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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Pragmatist

At The Washington Post, James Hohmann asked Gingrich: Can you see a President Trump getting on board with something on criminal justice reform?
Gingrich: Yeah, sure. … This is one of the things that’ll drive Washington crazy: he’s a pragmatist. He’s a fallback to what William James said was the one uniquely American contribution to philosophy: he actually thinks facts ought to drive theory, where he’s coming to a city where theory, of course, restates facts.
Jonah Goldberg writes that Trump is the most pragmatic, least ideological president since Nixon:
 “No, it’s not going to be the Trump doctrine,” Trump said in April. “Because in life, you have to be flexible. You have to have flexibility. You have to change. You know, you may say one thing and then the following year you want to change it, because circumstances are different.” 
A few days later, he told his supporters in California, “Folks, I’m a conservative, but at this point, who cares? We got to straighten out the country.”
His surrogates echoed the sentiment. Investor Carl Icahn assured voters that “Donald is a pragmatist. He’s going to do what’s needed for this economy.” Hedge fund mogul Anthony Scaramucci wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “What elitists misinterpret as uneven principles, entrepreneurs understand as adaptability. . . . Mr. Trump would be the greatest pragmatist and deal maker Washington has ever seen.”