On April 9, the LA Times wrapped up their series on our president, titled “The Problem With Trump” with the last installment: “Why We Took A Stand.”
Never before have I seen such a breathtakingly-shocking attack on a sitting president other than maybe Richard Nixon, but certainly not in his first hundred days.
To give you a flavor for the tone of this series, just look at the titles of each day’s feature:
Part I Our Dishonest President
Part II Why Trump Lies
Part III Trump’s Authoritarian Vision
Part IV Trump’s War on Journalism
Part V Conspiracy Theorist in Chief
Part VI California Fights Back
Uh, oh. I don’t think this lineup bodes well for Trump.
The first installment sets the tone, telling us what the lens of judgment looks like all through “Trump’s troubling traits.” They go on to do the usual litany of Trump negatives, including “his lack of respect for those fundamental values on which our government is based.” This includes federal agencies, the press, intelligence resources, and (heavens!) the judiciary.
They also deplore “his utter lack of regard for truth.” This manifests itself in: “…encouraging Americans to reject facts, to disrespect science, documents, nonpartisanship and the mainstream media — and instead to simply take positions on the basis of ideology and preconceived notions.”
And perhaps the most-damning critique: “his scary willingness to repeat alt-right conspiracy theories, racist memes and crackpot, out-of-the-mainstream ideas.” And here we get the “birther” stuff, fraudulent voter stories, his retweets of racists and proclaiming the illegitimacy of all media outlets that aren’t in the mainstream media.
Interestingly enough, many of these allegations, if not all, have been debunked. It turns out that some of Trump’s “lies” like the one about Obama wiretapping his campaign may have some basis in truth.
We gain some insight into where this is all going in the Trump’s Authoritarian Vision section. Here, the editors’ essential problem with Trump is that he didn’t respect the “electoral process” and again we hear that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. He also lacks respect for the intelligence community (perhaps, if they hadn’t leaked so much classified information, he would respect them). And of course, he doesn’t respect the media and he sure doesn’t respect the federal agencies he’s trying to cut.
The last editorial in the series, titled “Why We Took A Stand,” summed it all up by saying that the editors wanted to get this out now so that we, the public, could use their words as a baseline to judge Trump’s presidency. So here’s their justification and it deserves a full citation:
“It’s the man himself, his character and temperament, that set him apart from his predecessors. So we decided to write instead about how Trump’s erratic, impulsive, narcissistic personality manifests itself in his actions in ways that pose a threat to our democracy.
That remains true today. Yet we’ve grown increasingly doubtful that Trump will lead any responsible efforts to reform immigration policy, grow the economy, improve healthcare or achieve other shared goals. His Cabinet choices and budget proposals show he’s more interested in dismantling federal agencies and programs than improving their effectiveness.”
So, in other words, Trump won’t do anything that he’s promised as far as they can see, but, to those who supported Trump and elected him, who are a sizable part of the voters, who believe in restricting illegal immigration, growing the economy, and reducing the bloated federal government, and dismantling Obamacare, it’s very clear that he has already begun to do just that.
Apparently, since the LA Times doesn’t believe in that stuff, it’s not actually happening. And if it is, they certainly don’t like it!
But it is happening. The Trump administration is clearly cracking down on illegal immigration. The LA Times itself has this story as a lead story today: “Rio Grande Valley is unusually quiet as Southwest border crossings drop to lowest point in at least 17 years. They may not like the result, but many Americans do.
The president has also signed a plethora of Executive Orders reducing regulations on business, including EPA regulations, which have been crippling to profits and jobs. He has done what he’s promised with the Trans-Pacific Partnership by killing it and he has negotiated with large multinationals to bring jobs back to America or keep them here. The stock market and employment surge since his election show that Americans have more optimism in their economy than they had over the last 8 years of the Obama Administration.
Yes, the Republican health care bill died a horrible death before it even reached a vote. This wasn’t due to Trump; it was attributable to poor planning and execution by the Republicans.
The one remaining area of concern for Trump’s agenda is the reform of personal and corporate taxes. This too has already been discussed and is on the agenda of Trump and Congress to be addresssed shortly.
So, yeah, the Trump administration’s start has been up and down, but, actually, he, like Obama, has done everything he said he would or started to do so. It seems that the problem the LA Times has with this is that the “deplorables” of “flyover” country don’t agree with them. The result is a piece that wants to see Hillary on the throne and reinforces what we know about the paucity of real journalism in our day.
Jon Saltzman is the Publisher and Senior Editor of Political Storm.