Wednesday, 9 November 2016

National Review: The Challenge for Republicans

National Review: The Challenge for Republicans

by Mona Charen

"His character is the great challenge for the nation and the Republican party going forward. On this post-election morning, it seems advisable that those Republicans who signed statements of opposition to him — particularly foreign-policy experts — reassess. A president has the most scope for independent action on the world stage, and it is there that he can do the maximum amount of damage. Trump has indulged in ignorant bluster to gain popularity (he would crush ISIS “very quickly,” “take the oil” from the Middle East, renegotiate NAFTA, force Mexico to pay for a border wall, “get along very well” with Putin, and encourage nuclear proliferation). But one thing we know about Trump is that he will say almost anything for attention and effect, and he has contradicted himself thousands of times. He will need advisers with experience, judgment, and keen psychological skills to temper his instincts and guide him toward policies more in line with American interests and values. Even foreign-policy experts who were appalled by Trump’s campaign rhetoric — in fact, especially they — should consider serving in his administration.

Trump has been on both sides of most of the contentious issues in American life. He’s been pro– and anti–socialized medicine, for and against (mostly) entitlement reform, for (mostly) and against abortion. He is, primarily, an entertainer, who hasn’t given much thought to public policy at all, but is expert at playing to a crowd and ventilating its resentments. But even more than riling up his audiences, Trump’s lodestar has always been himself. Everything comes back to him, especially when he’s feeling attacked or disrespected.

I am praying that because he will now have his heart’s desire — the nonstop shower of attention and yes, flattery, that comes with the Oval Office — that this will serve as a tonic for his outsized ego and perhaps supply him the calm he will need to serve wisely."

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