One stalwart ploy of leftist writers, commentators and artists is to attach the adjective American to the normal sins of humankind. American Racism. American Injustice. American Sexism. As if these problems exist nowhere but here or as if they were somehow worse here than other places.
In fact, when looked at in context, the word American, when used this way, usually turns out to mean “less.” Less Racism. Less Injustice. Less Sexism. Indeed many of America’s faults and flaws arise from the high standards to which we hold it.
After reading the Mueller Report, I came away with a similar feeling toward Donald Trump. The report gave a picture of Donald Trump that was remarkably Donald Trump-like. He came across as pugilistic, short-tempered, sometimes rash. He had moments of dishonesty and roguery. He often seemed unaware of how things worked and even naive about the level of chicanery in Washington D.C. He was, in short, exactly the Trump we’ve come to know. He turns out to be just as he seems.
And that alone makes him better than the people who hate him and the reporters who cover him.
In the context of the political swamp, it turns out Trump Dishonesty means less dishonesty, Trump Deception means less deception and Trump Abuse of Power means less abuse of power than the dishonesty, deception and abuse that is all around him.
Sure, the way the report tells it, Trump tried to derail or influence the investigation in ways he should not have. A few times he even lied about what he’d done or what his motives were in doing it.
But he never sent federal law agencies to investigate his political opponents. He never sent agents to Russia to gather disinformation on his opponents or used that disinformation to start a spying campaign against them. He never called his opponents Russian assets or accused them of treason. He never claimed to have seen conclusive proof that his opponents were colluding with America’s enemies when such proof did not exist.
At one point in the report, Mueller mulls over whether he could prove Trump’s criminal intent to commit obstruction when so many of Trump’s attacks on the investigation happened in plain sight. In other words, it’s hard to accuse a man of being deceptive when he does everything right out in front of you, even when he’s in the wrong. He didn’t even seek to redact the report by claiming Executive Privilege.
Compare that to a president who masquerades as a high-minded intellectual descended from on high to cause the seas to stop rising while he fundamentally transforms our country — but who is really just another Chicago machine pol who uses the powerful institutions of the federal government as partisan weapons. Compare it to a desiccated gothic ruin of corruption and greed who masquerades as an America-loving public servant while she calls ordinary Americans deplorable, racist, homophobic and all the rest.
In other words, in their attacks, slanders and maneuvers against Donald Trump, the agents of the Deep State and their media fellow travelers revealed themselves to be far worse than the obstreperous president they were hounding.
And meanwhile, while they, in the guise of “The Resistance,” have accomplished literally jack-diddley-nothing for this country, the horrid, mean, rotten, no-good, very bad Donald Trump has restored our economy, destroyed ISIS, realigned our foreign policy toward sanity and realigned our courts with the Constitution.
So really, the only difference between Trump and the people who hate him is that he’s authentically what he seems, he’s competent, he’s trying to make things work, and they are living a lie while trying to suck power from the hands of the people into their own
It is not what-aboutism to compare our flawed president with his opposition. It’s context. And in context, Donald Trump’s presidency is currently one of the best things about Washington, D.C.