National Review’s Senior Correspondent, Jim Geraghty, though politically conservative, is no fan of President Trump. More exactly, Mr. Geraghty doesn’t hate Mr. Trump, but has major problems with what he sees as the serious personal flaws which diminish Trump and undermine his ability to be an effective President.
In Geraghty’s latest column, he details his issues with the president – and makes a lot of sense doing so.
Here are key excerpts:
No doubt Trump thinks he’s a good judge of character and ability. Trump told the Washington Post during an interview on Tuesday, “I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody’s brain can ever tell me.” No matter how many times his decision of who to trust blows up in his face — Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Omarosa Manigault, Steve Bannon, Rex Tillerson — Trump remains absolutely convinced his gut feelings can accurately determine who is trustworthy and loyal and helpful and who isn’t.
This is a spectacularly dangerous combination — a terrible judge of character who is absolutely convinced that he’s a spectacular judge of character. He demands absolute loyalty, gives little to none in return, and then is surprised when his underlings turn out to be way less loyal than he expected, over and over again. Trump is easily flattered, attracts and prefers obsequious brown-nosers, and recoils from just about any criticism, no matter how constructive or necessary it might be.
Trump likes who he is and doesn’t see any need to change. It wouldn’t take much for Trump to become a much more effective president. He would have to not lash out at every criticism he saw on cable news. He would have to at least feign interest in listening to the people he wants to persuade. The guy who prides himself on authoring The Art of the Deal would have to stop blowing up every working relationship in Washington over every perceived slight, insult, or disrespect. The policy agendas of, say, Senator Ben Sasse and Trump don’t differ that much, particularly in the areas of strengthening the military, standing up to China, reducing regulations, and pushing back against censorious political correctness. But Trump usually wants to vanquish critics, not cajole them and win them over. (Every once in a while, Trump manages to do this, such as with the renegotiated NAFTA treaty, now called the “United States-Mexico-Canada agreement.” (Some free traders aren’t thrilled with the final result, but as Iain Murray concludes, “Overall, the deal will ensure that the continental commerce on which industries and consumers across North America rely will continue uninterrupted — and that is worth celebrating.”)
I read these words and could not find a lot to disagree with – in no small part because, though not as well as Jim Geraghty, I have also blogged about some of the same Trump shortcomings.
I hope (though have no expectation) that President Trump will read these words, take them to heart, and rethink some of his behavior. It would benefit him and – more importantly – it would benefit the rest of us.
Maybe someone close to Trump can get him to consider doing so..
…without losing his/her job on the spot for questioning his judgment, that is. Never underestimate the extent of Donald Trump’s ego or the thinness of his skin.