Andrew Harnik, AP
President Donald Trump visits with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.

President Donald Trump is an extremely hard subject to write about. On Christmas Eve, my wife, Harriet, and I went to the Chevy Chase congregation carol sing-along at the home of Brother Bob Madsen here in Washington, D.C. I had completed a first draft of this article and I tried it out in some of my conversations. I had concluded on that day that Trump was going down — the stock market had just lost over 1,000 points and his highly respected secretary of defense was leaving. But then the stock market rebounded somewhat, and the president turned up in Iraq speaking to our troops in a majestic and authoritative manner that only the president of the United States can do.

He looked great in his combat jacket with the admiring troops lining up for selfies. The 20 potential Democratic presidential candidates must have been green with envy.

President Trump is such a dilemma for me — I did not vote for him, but I admire his willingness to tackle our most contentious issues. He proposes specific solutions, however flawed those solutions might be, (examples: a wall on the immigration issue and tariffs on the China trade issue). As low as his approval rating might go, people secretly admire his willingness to walk into the teeth of tough issues.

His work on Korea and his pushback on the climate issue are examples of political independence. His withdrawal from the Paris Environmental Treaty was harshly criticized, especially by the French. However, when the French imposed a carbon tax to enforce the first requirement of that treaty, there were riots all over France and President Macron withdrew the tax. Thus the French found they could not achieve even the first objective of the treaty.

President Trump was at least honest enough to withdraw from a treaty that would have pledged the U.S. to substantial carbon taxes. Every Democratic presidential candidate upon arriving in Iowa or New Hampshire should advocate for an immediate 50 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax. To be intellectually honest with their support for the Paris treaty, they should be for an immediate substantial carbon tax in the USA. But they will not do so, as they know we would probably have essentially riots of protest. And some of the national media will let them get away with this intellectually dishonesty.

President Trump has been for the development of more nuclear power plants in countries such as India. India's pollution could be cut if they had the four proposed nuclear power plants the Trump administration supports. But the very same extreme environmentalists who want us to join the Paris agreement oppose any more nuclear power anywhere in the world. Thus we could argue that Trump is the true environmentalist insofar as developing countries are concerned.

Trump is a dizzying political figure who seems to bounce back every time I think he is finished. As I read through this article, I can see a rebuttal for almost every sentence, but there is also truth in every sentence.

25 comments on this story

Trump is such a one-man show that I fear for his health. But from Iraq he appeared as a robust man on TV and seemed to relish every minute of it.

The president's ultimate downfall may well come from his churning of staff. He has just lost too many fine people such as our secretaries of state and defense. Our country would benefit if he would settle down, stop tweeting and get a trusted inner circle of mature advisers. This is not about to happen. And as a result, Trump will be a one-term president.

Doesn't President Mitt Romney have a nice ring to it?