Funt: Give Trump some credit (column)
December 22, 2016
The nation's newspapers are struggling mightily to find columnists who are willing to write nice things about Donald Trump.
That's according to a report in the Washington Post, indicating that the regular stable of conservative pundits — from George Will to David Brooks — isn't delivering enough pro-Trump op-eds. As it happens, I was just finishing a column praising the president-elect when the Post's story came out.
Even before taking office, Donald Trump is sending a powerful signal to the nearly 63 million Americans who voted for him that he is, indeed, a bold thinker and an agent of change.
For instance, after pledging during the campaign to stop the exodus of companies to Mexico and other countries, Trump quickly saved roughly 800 jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana. True, the number is lower than Trump first claimed, and granted, as the Indianapolis Star reports, as many as 2,100 Hoosiers are still about to lose their jobs, and yes, keeping Carrier happy will cost Indiana $7 million in tax incentives. But to dwell on such relatively minor concerns misses the larger point.
The president-elect has demonstrated that he can pick up the phone — something Mike Pence says he'll do often — and get action from business chieftains looking for a bribe. The Carrier tax breaks will cost only $8,750 per job saved. Using that formula, every single one of the nation's full-time jobs could be saved, at least temporarily, for a mere $1.09 trillion.
Donald Trump heroically vowed to "drain the swamp" in Washington of enlightened leaders with meaningful government experience. What better way to make good on that promise than by selecting Ben Carson, a retired brain surgeon with no experience in government or in housing to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?
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Trump deserves enormous credit for surrounding himself with individuals who will shun business-as-usual in Washington. Clearly that's why he chose as chief strategist Steve Bannon, a true maverick who favors hate speech of all types including white nationalism, anti-semitism, immigrant-hatred and misogyny.
The president-elect has made clear that he will not become another political hack; rather, he will continue to hone the skills that made him so admired in business. He will actively manage his vast holdings, regardless of whether they conflict with his White House job. He even rebuffed the critics and media elite who urged him to give up his gig as executive producer of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice."
Americans don't like a candidate who says one thing to woo voters and then flip-flops once elected. Yes, Trump has conceded that the wall on the border with Mexico might be a more modest fence, and true, he's apparently decided against mass deportations, and granted, he admires many of the best features in Obamacare, and, yes, he has recently deduced that climate change might be man's doing, and, of course, he no longer intends to prosecute Hillary Clinton.
But when it comes to things average citizens really care about, Trump is proving to be a man of his word. He said he wouldn't stop tweeting as president, and he hasn't. He vowed to retain his children as top advisers, and he is following through.
Donald Trump is a leader with a vision of how America works. For example, a few days before Thanksgiving his website offered for sale a Christmas ornament in the form of a miniature Make America Great Again hat, brushed with real gold and selling for $149.
By holding rallies across the nation — even though there is nothing left to campaign for or about — Trump is already cementing his place in history.
As for the nation's opinion writers, their unwillingness to recognize Donald Trump's impressive accomplishments after such a short period of time reflects poorly on them and not on the true American hero they would seek to defame.
Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, "Cautiously Optimistic," is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com.
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