My problem with Trump…

My friends on the left like to opine regularly that President Donald Trump is some combination of crazy, evil, a nazi, morally bankrupt, criminally corrupt, beholden to the Russians, or all of the preceding. In the same breath they want to believe he is simultaneously dumb as a stone as well as the mastermind of the greatest con in the history of the republic.

My actual problem with Trump isn’t any of these things, though. From my wheelhouse, I agree with a fair number of his basic policies. Even here in over-taxed Maryland I benefited from his tax reform plan. I believe the we ought to have tight control over who is allowed into the country and a strong defense on the southern border… and the northern border… and at all the air and seaports in between. I think the federal government would best served by getting out of the education policy business – funding schools through block grants to the states if we collectively insist that the federal government absolutely has to be involved in some way. 

By the same token I soundly disagree with his approaching the State Department and international diplomacy as an afterthought. I question his positions on when and how to employ the mailed fist of the US military. Unlike some people, though, I somehow manage not to slobber all over myself while articulating what I believe.

At the heart of it, I suspect that’s what I find most troubling about the age of Trump. He’s a man with no indoor voice and no filter. There are ways to get most of his agenda accomplished – or there were when his party held all the reigns in congress. Most of those ways, though, required some deft maneuvering, horsetrading, and not saying much – basically old school political wrangling.

I never found Donald Trump a particularly appealing candidate. His approach to politics is boorish and largely ineffective and that’s my biggest problem with him. You’d think The Art of the Deal would have included a chapter on subtilty, keeping your own council, and the value of working the system behind the scenes. As for the shrill crowing of the “progressive” left, well, I discount a fair amount of that noise as more or less what they’d be casting at any candidate who dared not share their particularly skewed view of the world. 

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. The Maryland Transportation Authority. Dear Asshats, if you’re going to chance what lane collects which kind of toll it might be a good idea to go ahead and let people know that in advance instead of surprising everyone with the new and improved layout during afternoon rush hour. That would have saved you from receiving many of spontaneous hand gestures and it would have saved us from sitting on the bridge banging our heads against the steering wheel while everyone at the front of the line tried wrapping their tiny little minds around what was happening.

2. Retirement. If I had to figure out the most talked about issue I’ve heard discussed since joining the workforce it would be retirement without question. It’s possible that it’s a national obsession. I’m looking forward to that happy day when I can tell The Man to shove it just like everyone else, but I don’t have an overwhelming need to talk about it at every opportunity. Maybe it’s because even after eight years I’m still usually the youngest guy in most rooms, but I don’t get the obsession these old codgers have with agonizing over every detail of the how’s and what’s. Check back with me in about 27 years and 332 days and maybe I’ll be singing a different tune, but for now, I think just quietly disappearing one day may be the best approach.

3. Donald Trump. Does this really require an explanation?

4. Thursday. For no other reason than it’s so close to the weekend yet still not Friday. It use to be passable back when Thursday was thirsty, but now that it’s just laundry night most of its allure has worn off. Now it’s just a second helping of Wednesday and there’s nothing cool about that at all.