Trump Had a ‘Nixon Goes to China’ Opportunity. He Blew It.

by Pitt Griffin on June 4, 2017 · 0 comments

in Climate change, Trump presidency

Donald Trump has one thing going for him – his base. They are passionate about him. Everyone else thinks he’s an idiot – as well as some other things. By bailing on the Paris climate accord, he changes none of that. And thereby hangs a tale.

Trump’s decision to quit on the global agreement had nothing to do with improving America’s future – it won’t. Or lightening the regulatory load – it doesn’t. Or even jobs – there won’t be any.  It has everything to do with politics. And by that measure, it was a mistake.

His core will love him. They know he’s lying and don’t care. And everyone else will just continue to think he’s an ass. But imagine the political advantage he could have claimed if he had decided to stay in. Say he made this speech:

“My fellow Americans, after consultation with top economists, I have decided that America – and its citizens’ – best interests will be served by staying with the Paris climate accord. I say this because I am passionate about working Americans. I am foremost a jobs President and that’s where the jobs are.

America’s strength has been as a leader in technology – from cars, to planes, to the computer. We have always led in energy -whether it be fossil fuels, hydroelectric, or nuclear power. Now the time has come for us to lead again. This time in alternate energy, batteries, and other new energy technologies.

I will not forget the men and women who have worked in traditional energy companies. As always we will ensure that our workforce has the skills needed to work in the new jobs created by these industries of the few.

Do not be afraid. The Paris accord is only our latest call to arms. America has always won. We will again. Thank you.”

Some conservative think-tanks will harrumph. Fox News pontificators will splutter. But his base will approve. And here’s where he would really score. Independents would have a reason to break for him. And even some liberals may not be so passionate about bashing him at every turn.

Trump is the first President since Teddy Roosevelt who can plausibly claim he is not beholden to the party bosses. Roosevelt used his bully pulpit to take on the economic trusts – monopolies – despite their support of Republicans. Trump has chosen to us his pulpit merely to be a bully.

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