by Conrad Black
The halftime scorecard in the Great Trump War is much more ambiguous than the premature jubilating of the Trump-hating media would indicate. Let us consider that this war began amid peals of side-splitting laughter as the Trump family came down the escalator of Trump Tower in June 2015 and Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. The astonishment on Election Night in 2016 quickly gave way to #TheResistance and “scorched earth.”
Dispossessed Clintonites presumptuously took for themselves the names of the heroic Catholic and communist resistors to the Nazi occupation of France and of the gallant defenders of Soviet Russia against Nazi invasion. Thus did the insanely affected morality of those whom Trump legitimately defeated in the 2016 election raise its hoary head.
As we now know, though the unconscionable dilatoriness of special counsel John Durham has prevented its formulation to date in appropriate charges, the intelligence community and the FBI were compromised by being drawn into anti-Trump political skulduggery prompted by the Clinton campaign which continued past the election.
When the Trump-Russia collusion scam was finally exposed as the outrage that it was, the national political media, which has steadily been 95 percent hostile to Trump, uttered not a word of remorse and pivoted to the most asinine impeachment charge in American history, led by the two most mendacious figures in the modern history of the U.S. Congress, Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-N.J.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
Despite having the Mueller special counsel inquiry and the impeachment proceedings riveted on his back for over three years, President Trump has had the most successful first term in history except for Lincoln, FDR, and Richard Nixon. He effectively ended illegal immigration, slashed oil imports, and—by cutting the taxes of 83 percent of taxpayers and all corporations, deregulating and eliminating illegal cheap labor competition, and renegotiating uneven trade arrangements—Trump created more positions to fill in the economy than there were unemployed. For the first time anywhere, the income of the lower economic 20 percent was rising more quickly than the top 10 percent.
He delivered the country from the Green Terror without sacrificing the environment, revived the concept of nuclear non-proliferation for irresponsible states (Iran and North Korea), filled the federal bench with authentic constitutionalists and not authoritarian social tinkerers, shaped up NATO and the U.S. Armed Forces, responsibly alerted the world to the proportions of the Chinese challenge, and has made greater progress on Middle East peace than anyone since President Carter at Camp David in 1978. His reelection was almost a sure thing, as the Democratic Party elders, fearful of being obliterated if self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were nominated, resuscitated Joe Biden, rejected in the early primaries, and carried him across the finish line to the nomination.
As happens in wars, the tide of luck turned when a powerful ally frisked up to the side of the quavering and enfeebled Democratic Party—the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Trump had the right attitude about the virus when he preached resistance rather than fear, and emphasized avoidance of economic disaster and of total submission through prolonged shutdown. Unfortunately, and as is also not infrequently the case with him, his message was not well transmitted and was easily portrayed by his ubiquitous media enemies as flippancy, callousness, and incompetence. He shouldered aside the able Vice President Mike Pence, who was the chairman of the committee to mobilize the response to the virus and insisted on taking the daily press briefings himself. These turned into unseemly and often disgraceful exhibitions of insolence by media provocateurs.
History will record the negligence of state governors, New York’s Andrew Cuomo in particular, in failing to protect and isolate the elderly. And it will record that President Trump swiftly remedied the terrible insufficiency of public health emergency response resources bequeathed to him by Obama and Biden, mobilized industry to eliminate those shortages very quickly, had the best economic performance of any advanced country, and accelerated the normal timetable for development of a vaccine by at least two years.
Trump’s problem was that he set out to displace the entire political establishment that he and approximately half of Americans held responsible for at least 20 years of preceding presidential incompetence: endless, fruitless Middle East wars, the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression, increasing poverty and violent crime, and steady exploitation by unfair trading partners and freeloading allies, while the United States was being out-distanced by China.
The media were among his first targets and they responded with overwhelming and almost psychotic hostility and with the totalitarian prejudice of the social media corporate leaders. This and the endless sniggering of the Hollywood and sports idiocracy and the defection of Wall Street—never long on political astuteness or courage—crowned by a mighty COVID-covered change in election rules that produced a transfusion of hundreds of thousands of mailed and harvested ballots in a few areas of five key states (four governed by Democrats) in the dead of night and the most dubious of circumstances, may have delivered Biden, who left campaigning to his media benefactors.
That struggle is not over. Trump’s policies were endorsed in the country—Trump gained in African American votes by 50 percent and Hispanic votes by 100 percent. The Republicans may hold the Senate and have made unexpected gains in the House and throughout the country in state legislatures.
We see already from Biden’s prospective cabinet nominees that it is a ragtag team of retreads identified with the innumerable failures of the Obama regime.
There is Tony Blinken, for secretary of state, still babbling nonsense about the Kremlin’s influence on Trump; a homeland security director who wants to reopen the borders; and the bedraggled imposter John Kerry readying himself to crucify America’s energy industry to prevent a warming of the globe that there is no evidence is actually occurring.
The cowardly riffraff of NeverTrumpism have been partly emboldened to come out from under the rocks in the hope of reviving the McCain-Romney-Bush cooperative loser school of opposition, and get back to the easy post-Reagan days of coasting slowly downwards from the summit where he left America at the victorious end of the Cold War.
We see the return of the authors of the dissolving redlines, the failures against ISIS, the donors of a blank check to nuclear military power for Iran and North Korea, all ostensibly headed by an amiable but faltering political wheel force who has never shown any aptitude to lead and has faced in every direction on every public issue for 50 years and, in the words of bipartisan defense secretary and CIA director Robert Gates, has been wrong on every strategic issue throughout his career. He will be expected to deliver for the mainly black racist urban guerrillas who ransacked Democrat-governed cities across the country all summer.
Suddenly Barack Obama is back, dismissing Hispanic Americans and, with his wife, repeating ancient slurs about Trump’s racism.
If Biden does win, it will be a tainted election, a gridlocked Congress, and unless Biden jettisons the far-Left and engages in full-scale cooperation with the Republican leaders in the Congress to produce intelligent legislation, it will be a disastrous administration: the worst of Biden with none of the glib faux woke style of Obama. It will be a shambles and a “Gong Show.”
The Republicans are Trump’s party now and he has enabled it to encroach upon the traditional black, Hispanic, and working-class base of the Democrats. He’s by far the most popular as well as the most unpopular political leader in the country, and the only one for whom scores of thousands of people will stand for hours in the cold and rain for an opportunity to hear him in person.
Six months of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will generate vertiginous nostalgia for Donald Trump. Then will come the third and final round of the Great Trump War.
– – –
Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.
Photo “Trump Supporters” by Elvert Barnes. CC BY-SA 2.0.