A story is supposed to have two sides, but there is only one when it comes to President Trump’s foreign policy. Most American media treat his every effort as a savage assault on a harmonious world order.
Whether it’s the trade dispute with China, his pushing North Korea to scuttle its nukes or his demand that NATO members spend more on defense, the headlines sound the same shrieking note: “Trump inflames . . . Trump escalates . . . Trump doubles down . . . Trump risks . . .”
The parade of horribles continues to this day, but it will be hard to out-fear-monger a Time magazine headline from May: “By Violating Iran Deal, Trump Jeopardizes National Security.”
But since the world hasn’t ended and since we’re not dead yet, I humbly suggest it’s time to take a deep breath and consider the other side of the story.
We don’t have to look far. Numerous signs are popping up that the impact of Trump’s policies is far from the disastrous scenario the media predict. By wielding America’s power instead of apologizing for it, and by keeping his focus on jobs and national security, Trump is making progress in fixing the ruinous status quo he inherited.
SUSAN ESTRICH: Donald Trump numbers not as bad as some believe.
What’s striking from the numbers, at least as far as I can see, is not how much support Trump has lost but how, given the daily barrage of tweets and countertweets; ugly chants and ugly corruption trials (his campaign chairman); intense criticism in the media; all-out war in Congress; and foreign policy flubs and domestic failures, much remains firm, and how tough he will be to beat.
Boorish behavior seems like a small price to pay for increased wage growth in a hot jobs market. Or as Estrich’s former (Bill) Clinton campaign compadre James Carville liked to say, “It’s the economy, stupid.” And if anyone in Washington would understand that tradeoff, it would be someone from the Clinton Administration.
What gets me is that 20 years after L’affair Lewinsky, nearly 30 years after the first “Bimbo Eruption,” and longer still since JFK’s antics became widely known, that anyone is still seriously concerned about ill-behaved presidents.
Or is it just different when Democrats do it, because shut up?
A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 50 percent of likely voters say Trump deserves plaudits for the improving economy, while only 40 percent credit President Obama.
Even in a Quinnipiac poll taken at the height of the controversy over Trump’s Helsinki summit, when the president came under extreme criticism, respondents by a 49-47 margin were positive on his handling of the economy.
Larry Summers not only disagrees that President Trump has anything to do with our improving economy, he is also reluctant to bury his gloomy “secular stagnation” theory that income and job growth will forever be severely restricted.
He is, of course, in the position of having to explain why the Obama administration, in which he served as director of the National Economic Council, failed to excite higher investment and spending and instead presided over the slowest post-recession growth in modern times.
I had been assured by all the smartest people, starting in 2009, that “business climate” was just a myth.