By Charlie Johnston
In late spring of 2016, an attendee at a talk I was giving in Las Vegas said she thought that Donald Trump was God’s plan for America and wanted to know what I thought. “Well, God can do anything, so it’s possible,” I replied, then added drily, “but if that is God’s plan, I have to say I think it the dumbest plan He ever had.”
I have long since apologized to God.
I began to re-assess Trump in the late summer of 2016. A friend of mine who is a prominent senior statesman in the pro-life movement had been invited to a private meeting with Trump to discuss pro-life priorities with just a few aides present. My friend and I discussed what priorities should be emphasized. He decided to put emphasis on a fundamental fact sheet. After the meeting was over, my friend called and was ecstatic. He said Trump asked several times for his aide to confirm some of the more shocking information – and grew angry as the meeting went on at how much misinformation has prevailed. “I think we have a real, if unexpected, ally here,” my friend enthused.
A month later, at the third debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, he was asked the usual ‘gotcha’ question of whether he thought Roe v Wade should be overturned. Most Republicans try to finesse that question in public, calling it the “law of the land, blah blah blah.” Trump said he DID want it overturned – and that he would appoint pro-life judges to do it. The media-bureacracy complex went bananas.
I was not a fan of Trump’s often combative style, nor his penchant for hyperbole until I began to consider ships that break up ice in frozen waters. ‘Icebreakers’ are ungainly-looking vessels, shaped kind of like the underside of a spoon at their prow. There is something squat about them. I have always admired the tall sailing ships that were in common use until the mid-1800’s. These ships elegantly combined functionality with form in a manner that was powerful, majestic and high art all at the same time. In an ice field, though, they would be as helpless, vulnerable and impotent as all other ships that weren’t, actually, icebreakers. Icebreakers are required to clear a path so that the more elegant ships can get through at all.
Trump’s flamboyant style often seems clumsy, but is actually quite deft. (Sometimes it is just clumsy, but the very mix of ‘looks clumsy but is deft’ and ‘looks clumsy and is clumsy’ serves to reflexively draw opponents into his more deft moves.) Trump’s proposal on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) last week was incredibly deft, particularly coming so quickly after the shutdown nonsense. The shutdown exposed Democrats as willing to punish ordinary Americans in order to pander to illegal aliens. It was a public relations disaster for the left. Now, Trump nearly tripled the number of people already here he would give amnesty to beyond what the Democrats demanded, provided that he got real border security, enforcement, and an end to chain migration and the visa lottery. If the left was not so reflexively obstructionist, it would have realized its dilemma. In order to “fundamentally change America,” they need a constantly vigorous flow of illegal aliens. The ones here right now are not enough to do the job. They also need the problem to demagogue and fundraise off of. If the problem was solved, they would have to come up with something new and untried. To shut off the gushing spigot of illegal immigration now would leave the left far short of its goals – with no relief in sight. So they cried racism and white supremacy for a proposal that was generous to the ‘Dreamers’ at the cost of cutting off the illegal supply. Many of the ‘Dreamers’ are looking at this and saying, “hey, wait a minute. Trump is trying to normalize us and taking heat from his base for doing so – and the Democrats are just saying no.” In this move, Trump has exposed the left: they are not compassionate people who are trying to mentor these poor, unfortunate souls; rather, they are like sexual predators grooming their intended victims to be dependent on and grateful to them, so as to more easily share their favors (or votes, in this case). Watch as it dawns on more and more ‘Dreamers’ that Trump wants to take them out of the shadows now while Democrats want to keep them where they are. Whether intentionally or not, Trump just made a move that will open up a rift between Hispanics and the Democrats and would end the problem – in a way that makes it much more likely that those affected would vote for him.
While his personality seems combative, Trump has been remarkably restrained in many controversies. Various federal judges have taken on authority where they have no jurisdiction, mainly in staying his orders on temporary immigration bans from unstable countries. The Constitution specifically bars the courts from treading there, reserving such authority entirely to the executive’s discretion. Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Roosevelt are presidents who have flatly refused to abide by judicial rulings that were outside the courts’ competence and treaded on the division of powers. Trump has simply appealed rulings to get to a higher court that actually respects the rule of law and Constitution (though I suspect those preening little federal judges who imagine they each hold a political veto over the nation’s chief executive are soon going to come to grief – as the Supreme Court tires of such judicial gnats constantly undermining judicial authority with their politicized antics).
This week, confrontation between legitimate authority and a seditious cabal at the top of law enforcement and intelligence agencies gets real. Already, Deputy FBI Director Andrew MacCabe has resigned in advance of what the FISA Memo will reveal about that cabal. This conspiracy sought to paint Donald Trump as a witch and burn him. Instead, they have set themselves afire. They are screaming that Republicans are undermining the integrity of the FBI and the Justice Dept. by exposing the conspiracy. This is rich coming from a crowd that never met a cop it didn’t want to indict. To sweep out abusers of power is NOT to dishonor those who honorably exercise authority. In fact, it is to honor the institutions which support our country and keep them healthy, while empowering those who run them honorably.
The legacy media is howling along with the leftist officials as their misconduct and effort to mount a coup against America is exposed. That is because the media has re-tasked itself from journalism to acting as press office and cover for the progressive/socialist movement in America. They are enablers and confederates of the cabal. Before the week is out, expect the hissing and screeching to rise to what you would expect on walking, with a crate full of stakes, into a nest of vampires.
I think of Republicans I have admired, wondering who among them could have so resolutely confronted such a massive field of corruption arrayed against them and not fainted or compromised. Frankly, I can’t think of many. Donald Trump is our icebreaker – and needful in these perilous times. If we are to re-establish that the people are sovereign in this country, the cabals must be broken up and held to account. We can have elegance later if the icebreaker finishes his appointed task.
Friedrich Nietzche’s most powerful insight was, “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” It is all too easy to adopt the rotted tactics of those you defeat in a righteous cause. Having revealed the rot, we must not become its mirror image. Rather, we must root out corruption to re-establish a just and open society, not merely to impose our will. For that, we need to hold fast to Christ, to our commitment to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope – even as we don’t flinch in our resolve to right these troubles.
Make no mistake, as this week unfolds, we are at the beginning of the battle to determine whether the people are the rulers in this country or whether we are merely subjects of a malicious, ignorant, elite cabal that believes it is the law.
Incidentally, while reading about icebreakers, I was amused to hear of the relatively recent use of the “resonance” method. In this case, hovercraft are used to flit rapidly back and forth across the ice. The wind and sound they create, combined with the rapid flitting to and fro, cause destabilizing vibrations in the ice that ultimately lead it to suddenly and catastrophically fracture. If you don’t like to consider Trump our icebreaker, feel free to give him the more elegant title of hovercraft. If I could just have found a reference to tweets, the analogy would have been complete.