I’ve been saying it on my blog for a couple of years now; I’m not a Donald Trump fan. Never have been.
Like a lot of mainstream conservatives, I’ve found bits and pieces of peace to make with Trump’s presidency; his SCOTUS nomination, the most conservative cabinet of my adult lifetime, a belated but intense confrontation with mindless identity politics, among others.
But Scott Adams – who, two years ago, was the only pundit that actually got Trump and his phenomenon right – adds another, more-human-than-strictly-conservative reason to be happy after a year of Trump; he‘s pushing back the limits of what is ‘possible”:
Do you remember when it was common wisdom that if the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel it would be a huge problem? President Trump did it anyway. So far, it looks like a minor problem at most.
Do you remember when experts said President Trump shouldn’t mess with the Iran nuclear deal because it could cause a huge problem for the United States and its allies? He did it anyway, and it is likely a supporting variable for the Iranian protestors who don’t like how their government is creating problems that don’t need to be problems.
Do you remember when experts said China will never help squeeze the economy of North Korea because China fears a refugee crisis? President Trump encouraged China to squeeze anyway. Then he helpfully provided satellite photos of tankers cheating on the high seas. After South Korea grabbed and held a second cheating tanker, the economics of smuggling oil have turned negative, or will soon. And North Korea is sounding — at least to my ears — more flexible than ever.
Adams actually lists many more examples; feel free to read ’em. Of course, the fat lady has yet to sing; will the tax reform gamble pay off with Reagan-era-level growth? We don’t know. Only politicians think policy = destiny.
The meta-impact of President Trump routinely doing the “impossible” is that it changes how all of us view our world. If Trump can keep doing the impossible, time and time again, why can’t we?
Sometimes things are literally impossible. But much of the time we are only limited by our imaginations. Many of us simply couldn’t imagine that a number of the things President Trump has done would work out well. These were not simple surprises; these were failures of our imagination.
And after the eight years of deadening, Carter-like malaise that Obama left (outside the activist class, anyway), that alone is a wonderful thing.