If Republican conservatives had a theme song, it could very well be and probably should be the 1965 hit song “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction. While Mick and Keith certainly didn’t have Republicans in mind during the writing, at times it seems as if conservatives personify the title.
The brilliant Cal Thomas’s writing in Townhall today in an article entitled “Feeling Good (So Far),” listed the myriad of actions taken by our new President. Those ranged from withdrawal from TPP, through reinstating the Mexico City policy of denial of federal funding for abortion or pro-active abortion counsel, and encompassed governance actions such as Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines approval, as well as several actions on immigration, the southern border wall and sanctuary cities. If you add in the nominees for what looks to be a highly competent transactional cabinet, as well as other appointments, one can understand Mr. Thomas’s ending comment
“So far, I’m feeling good.”
The question that comes to mind is why the disclaimer: “so far”? A careful reading of many of the conservative websites and newspapers have not shown real happiness or even a deepening sense of satisfaction with President Trump’s governance to date. For sure, writers have given individual actions passing grades, and in the case of the Supreme Court nomination, have been extremely pleased with the three potential choices. However, collectively there doesn’t appear to be any sense of a heightening level of long term happiness as it relates to the actions taken by the Trump/Pence administration. Satisfaction or happiness is limited to being today’s emotion. There is no forward sense that tomorrow will be just as good as today. A future sense of comparable approval and satisfaction hasn’t taken hold within conservative leadership including most journalist and writers.
Ask yourself this question, if a President Cruz had made the Pence choice, had put forward the exact same appointment nominations, and signed the very same Executive Orders, how would you be feeling now? Perhaps, “died and gone to heaven, and now am eating my banana pudding before the broccoli” is too much hyperbole, but not by far. Seriously, consider a Cruz/Pence or Rubio/Pence administration and ask:, how would we feel now? The answer? Conservatives would be giddy. Simply over the moon ecstatic. Not only for the actions taken so far, but for the future.
I confess to a default position. If the Democrats are either unhappy or angry, I’m happy. The range of that emotion hinges on their level of emotion as well. The more unhappy they are, the happier I am. I suspect many conservatives feel the same way.
To be sure, that emotion isn’t enough. But is it enough to simply feel good, so far? If it’s not, then the real question is why is that the case. The reason lies with the the contradictions that are President Trump. Often he speaks as a fool, but admittedly has governed like a real pro. To conservatives, that Jekyll and Hyde dichotomy is so very confusing. Words matter. They are not a throw-away opening gambit. So, it boils down to one very important word to conservatives: Trust. President Trump simply isn’t trusted yet. Evidently not even by Cal Thomas. Which is a shame, because there is an awful lot of good things going on. Hopefully, through his works, action built upon action, President Trump can capture the ongoing trust of his party. If indeed that becomes the case, 2018 should be a rout. But for today, be happy! Good things are happening.