The Trump apologists

by | Jan 31, 2018 | Editor's Blog, Politics, Trump | 4 comments

Reading Peder Zane’s defense of Donald Trump this morning in the N&O is disheartening. But after what the North Carolina legislature has done to our state, we should be used to it. Once conventional Republicans ignore unconventional and damaging behavior in exchange for tax breaks, less regulation and goodies like school vouchers.

Zane gives Trump credit for the economy, defeating ISIS and ending burdensome regulations. He even calls Trump an “honest broker,” despite lots of evidence to the contrary. While Trump might get credit for the economy and defeating ISIS, he had very little impact over either. The success of the economy is not a national phenomenon but a global one that began long before he was inaugurated. ISIS was defeated largely because Trump continued policies put in place by Obama long ago. He praises the end of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, claiming it will make insurance more affordable, while ignoring the reality that it will cost millions coverage and likely make premiums rise. But don’t let facts get in the way. Zane has a president and Congressional majority to protect.

The party that once told us character matters and demanded Bill Clinton be impeached because he lacked it, gladly accepts a president who brags about infidelity and pays off porn stars to hide affairs. The party that at one time advocated for transparency and accountability in government doesn’t care that the president never released his tax returns after promising to do so. That party that once claimed the mantle of family values watches dispassionately as ICE breaks up families with deportations of otherwise law abiding, taxpaying people.

As a son of the South, though, I believe the most egregious offense is Zane and his peers’ willingness to turn a blind eye toward racism. It’s always simmered under the surface, but Donald Trump has used it as a rallying cry to appeal to a portion of his base and he’s never backed off of it. Like the demagogues of the past who inflamed passions by warning of the dangers of marauding negroes, Trump equates Hispanic immigrants with gangs and violence. In fact, crimes by immigrants is low while crimes against them is high.

Some conservative pundits like Bill Kristol, David Frum, and Jennifer Rubin have remained steadfast in their criticism of Trump. They abhor the damage he’s doing to our institutions and the office of the presidency even if they might agree with some of his policies. Even though I disagree with them ideologically, I admire their courage and convictions.

Other pundits like Peder Zane and Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist join the likes of Steve Bannon, David Duke and Richard Spencer defending the president. Just like Trump can’t tell the difference between DREAMers and MS-13, I’m having a hard time telling much difference between them.


  1. Sue schwartz

    I vaguely remember Mr. Zane yrs ago writing for the N&O, but had only read one of his new articles…now two….and resolved to read no more after the first. Now after reading the second, my thoughts haven’t changed. No mo for me!re Zanyness

    • Sue schwartz

      last line messed up..should read” No more Zanyness for me !

  2. Ebrun

    One would think that after their electoral losses in the 2016 and 2014, the Democrats and their sycophants pundits would have learned a lesson–identify politics is not a winning strategy except in certain minority-dominated districts and deep blue states.. And yet time after time, pundits like Mr. Mills revert back to playing the race card and identify politics hoping to garner political support from minority groups by attacking Republicans as racists and anti-immigrant.

    The great middle of the American electorate just does not buy into these malevolent allegations. And it’s relatively easy for the GOP and the President to counter these bogus claims by showcasing prominent appointees, advisors and supporters from various minority groups that the Democrats are so urgently cultivating. Add to that the shrill and outrageous accusations from Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi Lois Gutierrez and Maxine Watters et al, and much of the American political middle is repulsed..

    What liberals refuse to clearly acknowledge is that the fundamental difference between our two National parties and between liberals and conservatives is the type of government and economics each side prefers and champions. Liberals are wedded to welfare socialism with its emphasis on government controls and the redistribution of income and wealth. Such a regime enhances their political power because they, through the Democratic Party, would be in charge of those controls and responsible for doling out the booty gained from coercive confiscation of income and wealth.

    Conservatives and most Republicans prefer and support an economic system that relies primarily on dynamic capitalism which can only flourish if big government is not restrained from intervening with a heavy hand, preferring instead on what Adam Smith describes as ‘the invisible hand’. This is a system that stresses the individual and values such as self reliance rather than the suffocating collectivism administered by the big brother state.

    The problem Democrats have with this dichotomy is that the dynamic capitalism model has, throughout our history, been most responsible for American economic prosperity and our status as the world”s most powerful democracy. True, it has resulted in a privileged wealthy class that has been created, not by politics, but by economics. Liberals realize their path to prominence and power is through the practice of egalitarian politics Since an elite economic class of Americans capitalists has already been created, their strategy to attaining their collectivist vision depends on mobilizing the middle and working classes.

    Their vision of identify politics was at its zenith in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama. But after eight years of expanded government power, increased taxes and identify politics , a substantial chunk of Obama supporters realized he was just a partisan politician determined deny American exceptionalism and denigrate America’s role as a world leader

    Since the American working class has not succumbed to the enticement of their class warfare invective, liberals have turned to identify politics hoping to mobilize and inflame racial and ethnic minorities. Thus the demagogic assertions that Republicans and conservatives are racists and xenophobes.

    To date, the American political middle has not bought into the Left’s claims of class warfare or racial and ethnic persecution . Thus, one thrust of the Left’s strategy is to expand the working class and the poor in American to include more and more immigrants who are not easily assimilated into the mainstream of American culture and values. While they have not yet been successful , they keep trying as evidenced by the demagogic pundits and their followers who dominate this blog.

  3. Jay Ligon

    “Trump is also succeeding on the international stage. Despite the incessant claims that he twists and fudges facts, Trump has been the one honest broker willing to proclaim that the global elite has no clothes.” – J. Peder Zane

    Thomas, I had never read anything by J. Peder Zane until you quoted him today in your column. If I were Trump, I would immediately give him the nickname “Zaney.”

    “The News and Observer,” where I worked many years ago, generally does not hire political sycophants. Mr. Zane’s body was apparently snatched by the Trump cult and incubated in the parallel universe into a mindless toady. Zane’s column amounted to a bootlicking of such obsequiousness, Uriah Heep would be embarrassed.

    Just a couple of facts here about the “honest broker.” On January 10th, 2018, Trump broke a record. Unprecedented. It was huge. He told his 2000th lie while in office. (Esquire magazine).

    Mexico isn’t paying for the wall. They will never “lock her up,” because she didn’t “break the law.” The crowd size at his inaugural was not larger than any crowd ever in the history of crowds. His hair is a comb-over. Trump University is not a real college. He is not the least racist person you will ever meet. There were no good people among the Nazis in Charlottesville and one of them murdered a girl. Russia helped Trump win the election.

    The incessant charge that Trump lies is explained by the fact that he lies constantly.

    If Zane means that Trump honestly brokered some great deals for the Russian oligarchs while he laundered money for international organized crime, I’m not sure that is even accurate. Since the activity itself was criminal, you couldn’t really call that exactly honest brokering.

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