"The audacity of Trump is breathtaking" | TIME ONLINE

ONLINE TIME: But what about the attack now? Saudi Arabia?

Frum: I do not think it's such a significant thing. We will probably discover that Iran was really responsible for it and provoked it. But well calibrated: according to the current state, no one was hurt, it is finally a material damage relatively easy to repair. Even the fact that the price of oil has increased does not really hurt the global economy. Presumably, a higher oil price would be useful for all of us, and alternative energy sources would not be much more expensive than oil. With the exception of the Saudis, it is not a crisis for anyone.

ONLINE TIME: We will leave again?

With the exception of Saudi Arabia, attacks on the country's oil production "do not pose a crisis for anyone," said Frum.
© Michael Pfister for good-btp.com

Frum: It was not that there was no crisis in Trump's reign. However, these are almost exclusively those that he himself has triggered. Trump starts a quarrel, intensifies for a moment, loses interest, gets bored, starts the next fight, forgets the previous one. The process in Saudi Arabia is now one of the few that has started outside of Trump's control. But I do not believe that this attack will have serious consequences. There will probably be no large-scale counter-attack. It is even possible to draw hope: Iranians have not always been so good at sending signals of limited effect.

ONLINE TIME: They were George W. Bush's speechwriter when September 11 came, the darkest day in recent history. So you've seen firsthand what's going on in a White House, which was functioning right up to here, when a devastating situation occurs. I do not want to make you speculate …

Frum: The question that follows, you do not want to put out loud. On September 11, 2001, unimaginably, many people died. This act caused unthinkable suffering. If one nevertheless tries to examine the reaction of the administration of the time and to classify it politically, one must first ask the following questions: How George W. Bush took office in 2000, to to know with the minority of the absolute number of votes cast and through a controversial recount in Florida, created the biggest problems for his administration. The question of the legitimacy of his government was in the room. George Bush understood it and acted accordingly. He tried to reach the greatest possible political consensus. And after 9/11, both sides of the political circle sincerely tried to demonstrate the unity and cohesion of the country in the face of such a terrorist act. It was largely symbolic, it had happened as spontaneously as consciously. All this would be unimaginable today. Donald Trump would not be able to impartiality. He would not even want to see her.


Frum: Trump never wanted to be the president of all Americans. Of course, he wants to be celebrated and admired by all. But the idea that he can take seriously values ​​different from his own? Unthinkable. No, it works like this with him: I say where to go and you applaud. I speak, you listen. There are many reasons why we can be grateful to the United States for sparing a truly existential crisis over the last three years.

ONLINE TIME: What is the most problematic thing about how to govern Trump?

Frum: Corruption. It looks like this government is for sale. It's not as if democracies have never heard of corrupt officials. But politicians or corrupt officials usually try to hide their possibility of corruption. The corrosive element of a democracy is ultimately not the fact that corruption exists. But if it is not punished immediately. The unique feature of Donald Trump is that he opened a bribe-taking office in the heart of the United States capital. Trump just wrote "Hotel," that is Trump International in Washington, DC. Anyone who wishes can come here, it is conveniently located a few hundred meters from the White House. The red carpet is unrolled around the clock. Just rent 50 rooms and the ballroom, and the president knows: here, someone wants to talk to him about something. This is exactly what you could never have imagined: corruption could take place in public. The audacity of Trump is breathtaking.

ONLINE TIME: Do you feel alone as a Conservative against a Republican party that seems to have no problem with Trump? Among the conservative commentators and intellectuals, there are only a few other notable Never Trumpers, David Brooks of New York Times about, David French from National examination, Bill Kristol from now closed Weekly standard

Frum: I do not think we are so few. Before the 2018 congressional elections, there was this joke:Never Trump is a political party, it's a dinner party."Only a few public intellectuals, journalists and writers, who cares? Then come the 2018 elections. A huge turnout, the most devastating defeat for the president in office since 1974, and the elections took place three months after Nixon resigned because of the Watergate scandal. So what happened in 2018? Well, the affluent suburbs of the more conservative middle class, especially the women who live there, have voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party to stop Trump. We never trumper is not that a dinner.

ONLINE TIME: You write to a successor for TrumpocracyWhat is the new book about?

Frum: I'm trying on the premise of what will happen once Trump is gone. The book will be placed in 2021 or 2025. The problems that led to Trump, Brexit, AfD in Germany, will not disappear with Trump. How are we going to stabilize democracy again? What will happen to the institutions that make them up?

ONLINE TIME: What gives you hope?

Frum: I am not optimistic by nature. Well, very few Ashkenazi Jews are optimistic anyway. (laughsBut my pessimistic temperament has been challenged time and time again in recent years by the huge civilian engagement in the United States. After Trump's election in 2016, I had feared that there would be a mass movement for Donald Trump for these people to now move on the streets. It did not happen. Instead, two years later, masses of people, especially women, went to the polls and voted against Trump, especially for women hired. Many of these candidates have won. Most of them do not work with radical ideas, but with the willingness to work for our community, to reform it. This confirms a suspicion I have cherished for a long time: a reform policy is all the more effective that it seems conservative.

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