President Trump’s style of leadership has been extensively debated by the Washington establishment. They clearly don’t like what he has brought to their town. This week a reporter asked the President if he thought about acting “presidential” to appeal to more Americans. And cable news commentators routinely mock Trump’s Twitter feed as too aggressive or undiplomatic.
But President Trump’s style of communicating and managing the federal government has been a wild success, especially for the hundreds of millions of Americans living outside the Beltway. He has taken on the status quo and he is winning. The Washington, D.C., types will never admit it, but Trump the outsider is changing Washington’s closed system and forcing it to be more accountable to the American people.
Inside Washington, D.C., bureaucrats, politicians, and the reporters living there all understand the unique rules of their Swamp: hold information close, don’t say what you really think, never ignore the media, and honor the pecking order.
The creatures who survive long enough playing by these rules will ultimately be rewarded with bigger titles and more accolades. To rise through the ranks, politicians spend decades saying one thing on television to the American people, and another thing in private. They’ve convinced themselves that they are smarter and more important than those in the “fly-over” states. They’ve catered to New York City and Los Angeles while failing to pay attention to the rest of the country. They’ve created false media narratives by getting the information first and filtering it as they see fit. And they’ve grown plain out of touch without realizing it.
But Donald J. Trump has changed all that. He is better at the game of appealing to the public than they are. President Trump came to D.C. speaking authentically and forcefully to friend and foe. He is the same in person as he is in a press conference, he ignores the media’s definition of the day’s news and creates his own narratives, he articulates consequences to our allies for ignoring our requests, and he has created new alliances where the D.C. types have failed.
Donald Trump’s style of governing has made Americans safer, more prosperous, and more motivated to be involved in their government. President Trump has not started any new wars, has purchased more military hardware and equipment to scare off adversaries, brought U.S. troops home from overseas deployments, and all while also creating multiple peace agreements between countries long unable to get along.
President Trump has confronted growing problems with blunt realism and has lessened the threats, like he did in North Korea. And the President has been unafraid to utilize U.S. military power when U.S. national security is threatened, like he did when he bombed Syria and ISIS and took out the Iranian terror leader Soleimani.
Trump’s unpredictable style is an asset, not a liability as the D.C. crowd tries to make it out to be. His unique way of dealing with the Washington media and politicians has proven effective. And while the establishment doesn’t like it, Americans should see the complaints from Washington as proof that President Trump is delivering results for the rest of America.
The American people see a stale, hypocritical, and controlling group of politicians and reporters in Washington. The Washington establishment sees a President who is making them irrelevant – and they hate him for it.
Richard A. Grenell is the former Acting Director of National Intelligence and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany.