Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is a very wise man. A renown expert on Greek and Roman classics and military history, he has written over a dozen eminently readable books on those subjects. His 2017 "The Second World Wars," is the most learned book I have read on how the first global conflict was fought and won.
Shortly after 9/11, Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, invited Hanson to write on that tragedy. Americans are fortunate Hanson couldn’t stop after writing his first column — and for 17 years, his essays on contemporary politics have enlightened readers.
Dr. Hanson’s new book, "The Case for Trump," is the first sane volume to be published on the 45th president. His main objective, which he meets, is to rationally spell out how a vulgar narcissist with no political or public policy experience managed to get elected in 2016.
Certainly, Hillary Clinton’s awful campaign was a contributing factor. Clinton, Hanson observes, “had written off tens of millions of potential voters as either evil for their support for Trump, or bewildered and in dire need of reeducation.” She dismissed these struggling Americans as the “basket of deplorables” who were “irredeemable.”
Hanson explains why the Democratic Party of Obama and Clinton walked away from a key constituency that helped elect F.D.R., Truman, J.F.K., L.B.J., Carter, and Bill Clinton and left them for the taking by Trump. In 2016, Hanson writes, “Appeals to the white working class were blasted as tantamount to racism, in a way that liberal identity politics were not.” He added: “[the] open progressive … contempt for the American interior, is not just how ubiquitously politicians … voiced them, but how candidly and indeed confidently they repeated notions of smelly, toothless … lazy ‘garbage people.’”
Reacting, desperate middle America folks, in search of a knight on horseback that would fight for their interests, turned to Donald Trump.
Trump’s message that “city slickers” on the east and west coasts gamed the system struck a chord. “Globalization,” he thundered, “has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very, very wealthy … but it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.”
Even though Trump was a “Manhattan player, [and] not a traditional family man and husband,” supporters — a third of whom disliked him — came out in droves to vote for him because he intuitively grasped their concerns and embraced the wedge issues that troubled them.
Since Trump’s election the left has been in a state of shock, and as Hanson relates, “Never in the history of the American presidency has there been such an immediate and sustained effort by the opposition to remove an elected president before completing his first term.”
Off the rail leftists have gone so far as to call for his decapitation and assassination.
Then there are the never-ending excuses for losing in 2016. Hanson lists the 21 culprits Hillary Clinton claims were responsible for her defeat. They include right-wing donors, right-wing media, the Russians, and Anthony Weiner.
Granted the Trump Administration has been one big rollercoaster ride thanks to plenty of rookie mistakes, inane commentary, and a “take no prisoners management style.”
Nevertheless, Trump’s unorthodox approach to governing, which is not ideologically driven, has had some success in “draining the swamp.” He has signed into law a real tax cut, eliminated scores of oppressive regulations, nominated outstanding judges, got out of the Paris climate accord and the Obama-Iran deal, and has presided over a booming economy that has brought down unemployment to historic lows.
Hanson points out that Trump has strived to be the opposite of Obama:
For every Obama executive order, there arose a Trump antithetical executive order. And for every mellifluous Obama put down of an opponent, there was a cruder and sharper Trump riposte. Obama sought to manage the economy; Trump to free it. The former believed in the therapeutic view of human nature; the latter the tragic—and acted accordingly with both friends and enemies. In other words, Trump framed his presidency in antithesis to 2009-17, in hopes that the country could judge for itself under which of the two administrations it was better off.
Democrats, Hanson concludes, may think that the uncouth Trump will be easily evicted from the White House in 2020; but they might be delusional because “the Trump paradox remain[s] as much a mystery to his progressive critics as it always had — and perhaps always will.”
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." He is chairman of Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Mr. Marlin also writes for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. To read more George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.
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