Critics Call Trump ‘Self-interested’ Like It's a Bad Thing
A Commentary By Charles Hurt
Nakedly transactional. Egotistical. Self-interested.
These are the slurs you hear echoing throughout the swamp about President Trump and his political motivations.
White nationalism and xenophobia and are the natural ugly extensions of Mr. Trump’s barely concealed, dog whistle “America First” campaign that bears more than a certain whiff of racism.
Let’s start at the top. Is Mr. Trump driven by self-interest?
As a businessman, a builder and a real estate tycoon in the most fiercely competitive real estate market on the planet, Mr. Trump has spent his entire life exercising his own considerable self-interest. He built a huge and admirable fortune trying to make a buck for himself.
Though there are countless examples of his charity, Mr. Trump was not working every day for charity or striving to make money for the next guy. He was singularly focused on making money for Donald Trump.
Of course Mr. Trump is motivated by self-interest.
Here, the swamp is a federally protected wetland entirely sheltered from the free markets in which Mr. Trump has toiled his whole life. Remember, taxes are collected at the point of a gun under the threat of jail time. It’s just so much easier to round up money that way.
So onto the world’s stage strolls Mr. Trump, the nakedly self-interested businessman. After eight years of false global noblesse oblige from an administration that stood nobody knew where, Mr. Trump is a blast of fresh air, transparency and honesty.
As he told gathered foreign dignitaries at the United Nations: ” As president of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always — and should always — put your countries first.”
From Afghanistan to China to North Korea and Iran, foreign leaders are taking notice of the new leadership from America.
Of course, none of the usual swamp denizens will ever acknowledge that Mr. Trump’s strategies are working. They will never admit that for decades and decades, these very swamp creatures have slaved away under delusions of statesmanship to weaken America and make the world a much more dangerous place.
Instead, you will only hear them talk of the vulgarity of Mr. Trump’s plain language and the supposedly racist dishonor of his “America First” philosophy.
What’s funny is that all this wailing not only reveals how terrible these people would be in the business world. It also reveals just how stupid they are about their own profession of politics.
America’s founders would far, far better understand a president like Mr. Trump than they would any of these political clowns today.
That is because when they set out to launch the greatest experiment in human history, they began by exploring human nature. There, they found self-interest in natural abundance and so they built a system of governing designed to channel self-interest so that it maximized the industry of every individual while protecting the freedoms of every other individual.
“Self-interest rightly understood” is how French observer Alexis de Tocqueville described it upon visiting America in 1835.
Mr. Trump summed that very same motivation up beautifully in his speech at the U.N. as well.
“We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions or even systems of government,” he explained to the befuddled dignitaries. “But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.”
Behold, the Trump Doctrine. One that Tocqueville and the American Founders would have admired greatly.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter via @charleshurt.
Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.
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