News ID: 192238
Published: 1938 GMT 06 May 2017

Can you say something nice about Donald Trump?

Can you say something nice about Donald Trump?

By Michael Kinsley*

A.M.’s response

 

The establishment press has been vicious about Donald Trump. He’s portrayed, day after day, as a narcissist, personally obnoxious, with a policy agenda to match. He deserves most of this criticism.

But does he deserve all of it? Does he never do anything right? Say anything wise? Are all his schemes to reform this agency and abolish that regulation utterly misguided?

Surely, if there is a “party line” among the establishment media in the United States, it is anti-Trump, not pro. That doesn’t make it wrong. In fact, it’s largely right. But the venom, the obsession, the knife-twisting are hard to understand.

It must be partly a matter of bad timing. Mr. Trump came along just as the mainstream media, especially newspapers, were trying to come to terms with the internet. Hoary concepts like “objectivity” and “balance” were giving way. This was a good thing, believe it or not. Reporters no longer had to pretend that after spending weeks or months on a story, they had emerged with no opinion about it. The word “I” could now be used to refer to oneself, rather than “a reporter.”

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, though, and even Donald Trump can’t be wrong all the time.

With that in mind, we’re looking for a few positive words about the president, and we’re asking for your help. This is not about Trump the family man. It’s not another forum for debating the issues. It is a place to point out positive things Mr. Trump has said or done.

So here’s an example. Twitter. Donald Trump tweets. Yes, of course, what he tweets is more important than the mere fact that he tweets. But that mere fact is not trivial. With his use of Twitter as a sort of brain dump, exposing his thinking to the world at all hours of day and night, he has made social media almost a part of our constitutional system.

And he apparently writes his tweets himself. Here is the direct connection to the people that presidents always say they want and presidential aides always strive to prevent them from getting, for fear that the boss will go “off message.”

 

As with so much new technology, Twitter works its magic by cutting out the middleman. But the benefit in this case is not just economic. Thanks to @realDonaldtrump, the average citizen now has a view straight into the president’s id. You may not like what you see, but you can see it.

So that’s one good thing he has done for the country. Can you think of another? Please let me know at somethingnice@nytimes.com.

* Michael Kinsley is an American political journalist and commentator. 

_______________

A.M.’s response:

President Donald Trump says what’s on his mind.

He listens to the president of China for ten minutes and changes his mind about North Korea, or about calling Taiwan again.

He changed his mind about the Iran nuclear deal or, at least, he didn’t tear up the deal.

He is willing to forgo the Mexican wall – for now – in order to prevent a government shutdown.

He is willing to negotiate about NAFTA, rather than terminate it.

He gives his wife freedom to not live in the White House, and not act like a first lady.

About the job of being president, he admits, “I thought it would be easier.”

Here is a novice president who lies a lot, but is also very honest, and is willing to learn.

 

 

 

   
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