In the 1980s, the Democratic Party of Tip O’Neill bore little resemblance to the party that Trump had to confront as his relentless enemy. Back then Democrats were still a party of blue-collar workers (a class that Trump tried to bring into his populist movement). Tip O’Neill was an Irish Catholic ward-heeler from Boston, who represented a working-class base; Nancy Pelosi by contrast speaks for culturally radical San Franciscans in a transformed Democratic Party, which today features LGBTQ demands, anti-white hysteria, Green New Deals, and which fights the gender identity war. Why would anyone think that Trump would not have gotten along with Tip as well as Ronnie did; or that Reagan would have enjoyed a better relationship with the present Democratic Party than Trump has? We are speaking about different forces of opposition to the GOP in two different eras.
Although Reagan faced critics in the leftist media, as someone who briefly served in his administration, let me assure Mr. Lavin that this sniping was nothing like the nonstop, venomous attacks to which Trump was subjected from the moment he declared his candidacy for the presidency. I have no idea how anyone but an absolute saint would not have exploded in the face of such slander; and it was directed not only against the president but also against his wife and young son. Never in my long life have I seen such a feeding frenzy.
Attacks on Trump as another Hitler and calls for assaults on him became commonplace over the last four years; and I strongly suspect that if Reagan has been forced to deal with such adversaries his approval rating and his temper would both have taken a hit.
Reagan left office with a 63 percent approval rating, which by 1989 went up to 68 percent. We might ask what that approval rating would have been if the media threw dirt at him incessantly and if his congressional opponents incited riots against him throughout his presidency. Please note these attacks occurred not just because the Donald was intemperate in his language. The Left wanted power, and it was necessary to destroy Trump’s presidency to achieve it.
Although the media gave Reagan a harder time than any previous president, it was as nothing compared to what they gave Trump.