The Corner

The Quaint, Fuddy-Duddy Question of Experience

Last year, when the presidential season got going, I often quoted Rick Brookhiser: “The presidency is not an entry-level political job, unless you’ve won a war” (like Ike). That should have ruled out Trump, Carson, and Carly.

Quick aside: I really liked Carly — and believe she would make an excellent president.

One worry I had about Ted Cruz’s candidacy was that people would regard him as too inexperienced. Too green. (I say “worry” because he is my friend and I backed him.) Boy, was I wrong: Some people held it against him that he had had experience in office at all. No experience was better than some, in this mindset. Ted was tainted by mere election to the Senate!

It seems quaint to bring up the issue of experience at this juncture. Of all the things you can say against Trump, the lack of experience in office is about the least of them. Still, let’s consider the matter for a moment.

One thing about experience in office is that people have something to go by: They can see how you’ve behaved in office; how you’ve conducted yourself. Have you been steady and wise? Or have you been erratic and clumsy? Does your campaign rhetoric, including promises, tend to match your conduct once in office? Etc.

Over the past weeks, I’ve heard from many Trump enthusiasts, defenders, rationalizers, and apologists. One thing they say is, “We know what Hillary would be: the third term of Obama, basically. But we have no idea what Trump would be!”

They mean this as a good, mind you. It’s a selling point. We have no idea how the hell our guy would behave once he got his finger on the button! Let’s go for it!

What a pass.

P.S. I was thinking that Trump would donate to Hillary this year, just out of reflex.


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