2020 race gives voters a choice between a man and a movement

President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, prior to boarding Air Force One for his trip to Michigan. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Tom Klingenstein
Real Clear Politics

I know that President Trump has many faults. I myself sometimes cringe listening to him. Often, he is his own worst enemy. He is a braggart, frequently misinformed, petty, sometimes vengeful. And more.

Yet he is just the man for these times. These are revolutionary times. The Democrats, now controlled by their Black Lives Matter wing, seek to overthrow the American founding, as President Trump said in his excellent Mount Rushmore speech on July 4.

The BLM-Democrats propose a new regime, one that conceives of society not as a collective of individuals with equal rights and a shared understanding of the common good, but as a collection of identity groups, all oppressed by white males. Government’s role in this regime is not to create the conditions for freedom as the Founders intended, but rather to create equal income and power for each identity group.

Achieving this outcome equality requires a never-ending redistribution of wealth and power. This can only be achieved by tyrannical government — and, as in all tyrannies, dissenters must be silenced. The BLM-Democratic policy agenda is clear: endless affirmative action, reparations, socialism, open borders, defanging the police, and much more. In order to achieve this agenda, the BLM-Democrats must get Americans to change their values, their principles, and the way they understand themselves.

They must get us to believe that national borders and colorblindness are racist; that we are not one culture, but many; that the most important thing in our history — around which all else pivots — is slavery. More extensively, they must get us to believe that we are unworthy. Not just that we have sinned (which of course we have), but that we are irredeemably sinful, or, in the language of today, “systemically racist.” And sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, etc., to boot. Simply put, the BLM-Democrats must get the rest of us to believe we are bad.

This suggests one way to frame the coming election: as a contest between a man, Trump, who believes America is good, and a man, Biden, controlled by a movement that believes America is bad. Put another way, the choice is between a man who wants to preserve the traditional American way of life and a man controlled by a movement that wants to destroy it.

Beyond all else, what makes Trump the man for these revolutionary times is his willingness to defend the American way of life. Here he has no equal. He is unreservedly, unquestionably pro-America. He feels no guilt for America’s past. He makes no apologies. He concedes nothing. And Trump has unlimited confidence in America. These may not always be the attributes one wants in a president, but in this day of woke guilt and doubt, they are just what the doctor ordered. Trump believes that if Americans are “systemically” anything, they are systemically committed to freedom and equal rights for all. He thinks our culture is “incredible” (to use his adjective of choice), and that’s the way he wants to keep it.

President Trump also has the indispensable attribute of a leader: courage. As a leader must, he goes where others are afraid to go. And he has common sense, which means he generally wants to go to the right place.

Trump not only thinks America is incredible, he also knows that we are in a fight for our lives. And he is a fighter. Despite what one hears ad nauseum from the Democrats, Trump is among the least racist presidents we have ever had. Trump is not defending the white way of life; he is defending the American way of life, a colorblind way open to anyone willing to embrace it.

We are lucky to have him. I am almost prepared to say that having him is providential. How else to explain that we find ourselves with this most unusual, most unpresidential man who has just the attributes most needed for this moment.

If we want to save our country, then, we should support him — unequivocally. I do. I think this election is that important, and I think Trump is that good.

Remember: Trump versus Biden is the choice between a man who believes America is good and a man controlled by a movement that believes America is bad. At any other time, Trump might well have been a bad president. But in these times — these revolutionary times — he is the best president we could have had.

Thomas D. Klingenstein is a principal in the investment firm of Cohen, Klingenstein, LLC and the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Claremont Institute.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]



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