90 Days Ago Trump, an introduction

From an essay written on December 1st, 2016

Oh wow, there’s a lot going on in politics right now. Not just in America, but around the world. And not only disappointment from liberals like me, but the elation of folks who are responding to Trump’s call to #draintheswamp.

I love writing about strategy and politics. I love to teach. I love taking complex subjects and seeing how well I can boil them down into something understandable. And I love thinking about things through the lens of tradeoffs rather than just declaring them “good” or “bad.”

So I’m going to start writing a series of political essays, with three core principles driving the content.

1. I’m Not Trying to Make You Feel Better

This is not a rah-rah, we’re always right blog. The content here is not designed to rally the anti-Trump faithful. My goal isn’t to demonize the other side or praise my side. My goal is to analyze the current state of things and try to make it understandable and interesting to read.

2. I’m Not Trying to Make You Feel Worse

When I teach, I get much less dogmatic and more pragmatic. If someone were to ask me “Could Trump go down in history as a great president?” I’m likely to say “Right now it’s really hard to tell because he’s notoriously unpredictable. We’ll need more data before we can guess.” Whereas I know a lot of people would flatly answer “No. He will be a nightmare.” That’s not what these essays will be like.

3. Each Essay Will Be 90 Days Old

When you write about politics in real-time, the resulting content can feel more dramatic and less reasonable. Not all the data has been gathered yet. When you write about politics many years later, things blend together, and your hindsight can color everything you write.

A three month delay means I’ll still be writing in real-time, but you’ll be experiencing it a full 90 days later. Sometimes my conclusions will feel quaint because things have shifted onto something new. Maybe sometimes things will feel the same, only moreso, because of the continuity. Both are interesting data points. I’m hoping the delay will help us all gain a little more perspective. We’ll see.

March 2nd and will cover what I was writing about 90 days prior on December 2nd: Trump’s options for Secretary of State, and what his decision could signal about how the administration sees the world and America’s place in it. Read it here.

I analyze the Trump presidency, then share the essays 90 days later, like a time capsule.

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