Perhaps because John Batchelor is more an objective observer than most radio hosts, as well as the author of Ain’t You Glad You Joined the Republicans?: A Short History of the GOP, he was, to my knowledge, the first publicly to note Donald Trump’s unique political strengths.
The first unique political strength is that President Trump is blessed with his enemies.
This is sometimes a challenging concept for apolitical (i.e., normal) people—and even for many politicians—to grasp. After all, the vast majority of people avoid having enemies and certainly wouldn’t court them. Yet, in politics, one’s enemies’ attacks earn candidates their partisan stripes amongst their party’s base. This applies to both major parties (and likely minor parties, as well).
To cite some recent examples: when American Greatness publishes a philippic against U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Democrats will more ardently support and defend Schiff. If the failing New York Times (hereinafter, “FNYT”) runs a hit piece against U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (D-Calif.), Republicans will more ardently support Nunes. Why? Because Republicans loathe the FNYT, they presume that its attacks upon Nunes mean he must be doing something right. For Democrats, the same holds if American Greatness attacks Schiff.
(This is regardless of whether the respective articles are inaccurate, as is the case with the FNYT and Nunes, and is, of course, accurate in the case with American Greatness reaming the weaselly Chupacabra–hunting Pathfinder Schiff.)
Given this political calculus, the elite media’s overwhelming animus, distortions, and outright lies are what initially garnered Republican support for candidate and then President Trump, well before his successful policies cemented it. (This explains, too, the effete NeverTrump movement. It is a creature spawned by erstwhile “conservatives” in the elite media and those elected GOP members who would curry their favor. Thus, when NeverTrumpers try to proselytize Republicans to oppose the president through these elite media platforms, the only credibility they destroy is their own.)
President Trump’s second unique political strength is how he brings out the worst in his enemies.
Animus has eternally animated relations between politicians; ask Julius Caesar. And like Julius Caesar, Donald Trump has an uncanny ability to make his enemies lower their purported morals, tactics, masks, and themselves in their efforts to destroy him. Even during Watergate, the battle between President Nixon and the press did not lead the latter to self-immolate its credibility. Not so today’s discredited elite media who knowingly, willfully, and deliberately abetted the propagandizing of the Russiagate lie; censored the Biden family’s financial ties to America’s enemies to influence a presidential election and stop Trump; and committed myriad other acts of journalistic corruption.
So too, the swampy political class and administrative state that ripped away their veneer of respectability by orchestrating the Russiagate scam, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s special investigation and the bogus impeachment proceedings. They have incessantly and with impunity broken laws against leaking classified information and then nominated a compromised, senile mediocrity. Meanwhile, they have been lying to the American electorate that he’s competent, and even denied Americans much-needed COVID-19 relief funds all to help prevent President Trump’s reelection. All of these sins will ultimately redound to their political detriment and destruction.
There is a reason President Trump possesses these unique political strengths: his willingness to fight back tooth and nail against these elitists. It is what Republican populists most admire about him, and it is what they are continuing to seek in all their elected officials—and in themselves.
Thus, there is one more unique political strength in President Trump’s arsenal, one which will ultimately affect his legacy. While Trump’s enemies may have won this election, it will prove a Pyrrhic victory. In 2020, the Left has destroyed itself.
In 2020, Republican populism found itself.