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National Review columnist assesses Trump’s impact

As Donald Trump leaves the White House, David Bahnsen writes for National Review Online about the 45th president’s impact — both positive and negative.

There are some things that have to be said about the Trump presidency in a “final hour assessment” that are unambiguously good. And I will start with the single greatest achievement of the entire Trump era: He kept Hillary Clinton from ever being our president. For all the other good and bad, I have absolutely no problem rooting this piece in the simple observation that President Donald Trump meant there was no President Hillary Clinton, and that is an unalloyed good. I haven’t compromised a single bit around the case that Hillary Clinton would have been an unfathomable disaster for our country. Her defeat is something I will celebrate forever, regardless of who it was who defeated her. I do not share the belief of some of my friends that in 2016 “only Trump could have beaten her.” What we know is that President Trump did defeat her, to the surprise of many — including myself. This remains the hallmark achievement of the Trump era.

Another significant policy achievement of the Trump presidency is his three Supreme Court justices. …

… It is at this time that I regretfully suggest that the presidency has been an abject disaster in so many ways, not generally because of his policies, but because of the character, temperament, ego, and pathology of the president, that time and time again blotted out the good and undermined opportunities for success. Ultimately, it is my position that the things we were told didn’t matter inevitably damaged the things we were told did matter. …

… The temperament and behavior could not be ignored for the greater good, because the greater good to which you refer failed as a result of the temperament and behavior.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...