The Unified Theory of Trump 4

Why Trump won't betray his supporters.

Other than during wartime, no postwar president has controlled the national dialogue as effectively as Donald Trump.  America talks about whatever Mr. Trump is talking about.  Whenever the media tries to change the conversation to another topic, generally The Donald is able to turn it back around on them.

This is lots of fun to watch if you're on Mr. Trump's side - and no, we haven't gotten tired of winning by any means.  The past two years certainly seem like Mr. Trump is leading us to a good place - an America more in keeping with its history and traditions of freedom, individual responsibility, innovation, and success.

Still, for every list of great things he says and does, there's a handful of causes for concern which particularly disturb social conservatives.

Worried about the collapse of marriage and the traditional family?  Mr. Trump's marital history is hardly the example most churchgoers would hold up for praise.

Concerned about the aggressive assault of homosexuals on traditional religious liberties, to say nothing of personal restroom safety?  Donald Trump has said he doesn't much care who uses what john.

Wishing that Hillary Clinton were serving time along with her corrupt enablers in all the agencies?  Yes, Mr. Trump led his audiences in chants of "Lock her up!" - not so many years after the Clintons attended Mr. Trump's most recent wedding - but she's still walking around, free as air.

So, on the face of it, it's not totally unreasonable that conservatives might fear being abandoned by yet another leader as Mr. Trump returns to his zillionaire roots to curry favor with his Manhattan neighbors.  Yet while the conservative literati worries about that - in between worrying about how Trump coarsens everything he touches - it seems like the "deplorable" base who attend his rallies mostly doesn't, and especially not the religious conservatives who you'd think would feel the most skidgy about following a serial philanderer.

Why not?  Are they just hypocrites?

No: they simply grew up in a different world, one where concepts like personal honor and vengeance still hold a certain power.  By some miracle of happenstance, Donald Trump, despite residing at the exact opposite end of the spectrum from his "deplorables," shares those same core values.

Without even realizing what they were saying, the New York Times wrote a pretty fair origin story of the Trump presidency while he was still a minor candidate:

Donald J. Trump arrived at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in April 2011, reveling in the moment as he mingled with the political luminaries who gathered at the Washington Hilton...

A short while later, the humiliation started.

The annual dinner features a lighthearted speech from the president; that year, President Obama chose Mr. Trump, then flirting with his own presidential bid, as a punch line.

He lampooned Mr. Trump’s gaudy taste in décor. He ridiculed his fixation on false rumors that the president had been born in Kenya. He belittled his reality show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Mr. Trump at first offered a drawn smile, then a game wave of the hand. But as the president’s mocking of him continued and people at other tables craned their necks to gauge his reaction, Mr. Trump hunched forward with a frozen grimace...

That evening of public abasement, rather than sending Mr. Trump away, accelerated his ferocious efforts to gain stature within the political world. And it captured the degree to which Mr. Trump’s campaign is driven by a deep yearning sometimes obscured by his bluster and bragging: a desire to be taken seriously...

“Everybody has a little regret there, and everybody read it wrong,” said David Keene, a former chairman of the American Conservative Union, an activist group Mr. Trump cultivated. Of Mr. Trump’s rise, Mr. Keene said, “It’s almost comical, except it’s liable to end up with him as the nominee.”

What prophetic words!  Donald Trump captured not just the nomination and the Oval Office, but a solidly unique place in history.  It's far from improbable that he will be a more consequential president than the president who lampooned him at the Correspondent's Dinner.  How's that for revenge?

And in so doing, he displayed an example to Middle America of their type of hero - one who takes no guff from anyone, who gives back as good as he gets, and who's always the last man left standing.  Even when bruised and battered, "you should see the other guy!"

No Converts Wanted

In the elite world of the New York Times, alliances are ever-shifting; your partner today may be your opponent tomorrow, and vice versa.  Everyone is jointly engaged in fleecing the public and looking out for Number One.  While the specific strategies may change from day to day, the overall goal remains the same.  Everyone knows it, and everyone knows everyone else knows it; nothing else really matters save the relentless pursuit of power and wealth regardless of the consequences.

Donald J. Trump was born into this glittering world of phony duplicity and he's more than capable of playing on that field; but for reasons which will be the stuff of doctoral theses for decades yet to come, it doesn't define him.  Unlike his peers, simple wealth and power is not the only thing that motivates him.  He wants to win, yes - but while doing so, he wants most of all to defend his honor against those who sneer and look down on him.  And who sneers harder or looks down further than an elitist liberal against anyone with the slightest conservative bent?

Which is interesting, because although President Trump has not always been conservative, he has always had conservative tendencies.  As the decades have passed, the Left has become less and less friendly to Mr. Trump's attitudes as they have become fundamentally more and more intolerant of any deviation from full-fledged leftist orthodoxy.

Back when Mr. Reagan was running for president, he said that the Republican party should be a "big tent."  In other words, we don't all have to agree on absolutely everything; we can cooperate on the topics we agree on, and make progress in those areas.

Democrats have forgotten this; today's Left tolerates no heretics and isn't even particularly welcoming of converts.  You can give millions to Democrats, but step out of line even one step, and you'll find your "friends" howling you out of existence - like Brendan Eich, a traditional center-leftist techie who made the career-ending mistake of donating to the campaign against homosexual unions which most California voters approved.

In fact, it often seems that the Left, and the political party that is now almost wholly owned by them, actively doesn't want converts.  They don't want their enemies to come over to their side; they want to mash their faces into the ground and grind their bones into the concrete.  They don't just want to win, they actively hate their opponents, everything they stand for, and everyone that stands for them.

This is why genuine conservatives need never fear Donald Trump going over to the other side: They wouldn't have him!

The Democrat reaction to President Trump - unthinking, unwavering hatred - merely reflects his status as the average American writ large and loud.  As the Wall Street Journal observes:

...the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump has never toed anyone's line but his own, and for half a century he was still accepted in New York society by virtue of having plenty of money and friends and having been there for a long time.  As Leftist orthodoxy tightened up, though, he started taking more and more hits.  Eventually, his sense of New York pride and personal honor demanded a suitably powerful response.

As Frank Sinatra said, "Success is the best revenge."  The Left isn't laughing now, are they?  Meanwhile, average Americans stand up and applaud, after waiting hours to catch a glimpse of the hero fighting, for once, on their side.

What the Democrats and the media seem unable to learn is that Mr. Trump never surrenders to force.  You don't beat Mr. Trump by punching him until he says "Ow" - he just hits back harder.

It might be possible to co-opt Mr. Trump by buttering him up, and there are those who say that's the approach Kim Jong Un is trying.  Whether that would work for the modern left, though, we'll never know - they're incapable of attempting it, if it even occurred to them to try.

What sort of politicians call their opposite voters "deplorable" and "bitter"?  Certainly not ones expecting, or even vying for, their votes!  And it's not in Donald Trump's nature to make friends with people who are continually insulting him and more than it is his supporters'.

In a strange way, perhaps that's why Mr. Trump's most devoted followers are the devout.  They know that they'll never be able to reach a truce with the atheist left: it's now become commonplace in academia to argue that, when sexual freedom collides with religious freedom, religion must bow down to sex.

Fifty years ago, it seemed that all the libertines wanted was the freedom for consenting adults to do whatever perversions they please in private.  To most Americans, even the religious, that seems reasonable or at least an acceptable compromise.  We've long since passed that point though; now, perversions must be celebrated by all and everyone must participate.  Even simply abstaining in silence is no longer allowed.

Donald Trump may not feel as strongly about the evils of the sexual revolution as religious fundamentalists, but they both have the same enemies and are both hated with equal fire and fervor.  Is it any wonder the religious have adopted this not-very-religious man as their champion?

Make no mistake, he gets something in return: loyalty.  Say what you will about the religious, but they tend to be steadfastly predictable in clinging to their principles and their allies as long as they aren't betrayed.  Unlike anyone on the left, Mr. Trump need not worry that his religious supporters will abruptly abandon him for someone shiny and new, so long as he continues to deliver the protection they most want.

Although nobody knows what will happen in the coming elections, as we ponder the recent Kavanaugh conflict which reminded everyone of the Democrats' "war on men," we're reminded of words of wisdom from a long-ago adversary who went down to ignominious defeat:

We have waked a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.

- Adm. Yamamoto, architect of the attack on Perl Harbor.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

This is the best of the Trump series, mainly because it summarizes so well the many aspects of Trump, and also gives me, at least, the info about the insults tossed at Trump by Obama. (For some reason, I wasn't invited to that dinner!).
Trump is not a man to forget a slight, and what could be better revenge than to beat Obama by beating Hillary, and then undoing everything Obama tried to accomplish.
And of course, since Obama was hard at work "putting down" America, Trump really only had to unleash the "dogs of capitalism" and put a stop to the Obama's "surrender now" foreign policy, and then get out of the way.
But of course, with the success he's had, now we don't want him out of the way. There are, as we see daily, more problems that need solutions.
BTW Petrarch: your article is full of typos. Correct them and make yourself look even smarter--or get some new software.

October 25, 2018 11:16 PM

I have enjoyed "The Unified Theory of Trump" tremendously. The mistake that so many make is viewing Donald Trump through a political lens. He's not a politician....he's a businessman. Which, in my opinion, is exactly what our country needed at this juncture. Not a man of words, rather a man of action.

October 26, 2018 1:38 AM

Great article! Thanks!

October 31, 2018 12:38 AM

I just finished reading all of these articles in this series. ( backwards). Terrific!!! Well written, informative, interesting and thoughtful! Thank you so much!
Trump is an astonishing man and only a fool would not appreciate him for the phenomenal job he is doing for our country!
We would be wise to keep him and his family in our prayers ... and vote red!!!

October 31, 2018 1:25 AM

Great series about a great President, and a courageous and fascinating man. I'll save it and share it for sure! It's definitely going in my archive of articles to share with my grandchildren.

December 20, 2018 12:57 AM
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