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Trump deserves more credit, even for unintentional results

September 18, 2018

Voter turnout was very strong in Arizona’s primary election. That’s a good thing. It means democracy is strong.

Now the punch line: Democracy, as measured by voter engagement, is strong for a singular reason, namely President Trump.

Odd, isn’t it, that the man vilified by many as a wanna-be autocrat is in fact strengthening the Republic? It really isn’t that unusual for polarizing figures to rally Americans in ways both favorable and unfavorable to that person.

We don’t mean to offer a backhanded compliment to President Trump. He doesn’t get enough credit for the things his administration has done that are constructive and beneficial.

Why not? Political animosity and a distrust of the unconventional are parts of it. The other part is Trump’s own fault. He takes credit for so many things there’s little room for the public to appreciate those that really matter.

To say he’s a polarizing figure is understating things. He’s not the only one, of course.

In fact, the 2016 election was a battle of two of those figures. Trump won Mohave County with almost 74 percent of the vote, and while it’s fair to say he enjoys wide support in this part of Arizona, it’s still unclear how many of his votes came from those who were mostly voting against Hillary Clinton.

His election was greeted with cheers for a chance at new, accountable government. And also jeers, tears and fears over the election of a perceived man-child who could undo social strides and cast the country into accidental wars. The reality has been far more favorable, with tax cuts, easing of government regulations on business and a very strong economy that is likely to last a while. For Westerners, there’s been a gradual move to let state residents have greater say on public lands and some reversal of long trends toward locking more land out of use. Those accomplishments, and more, became somehow more apparent over the past week as former President Obama returned to the political podium and slickly took credit for the great economy and so much more.

If nothing else, it made the press remember how hard the Obama administration worked to obstruct public information.

Bob Woodward’s new book is flying off the shelves and shows a truly dysfunctional White House, filled with ineptitude, paranoia, mistrust and back stabling.

His book is probably very accurate. Yet where it lacks truth is providing the context that previous Presidencies have suffered the same inadequacies, the same base venality and ineptitude.

The others, though, were run by professional pros, the guys and gals slick and sly enough to keep the bad stuff hidden at all costs.

Trump isn’t a professional politician. That’s a hindrance at times. It’s a blessing at others.

He’d have more fans if he kept the tweets down and his words more measured.

But give Trump credit for transparency as well, because however unintentional it is, he’s revealing an unvarnished and previously unseen side of the internal tussles that go with the office.

— Today’s News-Herald

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