Trump and Honesty

Posted by Jack

by Mark Thiessen, Washington Post

Donald Trump may be remembered as the most honest president in modern American history. Don’t get me wrong, Trump lies all the time. He said that he “enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history” (actually they are the eighth-largest) and that “our economy is the strongest it’s ever been in the history of our country” (which may one day be true, but not yet). In part, it’s a New York thing — everything is the biggest and the best.

But when it comes to the real barometer of presidential truthfulness — keeping his promises — Trump is a paragon of honesty. For better or worse, since taking office, Trump has done exactly what he promised he would do.

Trump kept his promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something his three immediate predecessors also promised yet failed to do. He promised to “crush and destroy ISIS,” and two years later he is on the verge of eliminating Islamic State’s physical caliphate. He promised to impose a travel ban on countries that he saw as posing a terrorist threat, and after several false starts the final version of his ban was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Trump pledged to nominate Supreme Court justices “in the mold of Justice (Antonin) Scalia,” and now Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh sit on the high court. Trump also pledged to fill the federal appellate courts with young, conservative judges, and so far the Senate has confirmed 29 — more than any recent president at this point in his administration.

Trump promised to cancel President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, withdraw from the Paris climate accord, approve the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration. He fulfilled all of those pledges.

On trade, he kept his promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. He also committed to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement — and recently signed new deals with Mexico, Canada and South Korea. He committed to imposing tariffs on China to force it to open its markets and stop its theft of intellectual property — and is following through on that pledge. Whatever one thinks of Trump’s trade policies, he is doing exactly what he said.

Where Trump has failed to keep promises, such as building the wall or repealing Obamacare, it has not been for a lack of trying. Only in a few rare instances has he backtracked on a campaign pledge — such as when he admitted that he was wrong to promise a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and reversed course. I’m glad he did.

But whether one agrees or disagrees is not the point. When Trump says he will do something, you can take it to the bank. Yes, he takes liberties with the truth. But unlike his predecessor, he did not pass his signature legislative achievement on the basis of a lie (“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”) — which is clearly worse than falsely bragging that your tax cut is the biggest ever.

The fact is, in his first two years, Trump has compiled a remarkable record of presidential promise-keeping. He’d probably say it’s the best in history — which may or may not end up being true. It’s too soon to tell.

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14 Responses to Trump and Honesty

  1. Pie Guevara says:

    Yes, and his accomplishments are what I like about him. I just wish he would shut his big fat yap on all this other stuff and quit being such a recalcitrant blowhard. Yet that is Trump, he blows he own horn, says anything he damn well pleases and does not care what anyone thinks about it.

    In one way, that has become part of his charm, although it makes me cringe — Trump drives the left and especially the left-wing media completely bonkers and that is a good thing. Schadenfreude. He goads these loathsome, dishonest creatures into a frenzy of foaming-at-the-mouth lunacy and unhinged rage. What is not to like about that?

  2. Cherokee Jack says:

    You’re right on, Jack. “Puffing” is a word used by salesmen. It’s what’s in the contract that counts. In Trump’s case, he does a lot of puffing. As a consumer it doesn’t bother me. I’m used to being told my sex life will be better if my teeth are whiter, my car is flashier, my underarms smell better, etc.
    It’s Trump’s accomplishments that will keep me supporting him, and it’s those accomplishments that are driving the losers even crazier. They fixate on the sideshow, somehow believing they can distract us from the good stuff.
    Libby is a good example. She claims Trump has us snowed. Hey Libby! We love that growing list of real accomplishments. Maybe you should take a look at the snowjobs you’re getting from your role models.

  3. Pie Guevara says:

    Off Topic Friday Funny!

    Community College creates a PC Snowflake Version of Shutes and Ladders

    Evidently these folks completely miss the fact that the concept of “white privilege” is, in itself, inherently racist. Being that this is a “Community College” that makes it institutionalised racism.

    • Pie Guevara says:

      By the way, “The cost of attendance is $75; students will pay $50 and North Shore Community College students will attend free.”

      I guess that means that only the privileged white outside of the North Shore and afford to play the game.

  4. Tina says:

    Superb article by Mark Thiessen, Jack…and published in the Washington Post!

    An attempt to redeem themselves re: the scandalous leaks perhaps?

  5. Libby says:

    I abandoned irony, as a rhetorical device, on this blog some time ago as it is not comprehended.

    • Cherokee Jack says:

      Just don’t leave us. We’ll try harder to understand when you’re being ironic, and when you’re being yourself. We need you, for comic relief, if nothing else

      • Libby says:

        I guess I have to spell it out … Mr. Theissen is being ironic. Adolph was a big promise keeper too … but this is not necessarily a good thing.

        • Cherokee Jack says:

          Libby, you’ve convinced me with your rhetorical skills. All those things that Theissen waxes ironic over are no big deal.
          So I really don’t understand why all your friends are bleeding from the ears over them.
          You’ve got the right idea. We can all have fun with the ironic new shape of the Supreme Court, or the ironic insignificance of an economy that put everyone who wants to work, back to work. And wow, isn’t it ironic how all those superior nations are pee-oed about losing us as a patsy to push around.
          I could continue with all this irony, but I’m too busy decorating for the celebration.

    • Pie Guevara says:

      In general, you are incomprehensible (if not just plain idiotic). Irony is not lost on us. It is, however, lost on you in just about every post you make, dear.

      In any case, your complete obliviousness to your own unintentional comedic value is wonderfully ironic. Keep up the good work, Lippy.

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