A Farewell to the President Donald John Trump
At noon, the Trump presidency comes to an end. But Donald Trump’s legacy goes on. As Barack Obama’s minions swear oaths to uphold the Constitution, I contend that the 45th U.S. president has left the District of Columbia having made progress for America. Like Ford, Willkie and Goldwater, Republican presidential nominees who lost and proved to be right, Trump is flawed. Trump is also better than his reputation.
Whatever his role in America’s lurch toward totalitarianism, whatever the merits of his claim that Democrats obtained victory by fraud, Trump opposes the new government. Whether he knows or understands why, like a dissident, his opposition matters.
This means strenuous opposition to those in line to become president, Harris and Pelosi, as well as Biden and the head of the new troika presidency, Barack Obama. By law, Trump narrowly lost the 2020 election he contests, yet, as he heads home to Florida, the ex-New York City businessman is the nation’s leading political antagonist.
More meaningfully, Trump made America better. Trump’s failures speak for themselves, particularly his debacle of attempting to abolish ObamaCare, which is a historic setback for the rights of man. I submit that Trump’s refusal to pardon the hero Edward Snowden could prove to be one of history’s worst pivot points. His vile rhetoric and wrongful war on drugs, including opiates, also damage the nation.
The abrasive president nevertheless deserves credit for building judicial, military and cultural defenses against the worst threats to the greatest nation on earth. Trump is the first U.S. president to defy environmentalist as well as anarchist-collectivist pacts, crusades and dogma. He is the first president to unilaterally oppose Communist China. Trump is the first president to retaliate against Iran. Trump is the first president to scrutinize the premise, goals and meaning of the pernicious group and term Black Lives Matter. He deserves credit for providing some intellectual and moral defense of U.S. history and heroism with the 1776 Commission and U.S. heroes memorial. And, despite declining to pardon Snowden, Trump is the first U.S. executive to expressly doubt surveillance statism. This is neither to trivialize that Donald John Trump sought and enacted authoritarianism nor that he left urgent matters undone. But President Trump advanced Americanism.
As the circus Trump comes down, the anthem of this flamboyant celebrity’s checkered life plays on. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, goes the Rolling Stones song. The tune begins as a chorus of voices, strumming guitar and a single horn playing in lament. Haunting lyrics speak of bloodshed, emasculation and betrayal. But in this song of love, gain and loss, lies the crux to understanding what could become the most pressing lesson of Donald Trump, who’s lost his deepest loves, including wives and a drunken brother: the importance of distinguishing between need and want. Detractors bark that Trump, whom I opposed and came to conditionally support, is utterly bad. The truth is that he delivered a shot of what America needs: the example, however unprincipled in practice and paltry in deliverance, of an American leader’s defiance.