What the left cannot admit: Trump is already growing and changing in office
The left, including its mainstream media and academic branches, is utterly committed to a vision of President Trump as shallow, stupid, and incapable of changing his immature and ignorant ways of doing things. They need to believe this because their own sense of self-esteem comes from what they consider their contrast with Trump. In their own minds, they are intelligent, deep, and devoted to learning. Their large vocabularies are merely the most obvious proof of their superiority to Trump.
If Trump succeeds, then maybe they aren't as smart as they think themselves to be. So that thought must never enter their minds. Everything he does has to fail.
Thus, they cannot see what Andrew Malcolm, one of the sharpest and most experienced political observers, has spotted. In his McClatchy column this morning, he explained the quiet changes that demonstrate Trump's capacity for growth:
Elements of Donald Trump's presidential style are already emerging and they must be discouraging to his critics.
It's easy to miss things that do not happen. But perhaps you too have noticed a decline of trivial Trump tweets, starting spats and news cycles many mornings.
Last week – are you sitting down? – Trump canceled a couple of media availabilities. He turned down ESPN's invitation to provide his own NCAA tournament brackets, a free PR ride on basketball fever annually seized by President Barack Obama.
When reporters yell questions at Trump now, he usually goes deaf, turning away to converse with others. Avoiding opportunities to use or fight with media has not been a Trump trademark since he launched his hopeless presidential campaign 21 months ago, or his public persona decades ago, for that matter.
During the campaigns, Trump was quite successful creating media distractions to change the topic or detract from opponents' successes and self-destructively some of his own. Not anymore.
Malcolm points out how pragmatic and goal-directed this change is:
... it also allows, or perhaps forces, media to focus on the crucial launch of the House Obamacare replacement policies, which Trump has endorsed. And on Trump's ongoing stream of executive orders starting the fulfillment of numerous campaign promises. And on his impressive debut address to Congress. How did the boastful Trump respond to all that overnight praise? He simply tweeted, "THANK YOU."
Never one to take the evidence farther than it can go, Malcolm concludes:
Is it possible the demands and needs of being president are steering the new politician into more disciplined behavior? At least for now.
Going forward, Andrew clues us in on what to watch, now that the Trump agenda is changing the Trump style:
In coming days, Trump will venture out into the country for what might be called Obamacare repeal rallies. As a new president's early trips, these will attract national news media and the much more valuable local media coverage. Don't be surprised if some local TV anchors get "exclusive" interviews with the commander-in-chief.
The idea, of course, is to put hometown pressure on any members of Congress of either party who might be reluctant to support repeal-and-replace with 2018 midterms on the horizon.
You may recall Obama held scores of town-halls to gin up support for his namesake health legislation. That's when he made those infamous promises about keeping your doctor, insurance and lowering premiums.
Obama wasn't big on listening sessions; he preferred talking ones. He didn't meet with the GOP's Senate leadership, for instance, until his 542nd day in office. The irony is Obama's party had such firm control of Congress back in 2009 and 2010 that it could ram through the immense bill with not a single Republican vote. (snip)
Even as a political rookie, Trump is already aiming to avoid such carnage over the volatile healthcare issue.
If the media and academic establishments were capable of respecting grubby businessmen and entrepreneurs instead looking down on them as greedy, shallow people, they might have had some appreciation for the ability of Donald Trump to grow and change over his career. Starting a business and growing it to size is a very demanding exercise. Inevitably, mistakes are made, and only the people who learn and change, adapting to what reality offers, survive. Trump has mastered multiple business fields and had a tiny percentage of bankruptcies. He obviously learned and changed a lot.
By expressing such views, I suppose I define myself as "biased" in the worldview of the Harvard librarians who have taken it upon themselves to steer away students and scholars from information that might raise questions about what the left wants them to think.