Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

President Trump's Path to Making America Great Again

February 19, 2018 --

Former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal explained the secret of President Trump's political success in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article, February 15: Trump's voters like the way he defends himself when attacked.

Traditionally, Republicans have tended to cave-in to political attack. In 1995, for example, Newt Gingrich was attacked by Democrats for being "mean-spirited" after he engineered the takeover of the House by Republicans who were in the minority some 40 years.

During those 40 years, congressional Republicans became accustomed to accepting whatever scraps they were tossed by the Democrats. The guiding principle of the minority GOP seemed to be, "to go along, we got to get along, as indicated by the leadership, 1981 - 1995, of House GOP Leader Robert H. Michel..

But while Newt brought a Republican majority to the House, he did not bring along a fighting spirit, instead, accepting without much reponse fierce attacks from the left-- and expecting that the media would treat him fairly. A call to House Speaker Newt Gingrich's office brought the response he was too occupied working on the Contract with America, and the Republican National Committee explained that it lacked the funds to respond.

What did passivity get Gingrich? He was forced out as House speaker after just two terms, 1995-1999, one of eighty-four ethics charges brought by the Democrats. The lesson would seem to be: if a Republican is unwilling to defend himself, how can voters expect that he will defend them, too, when their vaues are attacked by the left. JIndal comments, that Trump's voters "decided to support someone whose primary virtue was that he would not back down from fighting for them."

Consider President Trump, however, who is tweet-ready to do battle with the left, much to the delight, of his supporters who, JIndal notes, "suspect, with not inconsiderable evidence, that the GOP's leaders have less in common with them that with the cultural elite." Jindal warns that Trump's coalition "may not be sustainable" because it combines the angry, the frustrated, and the those resentful of past GOP leaders "and the cultural elite." The former governor suggests that "the path forward" should aim for "conservatism's natural optimism, confidence and universalism" Well, isn't that what the phrase "Make America Great Again points to."