In 1774, the father of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke, delivered a speech to the electors of Bristol-the people he would represent in the British Parliament. He said: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
In other words, a legislator is not supposed to be a human weather vane—simply following the majority opinion at all times.
The same is true for a chief executive.
Whether you think it is out of hubris or philosophical grounding, President Trump is the most Burkean President since Reagan.
Most of our recent presidents have governed from the back of the parade of public opinion rather than choosing to form it at the front.
If President Trump’s example of leading with the judgment he was elected to exercise brings about a renewed understanding of proper governance then Trump will have done our representative republic a great turn.