Tags: James Comey | Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | hope and change | lynch | mccabe | strzok

Trump Faithfully Masters, Executes Populism Left Dreams Of

Trump Faithfully Masters, Executes Populism Left Dreams Of
(Oleg Tirunov/Dreamstime)

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Monday, 07 May 2018 01:51 PM Current | Bio | Archive

How can one explain Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), the ailment driving so many of his political opponents to something very close to madness? Put slightly differently, why do so many people viscerally hate the man? It is, of course, nothing new for Democrats to loathe and belittle Republican presidents, as they have done since at least the Eisenhower era, but Mr. Trump does create a special ire all his own.

No other Republican has been faced with an organized effort to remove him from office even before his administration began, and no other has encountered a special prosecutor who, having been appointed through a process which might be traced to political propaganda manufactured by the Clinton campaign, seems bent on destroying him.

Trump may be the most threatening to Democrats, because like Eisenhower and Reagan, Trump is actually able to tap the support of a broad popular base, a base that before Trump appeared on the scene more often supported Democrats.

Salena Zito, one of our most astute commentators, has recognized this, and moreover has observed that "Far from a fluke, the 2016 election was a product of the tectonic plate-grinding of our society — a backlash against globalism, secularism and coastal elitism."

This is undoubtedly true, but it’s worth contemplating some other features of what Mr. Trump stands for and his opponents detest, in order fully to realize the danger he poses to them.

The "coastal elitism" Ms. Zito refers to embraces the politics of victimology, and sees misogyny, racism, and bigotry everywhere. Mr. Trump, in his repudiation of political correctness, and his striving to "Make America Great Again," rejects "globalism," in favor of nationalism.

Trump even appears to manifest a masculine swagger that much of America still admires. He is now pro-life and a free-marketeer, which puts him at odds with a Democratic party now openly flirting with socialism; one still seeking to preserve the legal availability of late-term abortion.

Mr. Trump’s opponents dismiss him as anti-intellectual. Thus, it may be true that he is less well-read than many Democrats, but he is a brilliant instinctive reader of people, and a canny negotiator, of a kind sadly missing in the last administration.

He is on the brink of scoring diplomatic triumphs on the Korean peninsula and is poised to do the same in the Mideastand with China. If he is successful in foreign affairs not only may he find himself short-listed for a Nobel Prize, but he will have exploded the shibboleths of the foreign policy establishment which has dominated for decades.

He has earned the ire and the venom of his opponents by exposing them as living in an ivory-tower fantasy world, and that, of course, is unforgivable. Sadly, rather than seeking to meet Mr. Trump at the level of principle or even practicalities, his opponents seem only able to continue to smear him with purported tales of foreign collusion, old dalliances with a pornstar, or essentially fabricated campaign finance irregularities.

There is no doubt that Mr. Trump has some outsized appetites. Indeed, he can be vulgar. Yet his supporters can still see in him some traditional virtues. He is a good father, and his judicial appointments have been men and women committed to the rule of law and the original understanding of the U.S. Constitution — and to leaving policymaking to the political branches.

Most importantly, and what strikes at the core of his establishment opponents, both Republican never-Trumpers and Democrats, is that Mr. Trump is, at heart, a Federalist — he wants to devolve power from Washington, D.C. (what he calls draining the swamp) and return it to the states and to the people themselves.

The consulting and lobbying class of lawyers and bureaucrats, who have mostly found their home in the party that gave us not only Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton but also Loretta Lynch, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page understands that if Mr. Trump succeeds, and goes on to win a second term, the world they have made is fatally threatened.

Mr. Trump’s use of Twitter is ridiculed by them, but it is proving to be an effective tool for communicating the nature of his political revolution.

In the hope that she would continue the policies he favored, President Obama proclaimed Mrs. Clinton the most qualified person ever to have run for the presidency. To a great swath of the country living between the coasts this made no sense, since they were unable to discern any policies or accomplishments of Mrs. Clinton that could meet their needs.

The progressives purported to stand for "hope and change," but brought us stagnation, decline, crime, unemployment, and despair. Mr. Trump, in asserting traditional values, is actually succeeding where they failed, and, for them, this is the most deplorable thing of all.

Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was recently appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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StephenBPresser
Mr. Trump’s opponents dismiss him as anti-intellectual. Thus, it may be true that he is less well-read than many Democrats, but he is a brilliant instinctive reader of people, and a canny negotiator, of a kind sadly missing in the last administration.
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Monday, 07 May 2018 01:51 PM
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