I have in my office a framed note from Donald Trump. It says, “Bob, Now We Really Did It. Thanks For All Of Your Help!” The note is dated Jan. 13, 2017. He was responding to my congratulatory email to him earlier acknowledging that indeed he “did it.”
He won the election and now was gearing up for his inauguration and what would follow. Today he has been president for almost a year and a half. What has he done? He has realized more of his conservative campaign promises than anyone since Ronald Reagan. Perhaps he has even outdone the Old Cowboy. Mr. Trump is more conservative than he let on. Usually it is the other way around; a presidential candidate is more liberal than he lets on. Mr. Trump’s iconoclasm is refreshing.
I thought of that this weekend when George Will, the columnist who long ago won a Pulitzer Prize, finally went to pieces and ordered his readers to vote Democratic this fall. George was not ordering his readers to vote for the Democratic Party of Adlai Stevenson or Bob and John Kennedy or even Hubert Humphrey. He was ordering them to vote for the party that looks to the sore loser, Hillary Clinton, and the socialist, Bernie Sanders.
Reportedly, Mr. Sanders is the socialist who for the second year in a row hauled in 1 million big ones and owns three spacious houses. Hillary Clinton well you know how much swag she and her husband have amassed from a life spent in what they call “public service.”
I say George Will “finally” went to pieces. There have been signs of his impending crack-up before: The time he gave himself over to a diatribe against George H.W. Bush. He called this courtly gent a “lapdog.” Mr. Bush went on to become president after an illustrious public life.
For that matter, between his famous lunches with Nancy Reagan (and Kay Graham and Meg Greenfield — George Will has been renowned for downing comestibles with powerful women) he denounced her husband President Reagan for his tax cuts while all the while accepting the president’s hospitality. He even denounced Jack Kemp, again, for tax cuts, the same kind of tax cuts that are energizing our economy today. Tax cuts and smaller government bring out the worst in Mr. Will.
I have, through the years, speculated that George Will suffers from what I call “writer’s hysteria,” wherein the patient temporarily “loses control of his literary tools and of his mind.” This happens to Mr. Will increasingly. He suffered it during the 2016 election when he left the Republican Party and doubtless was surprised that others did not follow.
Then last weekend he ordered his readers to follow him en masse to wherever he plans to go. Bill Kristol is undoubtedly with him and of course David Frum(p). As to where they are going presumably he mentioned it later in his column, but his turgid prose defeated me. As I say when a writer suffers “writer’s hysteria” he at least temporarily loses his “literary tools.”
My colleague Dan Flynn writing in Spectator A.M. on Monday pithily summed up why serious conservatives and most independents will vote for Donald Trump’s Republicans in the fall: “Trump cut taxes, appoints good judges, presides over a golden age of deregulation, shows far more restraint with regard to the military adventurism embraced by recent Republicans, and takes a strong stand against the invasion at the Southern border. Why should Republicans vote against him?”
Finally there is another reason conservatives and independents will vote for Donald Trump in the fall. He has the energy, the voice, the character and the smarts of a winner. In Yiddish it is called “sechel.” Indeed, he is the greatest campaigner since Bob Kennedy in 1968. He relishes the campaign and he is still on the campaign trail today.
When I flew with him in his campaign plane in October of the election year, it was about the campaign’s darkest hour. The “Access Hollywood” tapes had been made public on Oct. 7 and he was pronounced dead. All the major polls had Hillary Clinton ahead. For three days I was on the plane with him starting on Oct. 11. I was prepared for the worst.
Yet he was always upbeat at stop after stop. He relished the Purple Heart a Vietnam veteran gave him and other gifts along the way. His energy was astounding and he maintained his cool and his friendliness. If he thought he was going to lose he never betrayed it. Perhaps that is why I stuck to my prophecy, repeated regularly in this column. I said, “Donald you are going to win.” He did and now George Will has gone to pieces. I have known him for 50 years. He is down and almost out.
• R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author most recently of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson Inc.
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