Tuesday, 26 November 2019

The US President Is Still Breathing

Victor Davis Hanson's "Take" On the Trump Presidency

What was the upshot of the animus toward Trump I’ve catalogued in this series? In the first two years of his presidency, Trump has not resigned. He has not been impeached. He has not been indicted. He has not died or been declared non compos mentis. Trump did not govern as a liberal, as some of his Never Trump critics predicted. He had not been driven to seclusion by lurid exposés of his past womanizing a decade earlier as a Manhattan television celebrity. Predictions of all that and more were no more accurate than earlier prognostications that Trump would never be nominated and certainly never elected.

An administrative state, swamp, deep state, call it what you wish, was wrong about Trump’s nomination, his election, and his governance.
It was right only in its warnings that he could be crude and profane, with a lurid past and an ethical necropolis of skeletons in his closet — a fact long ago factored and baked into his supporters’ votes.

At each stage, the erroneous predictions of the deep state prompted ever greater animus at a target that it could not quite understand, much less derail, and so far has not been able to destroy. By autumn 2018, the repetitive nightly predictions of cable-news pundits that the latest presidential controversy was a “bombshell,” or marked a “turning-point,” or offered proof that “the walls were closing in,” or ensured that “impeachment was looming on the horizon” had amounted to little more than monotonous and scripted groupthink.

Never before in the history of the presidency had a commander-in-chief earned the antipathy of the vast majority of the media, much of the career establishments of both political parties, the majority of the holders of the nation’s accumulated personal wealth, and the permanent federal bureaucracy.

And lived to tell the tale.

National Review Online contributor VICTOR DAVIS HANSON is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump. @vdhanson

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