Donald Trump Is a Good President

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I don’t think many Americans agree eitherReport

  2. Avatar j r says:

    There are about 7.5 billion people on this planet who are not Americans. What could it even mean to take the point of view of 7.5 billion people?

    Also, it would help to contextualize the text by pointing out that it’s in Harper’s, but its written by the French writer Michel Houllebecq, who is best known for his novel Submission, a book about Islamists winning the French government as people reject modernity and are drawn towards more traditional and patriarchal social structures. I don’t know how Houllebecq self-identifies politically, but his books all share a common theme: the critique of liberalism, broadly defined.

    So, Houllebecq’s point of view is indeed from outside of America, but it also squarely within the right-wing populism in which Trumpism is rooted. This is about as notable as if Marie Le Pen wrote the same article?Report

    • Avatar North says:

      This, very much. I am always bemused at how frightened/hopeful (both at once) Christians seem about Islam as if it’s some super ideology that is proof against modernity. I haven’t seen much sign that such is the case.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Monsieur Houellebecq identifies as a Marxist that believed the Far Left took a wrong turn during the 1960s. Despite being a Marxist, he is strangely drawn to religious groups because of their strong communal identities. So pretty much, what you wrote. An anti-liberal broadly defined.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      We shouldn’t be asking how we can classify the writer; we should be asking whether his position holds water. I don’t care what his background is. He lays out his position sufficiently clearly that we don’t have to decode it. If Le Pen had written this, should we reject the argument on that alone?Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    Oh lord, this piece. First off, he says he doesn’t’ know much about us then proceeds to opine on the things he admits he doesn’t know squat about. I don’t know much about heart surgery but let me explain the proper techniques to seal the various incisions.

    Not to get into his opinions which he has a right to even if i don’t’ agree. But he says we haven’t won a war since WW2. Huh? We’re now great at winning wars. the nation building, low intensity guerilla war and the aftermath of war we ain’t good at. But almost nobody is. Winning wars though we got.

    Trump tamed NK….lol….thats a good one..really. Lol.

    His alt history? So what if we didn’t enter WW2, he just brushes off all of Asia dominated but imperial japan and western and central Europe by the USSR. But heck, it all would have ended up the same??? What evs.

    What a dip stick. He is truly a one watt bulb. I really think very little of this guys grey matter. I guess you could say i’m no Houellebecq girl (guy).

    No didn’t think of that on my own sadly. But it’s still good and he is still weak.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    “Oh oh look at me, look at me! I’m French Existential Nihilistic Ennui. I’m such an original and bold and iconoclastic thinker!”

    The first American military interventions I can really remember are those of the two Bushes, especially the son’s.

    This Gaul dinged motor scooter was born in 1956.

    (I’ve seen links to this piece floating around for a while, but just now is the first time I read it. There aren’t enough eyeroll emojis or gifs on the internets.)Report

    • Avatar James K says:

      “Oh oh look at me, look at me! I’m French Existential Nihilistic Ennui. I’m such an original and bold and iconoclastic thinker!”

      I wonder if this drives his fascination with Islam. He’s found a group of people who actually believe in something, and he’s unable to wrap his head around it.Report

  5. Avatar Pinky says:

    Not the worst article I’ve ever read. There’s plenty to disagree with, though.

    What strikes me most is the attitude that history just happens. Something inevitable (hence not worth specifying) happened in 1945, and something else in 1989. Now the US is leaving the scene, and at some point China will do the same. History dictates such things. Military affairs have nothing to do with it. Russia will not be a threat to Europe for the same yet to be mentioned reason. What to do about Muslim terrorist countries is anyone’s guess; free trade only requires that sailors abandon ship under threat; France probably never had colonies and Charlemagne and Napoleon are just rumors.Report

  6. Avatar Damon says:

    Donald Trump IS a good president–in the limited area of driving liberals off the rails.

    On a side note, I just spend a week switching the radio from NPR as they did their year end fund raising “intelligent, unbiased, blah, blah reporting. That’s why you should support is”. Right. Your “unbias-ness was CLEARLY on display the day after Trump won. The lies are obvious.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      But owning the libs is at best a conditional good. Standing up to bullies is great, but bullying them is just bullying. You can make an argument for Trump being a good president. He’s certainly done better than I expected, and none of his high-risk maneuvers have completely blown up in his face. Historians may debate the merit of his North Korea policy, but there wouldn’t be debate if it went as sour as it could have.Report

  7. Avatar Philip H says:

    Pinky: But owning the libs is at best a conditional good. Standing up to bullies is great, but bullying them is just bullying. You can make an argument for Trump being a good president. He’s certainly done better than I expected, and none of his high-risk maneuvers have completely blown up in his face. Historians may debate the merit of his North Korea policy, but there wouldn’t be debate if it went as sour as it could have.

    Clearly you have VERY LOW expectations if “he manged to avoid a nuclear war that would have started because he ignored people who knew what they were talking about” is your bar.

    Mr. Trump is not a good president. His domestic policies reward only the 1% and corporations, and that is about to tip us into another recession (which – hint hint – won’t be good for most folks). He has created the largest increase in the national debt in the shortest time period by permanently slashing corporate taxation while temporarily slashing personal income tax rates in the most pitiful way. He has presided over a set of environmental regulatory roleback that keep getting struck down in court (which wastes tax payer money in the litigation) and he hasn’t yet gotten Mexico to pay for the Border Wall or replaced the ACA with anything better. History will record him – at best – as an abysmal failure assuming he isn’t sent to jail at some point.

    And nothing he is doing will actually help improve the lives of those who support his gigantic middle finger to the establishment. Nothing. Which means in the end those who chose him for that reason will get screwed. Again.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      We agree on your first paragraph. I’m happy with his tax cuts, border enforcement, and regulatory rollback. There are signs he wants to cut the budget, but truthfully there are just as many that he wants to increase it, and no signs at all that he’d be willing to take on entitlement reform, so he won’t be able to cut the budget by much.Report

      • Avatar Philip H says:

        What about his tax cuts makes you happy? The pittances you and I got back (which expire in 9 years)? The massive permanent breaks given to corporations which they have used to buy back shares and drive their investors compensation packages up? The layoffs at Fortune 500 companies that have come post-tax breaks (instead of the investments and salary increases that politicians lied about when they passed)? His Tariffs are also about to drive prices up on a lot of goods, which is part of whats about to fuel the coming recession.

        And his regulatory roll-backs are being dismantled by the Courts (often by Republican appointed judges), at significant costs to taxpayers. That’s not a success.

        As to “entitlement” reform – you really need to get clear on that too. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are earned benefits that you and I and every other wage earner pays into through payroll taxes and then has a legal right to draw from. They don’t come from income taxes (which is what Republicans keep cutting) and thus they don’t contribute to the deficit. Eliminating earned benefits won’t put more money in anyone’s pockets unless payroll taxes are rolled back, and legally t hat money can’t be used to fund general revenue expenses. never mind that slashing those program swill leave a fair number of Americans destitute and without healthcare.Report

        • Avatar Pinky says:

          “Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are earned benefits that you and I and every other wage earner pays into through payroll taxes and then has a legal right to draw from.”

          That’s not true at all. None of these plans requires a person to pay into them. Social Security covers widows, Medicaid covers children, and Medicare covers older people. There is no actual fund that people pay into; the system is pay-as-you-go. They don’t contribute to the deficit in terms of advance budgeting, but they’re part of the overall costs, and they come due at the end of the year.Report

          • Avatar Philip H says:

            actually they don’t contribute to the deficit because they are not in the same revenue or expenditure streams. Sure, they are part of what government spends its money on, but if Congress would stop borrowing from them to cover the deficit (and thus make it smaller then it actually is), they would be self supporting.

            Under the law, Social Security cannot possibly contribute to the on-budget deficit. It can only spend money that has been collected from the designated payroll tax or from the investment of past surpluses. (The money from general revenue to make up for the temporary payroll tax cut the last two years is an exception to this rule.) If benefit payments exceed current revenue and the money available in the trust fund, as the Congressional Budget Office projects will happen in 2038, then Social Security would not be able to pay full scheduled benefits. It could not force the government to increase its deficit.”

            But getting into the nitty gritty of what gets counted and what doesn’t is a dodge of my larger point – like most Republican politicians – and every Republican President since Reagan (who raised taxes 13 times in 8 years), Mr. Trump is doing things that are wildly good for corporations and the 1%, and generally bad for the rest of us.Report

            • Avatar Pinky says:

              Not meant as a dodge; I just didn’t think your other points were worth addressing. I mean, the highest earners pay the most income tax, so any income tax cut is going to help them the most (although they’re not necessarily the “rich”). The last bill made a lot of changes, not all of which benefit the higher-earners.Report

  8. Avatar Philip H says:

    Pinky: Not meant as a dodge;I just didn’t think your other points were worth addressing. I mean, the highest earners pay the most income tax, so any income tax cut is going to help them the most (although they’re not necessarily the “rich”). The last bill made a lot of changes, not all of which benefit the higher-earners.

    The permanent benefits do indeed benefit the rich the most, and corporations. Those corporations in turn boosted the prices of their stock through buy backs, which made the rich richer and brought no new investment or wage increases to the working class. Most of the rest of us are not getting write offs for our corporate jets. And high earners generally receive more compensation in Capitol Gains then income, which are still taxed at a significantly lower rate the income, which is how Warren Buffet classically pays lower taxes as a percentage of his revenue then his secretary.

    The pittance of a rate cut the rest of us got is temporary and will expire in 8 or 9 years – never mind that it amounts to about $500 a year for median wage earners in the US. Sorry dude, but that wasn’t worth blowing the deficit up to $1 Trillion.Report

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