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Trump’s Personality Finally Did Him In

Trump’s Personality Finally Did Him In

In looking at President Trump as he is about to leave office – whether by a Trump impeachment or voluntarily — I was reminded of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Though originally penned to describe a girl, I find the characterization applicable to Trump.  So, I paraphrase … “when he was good, he was very good indeed, but when he was bad, he was horrid.”

Anyone following my commentaries knows that I have never been a fan of President Trump’s personality and style.  I firmly believe that his constant pugnaciousness, self-centered bragging, fact-challenged statements and baseless predictions crippled his ability to accomplish more – and to even get the credit for the positive accomplishments of his administration.

On the positive side, I can run a very long list of accomplishments that I applaud. 

Trump has been good for the economy and the American worker.  He is the first President to improve the incomes of Black and Hispanic workers. And, he is the first President since Jimmy Carter not to launch or escalate American warfare.  Trump brokered peace treaties between Israel and three Arab nations.  He destroyed the ISIS califate and took down critical terrorist leaders.  Trump brokered fair trade deals more favorable to the United States.  He got NATO nations to assume more financial responsibility for the Alliance.  His Warp Speed program helped produce a vaccine in an astonishingly short period of time.  These are all accomplishments about which EVERY American should be happy. From a conservative perspective, he did a lot more.

On the other hand, I have occasionally commented on his tendency to damage his own credibility. And to give his enemies ammunition for the venomous attacks of the #AntiTrump Resistance Movement.  I have criticized him as an ineffective communicator because he never understood that personal confrontation and belligerence are not the best means to win an argument. And he often seemed to argue for the sake of arguing.

I have never defended Trump personally because I never liked the guy.  By my calculation, politics is 90 percent policy and 10 percent personality.  Trump is not the first time I voted for the person I LIKED less and against the person I LIKED more.  Truth be known, when John McCain was running against Barack Obama, I actually LIKED Obama more as a person. But I abhorred his and the Democrats’ policies. I had dealings with McCain and I found him to be an arrogant assh**e, to put it bluntly.  But I voted for him because of policy.

As it turns out, Trump’s personality was his Achilles Heel. 

It became an increasingly more serious issue as time went by.  It started to affect policy.  Trump had created so many enemies that it was progressively more difficult to achieve policy goals.  He could have had a new immigration policy – and have resolved the DACA situation.  He was close to that deal a couple years ago.

There never should have been a Trump impeachment the first time – and would not have been except for his pugnacious personality.  He made it too easy for his enemies to demonize him.

Trump’s personality resulted in the greatest conservative policy gains in recent years – but also the greatest setbacks of my generation.  He ultimately lost the House, the Senate and the presidency to the radical left. This paved the way for the most authoritarian one-party leftwing leadership since Franklin Roosevelt.

Democrats and –ironically, Trump – both made Trump the issue in the 2018 and 2020 elections – and the special election in Georgia.  Most believed that two very liberal senators from Georgia was unthinkable.  It was only possible because of Trump.

In 2020, we saw the Republican Party – and its policies – strongly endorsed by the electorate at virtually every level of government – except for Trump.  And no, it is not all about election fraud – although there was that.   I know several regular Republican voters who cast their ballots for every Republican on the ballot – except Trump.

No President has suffered more from an unfair attack of political enemies

One can fairly claim that Trump’s most self-damaging trait was his ego.  He seemed to see every debatable issue as a personal fight between him and the rest of the world. And he demonized those who offered the mildest of disagreement even if they were largely rock-solid supporters of his policies.  I know because I have endured the wrath of Trump hard core supporters whenever I was critical of his method of operation, his personality and his constant snarling manner. And in some cases, even his policies.

BUT … it is also fair — and necessary — to say that no President of the United States suffered more from the unfair and dishonest winnowing attack of political enemies – not even the much-maligned Abraham Lincoln.  Democrats and much of the elitist east coast media spent four years attempting to destroy the Trump policies by highlighting and demonizing the Trump personality.  If there is conflict between Trump and the Democrat establishment, they started it when they declared their intention to cast aside America’s long tradition of coming back together after an election. In their desire to damage and destroy, they, themselves, became increasingly corrupted.  They wanted him out of office from the day he stunned them by winning the presidency. And they would resort to ANY means of accomplishing that goal.

In a sad irony, Trump became the very fuel for the authoritarians on the left – for the utter corruption and morphing of the east coast media into a vehicle of strident leftwing propaganda.

It is reasonable to wonder if they had not been so politically, intellectually and morally corrupt – so much the rabid political Pitbulls– perhaps Trump would not have reacted in such an irrationally hostile manner.  There can be little doubt that they brought out the worst in him.  I have often described contemporary politics as a bar room fight where both sides claim the other side started the melee. It is a clash that causes a lot of damage without any discernible benefit.

And finally, what about that clash on Capitol Hill? 

Trump has always been reckless and inconsistent with his words.  They were easy to defend and easy to criticize depending on the political bias of the listener.  The left argues that Trump – with malice aforethought – commanded his most radical followers to storm the Capitol and seize control of the government.  Revolution, treason, sedition and insurrection are words bandied about in a fit of hysterical exaggeration.

For obvious reasons, the left intentionally overreacted and capriciously analyzed the event for political purposes.  In an example of extreme hypocrisy, they declared this riot to be a thing apart from the even more violent, destructive and deadly riots that have plagued multiple cities in recent years – also with violent attacks on government.

But even Trump’s most ardent supporters should be able to admit that his words – and those of others were – shall we say – ill advised, at best.  Yes, they went too far.  Worthy of a Trump impeachment?  Probably not.

But however one judges Trump’s intentions, the result was disastrous.  A classic riot took place.  People were injured and killed – property was damaged.   Consistent with my conservative, law-and-order philosophy, I hope that all those rioting are prosecuted and convicted of their crimes – just as I believe should have been the case in all those other riots in recent years.  Crime is to be judged solely on the act, not on any excusing purpose.  A looter is a looter no matter the reason.  I am perplexed – maybe even vexed – by the left which seem to constantly hold that might makes right – playing down or playing up similar events depended on which side is culpable.  That is not a rule-of-law.

Will there be a Trump impeachment? 

In the first place, it does not matter.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not driving this train on merit but on perceived political benefit.

With only days to go, I think it is a moot point.  Once again, we know that Trump will not leave office before the end of his term – unless he resigns.  Since removal from office is the primary purpose of a Trump impeachment, we can safely say that they are pursuing it only for the optics.  It is impossible to carry out a proper Trump impeachment in this time frame.  We will witness a rush-to-judgment by a kangaroo court.  That is not how it should work.

Even if you believe that Trump’s action reached the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, it should be obvious that a Trump impeachment is a bad idea.  It distracts from important government business – and will only further anger and divide the American people.

The future of conservative governance – and the personal freedoms and rights articulated in our Constitution – are at risk. 

But rather than to fight old battles like a bunch of geriatric generals wasting away in some military retirement home, we conservatives need to reassemble, re-strategize and to build on the powerful base we enjoy in America – as reflected in the 2020 election results, excluding Trump.

We must keep in mind that Trump is only the point of the spear for the left.  If you follow the leftwing rhetoric, you know they want to drive out of government all Republicans, all conservatives and all opposition to their elitist authoritarian ambitions.

In many ways, the 2022 election will be at least as important as 2020 because it will determine whether our Founders’ conservative principle of American freedom will be reclaimed to some degree – or whether the left will tighten its grip.  To do that, we need to identify new leadership that can lead the way.  Looking to Trump to be that person will result in further defeat.  He has become – rightly or wrongly – the conservative Republican Achilles Heel.

We should not fall into the trap of allowing Trump to be the focus of debate in the months ahead no matter how much Democrats – and Trump –would like that.  I have spent four years defending his policies, but I hope to see him in my political rearview mirror as we go forward.

In a few days, Trump will be the ex-President of the United States.  I sincerely doubt that he will have a comeback in 2024.  I hope not.  History will make a more unimpassioned analysis of his presidency.  I do believe people will regard him more highly and give him more credit for his substantial accomplishments than the current hyper divided partisan environment will allow.

I expect to devote my future writing to supporting the basic principles of conservative governance – as I have in the past.  And, I have never been – nor will I be — a lockstep devotee to any one person.  That will ensure that I likely will have to take sh*t from both sides from time-to-time.  But I am used to that.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

13 Comments

  1. Ben

    Larry, what happened today? I couldn’t wait to get on your site and see what insightful thoughts you were going to share with the masses!
    But the site was down all day. I was very disappointed.
    And now I see that all comments are gone? My disappointed is immense and my day is ruined.

    Reply
    • june burgess

      They probably shut down his site because there was blame to the left sided Democrats as well as some positive attributes to President Trump and a few of the accomplishments. Just think how much more could have been accomplished if the Democrats had used some honey instead of 4 years of “vinegar”

      Reply
  2. Robert

    You hope that Trump doesn’t emerge in 2024? I suppose you would rather have a crooked politician in office that, like the House of Representatives, do nothing for four years, but try to take a duly elected President down,and waste taxpayer’s money!
    Looks like to me your priority’s are backwards!

    Reply
  3. Michael ioffe

    We have huge problems in the USA especially with mass media, which must be source of information and different ideas. In reality mass media follow Lenin’s advises in his article: Party organization and party literature. When President of the USA without any court decision was ban by all mass media providers – it is treason against main interests of the USA – ALL WILD dictators can promote their ideas, except lawfully elected President of the USA.
    Dear Larry, please pay more attention on next, which became more dangerous because Democrats will promote Green agenda.
    We can influence climate with huge profit. Science of climate change is deadly wrong. Greenhouse gasses have nothing to do with climate change. Properties of water are cooling the atmosphere, despite water vapor is greenhouse gas.:
    https://www.amazon.com/PROFIT-WEATHER-CLIMATE-HEALTH-DISASTERS-ebook/dp/B07ZDL8Y7C

    Reply
  4. Blue

    I believe President Trump should get a Badge of Honor for all the disruption he’s brought to democrats and nevertrumpers, maybe in the long run some good will come out of all this.

    Reply
    • Ben

      I also believe trump should get a badge of honor.

      For destroying the Republican Party.

      Just like Lindsey said,” If we nominate trump as our candidate for President it will destroy the Republican Party”.

      Even a broken clock is right 2x a day. When trump was elected, Republicans controlled the Presidency,, the House, and the Senate. Now, all you have is Insurrectionists, a second impeachment and a fractured Republican Party.

      Democrats couldn’t have done this much damage to Republicans.

      Reply
  5. Mike

    Larry, I see that you (or whoever runs the website) have taken all the comments that were made on this post yesterday down. There were several of us that commented on the words yesterday, strange that none of those post that were removed were applauding your commentary. Yes, Trump did lose because of his narcissistic personality, and his authoritarian ways. It is rich that you try to paint Democrats as authoritarian, when we have never had a President that considered himself totally in charge. Yes, Trump was impeached today, as he was a year ago, and deservedly so both times. I know, you don’t see a problem with a President extorting the Prime Minister of a sovereign nation to aid himself politically as a problem-even when he is holding up money that the nation desperately needs that was allocated for that country by congress. If that is not “authoritarian, I don’t know what is. Of course now, he has been impeached again, for actions which the current Republican leader of the Senate calls “impeachable” offenses, which they are. Of course they are, as were his offenses a year ago, and I agree that there is a vanishingly small chance that he will be removed from office before his term ends in a week, however, if he is convicted (which is entirely conceivable given McConnell’s statement), then it will be followed by a vote that will prevent him from ever running for office again, which is a good thing (and likely the reason that McConnell has given tacit approval to the action). McConnell of course views the toxicity of the Trump brand to be the reason that Republicans lost control of the Senate, which is highly likely. You also profess your love of the actions that Trump has done, aside from his commentary. There really is not much to brag about there, unemployment did reach it’s lowest level, but that was due to him inheriting an economy that was steadily increasing the job count from Obama. However, when you look at the actual numbers, and compare his first three years with Obama’s last three (and I am deliberately leaving out the last year due to Covid),, you will see that there were 1 million more jobs added during Obama’s last three as compared to Trump’s first three. Of course there is the Gross Domestic Product, which really tells the strength of the economy, which was virtually unchanged during the Trump years compared with the Obama years. And then there were the tax cuts, which did virtually nothing to spur economic growth, though they did lead to an unprecedented increase in the deficit-unprecedented during a period of economic expansion. Of course there is Covid, which he mishandled from the start by lying to the American public about how serious the virus was. He did not encourage the American public to do everything they could to decrease the spread of the disease-can you say “masks”? Trump couldn’t. Then we get to issue of election fraud, and his lies about how he “won in a landslide”, which was how he encouraged right-wing protesters to come to DC, and show the duly elected legislators how “angry” they were. They sure took him at his word, and trashed the Capitol building, and resulted in 6 people dying (7 if you count the protester from Georgia that allegedly committed suicide). All because his ego could not handle that he lost, and people like yourself continue backing his lies about election fraud. It seems a little odd to me that people (like yourself) do not believe duly elected officials (many of them Republican) who are in charge of the actual election activities when they say “there was no fraud” and instead believe someone who has turned lying into a fine art throughout his rather dismal career. Trump has earned his place as ‘the worst President ever’. So there tis….

    Reply
  6. Ben

    Larry, not surprisingly, some of your information is wrong, for instance, trumps drone air strikes have lead to a 300% increase of civilian deaths in Afghanistan. It’s not like he trained and armed Bin Laden like Reagan did, but I’m sure this will lead to making more enemies that wish to do us harm. Although, trump supporters have done more damage to our democracy than any Afghani could ever do.

    Reply
  7. MarianO loo sr

    USA need to call news General Election Day to stop inciting Trump voters by stolen election 2020. So audit the Ballot filled outside poll for vote were drop in box mail USPS federal interference 2020 do not validate the stolen election 2020 was denounced early by Trump-Pence. Impeachment Pelosi’s bipartisan coup to inciting the protests of the Trump’s voters, said thanks for National Guard to defend the impostors 117th Congress by counts & certified votes 548 electors to the Stolen election 2020 to inciting Trump’s voters to protest against insurrection of those importers 435 Reps & 33 Sens from 100. The Case Stolen election 2020 was well won by Trump-Pence who denounced early will stolen election 2020, So Trump’s voters by ballot filled inside ask on ticket to the inauguration in the White House to Trump-Pence to its oath of fact to Second Terms Final Period. So they as incumbent has powers to defend constitutional security to protect our freedom & justice, so they have powers as head of the state in exercise to cancel unconstitutional inauguration oath of thief Biden’s Obama sham’s U.K. for immunity stolen a third term period. It’s a acting legal & duty to protecting presidential institution to invoke the exercise of beauty amendment second being necessary to the security of a free state, by uses US military & Militias to expel those impostors 435 Reps & 33 Sens were elect by those invalid ballot filled outside poll for vote were drop in box mail USPS federal manipulate by virus aero bat Fauci’s allowed by Vp Pence betrayed his own oath to count & certified those vote invalid of 538 electors to reinstall bipartisan sham UK Biden’s Obama to violently stolen third terms used Kamala & Sanders enabler insurrection BLM rioters. USA founded for freedom & justice. We need to call news general Election Day by voters fill out ballot only Inside poll for vote to elect all official & appointed each 50 state its electors 538 to elect he man to US president & his Vp terms period. It necessary to being to prevent stolen of election. It’s the laws to save USA republic. Or USA is already to dissolved.

    Reply
  8. MarianO loo sr

    Biden’s Obama it’s for thief third terms. And Trump-Pence it’s for second terms. and any candidates as 435 Reps & 33 Sens from 100 they’re in unconstitutional reelection vitalize, and appointed of 538 electors it’s to made fraud, and all they never can oath by Stolen election 2020, so they reached to impostors, without legitimacy, and they never can accused Trump for the protest of its voters of incitement of insurrection to impeachment him, it’s too out rules well established in Article II. Section 4, on incitement of insurrection of the voters protesting furiously against the stolen election 2020, it is irreparable, it only serves to unconstitutionally to reinstall the enemy bipartisan its thieves Biden’s Obama for immunity stolen a third terms period. USA republic need call news general Election Day to prevent inauguration oath Us president by stolen election 2020 by ballot filled outside poll for vote were drop in box mail USPS federal felony interference 2020 Nazi’s suppression votes very manipulated by virus aero bat Fauci’s regime more dangerous against the man. So US45th incumbent has legal duty to call news general Election Day by the voters fill out the ballot inside poll for vote, to give legitimacy & legality authority to winning candidates for terms, and it’s necessarily to prevent stolen election agains. It’s the laws. Or USA republic representative it’s ceased being as a country already to dissolved.

    Reply
    • Ben

      Larry,
      You’ve hit the big time! You got Russian trolls posting in your blog now.! You’re world wide!
      Congratulations!
      Reading Marian’s posts were a hoot! Thank you both!

      Reply
  9. face mask

    10/10! Is there anything else I should do next? Or is this sufficient?

    Reply
  10. Jed Perault

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    Reply

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