No one is operating in good faith here, so sincere mea culpas will only become another weapon

Why Trump is correct to never apologize

By —— Bio and Archives--October 25, 2017

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Why Trump is correct to never apologizeIt seems like a perfectly reasonable piece of advice. If you’ve made a mistake, or even if you’ve got people upset because they’re wrongly convinced you did something wrong, be the magnanimous once and simply apologize. It diffuses controversies and gives your critics little to work with.

National Review’s Rich Lowry believes President Trump compounds his own problems because he will never, under any circumstance, apologize:

The normal thing to do in this situation would be for the person who said something that was taken the wrong way — especially when it is the president of the United States and the aggrieved party has just lost a loved one in uniform — to come back and say something like, “I really didn’t meant it the way you heard it and it pains me to think that I’ve in any way added to your distress. Please accept my apology and deepest condolences.”

If Trump could bring himself to do this, it would,

  1. be the right thing to do;
  2. instantly drain this controversy of much of its power;
  3. win him praise, even from some unexpected quarters.

But Trump can never give even a little ground, because any disagreement or criticism instantly becomes personal and the occasion for combat, no matter what the circumstance.

Sure, this sounds like good advice. And if we were dealing with people operating in good faith, it would be good advice. But as Trump clearly recognizes, most of his critics are not operating in good faith at all.


You might recall that George W. Bush used to be excoriated by Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) for never being willing to admit a mistake. One day at a White House press conference he was asked to name a single mistake he had made (the questioner was obviously thinking of the Iraq invasion), and Bush hemmed and hawed and said he couldn’t think of one.

He did not do this because he really thought he had never made a mistake. He did this because he understood the game that was being played. If Bush publicly declared that any action he took had been a mistake, the result would not be the draining of controversy, and it would certainl not be “praise from unexpected quarters.” It would be days on end of headlines screaming BUSH ADMITS HE SCREWED UP.

President Trump understands that if he apologizes for anything - especially when he’s under the gun unjustly - he’ll simply be inviting the exact same thing.

Ideally, of course any person who has reason to apologize should do so without hesitation. I would much prefer that the president of the United States be as willing to do this as anyone.

But I don’t want him doing it when the result is going to be a nonstop media firestorm obsessed with blame, recriminations, demands for heads to roll and all that kind of nonsense. I don’t want him doing it when his apology is going to be used to bludgeon him and to discredit his entire presidency simply because he was man enough to admit he made a mistake. And everyone knows that’s exactly what would happen.

For all the people who claim apologizing would be the right thing to do, these people know perfectly well that an actual apology would be constantly featured in opponents’ campaign ads at the next opportunity. If apologizing makes you such a big man, then why do you get attacked mercilessly for having done so? And yet you know darn well that’s exactly what would happen.

And I certainly don’t want the president apologizing when he didn’t actually do anything wrong. That merely emboldens the Frederica Wilsons of the world to manufacture more accusations. If we lived in a more honorable world, good people could apologize for mistakes and they would be respected for it. The political world, at least, is nothing like that.

Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com

A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.

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