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Trump Finds the Formula to Defeat Democrats in 2020

If the pollsters at CNN and CBS are correct, Donald Trump may have found the formula for winning a second term in 2020.

His State of the Union address, say the two networks, was met with the approval of 76 percent of all viewers—97 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents, and 30 percent of Democrats. Seventy-two percent agreed with the president’s plans for securing the border with Mexico.

Trump was not only unapologetic in defense of his wall. He seemed to relish savaging the rising radicalism of Democrats on two critical issues many of them have seized upon since their 2018 triumph: abortion on demand, right up to the day of birth, and soak-the-rich socialism.

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump thundered. “America was founded on liberty and independence—not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”

“America will never be a socialist country,” Trump roared, as the camera focused on the scowling face of Senator Bernie Sanders.

The GOP ovation was thunderous, the Democratic silence revealing. Understandable. For, as in the 1972 Nixon landslide, Democrats appear to be coming down with “McGovernism.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the rookie sensation in Nancy Pelosi’s House, has called for an income tax rate of 70 percent. As California and New York City have state and local tax rates of 12 percent that are no longer deductible on federal taxes, their most successful residents could be forced to fork over four fifths of their income every year in taxes.

Some Democrats have called for an 80 percent federal tax rate. New Yorkers who earn $1 million a year would be allowed to keep less than a dime of every added dollar they earn.

Sanders would impose a 45 percent tax on all estates over $3.5 million, rising to 77 percent on estates worth $1 billion.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a tax to scoop off 2 percent of the wealth of folks whose net worth reaches $50 million, and 3 percent of all the wealth of every billionaire, every year.

To ex-mayor Mike Bloomberg, a potential rival in the presidential race, whose New York is witnessing an exodus of its wealthy to Sun Belt states, Warren’s ideas represent a gospel-of-greed stupidity.

Says Bloomberg: “If you want to look at a system that is not capitalistic, just take a look at what was perhaps the wealthiest country in the world and today people are starving to death. It’s called Venezuela.”

Democrats have also embraced the cause of Medicare-for-all.

Asked how private health companies that now insure 177 million people would fare under her health care system, Senator Kamala Harris was dismissive: “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”

Trump also delivered in-your-face defiance to feminists who seek to guarantee unrestricted access to abortion on demand.

Recalling the celebration as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s guarantee of third-trimester abortion rights became law, Trump declared:

Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.

And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children—born and unborn—are made in the holy image of God.

Has any president, in any State of the Union, made a stronger statement in defense of life?

Are Democrats losing their minds? Only 13 percent of Americans believe in letting babies be aborted up to and through the ninth month of pregnancy. In what states are infanticide and socialism winning issues?

In this writer’s home state, Virginia, the resignation of Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is being demanded by state and national Democrats, because he put on blackface for a Michael Jackson imitation at a dance 35 years ago.

Democratic Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, whose ancestors were slaves on the Revolutionary War plantation of Lord Fairfax, has been accused of raping a young woman at the Democratic convention in 2004.

The next in line to succeed the governor, the attorney general, also a Democrat, has just admitted to wearing blackface when he was in school.

And Senator Elizabeth Warren, says The Washington Post, listed “American Indian” as her race on a State Bar of Texas registration card in 1986.

Yet according to her DNA and the Cherokee chief, she ain’t one.

Somebody up there likes Donald Trump.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

39 Comments (Open | Close)

39 Comments To "Trump Finds the Formula to Defeat Democrats in 2020"

#1 Comment By Kasoy On February 7, 2019 @ 11:11 pm

Extreme positions of the Democratic Party on abortion & socialism are good rallying points for Trump’s political base particularly the religious conservatives & Tea Party, small govt supporters. But these are not sufficient to win elections. The significant electoral swing votes are wielded by independent voters & moderate Democrats & Republicans.

Trump must articulate other more everyday issues that almost all Americans agree on: JOBS & Peace&Order. Although the ultimate basis for my political decision is the moral positions of the candidates (does it adhere to Christian morality?), most voters will prioritize jobs & peace&order. Taxation & regulation laws have still much needed reforms to become really effective in improving the economic conditions.

A third critical issue is immigration. Our immigration law is dysfunctional & filled with loopholes & contradictions that prevent it from achieving its real goal of an orderly & mutually beneficial entry of migrants. A comprehensive immigration law that is based mainly on merit & at the same time finally solve the DACA issue, overstaying non-residents, the uncontrolled exodus of illegal migrants across our borders, abuse of our Jus Soli constitutional principle on citizenship. This is a bipartisan issue that must be resolve soon so as to prevent either party to use this as “hostage” to other important issues. The GOP hardliners must compromise on certain issues if it wants the most critical immigration provisions to be passed.

Sadly, the political divide is, at its current state, is irreconcilably diametrically opposed as one party continues to adhere to traditional Christian morality while the other has openly defied & mocked God (the wall is immoral, abortion is not & infanticide, euthanasia, immoral relationships are celebrated & vigorously promoted, legitimized, & funded).

If ever the GOP regains control of both houses of Congress, the ONLY way to push forward & avoided useless gridlock is to use the nuclear option on all critical legislations & judicial appointments. GOP Leaders of both houses should adopt a pragmatic approach to governing. Let the American voters decide in the next election if they approve of the results of the majority decisions or not. BUT to remain gridlocked & accomplish nothing to promote the welfare of the common American is the worst option. An inutile ever gridlocked govt invites people to turn to socialist, big govt pied pipers for salvation.

#2 Comment By cka2nd On February 7, 2019 @ 11:17 pm

Pat may be right. On the other hand, it also depends on who the nominee is and on what platform the Democratic Party actually runs. If it runs on economic relief and health care for all, as it generally did this past election cycle (even while msnbc remained obsessed with Russiagate and some of its rank-and-file and celebrities dove ever deeper down into the identity politics rabbit hole), it should retake the Senate (the electoral map favors the Dems in 2020 the way it favored the GOP in 2018) and the White House. The Dems would do even better if they actually did, you know, SOMETHING to bring American troops home and end US military AND economic warfare abroad. I’m not holding my breath, though, as they can’t even acknowledge the part the United States has played in creating the present crisis in Venezuela (or Syria, Libya, and by extension, Europe; or Central America; or with Russia and Ukraine).

#3 Comment By Andrew Callahan On February 7, 2019 @ 11:40 pm

Thanks Pat, if I may call you that. I have always looked up to you

#4 Comment By ked_x On February 7, 2019 @ 11:57 pm

Trump picks a fight against “Socialism” and looses a majority of people under the age of 40.

“The kids today are high on socialism, but they haven’t ruled out capitalism” by Kristen Soltis Anderson, [1]

#5 Comment By Andrew On February 8, 2019 @ 12:34 am

Acid, amnesty and abortion. The more things change the more things stay the same, eh Pat?

He’s wrong we’ll never be socialist, though, if he doesn’t get the wall built. And we do NOT need more legal immigration, we need less. He should fire whatever speechwriter put that line in there that Karl Rove and Geraldo Rivera are all giddy about on Fox.

#6 Comment By Begemot On February 8, 2019 @ 1:42 am

“America will never be a socialist country,” Trump roared.

Really? Aren’t Social Security and Medicare socialist programs? Public education? AmTrak? America IS a socialist country.

#7 Comment By Balconesfault On February 8, 2019 @ 6:21 am

How stupid do you have to be to denounce Socialism … and to propose a new Federally Funded Parental Leave Plan … in the same speech?

#8 Comment By JeffK On February 8, 2019 @ 6:28 am

Trump is dead man walking for 2020.

He gave a good SOTU speech. Good for him. That cannot undo 2 years of idiocy and incompetence.

Trump is historically unpopular. If you want to see how unpopular, look at the Trump vs Other Presidents charts in the link below.

[2]

#9 Comment By 2cents On February 8, 2019 @ 8:44 am

I always find it interesting that Republicans find the worst examples to stoke fear. They focus on Venezuela’s failed socialism. Venezuela was a corrupt country under crony capitalism way before that idiot Chavez took over. Now I don’t agree with Socialism, but there are countries like the Scandinavian that have lived under a form of Socialism for years and it seems to work for them.

On the issue of abortion and protection of innocent lives I find Trump hypocritical to say the least. The GOP has had multiple opportunities to defund Plan Parenthood and did not do it. They do keep cutting social services that these “innocent lives” need once they are born. Specially if born to a poor single mother.

Lastly, somehow I find hard to believe that Mr. Buchanan cares and cries himself to sleep thinking about any Hispanic baby being aborted when he has been screaming for decades that we need to stop the brown hordes from taking over the country. Actually I find it hard that any GOP or Trump would care about what happens to these kids.

#10 Comment By Luke On February 8, 2019 @ 9:20 am

Good lord, the 1987 playbook of politics isn’t going to work anymore. Republicans and Dems alike still don’t seem to understand the underlying forces by which this clown got elected in the first place. Trump is on much better political footing by trying to frame the illegal immigration issue as a class issue which, to his credit, he did for about 2 1/2 minutes on Tuesday night. If he can stick to that, massage it, add some nuance, and move away from the illegals are coming over the border to rape and pillage hysteria, he might just continue to wrest an important traditional Democratic stronghold away from them, right under their nose. Culture war stuff isn’t going to be enough. The coalition isn’t large enough.

#11 Comment By Jeff On February 8, 2019 @ 9:38 am

This article is one of the most disingenuous interpretations of current trends TAC has published in a long time, bordering on journalistic malpractice.

Marginal tax rates, favorability ratings, and out of context quotes in this essay are misleading, if not actual lies.

#12 Comment By TomG On February 8, 2019 @ 9:57 am

Well, Mr. Buchanan, the first problem with your premise is with your poll analysis. I’m not surprised that a network or two could ask the question in such a way that Trump had approval of 76 percent of all viewers of the state of the union speech. Most of us are so sick of the waffling on international (supposed anti) interventionism, his latest foray into Venezuela and his delusional view as the greatest president of all time, there is no way we were going to rob our lives of 90 minutes of his bloviating to Congress.

#13 Comment By PAX On February 8, 2019 @ 10:18 am

It is easy to vote for a Kamala Harris as a senator when there is a Donald Trump in the White House. When the choice is Harris or Trump the revealed preference will most probably be for Trump. When the Appellate Court in California (2015) ruled that government water utilities (SJC) in California must use marginal cost pricing to set water rates (California Constitution), Harris as California Secretary of State immediately filed to stop this more normative way of pricing from being implemented. Does she apparently want to direct all economic resources? AKA socialism. She makes Nancy Pelosi look like she is to the right of Attila the Hun politically. Harris probably has not seen a neocon war that she does not embrace lovingly. I wish there was a Ron Paul type alternative to Trump.

#14 Comment By JLF On February 8, 2019 @ 10:19 am

Yet somehow, Pat, 58% of Americans (Pew: October 2018) favor abortion in all or most cases, and 51% of Americans (KFF Health Tracking Poll: January 2019) favor Obamacare (ACA) as it was passed by Congress. But keep on believing what you want. This wish, as they say, can be father of the deed.

#15 Comment By Mark On February 8, 2019 @ 10:35 am

“How stupid do you have to be to denounce Socialism … and to propose a new Federally Funded Parental Leave Plan … in the same speech?”

Maybe, rather, it’s how stupid does he think we are?

#16 Comment By Collin On February 8, 2019 @ 10:40 am

“America will never be a socialist country,”

Explain to me how we are capitalist country?

1) I have to spend $200 more per washer.
2) My business is not hiring because our customers are facing higher steel prices.
3) Famer’s income are lowest in 15 years.

All for some hope of more steel plants that ARE NOT being built. Tell me this capitalism?

#17 Comment By Joe from PA On February 8, 2019 @ 11:02 am

Can’t agree more. Abortion is an issue where reasonable people can disagree to a point. But past a certain point (whether six months or something stemming from vanity not medical risks) abortion is as gruesome as anything.

Also – the radicals of the left have revealed their true colors in their unhinged reaction against Howard Schultz, against the Covington kids, their Medicare for All scam, and all the ugly federally dictated social and economic engineering in the so called “Green New Deal”.

Trump is ugly and has lots of ugly right wing backers (like Stephen Miller) — but if Trump were to say cut his losses on immigration and go after the ugly fundamental transformations the likes of Kamala and Bernie and OAC have in store, he’d earn my vote finally. (It went Johnson in 16 and would be Schultz or Libertarian, dependent on immigration, trade, or “national emergencies”.)

He needs to tone it down on the immigration, quiet down on the investigations, and shine the light on the ugliness of abortion and socialism.

#18 Comment By Stephen R Gould On February 8, 2019 @ 11:36 am

Mr. Buchanan: it appears you overlooked that the Democrats’ tax proposals were for marginal rates above $10mm. Don’t you think that was material to your article?

#19 Comment By Christian G On February 8, 2019 @ 12:07 pm

JeffK:
“Trump is historically unpopular. If you want to see how unpopular, look at the Trump vs Other Presidents charts in the link below.”
Ah, yes, fivethirtyeight, who gave Trump a 25% chance of beating Hillary. Wearing a MAGA hat now brands you a full fledged KKK member in public life, so I have zero faith in ANY polling.

#20 Comment By Omar Sadiki On February 8, 2019 @ 12:34 pm

Decoding the code words:
“Abortion” = Evangelical dog whistle.
“Socialism” = Giving things to black people that you “deserve” instead.

So, the new playbook is the same as the old playbook: religion and racism. Got it, thanks.

#21 Comment By John S On February 8, 2019 @ 12:38 pm

“Somebody up there likes Donald Trump.”

Somebody up there sent Bob Mueller.

#22 Comment By Jack H On February 8, 2019 @ 12:40 pm

Sigh. Yes, JLF, the poll does say 58% of Americans say abortion should be legal in “all or most cases.” But a recent Pew poll says only 25% think it should be legal in all cases. Doing the subtraction means 75% think that abortion should be illegal in at least some cases. Abortion is too complex an issue for polls to capture the nuances of what people think. But Pat is closer to the truth than you are.

#23 Comment By One Guy On February 8, 2019 @ 1:32 pm

The reason Trump’s speech polled as popular is that so many Dems didn’t watch it. If the first question pollsters asked is, “Did you watch the SOTU?”, then of course they’re going to eliminate a lot of people who would have hated it.

#24 Comment By grin without a cat On February 8, 2019 @ 1:45 pm

@Mr. Trump:

Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

This is such a distortion that calling it a “half-truth” would be generous. The law permits late-term abortions under very rare circumstances: when the attending physician determines that it would be necessary to life or health of the mother is in danger, or when the fetus is not viable.

And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

Governor Northam said no such thing. I’m sure Mr. Trump knew that what he said was a lie, and that the GOP Congressmen who cheered him on knew it was a lie.

Is there anybody in the “pro-life” movement who can argue their case without lying, or is the entire movement just too depraved and corrupt?

#25 Comment By sglover On February 8, 2019 @ 1:47 pm

@ Jeff —
This article is one of the most disingenuous interpretations of current trends TAC has published in a long time, bordering on journalistic malpractice.

Marginal tax rates, favorability ratings, and out of context quotes in this essay are misleading, if not actual lies.

TAC seems to have made the conscious decision to shed any pretense of honesty or intellectual integrity. They’ve chosen to go all-in with Trump. It’ll be fun to watch them go the way of the unlamented “Weekly Standard”.

Of course, Buchanan himself has never had even a pretense of honesty or intellectual integrity. But today’s fever dream continues the trend of the old bigot getting more and more disconnected from external reality. Maybe he needs to get out of the Beltway TV studios. Or maybe the lesions on his frontal lobes are suppurating.

#26 Comment By CLW On February 8, 2019 @ 2:34 pm

Seems like the perfect strategy for Trump: he is an empty (and ill-fitting) suit with no core principles or beliefs who will say whatever his base wants to hear. Abortion and Socialism are near-ideal talismans for his brand of fear mongering, and no doubt his supporters will believe every preposterous claim he makes between now and the election.

And Pat will praise him for it at every opportunity.

#27 Comment By Steve Naidamast On February 8, 2019 @ 3:07 pm

This is ridiculous! The Democrats are not promoting a Stalinesque type of Socialism. They are in fact promoting what any democratic government should be doing which is one, understanding the relevant issues that affect all of the citizenry and then implementing programs to achieve what is best for the public welfare at large.

Despite the fact that I do not like many Democrats as I loathe a majority of Republicans, the younger and newer, Democratic elected officials have something very important to say regarding how this country is being run and for whom current policies affect the greatest, which are the wealthiest in the nation.

Governments are supposed to be socialistic by nature and not run for the welfare of Capitalism and those who benefit from such welfare the most.

I have always had a lot of respect for Pat Buchanan but his support for Trump in such a piece is quite disturbing as Trump represents everything that Pat has normally loathed.

In any event, I new months before the 2016 election that Trump would win. As long as the Democrats select a substantial candidate for 2020, this time he will lose as the majority of the citizenry in the US finds Trump repugnant…

#28 Comment By grin without a cat On February 8, 2019 @ 4:48 pm

@JeffK:

If you want to see how unpopular, look at the Trump vs Other Presidents charts in the link below.

The thing is, however, that Mr. Trump isn’t going to be running against these Other Presidents.

#29 Comment By Maria On February 8, 2019 @ 6:45 pm

Let’s quit calling the issue “abortion” (originally only allowed in the first three months in the Supreme court case) and call it “infanticide” (last three months to after birth). The original Supreme court case recognized the rights of the unborn from the four months and out. The original Supreme Court case never anticipated the laws to murder infants during the last three months or after birth. Infanticide is the proper term to describe murdering of infants who could survive outside the womb if given proper medical care. Abortion is no longer the issue, infanticide is. The reason the democrats want the laws changed is because infanticide (last 3 months of pregnancy, and after birth) is still regarded as murder. The liberal left want the laws changed to make infanticide renamed from murder, to “abortion”. The left has tried for decade to redefine abortion as a medical issue and civil right of the mother. But abortion legally could not happen during the last three months of pregnancy, during delivery of the child, or after birth.

Abortion (destroying life within the first three months of pregnancy) is legal in the United States due to the Supreme Court Case. Infanticide (murder of an infant in the last three months of the pregnancy or after birth) is illegal in the United States because it was not included in the Original Supreme Court Case, Roe vs Wade which only ruled on the first three months of pregnancy and called it abortion. Allowing murder of the infant in the last three months or after birth is called murder except in NY due to the recently passed law, which reclassified infanticide as abortion.

Anyone who is pro-life needs to recognize the deception of the left and use the proper legal term that exists in the law today. Killing of a child in the womb in the last three months of pregnancy, during birth, and after birth is a form of murder called infanticide, which is the proper legal term to describe what the left is advocating for. “Infanticide on demand” is what the left is advocating for laws to change to allow.

No parent, and no child is safe from the State if we allow this, and socialism, where the State decide who can live and who can die due to impoverishment of the human heart.

#30 Comment By SteveK9 On February 8, 2019 @ 7:16 pm

What do we mean by ‘Socialism’. I think if Republicans made a serious effort to end Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (all socialist programs) they would win about 1% of the vote (i.e. those people who have no use for such things).

A top income tax rate of 70% !!!! Except that it was 90% under Eisenhower (who was a Republican, the last time I checked). Why is such a rate even to be thought about? Well, under our system, when you achieve a certain level of wealth and income, you are just cutting coupons, and unless you want capital to have all the wealth in the country (as opposed to labor), then you might want to put some check on this.

I once heard a senior executive tell me that he thought there should be a cap on income (not wealth) in our society, say $1M or $10M, because nobody needs more money than that and it’s harmful to society, both in terms of justice and economics (the general economy actually does better when the plebes have some money to buy things … since they are the ones doing most of the consuming).

#31 Comment By SteveK9 On February 8, 2019 @ 7:22 pm

How can we afford Medicare for all !!! This is only convincing if you’ve never been anywhere. I lived in Canada for 6 years, with only a work permit (not a citizen). I had complete health coverage. You get a card … and that is it. No deductibles, no co-pays, no nothing … you never even see a piece of paper from a hospital or insurance company. The quality is excellent (yes you can see a specialist … I did). And what does this outlandish system cost ?!! Well, it costs 50% per capita of the cost in the United States. How is that possible? … answer: insurance companies and pharma companies.

#32 Comment By EarlyBird On February 8, 2019 @ 7:55 pm

Of course Trump and the GOP are going to scream “socialism!,” but it’s likely to fall on deaf ears, just like the robotic Reaganomics that came out of every Republican candidate’s mouths in 2016 – except for Trump’s – did. Yes, even regular Republicans are finally figuring out that Trickle Down economics is a horrid scam, and that the Republican Party exists for the wealthy, period.

It is simply obscene that multi-millionaires pay 15% or so in taxes when they are able to declare their income as capital gains, when struggling people are paying 35% – nearly 50% in taxes out of actual wages.

THAT is how real socialism comes about.

People want fundamental fairness. That was actually the main point of Trumpism to begin with (beneath the nativism, ugliness and stupidity). Republicans reponded to that.

If the Dems run on these platforms, sand the rough edges by the time the election comes around, AND lay off the SJW hate, they will beat Trump. Of course, Democrats are stupid at politics, but this is still their election to lose.

#33 Comment By TG On February 9, 2019 @ 10:33 am

I respect Mr. Buchanan, but in this case I believe that he is wrong.

Talk is cheap. Trump has now officially stabbed his base – the American working class – in the back on pretty much every issue. Wasting trillions on pointless winless foreign wars? Check! Deregulating Wall Street and giving the super rich a tax cut? Check! Keeping drug prices and medical expenses sky high? Check! Allowing big corporations to merge and become de-facto monopolies, raising prices and choking off competition? Check! And now, calling for even more third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and profits up? CHECK!

Trump is now governing like Hilary Clinton would have. I no longer see any point in voting for the man.

Maybe Ann Coulter? What do we have to lose?

#34 Comment By David Smith On February 9, 2019 @ 1:17 pm

“These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.”

Does this include all the babies we have killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.?

#35 Comment By treehugger On February 9, 2019 @ 1:28 pm

I agree, Trump found the formula. He really hit the right notes in the SOTU.

Would offer one important tweak, though: it’s not that he savages dems over “soak-the-rich socialism.” For one, the democrats’ brand of “socialism” isn’t so much soak-the-rich as soak-the-middle-class. And anyway, Americans across the political spectrum seem to want more actual soak-the-rich.

Fear-mongers over new talk about “socialism,” who instinctively lash out at what they call “soak the rich,” have to realize: no one’s is talking about socialism as known in the last century (ok, practically no one). It means something different for those grabbing onto the idea in the current moment. It does have something to do with income/wealth inequality: a good many Americans are legitimately pissed at “the rich.” But drill down – don’t just imagine that fellow countrymen are lazy and shallow and seized by envy or resentment. It’s not hatred of the rich, per se, or the mere fact of wealth accumulation. Anger at “the rich” has become a sort of short-hand for the utter corruption that puts power, resources and decisions in the hands of a jaded few. Another way to look at it (that resonates more with conservatives) is that Americans are fed up with self-righteous, technocratic social engineers, who (to quote Victor David Hanson) always are shielded from the effects of their own policies. The right often imagines these villains as “democrat socialists” and their benefactors – but these are politicians and political donors (i.e., corporate masters and billionaires), and other gilded “professionals,” of BOTH political stripes. New fangled, would-be socialists, as well as old-fashioned capitalists. It’s the ruling class that make things crappy for everyone while enriching themselves.

It’s what Trump alone sees in its different manifestations and has the gumption to name, even when surrounded by them. He didn’t win for spouting republican bromides – though he does that too. But anyone can do that; it’s not why he won, or why he’s likely to be re-elected.

His key sentences on immigration in the SOTU were as clear and forceful as delivered on the campaign trail. He declared that no issue divides the “working class” from the “political class” like immigration. Stating this outloud is devastating to the chamber of commerce, and to the politicians it’s purchased, who surrounded Trump as he delivered his address. And the phrasing is no accident. He didn’t call out democrats, or billionaires or socialists – he called out “the political class and its donors.” Notice he avoided the typical contrast of not only of left vs. right, but also of “working class” or “middle class” vs. “upper class” or “the rich.” He lightly sidestepped conventional politic divides, barely, and IMO brilliantly, because he validated that yes, there is indeed a divide — but it actually is *not* fundamentally centered around wealth or around left or right; it’s centered around the double-standards and “rules for thee but not for me” approach of our elected leadership and the few that they serve. That loathsome hypocrisy is what Trump understands at his core, and what the rest of the political class can’t begin to comprehend because their pricey consultants don’t make slides on it. In his SOTU, Trump called out politicians and their donors, to their faces, for living behind walls and guards, while condemning Americans for wanting that same protection. Honest, true, personal. It’s why Washington won’t stop trying to impeach him and America likely will re-elect him.

But yeah, in the day-to-day, among many who may naturally flock to Trump, it’s often expressed as rank class warfare (“soak the rich”). Economic libertarians (who probably zero in on *other* things Trump says) would do well to understand the deeper thread, and try to take it easy on their fellows who don’t see or express everything quite how they would. Fighting for the right to amass untold piles of wealth comes across to many like the same sort of virtue signaling we get form the left. Expressing it may feel virtuous (rising above “politics of envy,” standing for responsibility, etc.), but for all the preening, it sounds brittle or naive. Think about having to hear preaching over worn out platitudes. That is what it sounds like.

Trump gets it. He hammered it effectively in the SOTU. Don’t be fooled that everyone loved hearing him bat down “socialism.” Sure it played well among the commentariat and probably among a lot of Americans — but that’s not what sets Trump apart (seriously — anyone on the right could have delivered that line). The high falutin showdown over “socialism” vs. “capitalism” is really a beltway obsession.

Trump tells the truth about political mediocrity and decades of failures, about wars and trade agreements. Unlike everyone before him he actually is doing something about it. That’s what we love him for — even if we don’t agree with all or even most of his prescriptions, and even if he can’t pull it all off. No one else has named the actual problem, or even tried. Anyway — the speech hit the mark. My hope is that his natural base — nationalists who favor economic libertarianism — might expand their alliances by thinking more generously and broadly toward the hopeful many who’ve jumped on the Trump train. If he succeeds, we can live to fight another day on old traditional policy differences.

#36 Comment By treehugger On February 9, 2019 @ 1:43 pm

Postscript: yes, democrats are losing their minds. I would argue that it’s not because Trump roared typical republican talking points with gusto. It’s because he tells the truth, and the truth has a funny way of exposing the fault lines.

#37 Comment By Barry F Keane On February 9, 2019 @ 4:31 pm

If you want to measure how socialist a country is, the simplest objective indicator is the ratio of total government spending to GDP: per OECD that’s about the same (38 to 41%) in the USA, Japan, and UK. USA spending is equal to those outright democratic-socialist countries because we’ve socialized the military-industrial complex, healthcare for the elderly, and the too-big-to-fail financial sector. I wish Republicans would spare us the dogma that everything’s a manichean choice between socialism vs individualism. Democratic-socialist countries recognize they can’t compete in modern industry without government involvement: infrastructure, tax policy, education. USA won WWII but lost the peace because our economy was not devastated by the war and so the baby-boomer generation has never considered industry to be a national security issue.

The Green New Deal may not be the right answer, but neither was Trump and people voted for him anyway as a protest against our clueless ruling class. Likewise, unless the Republicans come up with positive solutions instead of negative mud-slinging then 2020 will be a major upset.

In 2016 Trump proved that a candidate could be unanimously hated by Wall St and still lose. Trump won because the two party alignment had dramatically changed: the Democratic Party definitively abandoned the working class and aligned itself 100% with Wall St. Trump had a golden opportunity to capture the Democrat’s former constituency: get control over military adventurism, protect the working class against unchecked immigration, and develop free-market alternatives to control medical costs. Instead his government spends $800 billion/year on military and has done nothing about immigration and medical costs. A schoolchild can see that $7 billion over 10 years for the Green New Deal is not beyond the pale: even if it solves nothing, at least it acknowledges that the government should at least try to do something for the working and middle classes. The Democrats will regain the working class, and for Republicans it will be game over.

#38 Comment By catherine On February 9, 2019 @ 4:39 pm

Thank you Mr. buchanan . you are right again.
However the American people are not morally fit and only 37% of them are inbued with American christian values. We have a fight on our hands.
However I do believe that “With God all things are possible”.

#39 Comment By Frank Haviland On February 12, 2019 @ 11:33 pm

I’d have thought merely showing up in 2020 should do it!