Alec Baldwin doesn’t get it – Donald Trump isn’t the one who needs to change

By DOUG E. IBENDAHL • May 5, 2019

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“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.” — Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello in The Departed.

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Actor Alec Baldwin’s judgment leaves something to be desired even in his own field, as evidenced by the fact he bungled the opportunity to continue in the starring role of the Jack Ryan film franchise after a fine performance in the terrific The Hunt for Red October back in 1990.

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Today finds Baldwin mostly relegated to performing a cheesy impersonation of the President of the United States on Saturday Night Life for the benefit of Trump haters who are apparently still self-medicating.

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But if Baldwin’s personal radar is unreliable within his own profession, it’s completely out of whack when it comes to his hobby of politics.

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Baldwin was recently interviewed for the PBS show Amanpour & Co., and he had this to say about the presidency of Donald Trump:

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Trump is the only man in American history that the presidency of the United States has had no effect on him whatsoever.

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It hasn’t changed him. I thought he would change. After he won–which was horrifying to me–because if you’re a New Yorker, you’re on to Trump. He’s not the host of ‘The Apprentice’ who’s fooled all these flyover Americans that he’s this crack businessman. We kind of know that he’s something else.

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But even so, when he won, I thought to myself, he’s gonna change. Give it a year, and we’ll see a different Trump–and no–he’s the same now. And this is the real tragedy—he’s exactly the same today as he was back in November of 2016.


Putting aside the catty dismissal of “flyover Americans” who Baldwin obviously considers unsophisticated rubes, the man actually gets something right for a change. The presidency hasn’t changed Donald Trump.

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And thank God for that.

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Alec Baldwin is not an unintelligent man. But he goes off the rails in not recognizing that “Trump being Trump” is exactly why this President has been so successful. Baldwin is blinded by hate—and no doubt by more than a little jealousy too.

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Baldwin, like all of the people “out to get Trump” just don’t get Trump. And it’s why he and all of the Trump haters will continue to fail in their crusades.

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Almost every candidate does change once they get into office. And a majority of voters in 30 states in 2016 decided they were sick-and-tired of it. It’s exactly why they voted for Donald Trump. They hoped he would be different.

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Trump voters have definitely not been disappointed.

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It’s why I and many thousands of others waited in line on our feet for eight-plus hours to hear this President the last time he was in Illinois back in October. The number of citizens who happily do so only seems to increase with each rally.

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How long would those attendees wait on line to hear any other politician, assuming they would wait at all? Put me down for 15 minutes, and that high figure would only be out of respect in the case of Vice President Pence.

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In President Trump we finally have a fighter. He’s not a product of the political environment. But the political environment has certainly become a product of him. “Draining the swamp” is a real thing and Trump makes regular Americans feel they have a seat at the table by maintaining a direct and personal conversation through his rallies and Twitter.

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Trump has changed politics forever, for the better. If some old dinosaurs like Alec Baldwin still don’t get it, that’s just too bad.

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Putting an actual executive in charge of the Executive Branch for the first time in history was a brilliant move. Our country is now safer and more prosperous. Americans of all races, creeds and income levels can see that American greatness is being restored.

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Trump was very clear during the campaign about what he wanted to accomplish as President. His agenda today closely tracks the same big themes he promoted in public life for decades. Despite constant attacks from multiple fronts, the man has never wavered.

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So thank you Mr. President, for not letting the presidency change you. You have been exactly the change agent a formerly declining America desperately needed.

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Voters won’t forget—we “flyover Americans” especially. In fact, if the Democrats really want to claim a White House win next year their only realistic option is to truly embrace unity by joining the GOP in nominating Donald J. Trump for a second term.

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No, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for the Democrats to face reality. Watching the likes of Alec Baldwin trying to steer the clown car is too much fun anyway.

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Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.

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