What Will America Look Like Under The Trump Presidency? David Greene talks to Chris Buskirk, publisher of the conservative blog "American Greatness," who was an early Trump backer, and he presents his own intellectual vision for a Trump-led country.
NPR logo

What Will America Look Like Under The Trump Presidency?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/510720743/510720744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
What Will America Look Like Under The Trump Presidency?

What Will America Look Like Under The Trump Presidency?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/510720743/510720744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. We're going to be hearing all different perspectives on a Trump presidency throughout the morning, throughout the day. One person we reached out to is Chris Buskirk. He was an early backer of Donald Trump. He's the publisher of the conservative blog American Greatness and also a radio-talk-show host in Phoenix.

CHRIS BUSKIRK: For me - and I don't know. I think I speak for a lot of people who supported Donald Trump from early on - is that this is a time where we can look and say that the voters spoke up against the entrenched elites of both the Republican and Democrat Party and spoke for themselves and had a different view about where the country is going, what the country is and what it should be - and that Donald Trump's election represents a rebuke to the political order, right and left, of the past 20 or 30 years and is the start of, I think, a new debate within the conservative movement itself. In the Republican primary, 17 different candidates...

GREENE: Seems like so long ago when there were that many people (laughter). But yeah.

BUSKIRK: Right, 17 candidates. And here's Donald Trump, the guy nobody takes seriously. And he's going to be sworn in as the next president of the United States. You know, Donald Trump, in some ways, represents, for conservatives and for Republicans, what Bernie Sanders represents for the progressive left. And that is a sense that things need to change.

GREENE: So is this an optimistic moment?

BUSKIRK: Absolutely. I think it is an optimistic moment not only for Republicans, who won and did very well across the board in the states, in the Senate, in the House, et cetera, but also for Democrats, also for the left. And I know that sounds almost counterintuitive. But the reason I say that is because I think - I hope - that we are looking into a political future that is ushering in an era of a politics of conviction.

GREENE: Politics of conviction. OK, what - yeah, tell me what you mean by that.

BUSKIRK: Yeah. I look at somebody like a Bernie Sanders. And I say, I disagree with his policy prescriptions. I disagree with a lot of the things he says. And yet there's a sense in which some of the problems that he sees in the country I agree with. Though I can disagree with somebody like a Bernie Sanders, I can respect the fact that I think that he is a conviction politician. And I think that, you know, when we go back a year or so, when we thought that the 2016 election was going to be an election between a Clinton and a Bush, that represents a time in this country that has passed.

GREENE: Forty percent approval rating, roughly - the most recent Gallup poll. Donald Trump has said that the polls, even the ones since the election are rigged, doesn't trust them. But that is incredibly low compared to both Republican and Democratic presidents recently as they have been sworn in. How do you explain that?

BUSKIRK: Well, I would explain it - and looking at some of these polls, I would explain it in two ways. One is that they are undersampling Republicans. I mean, I looked at The Washington Post-ABC poll. I looked at the NBC poll. And they're sampling 23 and 24 percent Republicans in their sample respectively. That's not what the electorate looks like.

Having said that, I think that there is a kernel of truth in the polls, which is to say that there are still a lot of people, even some people who voted for Donald Trump, who pulled the lever for him, who are skeptical, right? I mean, there is that kernel of truth in those polls without having to accept the fact that - the idea that there's a 40 percent approval rate.

GREENE: Are you skeptical at all?

BUSKIRK: I'm no more skeptical - in fact, I'm less skeptical of Donald Trump than I was of George W. Bush or George H.W. Bush when they came into office - much less skeptical. I think, with Donald Trump, warts and all, what you see is what you get. And I like what I see.

GREENE: All right. Chris Buskirk is publisher of the blog American Greatness. Really appreciate it, Chris.

BUSKIRK: Thanks, David.

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.