Saturday, August 26, 2023

#238 / "Bad Man" Isn't The Last Word


Voters see Mr. Trump, with all his flaws—in some ways because of his flaws—as the last, best hope for a challenge to the increasingly corrupt and self-serving establishment in both parties.

Everett I. Midkiff III

In the July 6, 2023, edition of The Wall Street Journal, columnist Peggy Noonan called former president Trump a "Bad Man," adding that she, personally, is hoping that Trump "may soon reach his Waterloo." One reader response, from Everett I. Midkiff III, of Huntington Beach, California, can be seen above. He thinks that the "Bad Man" designation is not the "last word" on Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Midkiff's response, printed as a Letter to the Editor in the Saturday/Sunday, July 15-16, 2023, edition of the paper, is actually more extensive than the quote I have excerpted. Click on the link to see the whole thing (paywalls permitting, of course). In general, Midkiff is suggesting that "bad man" though he is, former president Trump is appealing as a way to make some necessary changes.
I agree with Noonan (and with Midkiff, apparently): Trump is a "bad man." Despite this, though - and this is Midkiff's point - many voters who would admit that Trump is "bad," also believe (and may even properly believe) that our politics is "increasingly corrupt," and that the "establishments" of both political parties are "self-serving." 
Where voters are wrong, if they have such a belief, is in thinking that voting for Mr. Trump is a "last, best hope" for voters to address the political and governmental realities to which they object (and properly object).

"Bad" people do not, generally, produce "good" results or do "good" things. Mr. Trump's record as president demonstrates his abject failure to cure the "problems" that the voters who supported him were hoping to have him cure. 

If we, the people, want a government that is not "self-serving" and "corrupt," then we need to get much more directly involved in government ourselves. "Voting" is not enough. Voting to elect the people, who hire the people, who then run our lives for us, leads to the kind of "corruption" to which Mr. Midkiff objects. 

There is no "shortcut" to self-government. Putting a "bad man" in charge, to "shake it all up," is a strategy that is doomed to failure. In fact, there is no better proof of that than the failed presidency of Donald J. Trump.

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