But the more worrisome defense is the one that I fear is coming — and I hear on social media all the time. Just trust him. He knows things we don’t. He is playing chess and everyone is playing checkers. He won the primaries relying on his judgment, and we should have confidence he knows what he’s doing. Place your faith in him. Or, as Ann Coulter puts it, “In Trump We Trust.”
This sort of thing was creepy when Demi Moore proclaimed, “I pledge to be a servant of our president” at the beginning of the Obama administration. And it’s creepy now. A staple tenet of modern conservatism — and to a lesser extent Americanism rightly understood — is skepticism for all politicians. As James Madison said, “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.”
What worries me about the nascent Trump administration is that he is making it difficult to defend Trump on the merits. Again, this isn’t specifically a point about substance, but process. Trump’s impulsively glandular style of governing and communicating frequently leaves his staff and surrogates guessing what he will do next and at a loss as to how to defend his statements. Numerous times he has undermined or contradicted his own supporters and spokesmen, particularly Sean Spicer.