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Historian Victor Davis Hanson's New Book Defends Trump

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tags: books, Victor Davis Hanson, Donald Trump



I had expected that “The Case for Trump” would be an argument for why Donald Trump has been a good president, but it’s mostly about why Trump won in 2016, and its analysis, based on old polling and news clips, is interminable, marred by some cable-news-style exaggeration (Trump’s election foes are repeatedly characterized as being for “open borders”) and not particularly original. Victor Davis Hanson does, however, explain in passing and in the book’s concluding two chapters why he thinks Trump has been a good president, and this argument has some genuine merit and originality.

In his preface, Hanson quotes approvingly Henry Kissinger’s judgment of Trump: “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretense.” That is true of Trump, as it was of Kissinger’s boss, Richard Nixon. Trump took office at a time when the early promise of globalization had foundered; when the purpose of the American alliance system was in doubt; when glowing projections of liberal democracy in Russia and China had proved dead wrong; and when America was mired in unwinnable wars.

He spoke to these challenges in his campaign. His language was brutal, crude and sometimes racist or xenophobic, but in contrast to some of his opponents, he acknowledged the loss of more than two million manufacturing jobs to Chinese competition, the propensity of American companies to move abroad in search of lower wages and the continued difficulty of policing the country’s southern border. But the question is: What as president has he done about these things?

Read entire article at New York Times

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