An American president of courage and consequence.
“They love him, gentlemen, and they respect him, not only for himself, but for his character, for his integrity and judgment and iron will; but they love him most for the enemies he has made.”
The words were spoken by Edward Stuyvesant Bragg, a one-time Union general in the Civil War turned-Congressman from Wisconsin. At the 1884 Democratic National Convention, Bragg, then a congressional candidate, was selected to second the nomination of New York Governor Grover Cleveland for president. Cleveland had made his reputation as governor by being a staunch opponent of New York City’s corrupt Tammany Hall political machine, fearlessly taking on members of his own party as he championed reform of state government.
Thus it was that Bragg stepped to the podium of the party’s National Convention and uttered the phrase that would wind up being remembered through the years and be shortened to the last part: “… they love him most for the enemies he has made.”
For that reason alone — and there are many others — The American Spectator’s founder and editor-in-chief R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is pleased to announce that President Donald J. Trump has been chosen as The American Spectator’s Man of the Year.
Without question that long ago description of Grover Cleveland could easily be applied today to President Trump. The list of enemies Trump has made is a who’s who and what’s what of exactly the people, institutions, or issues that millions of Americans have come to detest. Which doesn’t begin to describe the positive policy changes he has brought to an America utterly disgusted with decades of a bipartisan ruling class elitism. From the liberal media to the GOP Establishment to the sacred cows of political correctness and identity politics and more, the President has been absolutely fearless in taking on people or subjects other presidents not to mention GOP Establishment politicians would instinctively avoid.
Only this week he openly mocked Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s race-playing game of claiming Native American heritage, once again calling her “Pocahontas.” Even as it caused outrage among the usual suspects, the moment doubtless sent waves of laughter off with Trump supporters fed up with arrogant, race-obsessed liberal elites who are determined eternally to judge others by skin color in a constant drive to use racism as the political fuel of the progressive agenda.
This is an administration that, not yet a year old, has piled up one accomplishment after another. A list compiled by the Conservative Daily News in August was already able to note 40 Trump accomplishments, the first 10 here:
1) He got conservative judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
2) The stock market is at an all-time high.
3) Consumer confidence is at [a near 17-year] high. [per Reuters]
4) He created more than a million jobs by undoing Obama’s regulations.
5) Mortgage applications for new homes is at a 7 year high.
6) Unemployment rate is at a 16 year low.
7) Signed the promoting women in entrepreneurship act.
8) Gutted 800 Obama era regulations thus freeing up companies to hire again and get the economy moving once again.
9) Ended the war on coal and caused a new mine for coal mining to open that will mine clean coal. He also put the miners back to work.
10) Weakened Dodd-Frank regulations.
There is more, of course. Oh so much, much more. From reducing the number of Americans who need food stamps to pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords, the Trump presidency has been accomplishing exactly what it promised and exactly what its supporters voted for. And again this week he re-stated his commitment to the Border Wall, saying that he got elected in part because of that promise to build the Wall.
The obvious exception is the much-promised repealing and replacing of Obamacare, a problem belonging squarely at the feet of Republicans in Congress who spent seven years promising repeal and replace and, after getting their wish for a GOP-controlled House, Senate and White House were utterly unprepared and unable to deliver the goods to Trump’s desk. As this is written, the also-long promised tax cuts and tax reform legislation is inching closer to passage. And if it fails — yet again this would be the responsibility of the GOP Congress that spent much time promising to get it done.
But well beyond the day-to-day accomplishments of governing the Trump presidency has been a breath of fresh air to its supporters. Gone is the sniffy, arrogant adherence to the Stalin-esque, race-card playing culture of political correctness and identity politics, a culture that threatened to drag the nation back to the darkest days of racial obsessions. Gone too at the highest level of government is the notion of conflation, a game that insisted to be a woman or a minority was synonymous with being a liberal. This is, of course, what drives so many of the President’s rabid critics even battier than their Trump Derangement Syndrome had initially indicated. When Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson or Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos appear on television with the latest news from their respective bailiwicks liberals seethe with rage. The unstated — and occasionally stated — anger being that no one who is black or a woman should be a conservative and not hold to left-wing dogma. This goes double for White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and triple for Ivanka Trump.
Much has been made of Time magazine’s bid to make — or not — the President its “Person of the Year” for 2017. Formerly tagged as the magazine’s “Man of the Year” award — a label swept away in the yet another wave of political correctness — the magazine’s adulation for Trump’s presidential predecessor was almost reaching Saturday Night Live parody proportions. As I noted at NewsBusters, the magazine’s write-ups of presidents-elect Obama in 2008 and Trump in 2016 could not have been more different:
The difference in the treatment of Presidents Obama and Trump by the media can perhaps be best symbolized by two Time magazine covers in December of 2008 and 2016. Both men were newly elected presidents of the United States. Both were selected as Time’s “Person of the Year.”
And there the similarity stops.
On the 2008 cover there is a smiling Obama. On the 2016 cover the image is of an unsmiling, grim-looking Trump. The smiling Obama cover, other than bearing the title “Person of the Year,” is caption-less. The Trump cover similarly headlines “Person of the Year.” But aside the image of the unsmiling new president is this caption:
Donald Trump: President of the Divided States of America
The Obama story opens with a reverent paean to the physical layout and contents of his transition office before getting to a description of the new president, gushing over his “Obi-Wan Kenobi calm” and “soothing monotone.” The magazine rhapsodizes on Obama “ushering the country across a momentous symbolic line, for infusing our democracy with a new intensity of participation, for showing the world and ourselves that our most cherished myth — the one about boundless opportunity — has plenty of juice left in it.”
The Trump story? That opens on a, um, slightly different note. It begins:
“This is the 90th time we have named the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year. So which is it this year: Better or worse? The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer.…
“For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.”
Got that? In the liberal media world inhabited by Time, Barack Obama is “Obi-Wan Kenobi” — “calm” with a “soothing monotone.” Trump, on the other hand, is a demagogue who “feeds on despair” and mainstreams American “furies” while “live-streaming its fears.”
Is it any wonder that Time has just been sold off to Meredith, a media company, for $2.8 billion — a package that includes the conservative Koch brothers as investors? The magazine business — the print business — has admittedly had rough sledding in the Age of the Internet. But the decided left-wing bias exhibited by Time — both in general and specifically with Trump — has not helped its cause.
While oh-so many in the liberal media completely missed the historic importance of the Trump candidacy — not to mention the real possibility that he could in fact defeat Hillary Clinton — The American Spectator, if we may say so, understood the New Yorker’s importance and potential not just from the beginning but even before he took that now-famous ride down the Trump Tower escalator and into history.
As it happens, the Thanksgiving holiday brought me time with two of my favorite Trump-supporting relatives. I asked what it is that makes them such staunch Trump supporters. Their answers tracked closely with what I hear from Trump supporters all the time.
- He doesn’t have to raise his voice to make his points.
- He is determined.
- He relies on the merits of the issue.
- He has confidence in himself and the American people to do the right thing.
- He doesn’t ride the fence.
- He holds his ground.
- He is energetic.
- He is tireless, has a great work ethic…like us he is a workaholic — even when golfing.
- He doesn’t start fights but he will definitely finish them.
And number ten? This will be the one that launches liberals into the stratosphere:
- He’s the type of person you want to vote twice for.
Notice a pattern here? Specific issues were never mentioned.
While my Trump-supporting relatives (the title searcher plus lawyer Bruce) are indeed conservatives (huge Mark Levin fans), the things they admire the most about the President are his personal, not political characteristics. Yes, they believe he stands for conservative principles and promotes them and acts on them. But they love his personal characteristics, characteristics they believe have been missing-in-action in the White House and Washington generally not just with President Obama, Hillary Clinton and liberals but with the Establishment GOP leadership as well. As was said of Grover Cleveland, it is fair to say that his supporters like my relatives have watched this first year of the Trump presidency and “love him most for the enemies he has made.”
Like Abraham Lincoln, un-shirted hell has rained down on Trump’s head in his first year in the White House. Like Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, he has found that changing the status quo stirs furious opposition from inside the Washington Swamp that is a highly toxic mix of special interests, Big Government bureaucrats, lobbyists, consultants, a liberal media, and powerful Members of Congress.
Through it all he has held his head high, eyes focused on his goal of Making America Great Again.
For which The American Spectator applauds this particular President of the United States — a man of decided courage, conviction — and consequence — who well deserves to be The American Spectator’s Man of the Year.