Where to find well-balanced rationals behind Trump policies?
January 29, 2017 2:54 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find non-confrontational sources that discuss the reasons behind Trump's policies, particularly ones that present well-argued, rational arguments in support of the policies?

I am struggling to break out of my so-called media bubble, where everything I read out of the US at the minute is - frankly - horrifying. Being a non-American, resident outside the States, everything I read seems to be filtered through the lens of "this is inherently bad with no redeeming features". However, I presume there must be a rational (to someone) argument for the decisions being made. It it surely unbelievable that almost 50% of the voting public would be driven purely by the politics of hate and fear.

Where can I find these arguments? I particularly want to find arguments that are based on what appear to be sound, non-fear-based rationals; something that will make me think "OK, I may disagree with you but you seem well-intentioned and I can see where you are coming from". Ideally these arguments would be impartial but I would be happy with a partisan view, as long as it was unemotional and logical.
posted by teselecta to Law & Government (19 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Mod note: A couple deleted. Sorry folks, I understand that there is probably no good answer to this, but in that case, it's fine to not answer.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:45 AM on January 29, 2017 [7 favorites]

A small press release from the border patrol union..

I don't agree with this policy, but it lays out at a high level the reasons for the union's support on Trump's stand on immigration.

I found this by going to the Drudge Report looking for links that seemed supportive of Trump's policies, and scanned them for sources.

On a personal level I disagree, and I have to restrain myself from pointing out in all the ways I think it is wrong, so I'm only offering up the process (rather than finding more and getting myself all worked up)
posted by forforf at 4:56 AM on January 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

A good source for well articulated conservative and neoliberal perspectives are think tanks, particularly the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and the CATO Institute. While I do not personally agree with them, here are a few analyses they have conducted on relevant topics.

Here are a few articles that are relevant to current events:

From the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal: 4 Key Things to Know About Building Trump’s Border Wall

Also Heritage Foundation: Administrative Amnesty: Unjust, Costly, and an Incentive for More Illegal Immigration

From the CATO Institute: NATO at 60: A Hollow Alliance

Also CATO: Here’s What Happens after ObamaCare Is Gone

From The American Enterprise Institute: The places where walls work

Even more mainstream sources like the Wall Street Journal can do what is in my opinion a more nuanced assessment of policies, for instance, The Thorny Economics of Illegal Immigration.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 5:17 AM on January 29, 2017 [8 favorites]

Here's progressive economist Dean Baker offering a qualified defense of Trump's approach to trade.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 5:20 AM on January 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

The National Review tends to be less volitile but I can't recommend certain articles because it will make by blood hurt to read through them. Enjoy not being in America!
posted by Drosera at 5:45 AM on January 29, 2017

I like Real Clear Politics as a portal. It features an aggregation of writings from the left, right, and in between. It's extremely useful for uncovering your own biases, which are usually hidden.
posted by Mr. Fig at 6:48 AM on January 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

I like Reason magazine which is written from a Libertarian perspective. They cut through some of the hysteria on both sides.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 8:21 AM on January 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

It it surely unbelievable that almost 50% of the voting public would be driven purely by the politics of hate and fear.

It is unbelievable because it's not true. 42% of eligible voters did not vote. Only 26% of all American adults voted for Trump. It's not clear what the other 74% believe, but this poll (granted, from 2016) says that 59% think immigrants strengthen the country and 74% think undocumented workers should be able to stay. 61% do not support increased screening of Muslims. Certainly there are many, many racists, and they are running the country right now, but your premise is incorrect.
posted by AFABulous at 8:36 AM on January 29, 2017 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to clarify: when I referred to "almost 50% of the voting public" I meant to say "almost 50% of those who voted". I am well aware that the majority either voted against or abstained. The point I was trying to make was that a significant number of people were sufficiently motivated to vote for Trump and I assume that at least some of them were convinced by rational, concrete arguments that didn't rely on hearsay and fear. I want to know what those arguments were and are.
posted by teselecta at 9:13 AM on January 29, 2017

I think you have to ignore Trump and look at Bannon as he appears to be in the driver's seat this week. He's on record as saying he wants to tear it all down and I do think that is driving some of the policies.
posted by fshgrl at 12:18 PM on January 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Media mascot Scott Adams' blog is very good at outlining his policies from a rhetorical persuasion/propaganda point of view; he picked Trumps victory very early on.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:26 PM on January 29, 2017

That's Mefi's own Scott Adams (Ha). I did think he had a good analysis of the reason for what seem like so many unforced errors:
When you encounter a situation that is working great except for one identifiable problem, you can focus on the problem and try to fix it. But if you have a dozen complaints at the same time, none of them looks special. The whole situation just looks confusing, and you don’t know where to start. So you wait and see what happens. Humans need contrast in order to make solid decisions that turn into action. Trump removed all of your contrast by providing multiple outrages of similar energy.
posted by 445supermag at 4:31 PM on January 29, 2017

Watch clips of Morning Joe [warning: link autoplays] on MSNBC, and pay attention to what Joe Scarborough says. He has been widely criticized (and perhaps rightfully so) for being too chummy with Trump, but at least for me, I find him to be the best "translator" for Trumpism so that I don't have to resort to reading or watching more extreme websites.

Also, this NPR podcast featuring George Packer is an excellent discussion on Trump's appeal.
posted by invisible ink at 10:11 PM on January 29, 2017

Reddit's NeutralPolitics is a reasonably well moderated community that may be relevant for this.
posted by simonw at 10:31 PM on January 29, 2017

I've found the blog Of Two Minds to be useful, and Kunstler is pretty entertaining as well, though maybe too pro-collapse.
posted by Bron at 11:16 AM on January 30, 2017

The Guardian runs Burst Your Bubble, a weekly sampling of conservative (but hardly pro-Trump) articles.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 1:05 PM on January 30, 2017

I find that Megan Mcardle, a columnist for Bloomerberg with a libertarian bent, often gives me new perspectives.
posted by megancita at 6:40 PM on January 30, 2017

Not quite what you asked but this from The Economist nails it.
posted by Kwadeng at 7:36 AM on February 3, 2017

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