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TJ: Just what made Reagan’s personality so attractive?

PJ: I think it was partly an ability to handle cameras and microphones, all the apparatus, the technical side of broadcasting, he was very good at that, was used to it, it all came naturally to him. Now, Trump doesn’t yet have quite the same skill, and you can see that people still find him divisive, but I think he should do well eventually. He can talk to cameras, and he has a rather calm personality when under pressure.

TJ: Many people would disagree, they find his personality quite worrying. A lot of people see him as an egomaniac, or paranoid, and too unpredictable.

Yes, they’ve been influenced too much by political commentators. Trump has had quite a hostile reception on the whole, particularly from the media, and I was impressed by how he held his nerve. I don’t think he’s been given fair play, and he’ll turn out to be both less extraordinary as a phenomenon, and far less worrying as a person now that we are out of the election hysteria.

How do you see the West five years from now?

That’s a difficult question at any time, and with anybody. But I think Trump will succeed as president, and do much better in that role than as a candidate, and be re-elected. I think at the end of eight years he’ll have established himself rather like Reagan did as an acceptable, reassuring and on the whole positive figure in American politics. In five or six years’ time he’ll be much more part of the scenery, and he’ll get on well with the British, the Russians and the Chinese, and a decent part of the international furniture. I think most of these worries going through the world will have ceased, and we will all be much happier.

TJ: You wrote an article supporting Trump earlier in 2016. Do you feel vindicated?

Oh yes, I think so. Trump has done very well, better than most people expected. He has won a convincing victory, and he has won it in a perfectly reasonable, sensible way, and I think he starts his presidency in good shape. I don’t understand all that hysteria.

Thank you very much for the interview.

PJ: I’m sorry it wasn’t better: I’m 88, you know.

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January 17th, 2017
11:01 PM
"TJ: America today finds itself in a similarly precarious situation, as it was before Reagan. Massive debt, low wage growth...? It was Reagan,who started the US economy on the current slippery slope for thefigures say it all, taking the USA from a creditor to a debtor nation. In 1981, shortly after taking office, Reagan complained of "runaway deficits" that were then approaching US$80 billion, or about 2.5%GDP Within only two years, however, his policies had succeeded in enlarging the deficit to more than US$200 billion, or 6% GDP. At the end of the Reagan/Bush era it had was down to US$150 billion, still almost double what it had been under Carter. However the National Debt had climbed from US$995 billion, when Reagan took office, to $4 trillion by the end of Bush1's presidency, Under Reagan and Bush Republican Administrations it climbed as a % of GDP from 26% to 42%.

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