by Matthew Boose
Isn’t it nice to hear someone speak plain truth? It’s something fading from our world—the courage to speak common sense without qualification, without the expected self-flagellation ordained by effete fools who set the rules everyone is supposed to follow. It’s also what makes Donald Trump a hero to millions of Americans.
Trump’s impeachment-eve screed directed at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is a reminder of why he was elected, why his supporters will never abandon him, and why he is the man best suited for this political moment. It is a righteous, angry indictment of a political class as little in touch with the unvarnished truth as they are with reality. Nobody who has witnessed the last three years of vicious, deranged, palace intrigue could dispute Trump’s charges.
The president recounts how, for three years, the Left has gone to war with him and the Americans who support him in a relentless insurgency, one in which no collateral damage has been costly enough to demand truce, no body of facts formidable enough to penetrate their delusions.
After putting the nation through years of torment with the Russia collusion hoax, Democrats threw Robert Mueller into a shallow grave and pretended like the most covered news story of the decade never happened. No mea culpa, no self-reflection, they simply moved on to the next hit job. Not even the inspector general’s report, which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the FBI spied on an innocent man and destroyed his life, was enough to extract some measure of contrition.
“There are not many people who could have taken the punishment inflicted during this period,” the president wrote.
Who could deny this? Donald Trump has been through hell since the day he was elected, and yet he continues to fight the Left. That is what makes him great, and it’s something that his enemies—the timid souls who attack him on television nightly, the chickenhawk generals and know-nothing “experts”—could ever possibly understand.
Why in the world would someone who formerly enjoyed so much public adulation willingly allow himself to be made into a pariah by his former sycophants in politics and the media? Telling the truth is costly, and that is especially true today, when it can cost people their jobs and reputations. “Smart” people know the rules and they follow them. They parrot the pieties. Orange Man Bad, Russia, diversity is our strength, men can menstruate, cha-ching!
That is the real reason why they hate Trump. People who live for nothing but their careers and social status can’t understand why anyone would speak common sense when it comes at such a steep price. They hate and fear that there are still people with that kind of moral courage around—and they keenly feel the indictment of their own cowardice in it.
Worst of all, they hate that there are enough people in the voting public who had the audacity to put someone in the Oval Office who sympathizes with them instead of mouthing the “correct” platitudes of accepted elite opinion.
True, there’s a long way to go before America is “great again.” No, the Trump economy is not the greatest in American history, the border wall isn’t being built, and Trump has filled his administration with too many people with views contrary to his agenda if he wants to successfully “drain the swamp.” But the president has faced down relentless hostility—from corporate media, intelligence agencies, Democrats, Republicans, the foreign policy establishment, and so many others—with a fighting spirit that is genuinely heroic.
Trump’s Heroic Candor
Trump has two basic virtues sorely lacking today in American political life: bravery and common sense.
When corporate media controls what is seen and what is permissible to think, basic truths about human life and society are suppressed, and all are expected to bear witness to absurdities which multiply from day to day. Those who do not accept the program soon are made to feel the consequences of their errors. In an era as upside-down as this, in which evil is said to be good and falsehoods have the currency of fact, Trump’s courage and his frankness (harsh as it sometimes is) are deeply admirable. He cuts through the gaslighting of the Left and gets straight to the point.
Where others would have collapsed, Trump has fought back and puts these liars in their places. When the establishment tried to trap him with “Russian collusion,” Trump called it a witch hunt—again and again. We now know that he was right.
He called out the media for their Brett Kavanaugh “con game.” No other Republican president would have done that. Trump is now approaching his impeachment with the open disgust that it deserves and modeling for other Americans the appropriate regard that should be shown to these charlatans.
His enemies call his letter to Pelosi “crazy” and a “confession of guilt.” No doubt many others see it is basically true and a justified rebuke of the undemocratic arrogance and unscrupulous methods of the Left.
The best part comes at the end, where Trump takes Pelosi to task for insulting American voters with her “let’s pretend” solemnity. “You are making a mockery of impeachment,” writes Trump, “and you are scarcely concealing your hatred of me, of the Republican Party, and tens of millions of patriotic Americans. The voters are wise, and they are seeing straight through this empty, hollow, and dangerous game you are playing.”
In six pages, Trump makes short work of the last three years of remorseless and deeply destructive elite counterrevolution:
Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening. Your chosen candidate lost in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat . . . So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!
To read the whole thing is to be amused and inspired by Trump’s frankness, and at the same time enraged by the Left’s malice:
You forced our nation through turmoil and torment over a wholly fabricated story, illegally purchased from a foreign spy by Hillary Clinton and the DNC in order to assault our democracy. Yet when the monstrous lie was debunked and this Democratic conspiracy dissolved into dust, you did not apologize. You did not recant. You did not ask to be forgiven. You showed no remorse, no capacity for self-reflection. Instead, you pursued your next libelous and vicious crusade . . .
Trump Exposes Contemptuous, Contemptible Elites
Trump’s candor is deeply offensive, even personally threatening, to our nation’s best and brightest, the so-called elites. He rattles their sense of social standing, which has eroded with their public credibility.
Over the last three years, the winners of our supposed “meritocratic” system have been exposed as little more than narcissistic children, people who cannot accept accountability for any mistake, whether it’s a winless war or a toxic media hoax. Their self-importance is cartoonish, their contempt for their country and its people an open secret.
Impeachment has revealed like never before that the emperor has no clothes. Americans have watched a series of petty, puffed up bureaucrats and Ivy League professors appear before Congress to air their deranged jibber-jabber of personal grievances, all of which had more to do with perceived slights to their social status and personal opinions about how a nation should be governed than any wrongdoing by the president. No intelligent person could take seriously their mawkish speeches about the Founding Fathers or their histrionics about Russia and our imminent backslide into monarchy.
There is nothing these people hate more than having to take Trump seriously. He wasn’t supposed to win. His presidency is an affront to their sense of superiority and aesthetics. His vulgar tirades cut through their obfuscations with the force of truth.
The president insists that immigration and open borders are real problems. They push open borders for the masses while remaining insulated from its effects. They have such contempt for Americans that they expect them to deny the evidence of their senses, to watch thousands marching to our southern border and believe that “there is no border crisis.” They expect Americans to buy into their deranged, anachronistic Cold War conspiracies involving Eastern Europe, and they attack those who don’t buy it as a threat to order. They view democracy as a problem when it doesn’t produce the results they want.
They no longer pretend to care about the declining middle class and their woes—whether those be outsourcing or declining social capital—and they evangelize progressive insanity that erodes social ties for everyone but the people living in their own ZIP codes who can afford to mitigate the dysfunction. Their idea of politics is boring policy chatter about faintly relevant issues and stale sentimentality about a pattern of legal immigration that no longer exists. They see democracy as a Potemkin puppet show run by discredited “experts”—that is, themselves.
The Phony Courage of Conservatism, Inc.
But the most contemptible of the lot are those figures who style themselves the conscience of the Republican party—those who view it as their holy mission to contain the Trumpian id.
Compare Trump’s screed with an op-ed that appeared this week in the pages of the New York Times, courtesy of a quartet of “conservative” nonentities seeking his destruction. The piece is written in that familiar, smarmy style typical of contemporary opinion pages nowadays: florid, always slightly alarmed, deeply concerned about Trump’s attacks on “national security” and “our norms” and “the rule of law.”
The authors riff on shopworn media talking points about Trump’s unfitness for office: He’s bad! He questioned the experts! He’s putting national security at risk by going against the Consensus™! He knows nothing about how to run a country, unlike the geniuses who gave us the Iraq War. Thanks to Trump, the Republican party is now a cult of personality. Republicans like Trump more than Abraham Lincoln!
These brave Republicans have exactly one trick: to point out how Republicans today have no courage. All of the brave Republicans, like them, have been left standing shoulder to shoulder with the powerless and marginalized people who run our intelligence services, control our media, and teach future generations what to think of America’s past.
What the True Conservatives™ lack in originality they more than make up for in an unlimited stock of self-regard. If you read the Times op-ed carefully, you’ll notice it says nothing about the ideas that are supposed to define conservatism. Instead, it is suffused with the kind of vacuous sanctimony that is the staple of blowhards like Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah)—lots of $10 words and clichés, talk of “patriotism” and “national security,” but complete silence on issues that matter to conservatives. Their concern for the “rule of law” strangely ignores illegal immigrants cheering in public upon receiving driver’s licenses and the use of the most closely kept surveillance powers to target a political campaign.
The “conservative” sell-outs behind the “Lincoln Project” agree that Trumpism is a parasite that must be destroyed, and its supporters no better than cultists. So when Trump’s supporters see these “conservatives” bash the “non-college educated,” they know what’s really going on. They see Trump, rationally, as the only person standing between them and people who want to see them disempowered and left for dead. They realize that the hatred the Left (and elite establishment Republicans) have for Donald Trump is really directed at them.
The rhetoric of Conservatism, Inc. is uninspiring and ugly because it has no spirit, and it has no spirit because it contains no truth. They don’t stand with actual conservatives who face immense, concerted hostility for what they believe. They stand for themselves and the powerful people in their caste of “respected” pundits—people who, like them, would like nothing more than to see American conservatives pass into the dustbin of history. They just want to get along with the in-crowd, and they’re willing to sell out their countrymen if that’s what it takes.
That isn’t brave. It’s odious and contemptible.
Donald Trump is no philosopher-king, and he has told plenty of lies. But he has more courage and tells more truth than the people who want to see millions of their fellow Americans disappear into the memory hole. Even at his worst, Trump has made possible a revolution in conservative thought and principles. He has inspired a new generation of conservatives to assert themselves, to re-think old loyalties and allegiances, and most of all to repudiate the worthless conservatism that came before him. He gives hope that greatness in America is still possible.
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Matthew Boose is a Mt. Vernon fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a staff writer and weekly columnist at the Conservative Institute. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter @matt_boose.