Election 2020

Trump as the GOP's James Bond

It’s probably safe to say that for many, one of Trump’s greatest moments during the debates was his response to Clinton’s statement about how it’s a good thing he isn’t in charge of the law in our country. Trump’s response was, “Because you’d be in jail.”

Greg Gutfeld, a Fox News commentator, said on the show “Outnumbered” on November 2, “Trump is a tornado and Clinton is the trailer park.” Clinton must certainly think that, seeing herself as Margaret Dumont, the actress who played the high-society lady who always found herself on the receiving end of Groucho Marx’s one liners.

Trump has said some questionable and stupid things, but we haven’t heard such direct and sometimes clever remarks from a national Republican candidate since Reagan (no, I’m not saying Trump is a Reagan). It’s literally a breath of fresh air when you compare how some past Republican candidates have bent over backwards to avoid any appearance of directly taking on the Democratic Party, its policies, and its candidates and politicians.

In the December 3, 2012, issue of National Review, Mark Steyn discussed an interesting question posed during the 2008 presidential election to Daniel Craig, the current James Bond. He asked which candidate would make a better 007.

Craig answered without hesitation that President Obama would make a better Bond because he would look the enemy directly in the eye and go toe-to-toe with him. McCain would be a better M.

No doubt, many of you reading this are probably in shock. Even Steyn went on to say how ironic this was. McCain survived plane crashes, shipboard disasters, and torture, as Bond has done in many of his movies, yet according to Hollywood, all McCain qualifies for is a desk job!

On one hand, you can only make sense of Craig’s answer if you file it in the Up is Down folder. But Craig’s answer makes perfect sense when looked at not through the eyes of international espionage but through the eyes of our national political warfare. The battle isn’t between the free world and Spectre, it’s between the two governing philosophies nominally fought over by the two major political parties.

In that context, Obama, and Democrats in general, have looked the enemy in the eye and the GOP blinked. President Obama has gone toe-to-toe with the “best” the GOP could deliver and has defeated or humbled its greatest agents, John (Dr. Maybe) McCain, Mitt (Cold Finger) Romney, John (For Your Tearing Eyes Only) Boehner, Mitch (Quantum of Silence) McConnell and others. Therefore, from the left’s point of view, in the realm of ideas and policy, Obama is their man. He is their warrior. He is their Bond.

Upholding the ideals of minimizing government and maximizing individual liberties is the GOP’s mantra – just ask them. But in a staring contest, one blinks when one no longer believes in his or her ideals, and the GOP blinked on limiting government so many times they must be suffering extreme cases of blepharospasm! (Don’t bother to look it up; it refers to uncontrolled blinking.)

Because of GOP accommodations and bipartisanship, i.e., failures, America has become politically, legally, academically, and culturally a center-left nation. And by center-left, I’m not referring to some romantic view of liberté, égalité, and fraternité but rather what liberalism has morphed into: a Frankenstein monster that demands government encroachment into all aspects of our lives. Today, the number of agencies, regulations, and laws have mushroomed to the point where every human action, interaction, or transaction, even between family members, is either taxed or regulated.

In an attempt to show all is not lost, Republican leaders often point to the number of red states on election night maps. One problem with this approach is that corn fields don’t vote, people do; dead or alive, citizen or non-citizen, with or without IDs.

A second problem is that the GOP has failed to turn red state victories into meaningful conservative policy successes. And tweaking the tax code is not a meaningful policy success regardless of how upset the Democrats might react.

It’s almost as if the GOP puts up its greatest fights when it knows it’s going to lose and compromises prematurely when it knows it could win. A not-too-radical observation if you accept that the primary goal of political parties is to acquire political power. After all, what fun is it to hold a political office, D or R, if people are allowed to largely manage their own lives?

One can’t be too naïve. It’s hard to imagine that Trump will do much to change the course of human events. However, the political class within the GOP is not too far from the political class of the Democratic Party; the proof is how many Republican big wigs went over to support Hillary. And there lies the core of Trumpism: all else be damned, at least he’s not a Bush, a Kasich, or a Graham. This is how bad it has gotten between the GOP’s rank and file and its ruling class. Democrats, on the other hand, have given their rank and file pretty much what they wanted.

The Left has spent years belittling behavior that used to be predominantly associated with manhood and machoism, and even has taken swipes at general heroism. Yet, as our culture tries to get us to lower our views of these qualities, they lie deep within our DNA as something to admire. Even Hillary had to make up a story about experiencing sniper fire when she landed in Bosnia. This is why the Bond analogy is so apropos.

Is the age of the milquetoast Republican candidate over? Probably not. But all Trump supporters are looking for is a Republican president that won’t blink when going toe-to-toe with the ruling class, D or R. It would be nice if, in the meantime, he would drive them nuts or rough them up a bit (figuratively of course). As for Trump’s conservative credentials, that’s a discussion for a later time.