Has Harvey shaken America seriously enough to diminish the cold civil war that has overtaken our country? Has it made our divisions seem at least a tiny bit more trivial?
No doubt a hardcore of hate-filled bozos drunk on some witless ideology will always be with us. There’s still a market for Guy Fawkes masks for adjunct junior college professors to pretend they’re violent anarchist revolutionaries out of some Dostoevsky novel they never finished. And the tone-deaf nitwits on the L.A. City Council did choose the occasion of an ongoing massive natural disaster to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, to include a paid vacation for all city employees (but not the myriad other taxpayers of the vast metropolis).
Nevertheless, a flood of Noah-like proportions has a way of focusing the mind, at least for some, maybe even most, of us.
And Donald Trump has clearly done well thus far in his capacity of crisis-manager-in-chief. It seems the presidential activity he was born for, the one most akin to running a large hotel construction job or renovating an historic ice-skating rink. Moreover, reconstruction is certain to go on for quite a while and remain a focal point of our national attention for a significant period. Trump should know how to handle it as well as anybody who has held the office.
For this reason, Harvey will likely be the turning point in the Trump presidency. His adversaries sense it too. You know the Never Trumpers of the left and right are pretty hard up when all they have to obsess about are Melania Trump’s stilettos that she only wore onto a plane anyway.
Now I’m not saying that it will be clear sailing from now on. I would have to be a moron. There may be six more wacky tweets, including three attacks on Rosie O’Donnell or some other monumentally trivial figure before you read this, causing many of his supporters to groan. But the impact will be less. Trump is proving himself under fire in a situation immeasurably more important than Twitter sideshows. Nitpickers now seem more what they are — pickers of nits. And those accusing Trump of racismsexismhomophobiaIslamophobiayaddayaddayadda will appear to be exactly what they are as well — dim-witted bores who wouldn’t know a real racist when they saw one. (Most likely that would take a mirror.)
More importantly, by continuing to act as he has, Trump will defuse whatever eventually comes down from the Mueller investigation, unless, of course, it is proven that the Russians caused Harvey, in which case all bets are off (kidding, I hope). Moreover, he will achieve that Holy Grail of Holy Grails, the tax reform he spoke of in his speech Thursday.
In the real world of humans in which we live, however, it should be obvious that many will be disappointed, even deeply depressed, if what I wrote proves to be true — that Harvey is the turning point of the Trump presidency. These people have vested interests in his failure for various reasons, just as I, admittedly, since I supported him, have a vested interest in his success. But I would ask these Never Trumpers of the right and left to take a breath and examine their motivations. Like mine and everybody else’s, they are not always pure. Do you want me to be wrong? If so, why? Wouldn’t you prefer, for the sake of our country and its people, that I be right? If not, why not?
But no matter the motivations, or the scores that might or might not need settling, this country and its 325 million citizens remain. Many of them are doing miraculous things for their fellow citizens in the flood waters of Texas and now Louisiana. They are pleased and often proud to have a president who is wholeheartedly supporting them. You should be too. Who knows what will happen? But rooting for American greatness wouldn’t hurt.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.