By Russ McSwain
It’s been drilled into everyone that “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” That piece of wisdom is a double-edged sword. Most Trump critics, be they Democrats or NeverTumps, miss the second edge. However bad Trump’s pre-election behavior is perceived to be, it has almost no value in evaluating the obvious success of his presidency.
Just as there are naïve investors who are incredulous when a surefire opportunity becomes a money-loser, there are pundits who, in their own minds, know that a person or a policy will lead to disaster. They are unable to grasp when reality makes their predictions worthless.
It is not a surprise that Trump was sexually active prior to his election. For some people – surprisingly, mostly on the left – that is a sign of our downfall as a civilization. They ask how they can explain it to their children. In the post-New Deal era, the following presidents have been sexually promiscuous while actually in high office: FDR, Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton. There is no sense in which the Trump presidency is any less a model of propriety than that of either Bush or of Obama.
For people living in the past, Trump is a bigot for preventing all Muslims from entering the country. His actual policy is a ban on Muslims coming from five countries that contain 8% of the world Muslim population. When the decision is viewed in those terms, it is perfectly reasonable. What he said before the election is irrelevant.
During the campaign, Trump scared me and many other free-traders. He kept saying he was a free-trader but wanted to impose some tariffs to compensate for unfair trade practices and to motivate trading partners to respect American intellectual property. He argued that tariffs would not be permanently in place to stifle free trade. They would be negotiating tools to facilitate trade. Turns out he was right. In fairness to the laissez-faire crowd, free trade probably would eventually solve these problems. It is also true that eventually is a very long time. full article