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Port: Trump’s good ideas should continue, but without Trump as spokesperson




It probably gives the man too much credit.

Trump’s genius, as he is, has its roots in an innate ability to tell people what they want to hear. Trump is largely illiterate about the nuances of public policy. Yet he artfully identified the frustration bubbling up in the American body politic, and he capitalized on them.

Trump was a miserable president, certainly the worst of my life, and I’m ready to listen to the argument that he’s the worst ever. However, the social and political angst on which he built his movement is real, and it offers us, and especially Republicans, opportunities for victory in public policy.

Trade is one example. For decades we assumed free trade was an absolute good, but what China has taught us is that a deeply troubling regime can use unfettered trade with an open market like ours to fuel. its authoritarianism to the point that it poses a threat not only to the people. under his cruel boot but also to the Americans.

For proof, we should look no further than the sports and entertainment industry where celebrities and other highly paid boot-lickers lean on criticism of China, thanks to the huge market that this country represents for their products, even as they cheerfully support every wart on American society.

Immigration is another example. Fixing Trump on a border wall has not helped, but the huge political constituency delighted by the wall’s construction is frustrated by the chaos that characterizes modern American immigration policy. We need reforms that bring order to this process while recognizing the dignity of potential immigrants.

There is no better argument for the idea of ​​American exceptionalism in which Trump’s supporters believe and their detractors don’t care than the human masses willing to risk anything to live here. We have to be easier on those who would come here legally and harder on those who try to jump the line.

If Trump were a better human being, he could have made real progress in these and other policy areas. Instead, he dishonored himself and hurt the Republican Party.

Still, he leaves an opportunity behind. Republicans shouldn’t be afraid to pursue the political dilemmas at the heart of Trumpism, but they must change the mark of the effort.

Trump cannot be the face of this pursuit of reform. He was able to identify these problems but used the anger they arouse to help himself.

Good leaders solve problems. They don’t use them.

If Republicans can move control of their party away from Trump and his cult of personality and pragmatically focus on the issues that drive the Trump movement, they can quickly find themselves reinvigorated.

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Rob Port, Founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Contact him on Twitter at @robport or by email at [email protected]

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