On Little Men and Big Men: Donald Trump Is the Next President

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

I saw a tiny man standing on my chest! He was about as big as my thumb, no more than 15 centimeters tall. In his hands, he held a bow and arrows. I felt many more little men crawling over me. In astonishment, I shouted very loudly, “Get off me, you insects.”
—Jonathan Swift,
Gulliver’s Travels

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The struggle now being waged for the soul, and likely the survival, of the nation is generally understood as a political and cultural battle between competing visions of the future, a globalist and technocratic dispensation against a national and populist resistance. It is being fought in the institutions of governance and frequently on the streets. It involves the diverse agencies of power, legislative interventions, radical interpretations of the Constitution, media censorship, and the weaponization of law on one side; on the other, an originalist reading of the Constitution, the Rule of Law, an impartial justice system, and the defense of the democratic order.

But the issue can also be simplified as a battle between a modest platoon of political actors we may describe as “big men” and a veritable army of “little men.” This is not to suggest that little men are harmless. A little man can wield “a bow and arrows,” brandish a dagger, fire a gun, raid homes, or pass criminal legislation in spades.

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Indeed, powerful organizations are replete with little men. Of course, there are little women busily at work too, though not of the caliber and character of Louise May Alcott’s protagonists in her book of that title. But under the rubric of “little men,” the breed has swelled the corporate, academic, media, and political world to overflowing.

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In effect, the political and cultural war raging in the country is really an internecine conflict between big people, people of courage, moral principle, and derring-do who fight for truth and justice and little people who lie for a living, steeped in ideology, and wedded to career at the cost of decency, conscience, far-sightedness, and moral substance. One thinks of Jonathan Swift’s Lilliputians, a race of homunculi whose only strength resides in cunning, corruption, and, obviously, in numbers. Numbers are a critical factor; the little people are almost infinite in their multitudes, while the big people are comparatively few.

We see the moral and cognitive size dimension playing itself out on the current political scene, both collectively and, in particular, in the storm following the indictment of Donald Trump. When we examine the ranks of diminutive souls, it is obvious that Biden is a little man. (The “big guy” laptop designation is a cynical joke.) Mayorkas is a little man. Garland is a little man. Bragg, notwithstanding his corpulent presence, is a very little man. Trump, love him or hate him, is a big man, now in the throes of the effort of a horde of Lilliputians to tie him down on the flimsiest of pretexts — as Swift writes, “Although the ropes were very thin, like thread, there were hundreds of them.”

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The little men will do everything in their power to shame or imprison the former president. Nothing is beyond the arts and intentions of little men, not propriety, not ethical principle, and certainly not the Rule of Law. Were Swift alive today to cover the scene, he would have had a field day writing about a tribe of runts attempting to constrain a comparative giant. But the giant generally wins in the end.

Despite the Democrat well-oiled cheat machine operated by an insectal swarm of dandiprat liars, cowards, and dwarfs, “no more than 15 centimeters tall,” Trump will be the next president of the United States. Gnats and midges may proliferate and cause havoc and harm, but you can’t keep a big man down.

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