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Right direction: Dogmatism vs. Pragmatism

MORE than a year in office, President Donald Trump continues to score points in terms of “promises made, promises kept.” And this is being evident already even for his detractors.

Just think about it: withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership; drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; appointing a conservative judge for the Supreme Court and setting a record for first-year judicial appointments to federal appellate courts; the defeat of the ISIS Caliphate; adopting a comprehensive tax cuts and jobs act; repealing the Obamacare individual mandate; building The Wall and reducing illegal immigration; the announced intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement; resurging the U.S. economy; deregulating the administrative state; starting the NATO reforms; reviving the NASA programs; organizing a summit on denuclearization with Kim Jong-un, preceded by the release of three American prisoners from North Korea; leaving the Iran nuclear deal; moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Tiberiu Dianu

Of course, if you believe in all that the Mainstream Media says, the sky will break loose and Armageddon will soon come after all these achievements.

Retrospectively, I remember that on Nov. 14, 2016, at a press conference on the then-president-elect Donald Trump, and less than a week after he found out that Hillary Clinton was not the one who would continue his policies, the then-president Barack Obama blistered Trump for being more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/11/14/obama_trump_not_ideological_but_pragmatic.html

My feeling was that, with this statement, the former president aimed at a certain direction, but it backfired. I think that his original intention was to hint at the Republicans in Congress that “their elected guy” is not so reliable ideologically, and therefore the GOP might have some problems in the future.

Having said that, I think that this statement showed us that Barack Obama, unintentionally of course, did admit, indirectly, the following things:

(1) That he himself had been an ideologue. Although the whole nation knew it from the very first beginning, by indirectly admitting this, Obama admitted, also indirectly, that:

(2) He had been a nation dividing president. Ideologues cannot represent completely a diverse nation like the U.S. (nor anyone else for that matter). By admitting this, he told us that he let his ideology talk against half of the nation. That had been proven beyond any reasonable doubt with his Obamacare (voted just by Democrats) and his multiple executive orders (that defied even his own Democratic members in the U.S. Congress).

(3) Also, Obama admitted indirectly that his opponent, Donald Trump, by being “pragmatic” would have, consequently, a wider margin of covering the other half of the nation. That, coming from a Trump’s political nemesis like Obama, turned itself into a great, albeit unintended, compliment.

After being relieved from his presidential burden, Obama can spend more time reading (aside from golfing). He could start with “The Art of the Deal,” for instance.

In the end, leaving all aside, this may mark our nation’s long night’s journey into day.

Tiberiu Dianu has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC, and can be followed on Medium. https://medium.com/@tdianu