Politico Wants to Know if Trump’s Academic Supporters Regret Their Choice. I Don’t.

No, I don't

By William M Briggs Published on November 29, 2017

During the campaign for the Presidency, the group Scholars and Writers for America backed Donald Trump by issuing a public Statement of Unity. I was one of the signers. (At the time I signed I was with Cornell University; now I am not.)

The statement said things like this:

With Mrs. Clinton, we’d expect to see [as with Mr. Obama] an even greater slide towards an all-powerful presidency, and the judges she would appoint could be expected to bless the attendant threat to political liberty …

Crony capitalism, the silent killer of the American economy, would increasingly burden entrepreneurs with wasteful regulations that serve to transfer wealth from dispersed lower and middle-class Americans to the rich and well-connected.

Under Trump, we anticipated not a return to the sunny uplands of a truly liberal culture, but an arresting of the downward acceleration we had been experiencing and would have experienced with greater force had Mrs. Clinton wrapped her shaky fingers around the throat of Washington.

I believe every signer knew this was a choice of the lesser of two evils, with one evil being mostly benign and the other aggressively malignant.

Inquiring Minds

Politico Magazine wondered if the signers of the statement still thought the same way. They emailed us asking:

As President Trump’s first year in office comes to a close, Politico Magazine is reaching out to the Scholars and Writers for America who signed the statement of unity in support of Trump during his candidacy. As a group, you represented a small slice of academia that publicly endorsed the ideas Trump campaigned for, and we would love to gather your thoughts on how well he has represented those ideas in his time in office so far …

Your answers to these two questions will attributed to you by name.

1. Do you still stand by your statement of support for Donald Trump? If so, why? If not, when and why did you change your mind?

2. What has been President Trump’s greatest achievement so far in office? His greatest failure?

Unchanged Mind

Here is what I am saying to Politico.

Darn tootin’ I stand behind, and even hold up, the Statement of Unity. Because the election was a choice, we always have to keep in mind the counterfactual: What would it be like if Hillary had won?

There is no prediction in that Statement that need be reconsidered. We predicted Trump would “appoint judges in the mold of Justice Scalia,” and so far he has.

If Hillary had won, she would have had to choose the most pitiable candidate belonging to one of our culture’s favorite victim groups. You can almost hear the slogan: “We haven’t had a Buddhist gender-dysphoric immigrant on the bench yet!” Of course, we can wonder if such a candidate would have had enough funds to donate to the Clinton Foundation to propel his (her? its?) nomination.

The media prior to Trump had accumulated far too much unaccountable power — which it abused with gleeful abandon.

Home Runs

I’m split between what I think has been his greatest victory. Here are my choices.

One, Mr. Trump showed us what the media really is. They have exposed themselves, and are still exposing themselves, to be mendacious propagandizing lying shifty biased gibbering hyper-sensitive unstable floggers of fake news. That includes Politico. (Did any of your reporters weep after the election, or participate in any of the cry-ins since?)

The media prior to Trump had accumulated far too much unaccountable power — which it abused with gleeful abandon. That Mr. Trump can access the public directly, for example through Twitter, has done a great service in bringing out into the open the media’s heretofore unacknowledged agenda.

Two, Mr. Trump has made excellent appointments. Two of note are Scott Pruitt at the EPA, and Ajit Pai at FCC. After Pruitt was announced, socialist activists everywhere had to breathe into paper bags to stifle their panic attacks.

And Pai is putting the kibosh on the Orwellian-named “net neutrality,” which would have allowed Silicon Valley cronies to stifle their competition.

If Hillary had won, every (remaining) liberty would have been examined for potential removal. For our own good, of course.

Nobody bats a thousand.

Trump’s “greatest” failure is a drastic over-statement. I would rather he had not loosed any munitions in the Middle East. America cannot, or at least should not, be the world’s policeman.

There have been other errors, which are only expected, but none have reached beyond intra-office rivalries and gaffes like putting ketchup on his well-done steak. I recall reading an article by some nervous youth entitled (something like) “Acks-shua-lly, How Donald Trump Eats His Steak Matters.” (Was that in Politico?)

Your Turn

Politico also asked the following five questions, which you yourself might to have a go at answering. Here they are, with my answers in parentheses:

Your original “statement of unity” praised Trump’s potential in five issue areas. On a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best), how well do you think Trump has performed as president on each count?

  1. Upholding constitutional governance (4)
  2. Fighting corruption in government (5)
  3. Stimulating the economy (5)
  4. Defending religious liberty (4)
  5. Promoting charter and parochial schools (3)
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  • Paul

    Trump instead of Hillary? No regrets!

  • Dean Bruckner

    I regret voting for Donald Trump as much as the Israelites regretted Samson tuning up thousands of Philistines. With the jawbone of an a** and his bare hands.

    See, even a donkey can be useful. Should be a comfort to the Democrats, today’s Philistines.

  • Forrest Hamilton

    Your scores are just about right. I am very pleased with Pres. Trump. His use of Twitter to goad his adversaries is new to me. Interesting to watch as there is a “method to his madness.” They meltdown and get distracted from the real agenda is accomplishing.

  • Patmos

    Every time I see Hillary lingering around I feel great relief and joy that she was not elected. I had hopes that Trump would become more “presidential”, whatever that means, but have no real problem with the job he is doing.

    • Alice Cheshire

      If Trump were more “presidential”, he’d be EXACTLY like Hillary or Jeb or Marco. None of those were elected, so obviously, “presidential” was not what voters wanted.

  • Sam Mullinax

    Well Here’s A Few Of My President’s Accomplishments :
    AMERICA…!! HERE IS WHAT A “PUTTING AMERICA FIRST” PRESIDENT TRUMP LOOKS LIKE…!! #MAGA

    1) He got conservative judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
    2) The stock market is at an all-time high.
    3) Consumer confidence is at an all-time high.
    4) He created more than a million jobs by undoing Obama’s regulations.
    5) Mortgage applications for new homes is at a 7 year high.
    6) Unemployment rate is at a 16 year low.
    7) Signed the promoting women in entrepreneurship act.
    8) Gutted 800 Obama era regulations thus freeing up companies to hire again and get the economy moving once again.
    9) Ended the war on coal and caused a new mine for coal mining to open that will mine clean coal. He also put the miners back to work.
    10) Weakened Dodd-Frank regulations.
    11) Promotes buying and hiring American.
    12) Investments from major businesses such as Foxconn, Ford ,Toyota, Intel amd others will build here now.
    13) Reduced illegal immigration by over 70%.
    14) Bids for the border wall are underway.
    15) He’s fighting back against sanctuary cities.
    16) Changed the rules of engagement against ISIS.
    17) Drafted a plan to defeat ISIS.
    18) Worked to reduce the cost of the F-35 fighter jets.
    19) Imposed a five year lobbying plan.
    20) Sanctioned Iran over its’ missile program.
    21) Responded to Syria’s use of chemical weapons.
    22) Reduced tax reform plan.
    23) He’s renegotiating NAFTA.
    24) He withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership thus keeping jobs here.
    READ: President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Monday, September 4, 2017
    25) He pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accords thus saving us millions of dollars every year.
    26) Created a task force to reduce crime.
    27) The DOJ is targeting dangerous gangs like MS-13.
    28) Signed independence and economic growth law.
    29) Signed an executive order to protect police officers and target drug cartels.
    30) Signed an executive order for religious freedom.
    31) His administration is working on sending education back to the states.
    32) He’s fixing the dept. of Veterans affairs so now vets can choose their own doctors and be covered. This also protects whistle blowers and allows VA to terminate bad employees..
    33) Authorized construction of the Keystone and Dakota pipelines. The Dakota pipeline is up and running without harming the environment.
    34) Created commissions on election fraud and opioid addiction.
    35) Food stamp use is the lowest level in seven years.
    36) Reduced the White House payroll saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
    37) He’s donating his salary to various causes.
    38) Signed 52 pieces of legislation.
    39) Cut 600 billion from UN peacekeeping mission.
    40) Gas prices lowest in more than 12 years.

    You won’t hear any of this in the mainstream media. All they know is destroy, distract and damage. That shows that they don’t care about the people they claim to care about because if they did they would work with Trump and make the country better.
    Trump accomplished all of this on his own without the help of congress who are useless at this point. All the media cares about is how they can destroy him today. They have no solutions of their own. They are all deranged ideologues suffering from what is known as Trump derangement syndrome. No wonder the media’s and congress’ ratings are lower than Trump’ s. His may be low, but theirs is lower.
    In the areas of economics and national security, Trump is in the midst of healing this country’s true woes. He’s facing nearly insurmountable opposition from every corner of Washington and the media. But he’s started something in motion that will ultimately prevail. He has turned the ship around. That’s moral victory. That’s making America great again. That’s all that really, truly matters. #MAGA

  • kevin jorgensen

    No regrets, yet Trump is a bitter pill. There are many days I shake my head as to his methods and reassure myself they would not be my own but that’s probably why I am not president and he is. That he pushes forward every day against the onslaught and exposes the condescending, hypocritical media and liberal elites… as well as the RINOs… is evidence of the slow process of swamp draining and a blessing that I hope will benefit the nation long into the future. He’s a strong and driven leader and a breath of fresh air relative to the recent administrations that were more interested in being liked and tilting at the windmills of exaggerated social injustice and manufactured climate crises than solving the real and challenging problems attacking the foundations of our culture.

  • Lake Wateree

    He’s doing better then I expected Love my President hope he runs again, he has my vote #MAGA

  • Charles Burge

    From someone who identified with the “NeverTrump” movement:

    I applaud many of his cabinet choices – the aforementioned Pai and Pruitt among them, and also Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education. Nikki Haley as U.N. ambassador was also a great choice. Other choices were not so good, as we’ve already have seen several dismissals or resignations. Even before recent rumors about Rex Tillerson, he didn’t strike me as a particularly good diplomat.

    Given his New York liberal background (and previous statements about Planned Parenthood), he’s been better than I could have hoped for on the issue of abortion. It seems that his commitment to the pro-life cause is genuine, and I am very thankful for that.

    Judicial nominees: it’s been stellar so far, but there are many vacancies left unfilled and he needs to nominate people faster. This shouldn’t be difficult since he’s basically outsourcing the task to the Federalist Society anyway.

    Legislation: Here’s where I think conservatives need to be more critical. It seems en vogue to blame “establishment” Republicans for failing to pass major legislation, but I think this is partly unfair. The president has a role to play in advancing an agenda, mostly by active participation in persuading individual congresspeople to join his cause, or to negotiate compromises where appropriate. I do think the Republican majority has been very inept, but the president himself seems quite uninterested in actual policy details. Instead he simply wants a bill to sigh so he can declare a “win”. Well, to win you have to put in some of your own sweat equity, and the president hasn’t done that.

    Foreign Policy: It’s been a mixed bag. His Warsaw speech was brilliant. On the other hand, many ambassador posts remain vacant, including the one to South Korea. His support for Israel is a welcome change from the previous administration, but he hasn’t done enough to oppose Iran’s ambitions. I’m also bitterly disappointed that once again, our government seems ready to throw the Kurds under the bus.

    “Being Presidential”: I get that he’s an unconventional guy. That’s fine. But his persistent need to answer every perceived slight (real of imagined) with a personal insult is not simply childish; it’s damaging to the social fabric of our country. The president needs to be someone who leads by inspiring the people to greatness. Ronald Reagan did that brilliantly, and George Bush followed up nicely with his frequent allusions to “a thousand points of light”. I strongly believe that President Trump would have a lot more success advancing his agenda if he could do a better job of fostering good will among his detractors. There will always be people who disagree with his positions, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make a better effort to earn their respect.

    I had the “luxury” of living in a deep blue state that he never would have won anyway, so I was able to cast a protest vote (for Darrell Castle). But I’ll conclude by saying I’m certainly happy that Hillary Clinton didn’t win.

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