The killer wind from Hur­ri­cane Don­ald

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - BY WES­LEY PRUDEN Wes­ley Pruden is ed­i­tor in chief emer­i­tus of The Times.

They said it couldn’t be done, and even if it could, Don­ald Trump wouldn’t be the man to do it. But a fresh wind from some­where is blow­ing through the jun­gle where the timid, the fear­ful and the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect cower in the shade of the no-no tree. If the Don­ald were elected, wise men con­fi­dently told us, the econ­omy would col­lapse, Amer­ica’s friends abroad would die of diplo­matic shock, rivers would run back­ward and the sun would never shine again. Oh, dear. Woe is us.

But sud­denly it’s woe that’s in retreat. The stock mar­ket is boom­ing, Amer­i­cans are smil­ing again as in­vestor con­fi­dence grows and the Don­ald’s crit­ics who were only yes­ter­day pre­dict­ing that the world would end by Christ­mas are no longer so sure. The world might stum­ble on un­til Easter.

First Car­rier, the iconic air-con­di­tioner man­u­fac­turer, de­cided that well, maybe, it wasn’t so im­por­tant af­ter all to move ev­ery­thing to Mex­ico. Maybe it could stick around in In­di­ana. This up­set the naysay­ers no end, who com­plained that hand­ing out tax breaks to com­pa­nies just to stay here and cre­ate jobs for Amer­i­cans was a cat­a­strophic idea, even though the sev­eral states have been do­ing that for years in the end­less pur­suit of jobs.

Now United States Steel says it has thought about things, maybe it should ac­cel­er­ate its in­vest­ments in the United States, and bring back work­ers it laid off when it, too, sang in the Greek cho­rus of doom and gloom.

“We al­ready struc­tured to do some things,” says Mario Longhi, the CEO of U.S. Steel, “but when you see in the near fu­ture im­prove­ments to the tax laws, im­prove­ments to reg­u­la­tion, those two things by them­selves may be a sig­nif­i­cant driver to what we’re go­ing to do.”

And not just all that. The grow­ing be­lief in the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion now as­sem­bling that the econ­omy, stag­nant for lo! these many months of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, can grow to at least 3.5 per­cent adds to what his com­pany can do, Mr. Longhi tells CNBC.

“I’d be more than happy to bring back the em­ployes we’ve been forced to lay off dur­ing that de­pres­sive pe­riod.” He said he might be talk­ing about a truly stun­ning 10,000 work­ers. A com­pany spokesman later of­fered the clar­i­fi­ca­tion that Mr. Longhi was talk­ing about the steel in­dus­try over­all, not just about U.S. Steel. Still, 10,000 jobs is 10,000 jobs, and it’s still stun­ning.

Even some of the crit­ics who had noth­ing but sneers and snark for the Don­ald mere weeks ago are try­ing to learn the words and mu­sic of a dif­fer­ent tune now. Al Gore, who has made mil­lions with his global-warm­ing schemes and the ac­tor Leonardo diCaprio, who dreams of ti­tanic wealth har­vested from the sun, beat a path to Trump Tower. They emerged sep­a­rately to say (in art­ful lan­guage) that the Don­ald may not be the ig­no­rant mon­ster they said he was.

The fresh wind blow­ing is not all of the Don­ald’s mak­ing, of course, but he’s the one who cracked the ice. McDon­ald’s, en­cour­aged by what it sees go­ing on in the United States, says it will move its in­ter­na­tional tax base from Lux­em­bourg to Lon­don to es­cape scru­tiny from Euro­pean Union tax col­lec­tors in the wake of the com­ing Bri­tish exit from the EU. Maybe Brexit was not so bad, af­ter all.

“We are align­ing our cor­po­rate struc­ture with the way we do busi­ness, which is no longer in ge­ogra­phies,” a com­pany spokesman says. That’s cor­po­rate ar­gle-bar­gle com­pa­nies pay big bucks to pub­lic-re­la­tions com­pa­nies to tell them what to say, but trans­lated into English it means they’re get­ting out of Europe now that lib­er­a­tion is at hand.

Ev­ery­one feels lib­er­ated to say what he means. Adm. Harry Har­ris, the com­man­der of the U.S. Pa­cific Com­mand, has to be a diplo­mat and be mea­sured in what he says. But he let fly in Honolulu this week with a trib­ute to the men and women who died three quar­ters of a cen­tury ago at Pearl Har­bor. “You can bet,” he said, “that the men and women we honor to­day — and those who died on that fate­ful morn­ing 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand when they heard our na­tional an­them be­ing played.”

He never men­tioned Colin Kaeper­nick, the San Fran­cisco 49ers quar­ter­back who is mak­ing a ca­reer of sneer­ing at Old Glory now that his foot­ball ca­reer is founder­ing. But he didn’t have to. The crowd cheered and whis­tled for a full minute.

Don­ald Trump has hard days ahead to de­liver what he promised, and he won’t get a lot of help from the loyal op­po­si­tion. But he has wounded ev­ery­thing po­lit­i­cally cor­rect, and that’s a lot. We must pray the wounds are mor­tal.


Colin Kaeper­nick

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