Donald Trump waves to supporters prior to speaking at a rally June 18, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Donald Trump is regularly denounced as an electoral interloper, someone ignorant of the rules of the political game and who possesses a brash and mercurial temperament unsuited to the demands of presidential office. The litany of complaints and condemnations shows no sign of abating and is indeed picking up momentum with every passing day: he is a dictator in the making, a Putin in American clothing, a man with an itchy nuclear finger, and a potential killer of journalists and political opponents. Calls have been heard for impeachment and assassination. The attack on a lawfully elected president is not only visceral and remorseless but arguably bordering on treasonous.
Is he really the ignoramus and tyrant-in-the-making that his enemies have portrayed him to be? Trump has notably surrounded himself with people who know their stuff — intelligent, knowledgeable and successful in their fields — which suggests that he knows how to find and choose the right partners and associates, as his business career abundantly proves. He has demonstrated time and again, during his nomination run and electoral victory, that he is gifted with determination, street smarts, a taste for winning, and a remarkably steep learning curve.
His proclaimed intention to “drain the swamp,” revealing that he was willing to state, boldly and without equivocation, what no other major political figure had the courage or insight to put on record, has resonated with heartland America. For the swamp manifestly exists and its toxic substance is relentlessly advancing into the receding terrain of the republic, like the bio-engineered virus in James Rollins’ The 6th Extinction that threatens everything in its path.
Trump is perfectly aware that he is under prolonged siege and may have understood that his enemies will never back off and slink ignominiously away. Trying to establish an entente cordiale with them is doomed to failure. The hard-core Democrat Left and its cronies in academia and the media, Obama himself (reportedly planning a “crusade” against Trump), the Black Bloc Antifa rioters, the generation of deeply indoctrinated and under-educated students, practically the entire entertainment industry — actors and sports figures whose respective talents have little to do with developed intelligence — and the denizens of many national institutions, the State Department and a corrupted judiciary chief among them, will continue to fight tooth and nail down to the wire. There is no reconciling with the unreconcilable.
It should be clear by this time that the U.S. is no longer on the brink but in the very midst of an undeclared civil war. Both Trump’s presidency and the future of the republic are now at stake. But Trump does enjoy an ace in the hole to repel the surge of revolutionary fury that has swept across the country. He must double down and make good on his crucial pledges — among them building a wall on the southern border, approving the Dakota Access pipeline, getting rid of Common Core, eliminating the EPA, banning immigrants from terror-sponsoring countries, strengthening the military, and moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.
There must be no resilement. Should he act on his word, he will be the first president in contemporary history to abide by his commitments—not to his donors (effectively, unlike his predecessors, he has none) but to the people. Haggling and compromising are non-starters. As David Horowitz points out in Big Agenda: Trump's Plan to Save America, the key to a viable presidency is that Trump refuses to be intimidated and that he continues to be the fighter he is by temperament.
If Trump sticks to his guns, proceeds to drain the swamp despite the resistance and treachery he will daily confront, if he uses every weapon at his legitimate command — legal action, executive orders, job dismissals, punitive justice, and arrest where appropriate — in other words, if he does not flinch in the face of violence and malicious provocation, snubs the fake news media, remains resolute and defiant, and bulldozes ahead without temporizing or surrendering to the temptation to take the easy way out, I am convinced he will turn out to be an impressive president and the right man for these precarious times.
The strategy Trump needs to adopt for eventual political success may seem counter-intuitive. He must do what has probably never been done within living memory, something as unlikely as his electoral victory, something that politicians by nature are either too cynical or too beholden to put into practice. And Trump, who to his credit is not a career politician, must implement this strategy throughout the entire term of his incumbency. The route to success will be strewn with obstacles, but the strategy for overcoming them is both simple and unprecedented.