August 28, 2019

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Trump — or What, Exactly? Let’s compare Trump’s policies and behavior to that of prior presidents — and to his 2020 opponents’.

Not a word comes from Trump’s critics about the need for Social Security or Medicare reform to ensure the long-term viability of each — other than the Democrats’ promises to extend such financially shaky programs to millions of new clients well beyond the current retiring Baby Boomer cohorts who are already taxing the limits of the system.

To counter every signature Trump issue, there is almost no rational alternative advanced. That void helps explain the bizarre, three-year litany of dreaming of impeachment, the emoluments clause, the Logan Act, the 25th Amendment, the Mueller special-counsel investigation, Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti, Trump’s tax returns, White Supremacy!, Recession! — and Lord knows what next. . . .

Instead of vague socialist bombast and promises, where is the actual detailed socialist version of the Contract with America, so voters can read it, digest it, and then decide whether it is superior or inferior to the status quo since 2017? Let us see two antithetical visions of America’s future, and let the voters decide.

For those who insist that “character matters” more than policy, then, let us compare the Trump behavior in the White House since 2017 with JFK’s, Lyndon Johnson’s, and Bill Clinton’s. Let’s compare his supposed efforts to “obstruct” justice with Obama’s actual record of politicizing federal justice, intelligence, tax, and investigatory agencies.

So far, all that is something that apparently no presidential candidate wishes to do.

Plus:

Trump’s crime is that, without sanitized surgical gloves, he completely ripped the scab off what we call “journalism” and exposed a festering wound of narcissistic, mostly incompetent, and utterly partisan reportage.

Indeed, we knew what was beneath but dared not touch the scab. We had smelled the fetid pus when journalists rallied around the mythographer Dan Rather, chatted in the JournoList files, and competed to toady up to Hillary Clinton in Wikileaks’ trove of Podesta emails. Dean Baquet’s latest New York Times pep talk about the next “racist!” newspeak to follow the failed Mueller hoax was thus anticlimactic — well aside from the epidemics of #MeToo accusations not usually associated with woke, progressive journalistic professionals.

We know that the New York Times, so eager to accuse Trump and the nation at large of serial racism, is itself fond of publishing anti-Semitic cartoons and hiring those with a paper trail of racism and anti-Semitism as its editors, reporters, or editorial-board members, as we see with Sarah Jeong, Jonathan Weisman, and Tom Wright-Piersanti.

Trump did not destroy CNN or the New York Times as viable news organizations. He had nothing to do the past three years with their suicidal abandonment of ethics, professionalism, and disinterested reporting.

True.

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