Donald Trump is still the only man in Washington who understands that America is in trouble and the nature of the trouble it is in.
We were reminded of this during his moving speech at Mount Rushmore, in which he honored our greatest of all statesmen while calling on Americans to defend—without apology—our home, our people, our heritage, and our principles.
Most importantly, Trump put his finger squarely on the designs of the revolutionaries seeking to destroy our Republic, replace the equal protection of the law with arbitrary privilege, and transform America into a despotism “completely alien” to a nation founded in liberty:
Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they’re doing this, but some know what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive, but no, the American people are strong and proud and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history, and culture to be taken from them.
Trump’s address aspired to statesman-like nobility that is unusual in our time. He said nothing less than what we were feeling in our hearts, but these are things our leaders have been unable or unwilling to express.
Whether Trump has a comprehensive understanding of the historic threat facing our Republic and his role in defending it is less important than what he actually does. In acknowledging the central crisis of our time with bravery and candor as he did in that speech, Trump did more to advance the interests of the American people than the Republican Party has done in 50 years of policymaking.
The Establishment Is Complicit
This has been Trump’s greatest virtue from the start. Since the rot runs so deep in our elite, it takes someone from outside the “club,” someone like Trump, to talk plainly to the American people about genuine threats posed to us from them against our safety and happiness.
It takes courage to resist the prevailing mood of any time, and the mood of this time is one of racialized hysteria and ritual shame, of moral lassitude, tending towards national suicide. Those who dare to contradict the spirit of deranged cruelty that animates the soul of the Left or the cowed silence of the majority on the Right can expect swift punishment from a vicious and unforgiving mob. A climate of fear and submission has made public enemies out of private citizens, prison guards and sentries out of neighbors, and villains out of America’s heroes.
Against this madness, America’s leaders are utterly helpless, if not complicit in the terror. The institutions that form their character and inform their interests have created a class of timid, selfish bureaucrats, people who are more attached to their personal fortunes than to America. If they aren’t burning the country down themselves, they seem to be fine with letting it happen on their watch.
Either Republicans and Conservatism, Inc. still do not understand this, or they don’t care.
Trump is an enigma in his own right, but in circumstances such as these, his singular character is essential despite his sometimes confused manner of governing or application. He has uncommon courage, a brutal frankness, and sharp instincts—all qualities that make him a natural enemy of sophisticated liars and traitors who seek to undermine our country in the pursuit of power and status.
This is why they hate him. He cuts through the pretentious sophisms by which we are enjoined to order our lives with common sense and the American heart. He richly mocks pompous TV hosts and airbrushed politicians, but he never expresses the kind of fashionable contempt for ordinary Americans that our betters do. On the contrary, it is obvious that Trump loves America and Americans with a “deplorable” and natural affinity.
Our so-called elites never talk about the crisis of the Republic because they don’t care about the country they are eager to steward—indeed they seem to hate it.
If they ever do acknowledge real problems, it is through a filter of deception. They will insist that the encroachments we sense are delusions, that to notice them is “dark and divisive.” The real problem, they say, is that America is a bad and racist country. With this falsehood, they justify all manner of enormities. Organized destruction, they call “protest,” and racialized mob justice they give the name of social justice. Dopes in the Republican Party, worried principally about maintaining their seats and satisfying their donor class which only cares about tax cuts and special favors promoting their own interests, play along.
Indeed, it is difficult to say just what the Republican Party’s reason for existing is at this point, when its leaders can’t be trusted to defend their voters, let alone the country.
Luxuries of Sentiment to Avoid
One could argue, and some have, that Trump’s response has been no better. (How many times can you tweet “LAW AND ORDER” and call that attention to the real thing?) His Rushmore speech was the first serious push back against this cultural revolution, and his delayed reaction has led some to declare his presidency already a failure. It is questionable whether Trump has the deliberative ability to guide America through its greatest crisis since, probably, the Civil War—or at least its violent prologue—although few men alive or dead could meet that standard.
There are even some who suppose that Trump has already lost the November election or that it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses. But these are luxuries of sentiment that we should hope to avoid.
We should not allow disappointments to breed despair and or lack of appreciation for Trump’s timely virtues. We should also have some humility in assessing the scale of this crisis and the job Trump has been given. It has been five years since Trump sounded the alarm in 2015 with his announcement that he would run for the presidency, and we are only now beginning to see clearly that Trump’s enemies desire nothing short of the final overthrow of the United States as it has existed for over two centuries. Under President Biden, that scheme would accelerate rapidly.
Either Republicans and Conservatism, Inc. still do not understand this, or they don’t care. Trump, in his peculiar wisdom and earnest patriotism, is still virtually the only man on the national stage who does.
“We are in a culture war,” he told RealClearPolitics recently. “If the Republicans don’t toughen up and get smart and get strong and protect our heritage and protect our country, I think they’re going to have a very tough election.”
It doesn’t take a prophet to sense that these are but the opening chapters of something much larger, much darker, much grander than Trump, and they are things far outside his personal ability to control. Still, there are actions Trump can and must take right now, in order to shape the conflict favorably.
Trump senses the threat; now he must confront it. He is duty-bound, for the sake of his presidency, and of our beloved country.