Report from the front lines of America.

While Vassy Kapelos of Global Television was interviewing David Frum last Sunday, the wife kept asking me questions. When she asked why a Canadian would write a book about Donald Trump, I explained that he is now an American citizen, a registered Republican and worked in the White House for George W. Bush. She stopped when she heard that, as she rightly guessed that I might not be a fan.

And no, I have not read his book. I figure that in the next several years I will be able to fill a couple bookshelves with Trump tomes—all from the remainders piles at my favourite bookstore .

What intrigues me about a book by a Republican such as Frum are the positive statements as opposed to the complaints. For example; he does not think Donald Trump is stupid. He admits that there are subjects with which Trump might not concern himself and is ignorant about, but he considers him wily. And he says that Trump is more knowledgeable about his powers as President than he reveals.

Frum is very concerned though about the damage that Trump is doing to American institutions. He is worried about the damage already done to the Department of Justice and the immature direction of the military. Americans who think that things could be worse have yet to face their comeuppance.

The essence of Frum’s book is that Donald Trump is doing damage to the American Democracy. Trump, the autocrat, is not what Americans wanted in the White House. Frum blames the ‘appeasers’ and the ‘enablers’ from his own Republican Party who ‘keep Trump afloat.’

It is surprising to see that instead of criticizing Trump’s xenophobia, Frum appears to agree with his fear of people from other countries and his anti-immigration stance. It is hard to believe Frum has said openly that he considers people to be racist by nature.

Trump’s xenophobic view of the world includes close neighbours such as Canada and Mexico. Combine that attitude with a complete lack of understanding of how trade with other countries contributes to the economy and Frum sees Trump pulling the plug on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at any time.

Frum was positive in the interview that there are forces for balance emerging to offset Trump.  I guess they just need to move more rapidly.


Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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