To my esteemed, award-winning colleague and friend, Niall Ferguson, I say: Welcome back from the dark side. It takes guts to admit one’s mistake as Niall did at the Milken Institute in December 2016, when he said he was wrong to oppose Brexit. In future visits to Britain, he vows to spend more time in pubs and less time fraternizing with establishment politicians.
Niall also issued a sort-of meal culpa on Trump in praising the president elect’s nomination of our distinguished colleague, General James M. Mattis, as Secretary of Defense.
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time until he says he wrote his anti-Trump columns under duress. C’est possible?
Niall Ferguson is also a Stephen Schwartzman Visiting Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Niall can take comfort knowing that Schwartzman has agreed to chair a Trump Economic Advisory Panel of leading men and women, including Democrats, from the world of business.
Niall has also acknowledged that he is eating a plate of black crow in having been wrong in opposing Brexit. (Crows are among the smartest birds in the world. They can make 50 distinct sounds communicating with each other.) But to secure his return from the dark side, he should top off his meal with several portions of humble (not mince) pie.
What’s next on Ferguson’s to-do list? For starters, he might encourage his countryman and our distinguished colleague, Timothy Garton Ash, to turn from the dark side by disavowing his claim that Frau Merkel is now leader of the free world.
The Hoover Institution is home to a trove of Trump bashers, more than any other free-market, conservative think tank. Altogether, fifteen fellows trashed Trump, some mercilessly. Of those, 13 were Republicans/Conservatives; only 2 were Democrats/Liberals. A few have softened their prior harsh criticism. Others may be too proud to walk back their criticism, so we’ll have to wait and see. I’m from Missouri, the “show-me state.”
To Niall I say, “May the force be with you!”