Victor Davis Hanson, as usual, has something interesting to say regarding the stark contrast between Barack Obama and Donald Trump:
…The nation did not suddenly become liberal in 2008 or conservative in 2016. Rather, in both years it rejected blasé centrism — first trying out a left-wing deviation from establishmentarianism, then in frustration turning to a right-wing antidote to both the failed medicine and the original diseased status quo.
Antidote One, of unapologetic progressivism under Obama, did not lead to an economically robust and growing America, one safer abroad in a more secure world, and more cohesive, united, and stable at home — at least if that truly was the leftist agenda rather than the more hushed opposite goal of more equal but poorer Americans, America as just another nation among many, and a cultural revolution aimed at accentuating rather than assimilating race, class, and gender identities.
We shall see if the subsequent Antidote Two, of unregretful conservatism under Trump, will provide what conservatism has always promised: greater prosperity, security, and unity…
We shall see, indeed.
I don’t really know what to make of President Trump. Like most of you, I backed someone (anyone!) else in the GOP primaries. I resigned myself – after flirting with Never Trump – to voting for Trump as the only viable alternative to the absolute horror-show that a second Clinton Administration would be. I expected, in the unlikely event of his victory, that he’d do a few Conservative things, but also do a few liberal things…all in the name of a bi-partisan effort to “Make America Great Again”. And I expected the Conservative things to mostly be about cutting taxes and building up the military…I expected a slew of squishes to be appointed to the Courts and some flings with liberal social issues. I never expected Donald Trump – Donald Freaking Trump, Manhattan billionaire and one-time Playboy – to adhere to such a strictly Conservative line on all issues. Even in his expressed opinions on dope and same sex marriage, it really comes down to a defensibly Conservative principle of deferring to States’ Rights on such matters. For a Conservative, there is nothing in Trump’s first year to be upset with – second year does seem to promise some sort of infrastructure bill…but even there, I’m getting the distinct impression that if we’re going to flash the cash at such, Trump will make sure its used for things that will be useful to the nation…unlike Obama’s stimulus bill, we might get a bridge, a dam and a Moon shot out of Trump’s deficit spending. Not Conservative, but at least not something as stupid as bike paths or “cash for clunkers”, right?
Is Donald Trump a Conservative? He might be. Remember, his wife’s Catholic…and maybe, third time’s the charm, he’s actually learned the lesson all wise men eventually learn: do what your wife tells you to do. Sure, Melania Trump has a bit of a past…but anyone who knows Catholics (or any real Christians of any sort) knows that this is no hang up: all saints have a past, all sinners have a future. Maybe she’s moving him towards the right on social issues while his natural, businessman inclinations, are towards the right on economic matters? Who can know? All I do know is that I’m getting more Conservatism than I’ve had since January 20th, 1989. I like it.
And as Hanson points out, we’re getting a fair test: after eight years of Obama, we’re going to get four to eight years of Trump…and if we Conservatives are even half right in our ideals, then the Trump years will blow the Obama years out of the water. It’ll be undeniable, if it works (of course it will) that the proper way to go is low tax, low regulation, States Rights, individual liberty…we won’t have to struggle against a false, Progressive Narrative anymore because everyone will know that what we say is the way to go. And I think, deep down, this is what the Progressives and the overall Establishment fear the most…that it will be shown that we do better with less intrusive government and free markets. That we don’t need an Obama to lecture us on “who we are”. And that will simply kill them…they’ll hate living in a world where we don’t need them, or even so much as care what they think.