David Ignatius devotes his most recent column to an utterly useless exhortation: "Trump needs a dose of 'manly virtues,'" such as those displayed by Harry Truman. Our 33rd president, writes the admiring columnist, demonstrated "quiet leadership, fidelity to his beliefs, a disdain for public braggadocio," and "He never took credit for things he hadn’t accomplished" and "He never blamed others for his mistakes."
In brief, Truman never behaved as Trump so consistently does. With dubious but now-passable nostalgia, Ignatius continues:
Truman is remembered as a great president because he overcame a history of personal failure, as a farmer and a haberdasher, to develop the one bond that’s indispensable for a president, which is that in a crisis, people believed him…. He had built a reservoir of the trust that is essential for a successful leader.
Of course Truman's reservoir of trust dipped to an abysmal 22 percent, but we take Ignatius's point: Harry Truman was never an insufferable ass of Trumpian horrors. We get it.
What I don't get is why Ignatius or any other reputable columnist would devote 800 words to, as noted, uselessly exhorting Trump to acquire the "manly virtues" of "quiet leadership" and so on. This president's 70 years of a contemptible life have inexorably culminated in the rankest of carnival barking; hence do I seriously question that he'll ever burst out of a cake of braggadocio disdain or fidelity to wholly vacant beliefs.
Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps there's merit in encouraging an ignorant, cruel, soulless 70-year-old to miraculously snag a few manly virtues of what are, simply, elements of overall human decency. The key word there, however, is "miraculously." And I don't believe in miracles. Evidently, Ignatius does.