The Case for Trump
a book by Victor Davis Hanson
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that From an award-winning historian and regular Fox contributor, the true story of how Donald Trump has become one of the most successful presidents in history—and why America needs him now more than ever.
In The Case for Trump, award-winning historian and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson explains how a celebrity businessman with no political or military experience triumphed over sixteen well-qualified Republican rivals, a Democrat with a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, and a hostile media and Washington establishment to become president of the United States—and an extremely successful president.
Trump alone saw a political opportunity in defending the working people of America's interior whom the coastal elite of both parties had come to scorn, Hanson argues. And Trump alone had the instincts and energy to pursue this opening to victory, dismantle a corrupt old order, and bring long-overdue policy changes at home and abroad. We could not survive a series of presidencies as volatile as Trump's. But after decades of drift, America needs the outsider Trump to do what normal politicians would not and could not do.
As Hanson says, " . . . few observers had grasped that behind the radical local and state realignment was a more fundamental and profound class anger at coastal elites. Centrist voters began to doubt the wisdom of globalization. They pushed back against the Democratic Party's move culturally leftward. Most equated Democratic apparent obsessions with identity politics as a new sort of off-putting racialism. Trump had assumed from the outset that a midwestern residential shift was long overdue."
The public was tired of two-faced phoney politicians that never did what they promised—Trump was at least authentic and genuine and he often did what he promised he'd do
Hanson goes on, "Prior Republican inability to win consistently states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin was largely because national candidates either could not, or would not, energize the disenchanted white working class. They failed especially those without college degrees, many of whom had apparently become Election Day dropouts. These disenchanted had been turned off just as much by Republican establishment rigid free-market orthodoxy, free but not fair trade, and open borders as by progressive identity politics. As it turned out, Trump would win three key swing states once deemed irrevocably blue: Michigan (by a 0.2 percent margin), Pennsylvania (0.7 percent), and Wisconsin (0.8 percent). Or in other words, Trump won the election because about eighty thousand voters in just three states swung his way."
'Watching Trump certainly seemed to draw out viewers' morbid curiosity—the guilty desire to inch closer to the scene of a car wreck' says Hanson
Voters saw advantages in unleashing such a pit bull as Trump in the general election, even if they were unsure about where he'd roam and who he'd bite.
Voters saw advantages in unleashing such a pit bull as Trump in the general election, even if they were unsure about where he'd roam and who he'd bite
Hillary never seemed to learn any lessons from her many scandals—she blamed them on others such as a vast right-wing conspiracy. She also had trouble learning to think before she spoke. One of history's worst political mistakes is her obnoxious "basket of deplorables" insult, which probably sealed her defeat in cement. Talk about shooting onesself in the foot!
One of history's worst political mistakes is Hillary's obnoxious 'basket of deplorables' insult, which probably sealed her defeat in cement
Hillary shot herself in the foot with Benghazi, the email debacle, and the deplorables comment, just to name a few
Hanson explains the historical context which brought Trump to the white house and why his presidency was necessary to unseat the old established order. The coastal elitist have become so detached from 'Americanism' that they haven't even begun to grasp how Trump became president and they probably never will. The Case for Trump is for those who wish to understand why Trump is needed, now more than ever, to throw a monkey wrench into elites' political correctness nonsense if nothing else.
The book is a deep dive into how and why Trump happened, and why it is a good thing. We find it well written and insightful but rather one-sided. It fails to respond to the hundreds of questions that the anti-Trump books have challenged the Trumpians with. For example, the tax cuts steal from the nonrich and enrich the rich and the corporations fabulously. The "economy" that this improved was for the oligarchs like Trump and the Kochs, and kicking the can down the road with a huge debt increase undermines our children's futures. He made American Oligarchs Richer Again, rather than Make America Great Again. And the bad things he did for climate science, the environment, and the Paris Accords are hard to overstate.
Trump Made American Oligarchs Richer Again, rather than Making America Great Again, which works fine for Trump but for 'the little guy,' not so much
Here we are after the Mueller Report showed Trump did no crime, did not obstruct, and did not collude and we wonder how much is true that Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson tell us on Fox News, since it no longer makes sense to dismiss it out of hand as conspiracy theory. The mainstream media and the academics and Hollywood joined together with the liberal reporters and pundits to try to put Trump out of business. They believed he is a threat to the country as well as to democracy and freedom, but more than anything, they were not happy about him being a threat to the status quo, the establishment, globalism, and political correctness. Hanson describes Trump as the right guy in the right place at the right time to heroically—like Shane or Dirty Harry—take down the establishment elites and hopefully even the Deep State.
Hanson describes Trump as the right guy in the right place at the right time to heroically—like Shane or Dirty Harry—take down the establishment elites and hopefully even the Deep State
Hanson compares Trump's brand of Republicanism to what came before—it is a middle-class populism that seeks to arrest and reverse the decline of interior America. The Heritage Foundation reported that Donald Trump, the Tweeter-in-Chief, did significantly more to advance its conservative blueprint than President Reagan did at the same point early in his term. Also, Hanson may want to believe Trump approaches issues and resolutions thoughtfully but the evidence seems to support a more chaotic approach where little thought is given and even less input considered on the part of the president, a man who doesn't read, learn, listen, or think.
Trump and his Republican co-conspiritors take a wrecking ball to everything in sight in an attempt to wreck the environment, health care, the economy, jobs, security, rights, First Amendment rights, democracy, etc.
As mentioned, The Case for Trump fails to adequately respond to the hundreds of questions that the anti-Trump books have challenged the Trumpians with, although it handles a few. Here are some books that make good points, including a few pro-Trump books:
- It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America
- No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need
- The Despot's Apprentice: Donald Trump's Attack on Democracy
- Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
- Trump's America: The Truth about Our Nation's Great Comeback
- One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported
- Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump
- Resistance is Futile!: How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind
- Fear: Trump in the White House
- Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy
- Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump
- The Coup D'état Against President Donald J. Trump
- Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump
- Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic
- The Deep State: How an Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and Is Working to Destroy the Trump Agenda
- Planned Collapse of Americanism: Pres. Trump's Biggest Challenge
- Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency
- Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House
- Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics
- Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever
"This is one of the smartest conservative defenses of Trump yet published"—Publishers Weekly
"To those ravaged by globalism, Trump was the only candidate in 2016 who spoke clearly and directly about the issues that most concerned them—a return of jobs and an end to unlawful immigration. Moreover, he promised to truly fight against progressivism. Many conservative voters had tired of the establishment Republican candidates, who seemed more content to lose honorably than to fight to win. . . . Hanson explains, Trump is 'chemotherapy, which after all is used to combat something far worse than itself.' They also get a vicarious thrill from his brawling, seeing it, Hanson writes, 'as a long overdue pushback to the elite disdain and indeed hatred shown them.' . . . The Democratic-party faithful appear more intent than ever on forcing the country on a march to social justice. They have yet to learn that their open contempt for the working class played a role in their stunning loss in 2016." (Source: The Case for Trump: Chemotherapy for Our Body Politic, Michael Doran, National Review)
"'The Case for Trump, . . . should wake up Democrats and their supporters to the fact that unpopular progressive policies (more regulation, de-growth in the economy, open borders) and racial hectoring against whites will never unify a country.' . . . Trump won in 2016 and continues to win because tone-deaf liberals and progressives constantly reveal their true venom for workers, rural whites, and those citizens who do not live on the coast. Hillary Clinton is a prime example, and when not blaming everyone else for her historic loss, she’s defaming American citizens to members of the foreign smart set at ritzy conferences. . . . Trump has leveraged this class bias and exposed the inherent liberalism of America’s journalists in order to confirm to his supporters that the elites really do look down their noses at them." (Source: The Case for Trump , Benjamin Welton, NY Journal of Books)
Trump relentlessly attacked those people and things that the voters he was courting resented, such as globalization, deadbeat allies and elites utilizing the revolving door of the Washington establishment
"Candidate Trump would support these traditional conservative positions, but he had discovered the red meat that would really fire up what would become his base. People who had variously felt ignored, despised or taken for granted wanted revenge. Mr. Trump based his campaign on two things. First, he was not Hillary Clinton. Second, he would relentlessly attack those people and things that the voters he was courting resented. Globalization, deadbeat allies and elites within the revolving door of the Washington establishment all became targets; this message resonated. . . . Mr. Trump [was compared] to toxic chemotherapy designed to kill the cancerous effects of the political correctness, progressive executive activism and the 'blame America' attitudes of the Obama administration." (Source: Vanquishing toxic political correctness, Gary Anderson, Washington Times)