Trump — or What, Exactly?

Trump — or What, Exactly? By Victor Davis Hanson with some much-needed perspective on the first almost-three years of Trump.

To counter every signature Trump issue, there is almost no rational alternative advanced.

That void helps explain the bizarre, three-year litany of dreaming of impeachment, the emoluments clause, the Logan Act, the 25th Amendment, the Mueller special-counsel investigation, Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti, Trump’s tax returns, White Supremacy!, Recession! — and Lord knows what next.

The subtext of all these Wile E. Coyote all-too-clever efforts at trapping road-runner Trump is not just the wish to abort an elected presidency; they’re offering the heat of hatred rather than the light of a viable political alternative.


The pushback against Trump on China is that tariffs are taboo and dangerous. Perhaps. But no serious critic has offered any other strategy to counter four decades of systematic Chinese mercantilism and economic exploitation.

Do any believe at this late date that the Chinese juggernaut wishes to pause to discuss at length patent infringement, copyright violation, dumping, currency manipulation, technological expropriation, systematic espionage, or massive subsidized surpluses — given that its comprehensive assault on the international commercial order has made China the second-richest country in the world? …

Illegal immigration:

Trump has not closed the border and made immigration strictly a legal enterprise. But to that aim, he has shut down the government, fought in the courts to build the wall, issued executive orders to contravene Obama’s second-term open-borders mandates, juggled funding from a variety of agencies, and jawboned Mexico nonstop. …

Progressives apparently believe that, without importing constituents, their agendas simply are not persuasive. So they’ll likely never close the border to illegal immigration or embrace meritocratic legal immigration or deport those who have broken criminal statutes or who are not working…

The media:

Granted, Trump has no need to burn up presidential time stooping to spar with the likes of irrelevant George Conway or Anthony Scaramucci. I agree that the back-and-forth with the “Squad” does not merit Trump’s attention and crowds out mention of his economic and foreign-policy records.

But then again, I and my family were not libeled as traitors, crooks, deviants, and imbeciles, and put in legal jeopardy for 22 months as the media and ex-Obama officials ginned up hoax after hoax. If I had been, perhaps I might have stooped to express outrage on Twitter.

In the age prior to Trump, what exactly was the status of the media?

In truth, it was mostly an extension of the progressive party, with a veneer of sober and judicious bipartisan pieties — while, after 2016, several media watchdogs have scored the media as 80 to 90 percent anti-Trump. …


But we are told that the boisterous Trump, our first president without military or political experience prior to his election, has disgraced the office. …

Did Trump conduct liaisons in the presidential bed or restroom or office in the manner of liberal lions such as FDR, JFK, or Bill Clinton? Did he habitually use the N-word or expose himself to staffers, as did the great civil-rights icon LBJ?

Is his terminal health condition now kept from the media in the conspiratorial fashion of Woodrow Wilson or FDR?

Is the Trump Foundation flush with infusions of hundreds of millions of dollars, as was the case with the Clinton Foundation during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state? Does President Trump have a tendency to get handsy at public events, or come up behind female teenagers or blow in their ears à la Vice President Joe Biden? Did he weaponize the IRS, the DOJ, the FBI, and the CIA the way Obama-administration officials did to sabotage a political opponent’s campaign? Has Attorney General Barr surveilled the communications of Associated Press reporters in the fashion of Eric Holder?

Or perhaps Trump’s twitter crudity is shocking given the sober comportment of his current would-be presidential opponents. Has Trump, then, promised to take Joe Biden behind the gym and physically beat him up, or warned Cory Booker that in a testosterone rage he would beat him up too, as both have bragged about doing to Trump? Did he whip racial animosity in the manner of Elizabeth Warren by falsely alleging that the Ferguson shooting, thoroughly investigated by the Obama Justice Department, was murder?

Has Trump punned about Kamala Harris not coming out of an elevator alive?

Did he egg on Johnny Depp, Madonna, and a host of other creepy celebrity has-beens to brag about the ways to assassinate a president? Would current Democraticprimary leader Joe Biden be willing to take the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test, given to Trump (who aced it) to remind his critics that he was not demented as they serially alleged?

Read it all.

hat-tip Charles