A conservative see parallels between Trump and the Founding Fathers

Roundup
tags: Founding Fathers, election 2016, Trump



 Ira Stoll,  former managing editor of The New York Sun, is the editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com and author of “Samuel Adams: A Life.” He graduated from Harvard. 

... Trump’s many critics argue that he has more in common with European fascists than with American freedom fighters. And indeed, at first glance, even stipulating that it’s difficult to translate the politics of 1776 to the politics of 2016, there are some apparent contradictions.

The text of the Declaration of Independence faults King George III for “cutting off our trade with all parts of the world” and for having “endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither.” If Mr. Trump is going to run as a candidate who wants to restrict international trade and reduce immigration, he’ll have more in common with King George III than with the signers of the Declaration.

But the more one digs into it, one can see certain unmistakable parallels between the Trump campaign and that of Samuel Adams and his fellow American Revolutionaries. The first relates to that “strong” point that Trump makes and that is encapsulated in his “Make America Great Again” slogan.

The Declaration’s list of grievances against George III includes his having dissolved the colonial legislatures “for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.”

A good part of the attraction of the Trump campaign can be conveyed in that phrase from July 1776, “manly firmness.” Trump supporters, like the American founders, refuse to be emasculated by remote elites. They don’t want their guns, their jobs, their free speech rights, their tax money, or their lives taken away by bureaucrats, Washington politicians, overseas competitors, or foreign terrorists.

Nowadays, language such as “manly firmness” is interpreted as insulting to women. Call it whatever you want — “womanly firmness”? — but, given the threat of Islamist terrorism, if Hillary Clinton is to beat Trump, she’ll need to show her own version of the steely resolve displayed by the colonists who faced down the British Empire.

Trump and his followers seem in tune with the spirit of the American Revolution in some other ways, too.

Critics accuse Trump of tolerating or tacitly encouraging violence at his rallies. The same accusation was made against the American Revolutionaries, whose worst mob excesses — tarring and feathering, sacking the mansion of a loyalist lieutenant governor — make the toughest tweets from Trump or his followers look tame by comparison.

The American Revolution was to some large extent a tax rebellion; Trump’s plan to simplify and reduce taxes fits with an anti-tax current in American history that dates back to Samuel Adams and the Boston Tea Party. ...




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