Why I Have Given Up on Trumpism

Why I Have Given Up on Trumpism, by Roger Kimball.

I have concluded that “Trumpism” does not exist. Rather, it does exist, but only in the way a unicorn exists: in the dashing narratives of fabulists. …

I believe that one of the great embarrassments confronting the persistent anti- or NeverTrumpers has been … the utter failure of their fantasies about Donald Trump to materialize. He was supposed to be a horrible, xenophobic, racist, militaristic cad, but how has he actually governed?

The list of those accomplishments grows longer and more impressive as the months go by. …

Illegal immigration (down by more than 60 percent), energy (America is now the world’s biggest producer of energy), unemployment (4 and a bit percent), growth (3 percent for two quarters running), the market (up more than 5,000 points since November 2016), regulation (huge progress in turning back the counterproductive regulatory environment that has stymied American business), consumer confidence (the highest it’s been in a generation), the military (revitalized), taxes (a bracing if imperfect plan wending its way through Congress), Iran (declining to recertify a deal that paved the way for Iran to become a nuclear power). Et, need I say, cetera.

And beyond the raft of particular accomplishments, Trump has also articulated some important larger principles. In Riyadh, he rallied large parts of the Arab world against Islamic terrorism. At Warsaw, he underscored the importance of defending the values of Western civilization—values that include cultural as well as political values. Before the United Nations, he defended the value of national sovereignty as the most reliable guarantor of liberty. Just a few days ago in South Korea, he reminded the world that when it came to defending America’s interests, his administration had committed itself to policies very different from the accommodationist policies of past administrations. …

When it comes to Donald Trump, pragmatism overwhelms ideology. Which is why I believe that there no such thing as “Trumpism.” Its putative author is constitutionally averse to the spirit that would give substance to the -ism.