I've been thinking about posting this commentary since way back in November and December when critics of all ideological persuasions were jumping all over Donald Trump for his involvement in saving jobs at the Indiana Carrier plant as well as his talks with Ford Motor Co., Boeing and others.
I won't bother addressing concerns and complaints from the Left, because anything and everything a Republican president or president-elect does, they will whine. It's simply who and what they are. But let's take a look at the illogical and immature criticisms of Never Trumpers and other ideological purists of the conservative bent.
Probably the most common complaint is not so much the incentives, per se, that Trump promised companies who invest in America -- i.e., tax and regulatory relief, or the heavy tariffs he's threatened for American companies that manufacture products overseas and import them to America. Rather, it is the very notion that Trump was micromanaging and intervening in the economy.
According to pompous critics like George Will and William Kristol, Trump has been "playing favorites." They have high-minded, pie-in-the-sky visions of a Reagan-like ideological purity that, in fact, wasn't nearly as pure as their selective memories claim. Reagan was by far the best president we've had in my lifetime, and most likely one of the top five of all time, in my humble opinion. But he was not a dogmatist or purist. A prime example would be the tariffs he imposed on Japanese electronics products and motorcycles, the latter to help a struggling Harley-Davidson stay afloat.
Trump is not always right, and his methods can be clumsy and ill-executed. But he is actually attempting to help struggling middle class workers. He is taking concrete, meaningful action to make a positive difference in the lives of working families. Ask yourself, would it be better if he bought into the disastrous, massive trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership? Hell no. The TPP is over 5,000 pages long. In that sense, it's a convoluted piece of garbage like Obamacare (2,700 pages).
It doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar, economist or lawyer to grasp this simple truth: When legislation or trade agreements are massive in scope -- I'm talking IRS tax code huge -- they are undoubtedly full of special interest carve-outs and the nefarious, ubiquitous "fine print" that inevitably comes back to haunt you. "The devil is in the details," as the expression goes, and an agreement that is thousands of pages long has loads of details.
But back to the "playing favorites" and "micromanaging" issues... Does anyone think that statist Barack Obama wasn't "playing favorites" when his rogue EPA imposed draconian clean air regulations on electric utilities and industry, while at the same time doling out blank checks to the wind and solar industries? Do not the leftists "play favorites" when they kowtow to labor unions at the expense of their employers (which results in more part-time and temp jobs as well as off-shoring of jobs)? Didn't Obama's administration shove its ugly secular/progressive philosophy down the throat of Catholic-based charities, trampling on their First Amendment religious freedom rights with its abortion and contraceptive rules? It works both ways, folks.
I've said it many times: Donald Trump can be like a bull in a china shop. His behavior can be shockingly brash and boorish for a president. But his heart is in the right place, and his policies will revive our moribund economy and help protect our borders from an invasion that already has caused heavy damage. I'll take occasional oafish behavior but conservative Supreme Court justices and pro-business economics ANY DAY over a debonair, erudite Harvard scholar who speaks well and looks great in a $2,000 suit but whose policies are poison.