TRUMP, AMERICA’S BOY KING: GOLF AND TELEVISION WON’T MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN – Joe Walsh

TRUMP, AMERICA’S BOY KING: GOLF AND TELEVISION WON’T MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Donald Trump

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Unable to take credit for his own achievements, Trump has laid claim to those of his predecessor. Obama took office during the Great Recession, when the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent and rising. Eight years later, as he prepared to leave the White House, it was 4.7 percent, a nine-year low. And yet Trump cites “absolutely tremendous economic progress,” as if he were the one who pulled the nation out of the foreclosure crisis. He brags about having quelled the flow of immigrants entering the United States illegally, but it was under Obama that illegal immigration fell to a 44-year nadir. Trump has, however, managed to keep out tourists. America has become so great, international travelers aren’t coming like they used to.

If you are one of the millions of Americans counting the days until Trump is no longer president, his failures may seem like victories. Except he is your president, and nobody wants to live in a nation in decline, a superpower devolving into a laughingstock. And while several of Trump’s proposals are either unworkable, unhinged or potentially disastrous, that’s not true for all of his ideas. There is infrastructure, above all, blessed infrastructure. The firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base in Syria was a sign that Trump knows Bashar al-Assad is a butcher of innocents who must be deposed. So why not marshal international support to remove him? And why expend so much energy keeping out the refugees who are Assad’s victims?

“His work ethic is just fine,” says Joe Walsh, the former Tea Party congressman from Illinois who now hosts a radio show. “His problem is he’s focusing on the wrong things.”

Some have likened Trump’s governing style to Reagan’s. Lou Cannon, who covered Reagan’s presidency for The Washington Post and later authored five books on his two terms in office, disagrees with any attempt to burnish Trump’s reputation by comparisons to the hero of modern American conservatism. “I can’t think of a single characteristic they share,” Cannon says.

Reagan was “much more diligent than President Trump is, in every respect,” Cannon tells me confidently. That diligence extended to the way he treated others, including White House staffers and political opponents. “He might not have known the details of the missile thing,” Cannon concedes in reference to 1983’s Strategic Defense Initiative, often derided in the press as “Star Wars” for its futuristic vision of national security. “But he’d know if an aide had a sick mother.” For example, after his mother died, Cannon got a call of heartfelt consolation from the president.

“Reagan had a conscious management style,” the historian reminds. “He wasn’t lazy.”

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