RUSH: There are constant pressures on President Trump to change. You know it and I know it. We had a caller in the last half hour — well, within the last 30 minutes actually, who was a conservative running a nonprofit environmental foundation and very concerned that Trump needed to change very quickly. The Republicans need to change very quickly on the environment and stop poisoning the water, putting arsenic in it via coal dust.
There are all kinds of people suggesting that Trump needs to stop tweeting, that Trump needs to stop talking about everybody who talks about him, that he’s gotta learn just to ignore most of it. There are people that say that Donald Trump’s just gotta stay focused on policy. Screw all this other tweeting and going after the media and calling them fake news and calling them the enemy of the people, just gotta stop that. It’s horrible.
Now, the people saying this are obviously the Democrats in the media, as well as Democrats in politics. And there are the Never Trumpers who say this. There are moderate RINO Republicans who say this, and they say, by the way, that if Trump would stop this, they could maybe find their way back. If Trump would just stop tweeting, and if he would just stop criticizing everybody, and if he would just shut up now and then, maybe we could end up supporting him.
And there is a new addition to this group of people, and I have to tell you that I was surprised to see it. On this program over the course of several months now I have referenced positively and quoted extensively from someone I believe to be a brilliant man. That would be Conrad Black. Conrad Black, a former media mogul himself. He’s Canadian. He is a member of the British House of Lords. He’s known officially as Lord Black of Crossharbour.
He used to own a bunch of Canadian newspapers and newspapers in Israel. And he writes columns for National Review and American Greatness, those magazines, slash, websites. And he is one of the most astute people in understanding who Donald Trump is and why Donald Trump won. You’d have to look far and wide to find anybody else as confident as Conrad Black is that Donald Trump is going to win and win big in 2020.
He exudes confidence all the time that Trump’s opposition is gonna get theirs, the silent coup members are gonna be indicted. He believes that all of these wrongdoers, all of the people that have misused the system to try to get Trump are gonna get theirs and they’re gonna get payback, and it’s gonna be criminal and indictments and it’s gonna happen very near the 2020 election. He’s been resolute in this confidence that Trump is not gonna lose his base, that Trump is going to continue to triumph.
His confidence is rooted in the substance of Trump’s policies that are succeeding on economics and on trade and dealing with illegal immigration. So I was shocked, and I must say I was shocked, to see that over at National Review Conrad Black has written that Trump needs to tone it down, that Trump needs to become more presidential.
Let me quote to you from the Conrad Black piece. “If the president can become a bit more presidential, his reelection will be all but assured.” Now, up to now, ah, there may be a couple of exceptions, but Conrad Black has not even referenced — well, it’s not fair he hasn’t referenced, but he’s not noted Trump’s behavior as a problem for his reelection. He’s not thought that Trump was carrying unnecessary baggage. He’s mostly writes about how it is that Trump has been able to succeed. And he’s been shrewd and perceptive in explaining that.
But now he has backed off a little bit. “If the president can become a bit more presidential, his reelection will be all but assured.” Continuing, he writes, “This is the time for President Trump to deprive his enemies of the last weapon that could be employed against him that could cause him any harm: the largely false, but still troublesome, issue of his personality and routine behavior.
“It does the president no favors to pretend that there are not still a significant number of people who have an uneasy feeling that although his administration is in policy terms quite successful, and the president has faithfully tried to carry out most of what he promised –” It does him no favors to pretend that there are not people who believe he is still “too bombastic and evidently egocentric to maintain the dignity of his great office.”
Let me translate this. When he says it does the president no favors to pretend that there are still not — look, it doesn’t do anybody any good to deny that there are a lot of people out there who think Trump is still too bombastic and egocentric and is not maintaining the dignity of the office.
He said: “This is a widely held view, even among many who support the president for his policy successes and the well-conceived initiatives that are still in the balance, especially trade and other negotiations with China, and the attempted revival of nuclear non-proliferation in respect of Iran and North Korea.”
And then really floored me when he suggested that Peggy Noonan could maybe be brought back into the fold into supporting Trump if he would just be nicer. That Peggy doesn’t like the fighting, Peggy doesn’t like the confrontation, Peggy doesn’t like all this constant rabble-rousing, and if Trump would just dial down the bellicosity toward his opponents and his tendency to be nasty and personal, that maybe people like Peggy Noonan would come back.
I was stunned when I saw this. Conrad Black knows as well as anybody that this is the reason Trump got elected! Do any of you — maybe we should throw this open, ’cause I’ll bet you I know, but I’m not gonna pre-characterize what I think the response here I would get is. I’m sure there are some people, we’ve had some women call, “I love Trump, oh, my God. Oh, my God. Just stop tweeting, stop the tweets.”
We had a whole segment on it or two earlier this week. But the idea that Trump would greatly enhance his already likely reelection by changing who he is, of all the people that I thought would join this chorus, Conrad Black I would not put on that list.
Now, I can imagine what’s happened here given the names of people he mentions in his piece. I’m sure he writes these universally, intriguingly, masterfully created pieces of support for Trump, and I’m sure some of these people in the salons of New York and the salons of Boston where the elites hang out, where the people who really make the country run, I’m sure they are getting hold of Conrad, “What are you doing? Do you not realize what an insult this guy is to people like us?” And Conrad’s fully capable of harboring these thoughts himself, too, but I can’t help but think there has been some outside influence.
So let me just put it to you this way. If Trump were to all of a sudden become more “presidential” in the way these people define it — if Trump were to stop tweeting, to stop being critical of the media, to stop calling them fake news, to start conducting real press conferences again like it’s always been done — would that make you feel better? Would that make you feel more enthused? Would that make you say, “All right! All right! I knew Trump could do it. I knew he could do it. I feel better.”
Is that how you would react to it? I’m just putting the thought out there. In other words (impression), “Donald Trump needs to become more like everybody else in Washington. Politicians are politicians. Presidents are presidents. There’s a code. There’s a standard. There is a behavior that is accepted, and there hasn’t been any exception to it except for Trump, and it’s time that he conformed to it! It’s time that Trump became the emblematic Washington politician.” A lot of people getting nervous about this out there.
A lot of people… You can’t find anybody… You can’t find anybody in the circle of elites any more pro-Donald Trump than Conrad Black. You would have to look long and hard to find anybody in that group of people who knows Donald Trump like Conrad Black knows Trump. Most of them have no idea about Trump. They live and breathe all of these preconceived notions. They haven’t taken the time — like the Democrats and the Democrats in the media haven’t taken the time — to really understand Trump or the people that support him and voted for him.
But Conrad has. Conrad knows, knows exactly why Trump is succeeding. Let me put this another way: Is it important? Does Trump not to win back people like Peggy Noonan and others in the conservative commentariat who have become Never Trumpers? Does Trump need to focus on the Never Trumpers and bring them back in the fold — and can he?
RUSH: I don’t have time to grab a call, but there were a bunch of people on hold who think it would be disastrous for Trump to start, quote, unquote, acting presidential. That would be a disaster. He got elected, people knew who he was. He’s gotta continue to be who he is or that could even be worse.