All errors should be reported to

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A detached view of Trump

Reading a review of "Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other" by Conrad Black, I was struck that the reviewer wasn't particularly interested in the 2016 presidential election. Then I realized not everyone is politics 24/7. This gave Short's insights on President Trump a credibility sorely lacking among the experts.

The reviewer, Eric Short, is a scholar who has written two studies of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the 19th century Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism and led its revival in England. Newman is up for sainthood.

Black has written biographies of FDR and Nixon, as well as exhaustive history of Canada.

Short had other interests in 2016. He voted I suppose, but for whom, he does not mention. I found his comments about the president intriguing.

"Neither our pundits nor our political class may be prepared to acknowledge as much, but in the short time in which Trump has held the presidency, he has done his country more 'essential service' than the last three presidents combined," Short wrote.

"Liberating the nation from the regulatory tutelage in which his statist predecessor bound it, reforming the tax code, positioning the United States to attain economic-growth rates of 3 to 4 percent, appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (with Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation pending in September), appointing federal judges across the country who will uphold (not rewrite) our laws, securing our hitherto unsecured southern border with Mexico, putting China on notice that their unfair trade practices will no longer fly, and initiating talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, with or without the cooperation of Kim Jong-un — these are all steps in the right direction.

"They are also proof that there is an inspired maverick in Trump, and it is on this aspect of his subject that Black focuses in his insightful study."

Short's assessment of Black's book echoes mine. Black has recognized the Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman of our age.

I recommend the review as well. He ties in Gulliver's fictional travels and President Grant's actual travel into the book to make a fun read.

But it was Short's detached assessment of President Trump that did my heart good.

When the Cleveland Indians began winning after more than three decades of ineptitude, a Baltimore Orioles fan asked me if I resented the bandwagon fans. I replied that I had been waiting for them on that damned wagon for so long that I was glad they showed up.

Short's review shows President Trump is connecting with the people on the periphery of politics. That shows success is a magnet.


Please enjoy my books in paperback and on Kindle.

Trump the Press covers the nomination.

Trump the Establishment covers the election.

Fake News Follies of 2017 covers his first year as president.

For autographed copies, write me at


  1. An honest book review without an agenda. How refreshing! - Elric

  2. I had been waiting for them on that damned wagon for so long that I was glad they showed up.

    A lot of Philadelphia fans sympathize.

  3. For what it’s worth, John Henry Newman was the guy who wrote the words of the hymn “Lead, Kindly Light”.

  4. Need to activate comments on the newspapers failed the first amendment column.