“Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man.”
Henry Hazlitt (1946)

Henry Hazlitt continues that observation with “This is no accident. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by one factor – the special pleading of selfish interests.”

With respect to Mr. Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson,” I’ve often thought “economics” could be fairly replaced with “politics” in his initial chapter.

After all, politics is more about the special pleading of selfish interests than anything else. (That’s another reason that gridlock in the Swamp is not always a bad thing.)

All one has to do is follow the money. The U.S. has the best politicians money can buy, most of whom were born on third base and thought they hit a triple.

Now, thanks to Highland County Press columnist Jim Thompson’s most-recent opinion, I’ve been bombarded with emails, comments and the occasional accusations it relates to journalistic integrity. As I’ve said before, I’ve never claimed to be a journalist. I’m just the guy who takes out the trash and makes the coffee. I know my limitations, thank you very much.

Jim’s column, headlined “Tell me again why Trump is such an awful president” (http://www.highlandcountypress.com/Content/Opinions/Opinion/Article/Tell-me-again-why-Trump-is-such-an-awful-president/4/22/42319), outlines a number of positive first-year accomplishments by DJT – including ridding us of the awful Obamacare individual insurance mandate – “a burden that was drowning low-income, uninsured working families,” as Jim accurately noted.

Good riddance to that insidious tax, and shame on Supreme Court Justice John Roberts for his convoluted opinion on it.

As always, Jim brings a thoughtful opinion to our readers. And he gets a response or two. Or 48 – at last count – that merited online publication. At least that many – or more – did not make the cut.

Jim’s column was written prior to President Trump’s latest (“latest” being a very general modifier given DJT’s propensity to steal defeat from the jaws of victory when pushing his agenda) comments about certain countries. Following Trump’s alleged Third (minus the “h”) World comments, Jim acknowledged that they were inappropriate.

So did some self-righteous pols like Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who’s likely heard saltier language from former Democrat presidents. Therein lies the point. Once again, it’s all about whose ox is getting Al Gored.

Let’s not forget, either, that the self-righteous Durbin in 2005 had to apologize for referring to American troops as Nazis (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/21/AR2005062101654.html).

Of course those on the right, such as Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, who were reportedly present when Trump called places like Haiti (rhymes with spit)hole countries, came out in lawyerly defense of the president, saying they couldn’t recall his exact words.

That’s a far cry from stating without reservation that Trump didn’t say what many people believe he said. One of my favorite presidents, Ronald Reagan, also had trouble recalling certain inconvenient things.

Cotton and Perdue may have put their own credibility at stake on this one. Maybe they should see Trump’s doctor and have their hearing checked.

Now, back to Jim’s column.

• To those on the left who continue to get worked up over everything DJT says and does, calm down. He’s a year into the job, and not one thing has changed in most of our lives – save for ending the dubious and costly Obamacare insurance mandate. Don’t lie in wait and ready to pounce on his every misstep. You surely didn’t do that to Slick Willie or Barack Hussein Obama.

• To those on the right who want to tell me about 20th-century “potty-mouth” presidents like JFK, LBJ, Tricky Dicky and Slick Willie, stop it. You all sound like the second-grader who got caught bringing a pocketknife to school (wait, that may have been me) and tried the “but-Jimmy-has-a-pocketknife-too defense.” If you are true conservatives, I think you and I both know your parents’ reaction to the “everybody else does it” routine. So, please, stop emailing me about Lyndon Baines Johnson’s favorite curse words and Slick Willie’s use of Arkansas state troopers for his Razorback dalliances.

• To Jim, thanks for always having something interesting and pot-stirring for our reading enjoyment.

As Mr. Hazlitt said: “There is a persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy – or its effects only on a special group – and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects will be, not only on the special group, but on all groups. This is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.”

Both the left and the right have been guilty of leaping without looking in defense of – or in objection to – the current president. When all is said and done, the majority of us won’t notice much difference in the Trump presidency than we noticed in any other presidency since 1980.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.