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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Political inexperience proving no disqualifier for President Trump

One of the major debates taking place in politics today concerns the question of “qualifications” for political office and whether a true novice – like President Donald Trump was – could ever step into the White House and handle the job competently.

Ever since The Donald rode down the escalator at Trump Tower almost two years ago and announced he was Buy Americanrunning for president interested parties of all stripes have been offering their opinions and pronouncements on the subject.

“What does a businessman know about foreign policy?” some asked. “Shouldn’t he run for Senate first?” wondered others. “A president needs to be experienced” cried a lot of establishment Republican-types and liberals who conveniently omitted the fact Barack Obama was elected after just four years in the Senate (including two of those spent on the campaign trail) and before that flaunted his know-how as a community organizer.

Seeing as the American public already solved the qualifications riddle for the “experts,” now some of them have taken to picking and pecking at Trump as a failure because he’s supposedly in over his head as president.

One particularly stinging critique came from notorious #NeverTrumper Kevin Williamson, who wrote at National Review, “Trump’s promised schedule was always absurd. And presidential candidates often make absurd promises about their first 100 days, forgetting about such minor details as Congress and the Constitution and democracy and all that. But Trump was, he assured us, a different kind of politician, a builder and a doer, a winner, a hard-charging negotiator. Which is to say, he convinced the electorate that he was in reality the character he plays on television…

“Conservatives had better start facing the fact that the president is a man overmatched by his job. All of President Trump’s reality-television posturing, all of his hooting and hollering and fussing and foolishness and tweeting and preening is sound and fury signifying squat. The Trump administration is a show about nothing.”

Ouch. On first review those words really smarted. One would think tuning-in to National Review would produce a little friendlier treatment for the new Republican president, even from a publication whose writers made up the foundation of the #NeverTrump movement.

Williamson in particular was noted for often offering the snobby establishment elitists’ dismissive retorts to Trump-the-candidate’s populist ideas. The elites certainly didn’t appreciate Trump’s non-politically correct behavior, his fondness for social media and roundly rejected his life’s experience as proper preparation to sit behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office.

No, to Williamson and people like him it seems every president should cut his political teeth by hobnobbing with the beautifully clothed and coiffed sets in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, the folks who love to trade stories about their days of yore at an Ivy League school. You know, back when things were simple and pathetic ordinary people with rusted old cars and window air conditioners knew their place and stayed in it without being told.

To the name-droppers, Barack Obama positively fit the “qualified” mold and as a candidate even expressed the same kind of contempt towards the country class that Hillary Clinton did last year, though the former first lady definitely came up with a catchier moniker for them: “deplorables.”

The “conservative” Williamson similarly doesn’t appear to have much use for the people who work with their hands every day, the ones who turned out by the millions last November to hypocritically vote for a man who speaks like an average Joe on the barstool next to you but in reality lives in a virtual Ivory Tower and likes to brag about how rich he is.

These simple rubes “deserve to die”…or at the very least, should move.

Williamson wrote in March of last year, “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible…

“The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.”

Ouch again. Wow, one wonders if Williamson himself has spent any appreciable time in one of these “deserve to die” communities. If it were up to him and the elites the vast majority of the country would be better served by well-placed nuclear bombs rather than tax reform and Obamacare relief.

Or maybe Williamson’s “white American underclass” would thrive under the benevolent shepherding of establishmentarians like Jeb Bush or John Kasich or Marco Rubio – the learned elites who already know everything and have plenty of “experience” in elected office to share with the unwashed front-porch dwellers.

The thing Williamson and his cohorts have a hard time accepting is the People didn’t want those guys. And they didn’t want Hillary Clinton either. Trump is unique because he is a member of the elite class but doesn’t act like it. He has an Ivy League education. He loves to mix with famous people and the intelligentsia. Trump likes them so much he brought in people who know how the system works so they could break it apart and then mend it.

There’s still a great deal of room to criticize Trump but accusing him of being a phony substance-free showman isn’t one of them. The governing the new president did in his first 100 days wasn’t full of symbolic gestures, airy bombast and empty promises of better days ahead. Real work was accomplished; just ask the border patrol.

Williamson and other establishment-types take Trump to task for candidly admitting that something like healthcare is complicated and he’s learning on the job. These are the statements of someone who understands the presidency is bigger than any one person and doesn’t pretend he knows everything.

I find Trump’s frank honesty refreshing and I’m guessing there are a lot more out there like me. Whether it’s effective in the governing sphere is another matter, but for a country so accustomed to being ruled by elites that never admit to doing anything wrong it’s a great thing to see something different.

Charles Hurt of the Washington Times agrees, writing yesterday, “Mr. Trump, meantime, is breaking all the china in Washington as he works to reinvent the wheel. Every. Single. Day.

“Sometimes he succeeds effortlessly (illegal border crossings are down 70 percent even before one inch of his wall has been built) and sometimes he fails (Republicans in Congress have yet to repeal Obamacare as promised). But, at the very least, everything Mr. Trump does is new, fresh and original.”

Apparently Williamson and his fellow establishment snobs don’t concur. They see a floundering reality TV show fraud propelled by the notion of presenting the best possible production to fool the American people on a daily basis.

Trump may have fallen considerably short of fulfilling some or most of the rather sizable promises he made during the campaign. Yes, the job of being president is a big deal and there’s little doubt even a man as successful and used to the spotlight as Donald Trump is experiencing struggles in adapting to the role.

But if choosing an inexperienced outsider like Donald Trump means we get the chance to disassemble and toss out the ruling class in the process, I’ll take a political novice as president every time.

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