President Trump's words matter, but are they truthful? Jim Jindra: Speaking as a 'NeverTrumper' from the Right

PARMA, Ohio -- I've never understood the populist infatuation with electing a non-politician for the most important political position in the land. If you're angry at the plumbing industry because you got ripped off the last time you had your...

President Trump's words matter, but are they truthful? Jim Jindra: Speaking as a 'NeverTrumper' from the Right

PARMA, Ohio -- I've never understood the populist infatuation with electing a non-politician for the most important political position in the land. If you're angry at the plumbing industry because you got ripped off the last time you had your toilet fixed, you're still not going to a baker or a tax lawyer the next time your pipes burst.  So why did we Americans elect a non-politician to do a politician's job?  

The work "politics" isn't a dirty word -- it simply is the art of saying or doing the right things at the right times to garner the support needed to get your goals accomplished. But saying something and believing another is not politics, it's lying. 

Perhaps the man who was our most skillful politician in the White House was nicknamed "Honest Abe." Another masterful politician we called "Slick Willie."

But the results of the election belie the notion that Donald Trump is not a politician; it's just that he's a sloppy one.

Here is a man who said things, and continues to say things (often on Twitter) that are baffling and even outrageous at times, yet only seem to strengthen him politically. 

Make no mistake -- the rants and tweets are for political purposes. They are intended to shore up his base and to keep his opponents on their heels.

Whether the strategy works or not is what we will all see; whether the statements are intentionally untrue or not is another matter entirely.

The president's words matter, even on Twitter. His bull-in-a-china-shop approach was one reason I was a NeverTrumper. I felt his brash declarations on immigration reform, on dealing with radical Islam, and on undoing trade deals, to name a few, could do more harm than good from a conservative perspective, especially because I don't see the president as a conservative (or even a Republican, really).  I probably will worry about this for the next four years.

Jim Jindra is a frequent letter contributor.Jim Jindra 

That said, the way he has roared into office, with the protests and the angry celebrities and the battles with the media, will all be a footnote if he is able to improve the economy, help curb the growth of Islamic terror, fix immigration, and put originalists on the Supreme Court. In other words, no matter what he tweets or whatever obnoxious things he says, I will support him when I agree with him.  And oppose him when I don't.

Jim Jindra, a frequent letter contributor, maintains a blog reviewing foreign films.

About this project: As part of an effort to bring a greater diversity of voices to bear on timely issues, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer are reaching out to 18 published letter writers every few weeks -- five who appeared from their letters to be conservatives, five liberals, and eight who wrote in apparently neutral ways about issues. For this installment, we asked for brief commentaries either on Trump's words versus his actions or on the $140 million Quicken Loans Arena upgrades in Cleveland. Eleven of the 18 said they would write; all had submitted their essays as of Tuesday morning. We also received a Trump essay mailed in by one person we'd reached out to in the prior round, for 12 essays in all -- two on the arena upgrades, which we posted separately, and 10 on President Trump. Several of the letter writers whom we contacted did not wish to write on either topic and asked us to reach out to them with another set of questions as the project continues, which we will do.

Questions or comments? Contact Elizabeth Sullivan at esullivan@cleveland.com

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