December 28, 2016

RIGHT ABOUT THE MAN, WRONG ABOUT THE STRENGTH OF THE FUNDAMENTALS:

Does a Never Trumper Need to Be Forgiven? (Jonah Goldberg, December 16, 2016, National Review)

I did get the election wrong. Although there were occasions when I wrote that Trump had a shot, certainly at the end I was convinced that he'd lose. And yet, defensive though it may sound, I think the claim that I got "everything wrong" in 2016 reveals more about my detractors than about me. No doubt I got much wrong this year (this is true of every year ending in a number divisible by 1), but the only sense in which one could plausibly claim I got everything wrong is if Donald Trump is your everything. [...]

[T]hat brings me to what I think I got right: Trump's character. I am not referring to his personal conduct toward women, a culture-war weapon that Trump and Bill Clinton together have removed from partisan arsenals for the foreseeable future. Nor am I necessarily referring to how he has managed his businesses, though I think those patterns of behavior are entirely relevant to understanding our next president. 

What I have chiefly in mind is that rich nexus of unrestrained ego, impoverished impulse control, and contempt for policy due diligence. I firmly and passionately believe that character is destiny. From his reported refusal to accept daily intelligence briefings to his freelancing every issue under the sun on Twitter -- including, most recently, nuclear-arms policy -- Trump's blasé attitude troubles me deeply, just as it did during the campaign.

It really speaks to the strength of the historical models that they successfully forecast the winner, no matter how unpopular he was.


Posted by at December 28, 2016 6:31 AM

  

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