Features Australia

One-of-a-kind warrior

On the singularity of the maverick Donald Trump

7 November 2020

9:00 AM

7 November 2020

9:00 AM

It was former US Speaker Newt Gingrich whom I first heard describe Donald Trump as sui generis, at a thinktank lunch in Manhattan some years ago. Sui generis is one of those Latin phrases that dance at the edge of my comprehension, not being legally trained, but it means ‘one of a kind’. These days one often hears conservatives say, what we need is a Trump, without realising what an unusual and unreproducible maverick the US President is.

If Trump loses the US election this week, the world will lose the most dynamic and fascinating performer on its stage, politics will instantly become less interesting, the US media less profitable, and the ooze of the Washington swamp, with its failed and often corrupt groupthink policies, will flood back with a vengeance, delivering retribution, Western decline and triumphant leftism in equal measure. Yes, this is that important an election.

His rival Joe Biden is, of course, a creature of the swamp, with 47 years of flim-flam politics-as-usual to his name; in office, should he win, Biden will be dusted off and wheeled out for set-piece speeches then gently returned to wherever his decline can play out quietly, while faceless bureaucrats and the giggly, unlikeable Kamala Harris introduce their woke agendas, Green New Deals, critical race theories, make nice with China, defund the police, limit free speech and gun rights, all under cover of a partisan media, until even more of America looks like the failed Democrat-run cities of Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and many more.

Trump has disrupted the globalist zeitgeist in the West in a way no other politician could or would. That’s what has made his removal such a full court press among American elites, chief among them the corrupted, one-eyed media, which now operates as a wing of the Democrat party.

Most politicians are unable to influence events in the way Trump has, because his talent stack, a useful phrase invented by US cartoonist Scott Adams, is unique. He has many skills (business and people management experience, TV smarts, public speaking, persuasion, great humour and comic timing), none of which rise to the level of expert, but when combined add up to a formidable package. Add to that some personal qualities: presence of mind, natural gravitas, high energy, charm when needed, and the healthy constitution of a rampant bull.

Environment helped too: Trump grew up in a household heavily influenced by Norman Vincent Peale, whose book The Power of Positive Thinking caused a sensation in the 1950s. The Trump family used to drive in to Peale’s church on Fifth Avenue for Sunday sermons, where Trump family marriages and funerals also took place. The Donald has often cited Peale’s advice on positivity and self-belief throughout his many life challenges, it is clearly his armour and the more potent for being delivered into every fibre of his being so early in life. Attacks that would destroy a lesser beast flail harmlessly against Trump.

He has also been battle-hardened by building a business in the no-holds-barred fight club of Manhattan real estate. Living in a Democrat city for most of his life, Trump is also comfortable with the Democrat playbook, which includes personal abuse and appeals to emotion, both of which are crudely effective leftist weapons usually eschewed by the right. This shocks Republicans, who think he’s rude and unsophisticated, and Democrats, more used to dealing with genteel, country club opponents like Mitt Romney who sniff at smears and low blows.

Which leads to Trump’s faults. They are so well known and publicised as to need no repeating here, suffice to say, as he does himself, that he is no angel; we all know it. But importantly we have had Trump as president near the end of his life, in his legacy phase. Any earlier and his business ambitions and rough edges might have got more in the way. Now, neither riches nor the need for security for him and his family can sway him, all that has been provided for and he is free to do what he thinks best for the country that no one doubts he loves.

The result has been progress on the world’s single most intractable issue, the Middle East, a shaping up to the previously ignored threat of China, significant blows against Islamic terrorism, resistance to the ubiquitous green warriors, a more black-letter judiciary, an economic renaissance, massive deregulation, US energy independence and more. Trump has delivered on his promises to a degree many thought impossible when he came to power.

This stands in stark contrast to the usual milquetoast, conflict-averse politicians on the right, who struggle to find a conservative niche that doesn’t rile the dominant Left-leaning culture, and in consequence become grey and meaningless. Here in Australia both the Victorian opposition leader Michael O’Brien and Queensland’s Deb Frecklington have failed their recent challenges – if O’Brien cannot make hay as Victoria’s clown-show government stuffs up the corona virus response, will he ever? Unlikely. Most politicians, like most people, do not have it in them to be formidable political gladiators.

Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Jeff Kennett in Victoria, John Howard federally, you can count on one hand those conservative politicians who have changed history recently through personal will. Consequential leaders like Trump are rare; if Americans vote him out the West will lose its one shining warrior.

Great swathes of Americans do realise what an outstanding performer Trump has been and will walk over broken glass to re-elect him. Turnout has already been huge, Trump’s policies and qualities galvanising voters on both sides, and all those rusted-on Democrats who didn’t come out to vote for Hillary Clinton, confident she would win easily without them, will turn up this time.

The Left’s voter fraud machine is already in overdrive, and will help Biden win the popular vote. Trump’s chance is again through the Electoral College, which he may well win, but the outcome there is equally likely to come down to contested court decisions on vote counts, amid more ‘peaceful protests’ in the streets. It won’t be pretty. If Trump loses, then to cite one prominent conservative mate recently, head for the hills.

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