There are many reasons why Donald Trump's presidency differs from any in American History. The most striking difference is the overwhelmingly negative coverage this administration receives in the mainstream media.
The usual figure is that the news stories about the president are approximately 90 percent negative. At one level this should not be surprising, because other statistics suggest that the reporters in the mainstream media were approximately 90 percent against candidate Trump.
It’s a human failing to be reluctant to admit a mistake. Thus, we have many pundits and reporters still unwilling to understand that the most qualified candidate for president actually won oin 2016. There is no surprise either that the president constantly points out that positive developments of his administration are not reported.
If one wants to understand what is actually happening in the administration — the most prominent newspapers and networks are not the places to look.
There is another interesting difference between this president and his predecessors. No other president has been a developer, a builder, and a reality-show star.
For those willing to do just a bit of research, and review the speeches the president delivers on his increasingly interesting trips to visit parts of the country which helped elect him, a starkly different picture emerges from that of an executive besieged by government bureaucrats investigating purported Russian collusion — or other election irregularities.
Some of the president’s political opponents appear still to cling to the notion that he will be driven from office, or even that he never really expected to be elected. They also hang on to the proposition that this president will eventually slink away once he recognizes the startling presidential mismatch putting him into the White House.
But if one considers, for example, the speech the president gave to the carpenters, laborers, and the members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18, in Richfield Ohio, on March 30, one realizes that Mr. Trump is actually enjoying himself enormously, that he's very much at the top of his game, and that his careers in entertainment and construction have left him with a unique ability to communicate with working-class Americans.
What this president has to say is not the cloistered conversation of the senior common room that we sometimes got from the last administration. Thus, when Mr. Trump told the wildly enthusiastic Ohio crowd that construction was starting on the long-promised border wall, he declared "we’re getting that sucker built."
This is not a president who has disdain for ordinary Americans, rather this is one who realizes that "America’s greatest treasure is our people," people whom the pundits did not realize would support him. "Now," said the president "the Democrats are trying to figure out who the hell you are," an exclamation greeted with laughter.
In the same vein the president went on to say, "You know who you are? You’re hardworking people. You work your a***s off. And you got sick and tired of the people you were supposed to be voting for, and you stopped."
It’s a surprise to encounter such language right there on the White House official website (White House.gov), but, as indicated, this is an administration like no other. One astute observer, Frank Buckley, of the Scalia Law School, has seen in Mr. Trump the birth of the "Republican Workers’ Party," and this was clearly evident in Richfield. Thus, Trump walks the walk and talks the talk.
Equally important, it’s not just the form, but the substance of what the president has to say that goes nearly unnoticed in the mainstream media.
In the Buckeye State Mr. Trump laid out four "key principles," of a plan to revitalize the nation, his "infrastructure initiative."
The first of which is to create 400,000 jobs, involving wages 32 percent higher than other occupations — for workers without college degrees. The second is to create improved "federal student aid to include high-quality, short-term training" — vocational programs "that equip Americans to succeed in construction and the skilled trades."
Trades, of course, with which this president was uniquely familiar.
The third is to "completely transform the horrible, and costly, and broken permitting process," to unleash projects — many of which have been stalled for years, if not decades, to rebuild our highways, bridges, power plants, and other parts of our infrastructure.
The fourth and final one was to do all this through "smart state and local partnerships."
This concept includes "a new incentive program that provides billions of dollars in federal funding to projects in which states and local governments and the private sector are willing to invest their own resources."
The president gamely noted that much progress had already been made in implementing these four principles but "it’s not progress that you read about or hear about," because the unfriendly media refuses to acknowledge reality. With the optimism of a great builder, the president closed his speech by noting the extraordinary ratings of the pro-Trump reboot of ABC's "Roseanne," the ratings of which baffled most of the media. "And they haven’t figured it out," said the president, "But they will. And when they do, they’ll become much less fake." If the president is correct, he might keep his closing promise to the crowd in Ohio that "we’re going to bring our country to a level of success and prominence and pride like it has never, ever seen before."
Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was recently appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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