Give Trump A Chance?

13 February 2017
Jonathan V. Last

I’ve known David Frum almost since I first came to Washington. A mutual friend of ours once described him thusly: “David is one of the handful of people in this town whose intellect is genuinely intimidating.” That appraisal always struck me as pretty much correct.

That’s not to say that Frum is personally intimidating he’s very much a good guy. But rather than whenever he says something I disagree with, I begin my assessment with the assumption that I am likely mistaken.

Which is what happened last week. Frum participated in an Open to Debate formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S. debate in Washington arguing against the following proposition: We should give Trump a chance to succeed as president.

I know what you’re thinking: How could you be against giving Trump a chance? Heck, how could you be against giving anyone a chance? In any situation. “Give the other guy a chance” is practically part of the American credo. Shouldn’t Trump skeptics (like myself) at the very least, as Clive Crook says during the debate, not close our minds “to the possibility that he might do some good things”?


But as I said, Frum is worth taking seriously even when you think he’s totally wrong.