The triumph and tragedy of Trump

First, the triumph. Against all odds, he won the presidency with promises to shake up a sclerotic Washington establishment. He did that and more.

He moved the U.S. embassy to the ancient capital of Israel over objections from the establishment who predicted a violent reaction from the culture of complainers that passes for Palestinian people. That move proved the first step toward an outbreak of Mideast peace.

Along the way, he put out of business the beheading barbarians called ISIS, cancelled the agreement that would have made Iran a nuclear power within a few years and coordinated with our ally Israel in thwarting belligerents throughout the region.

While the left was figuratively canceling good Americans who said politically incorrect things decades ago, Trump was literally canceling terrorists who were torturing, raping and murdering Americans.

Arabs, nearly all of whom are decent and civilized people, welcomed this new American approach. While Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for the hope of what he might accomplish, Trump has received four nominations for the prize for what he actually did. The reaction of the establishment, naturally, is not to congratulate him, but to urge the abolition of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Illegal immigration across the Mexican border is down dramatically due to more interdictions, the threat of deportations, pressure on Mexico and, yes, partial construction of a wall. The response of Democrats – who as recently as the Obama administration suggested that illegal immigration should be stopped – has been to shriek “racism!”

He presided over a booming economy with record low unemployment for blacks, record high stock market levels and miniscule inflation. He cut taxes for people who pay taxes.

He pushed through criminal justice reform to get petty criminals out of jail and back into society – a move that especially benefits minorities.

During the Trump administration, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of crude oil. Much of that is a result of the technology called fracking, a solution so good that enviro’s can only sputter about imagined risks.

Simultaneously, the U.S. has made greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions than most of the signatories to the Paris Convention, that gaseous and unenforceable document from which Trump withdrew.

Trump got tough with China for both ongoing human rights violations and predatory trade policies. And he renegotiated NAFTA into something fairer with more protection for American workers.

As a lawyer, I’m impressed with Trump’s three Supreme Court nominations, and his lower court appointments are almost as good.

Neil Gorsuch’s libertarian leanings just might slow the march of the unaccountable administrative state. Brett Kavanaugh withstood what Clarence Thomas a generation ago rightly called “a high-tech lynching.” Amy Coney Barrett is an accomplished intellectual who does not conceal that she’s a member of the Christian wing of the Catholic Church.

Ah, but then there’s Trump’s tragedy, a full-on Greek and Shakespearian one. The man is afflicted – or is it blessed? – with personal traits that make him hard to love. He boasts, he bullies, he belittles and he betrays. The man seems to have a screw loose.

But as Shakespeare said, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.” Trump’s madness is partly because he wants to get into the heads of the opposition. He succeeds. He now lives in leftist heads 24/7 rent-free.

While there, he makes unmitigated mischief. He’s like a little demon whispering in their ear suggestions like, “Defend looters.” Or “Attack a white couple for adopting and saving two black orphans from the cesspool of Haiti.” Or “Abolish the southern border.” Or “Say there are 64 genders.”

Fine, that’s all good fun and might even be politically productive. The establishment needed a swift kick in the gonads, and Trump never met a gonad he didn’t want to kick.

But the country needs something else too. It needs not just a warrior, but also a leader.

Trump is sometimes compared to Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln famously said about Grant and his swaggering drunkenness in the Civil War, “I can’t spare this man. He fights.”

Like Grant, Trump fights. But recall that Grant didn’t always fight. After the Civil War, he presided over Reconstruction where he protected former slaves, opposed the Ku Klux Klan, rebuilt southern infrastructure and worked to pass the 15th Amendment ensuring blacks the right to vote.

Trump could learn a thing or two from Grant about reconstruction and reconciliation with one’s enemies. Maybe in his second term, he will. Maybe like Grant, he can learn to wage peace as well as he wages war.

He’ll get that chance. This weekend’s column will explain how and why.

26 thoughts on “The triumph and tragedy of Trump

  1. Never happen, he’s racist, masoginist, beyond rude, a total failure with handling the virus, which you don’t even mention. Dream on, this guy is toast and rightfully should be. Making fun of wearing a mask as thousands die, yeah he’s a great guy.

      • I remember an article I read several years back. A lady, a black lady, had been living in one if the many rooms in Trump Tower, for quite some time. When she was found out, our President moved her to a suite, and told her she was welcome to stay as long as she wanted to. And the kitchen staff was at her beck and call. That doesn’t sound like a rude, racist, vile, anti caring creature to me.

    • My opinion regarding President Trump is that he was, and is, the right man for this time in our world. For whatever else he may be, likable or otherwise, he has gotten the job done, and in record time. I am praying for a second term, even if that has to be in 2024.

  2. Can you imagine what the media and social media reaction would be if Trump said he had learned some lessons from Grant and was seeking to emulate him? Grant was a slave owner, so Trump’s admiration would only be used as the latest example of his racism right up there with the “good people on both sides” remark supporting white supremacists in Charlottesville. Speaking of Charlottesville, the “good people on both sides” were fighting about taking down a statue of Robert E. Lee, whom Grant invited to the White House to probably discuss reconciliation between North and South, but neither Grant nor Lee ever leaked to the media what they actually spoke about – both were honorable men. Lee defended Grant and would not tolerate any criticism of him after the war, and always expressed gratitude for the generous peace terms Grant offered at Lee’s surrender.

    I don’t believe the people trying to tear down Lee or Grant statues have the empathy, common-sense, honor, or knowledge of history to even lick the boots of either man, but they have the complete and full support of the Democrat establishment and mainstream media who have suggested Trump be assassinated, tried to overturn the 2016 election results, put together a phony impeachment attempt to remove him from office, and have not made any effort to work with him on any initiative of substance. I also don’t think Grant or Lee ever faced any adversary on the battlefield or in politics so lacking in ethics, manners, and honor as Trump faces daily from Democrats, Never-Trumpers, and the media, and I highly doubt either would have been so conciliatory in the face of such opposition.

  3. Very good, sir! And compared to what the past administrations have “accomplished?”Mr. Cahn, you have every right to vote for a man who doesn’t even know who the President is aginst whom he’s shuffling. (Can’t say he’s running.)

  4. Bang on, Glenn!

    First, I love the allusion to Hamlet’s “antic disposition” (the madness with method). This play depicts a government in which every single courtier except Horatio serves The Deep State, and while Hamlet manages to bring it all down, the tragedy is that Denmark itself comes down with it, as Fortinbras’ Norwegian army overruns it.

    It reprises the fate of Jerusalem: A Hamlet-like Jesus, out to restore His Father’s Kingdom, purged the Judaean Deep State at the expense of his life, and then the whole ball of wax succumbed to Roman legions in 70 AD.

    Which brings me to your sparkling reference to “the Christian wing of the Catholic Church.” Neither Sophocles nor Shakespeare could imagine a world in which a figure such as Donald Trump would find himself as the principal Defender of The Faith, against an entrenched Deep State that has installed Francis as its figurehead — a smiling villain with a Machiavellian skill set. “To be, or not to be” is the question facing The Bride of Christ, and in one of the most surreal moments in history, the answer may hinge of the outcome of an American election. Christians sorely need a Battle of Lepanto kind of victory against the Marxist anti-Church, and only God can keep both church and state from crumbling in the aftermath.

    God grant us a Grant.

  5. Grant did not have “rampant drunkenness” during the Civil War. That is an urban legend that has been consistently debunked.

  6. As the first comment shows, there is no point in Trump being nice to liberals. They have slandered him viciously for four years. They orchestrated a coup attempt against him. They have violated every aspect of good manners and comity. Compared to the vile nastiness of the Democrats Trump has been a choir boy.

  7. I also have been pondering what will happen in the second admin. Peace-making is in the man’s blood. So is excision. Decision means taking one course and scissoring off all the other possibilities. The one theme that recurs in my mind is restructuring on a very large — Yuge — scale. Essentially, reaffirmation of Westphalia’s solution (independent, sovereign nation states) to religious, make that partisan, strife, as globalism, an idolatry, partisanship, succumbs to its own irrationality and abandonment by the sensible.

    The inter-nation institutional order made by rich fathers and mothers upon the conclusion of WWII does not answer modern inter-nation conditions, much as their children demand that it does. In fact NATO, World Bank, Ford, Rockefeller, Ivies, CFR, UN, etc., abominate modern conditions and make a mess of things in consequence, which is never wise to do inside what is ultimately providential: history.

    So I am looking for large-scale, fundamental inter-nation alliance restructuring to answer current and coming conditions. PJT welcomes opportunities, and makes them, and will guide/compel the same to benefit the generality of Americans. Socialists would refuse opportunities and try to compel conditions to their benefit exclusively, as if they know what benefits them and what does not. Either way, easy or hard, the restructuring occurs, and on a very grand scale, which conditions all smaller scale activities and conditions. WEF’s Great Reset Initiative is a weak play, but play it they do.

  8. My reasons for voting for Trump are practical. Biden has stated that he will eliminate fossil fuels. My car uses gasoline and oil, fossil fuels. My house uses natural gas for the furnace, hot water heater, stove, and fireplace. So if it’s President Biden and he keeps his campaign promises I have no car and my house is inhabitable. Trump has put money in my pocket. The only thing Biden and his ilk ever put in my pocket is their hand. My only critique of Trump is he needs to use more carrot and less stick. For instance, he could tell Nancy Pelosi how cute she is. There nothing more fetching than the sight of an 80 year old woman wearing a mini skirt.

  9. How do you reconcile with the left when they make false accusations, spy and use the full force of the FBI, NSA and IRS against you after being duly elected by the American people?
    Shouldn’t you be asking the LEFT to reconcile with Trump?

  10. You can only have peace when the other side pleads for it. Dems must first submit to Sherman’s march before they will beg for peace. Slash and burn….

    • I gather you don’t have a “Co-exist” bumper sticker on your car. Do you mean to say that, unlike John Lennon, you can’t “imagine all the people . . . “? That you don’t deplore the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? My, my, my.

  11. Pingback: White Paper For The Incoming Administration – 2020 – Theological Geography

  12. And now you and your commenters have me thinking of Oliver Cromwell who, as creator and commander of the world’s first modern army, vanquished all resistance — from Royalists, Levelers, and Catholics — only to be done in by his ruthless excesses as Defender of the Commonwealth. He was Grant the general, but not Grant the reconstructionist and healer. As for Trump, if he prevails, he must finally drain the swamp, but without destroying his legacy. A delicate piece of business indeed.

  13. Pingback: Triumphs of Trump Left Ignores | Truth or Fiction

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