Opinion—Our Ambivalence Toward President Trump

Mar 27, 2018

By Don Wallis.

Mr. Trump’s personal actions overshadow his political accomplishments.

Peggy Noonan, in an article in the March 10-11, 2018, edition of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL titled Over Trump, We’re as Divided as Ever, poses the question—Why do sensible centrists and moderates who have accomplished and successful business careers continue to have such strong concerns about the presidency of Mr. Trump?

According to Ms. Noonan, “if you are that person, when you look at the policy impact of President Trump’s first year, you see some good and heartening things.”

“He has established a deregulatory spirit that is fair and helpful.”

“Mr. Trump has put a sober conservative on the Supreme Court, and many conservative judges on the lower courts. This provides greater balance in the judiciary.”

“The economy is improving. And Mr. Trump helped pass a tax bill that was better—maybe a little, maybe a lot, but certainly better—than what it replaced.”

In spite of this, sober business people, including many in our industry, are deeply concerned about this presidency because Mr. Trump does not exhibit the seriousness of purpose, the focus on issues, and the gravitas we expect from a President regardless of his political party affiliation, and regardless of whether he is conservative or liberal.

For example, our industry, and our country, needs a long-term, well financed infrastructure appropriations bill. Some days Mr. Trump voices his support for this bill, other days he retracts his support. We need the President to make a continuing, focused effort to work with Congress to make the infrastructure bill a reality.

We are frustrated, even dismayed, by the unseemly amount of time and energy Mr. Trump allots to his tweet wars with television personalities.

Ms. Noonan’s assessment of the angst of temperate business people is more direct.

“Here is what you try to wrap your head around if you are a centrist or moderate trying to be fair. You think: On some level this is working. And on some level he is crazy… Then you realize everything you’ve learned from life as a leader in whatever sphere—business, local public service—tells you this: crazy doesn’t last. Crazy doesn’t go the distance. Crazy is an unstable element that, when loose in an unstable environment, explodes.”


Over Trump, We’re as Divided as Ever, Peggy Noonan, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, March 10-11, 2018.

Don Wallis has more than 40 years experience in residential and commercial construction, and land development. He also has a law degree and currently teaches Environmental Law at Santa Fe Community College.