manners don’t cancel out weaponizing the IRS and EPA to destroy the lives of political opponents; good manners don’t cancel out a federal gun-running scheme to Mexican drug cartels that killed at least one American border guard; good manners don’t cancel out throwing the health insurance market out of whack and lying about Americans’ ability to keep their doctor and have their premiums reduced; and good manners don’t cancel out turning the FBI against Americans and a presidential opponent.
Good manners in a bad president still leave Americans with a bad president.
And while Trump’s mannerisms may leave something to be desired, his instincts on what is good for America and the American people are as good as they come. From tax reform to piecemeal Obamacare repeal to Jerusalem to North Korea and China to the Paris Climate Accords to actually looking out for American interests at the G7 summit to his directly confronting a dishonest and hostile media, President Trump’s instincts far surpass his sometimes ill-mannered ways.
Many of Trump’s opponents consider his lack of experience or deep understanding of the dark wonkiness of the federal government are his weaknesses. But are they? Even there, perhaps the thing we need in a president right now — even a flawed president — is one who will not easily get consumed by the detailed workings of the mammoth federal government and lose sight of the strategic goals for which he was elected.
While many in what Glenn Harlan Reynolds calls the “Front-Row Kids” of highly educated, mobile and globalists consider President Trump a bumptious rube, bumbling his way around in a racist, misogynistic fog, much of America sees hims as basically a patriotic guy who intuitively knows the nation has been on the wrong path — and for longer than just the disastrous Obama administration.
Trump doesn’t really get politics, certainly not the cesspool of Washington politics of public glad-handing and private backstabbing. But that’s not only good, it’s probably mandatory at this point. And he has certainly proven himself able to learn — from constitutional issues to international affairs to macro economics.
So there’s a lot in the machinations of self-serving Washington, D.C. that Trump does not get. Sometimes that hurts, often that helps keep him on track in the big picture.
But what Trump does get is imperative: He gets the American people, and does so in a way the Front-Row Kids cannot even grasp.
Over and over and over again, the elite and media and establishment are sure that his latest whatever is going to be what brings him down. Some tweet, some comment, some supposed scandal — something that Washington deems to be negative — is going to separate him from his base and he is going to tumble.
But he doesn’t. In fact, Trump’s popularity is growing as solid, conservative policies and judges are put in place and people begin to see the results. The reason is simple: Washington doesn’t actually know America very well. It knows the thin layer of Front-Row Kids, which is essentially coastal elites and the powerbrokers and monied interests in major metro areas.
But Washington doesn’t know America. And somehow, this billionaire Manhattanite does.
It’s not because he’s studied America in any traditional way. That’s not Trump’s style. It’s not that he has palled around with Joe Schmoe American. Obviously, it’s not his golden Trump Tower style, either.
What he does have that so many elites do not — and most certainly his predecessor did not — is a genuine, deep and abiding love for America, and for Americans. He probably cannot even explain why very well, but he instinctively does. Further, he seems to have a reasonably strong grasp of human nature, not one bushwhacked by the latest deranged theories in feminist-gender studies or liberal poli-sci classes. And that helps him relate to such a variety of Americans in a way totally unexpected for a man who came from wealth and then built enormous wealth.
Consider these few areas where his instincts are in line with Americans, and not surprisingly, American interests: China trade; Immigration; G7; NFL kneeling debacle; North Korea; Israel; Americans view of D.C.
On every one of these, the Front-Row Kids get it wrong. Because they don’t know America. Trump gets it right, because he does.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.