Trump has strengthened, not undermined, democracy in the U.S.

I will concede that the rescue process under this administration is inelegantly conducted at times, but rarely in recent American history has substance been so overwhelmingly more important than style. I believe that Jonah Goldberg and others who might be expected to approve most of the policy initiatives and results of the Trump presidency are unduly preoccupied with mere appearances, optics, and atmospherics. When Trump has departed the White House, if he has sharply stimulated economic growth, drastically reduced poverty and illegal immigration and the trade deficit, reduced the crime rate, reconstructed the Western alliance or at least eliminated its addiction to collective fantasy, and kept nuclear weapons out of the hands of completely untrustworthy regimes, perceived stylistic infelicities will be irrelevant and quickly forgotten.

The system Trump attacked had largely broken down. Apart from the leftward shift of the Obama interregnum, which was generally frustrated by a Republican Congress, a Bush-Clinton tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum had passed executive authority back and forth between themselves and was cranked up to do it again with Jeb and Hillary until Donald Trump mounted the stage and interrupted the play. After the indiscriminate militarism of George W. Bush’s seeking to plant democracy on stony ground, and the feckless pacifism of Obama, American foreign policy was in shambles. The resigned acceptance of a perpetually colossal trade deficit was essentially the result of American toleration of being hosed by largely disreputable and uncompanionable OPEC countries, unfair-traders led by China, and the supposed necessity of carrying the Western European allies on America’s back. The Obama climate policy would have been an act of singular self-punishment for the benefit of largely corrupt and flaccid under-developed countries, rewarding them for their backwardness like welfare addicts. Hillary Clinton would have continued this, and the Bush-Romney-McCain Republicans would have been only marginally preferable in policy terms, though probably less grating personally than a Hillary Clinton regime. (Senator McCain is rightly indulged, given his distinguished service and tenuous medical condition; without those mitigations, his public conduct in the last two years would qualify him as a public nuisance.)