Pretty good explanation about the Trump counter-revolution.
Interesting that the author uses the word “normalcy,” the term used by candidate Harding when he followed President Wilson, a different progressive icon whose ambitions were undone by his own professorial style and priggish stubbornness.
This time the attempt at “fundamentally transforming” a bitterly divided nation invited a backlash, which itself has instantly created a backlash-to-the-backlash.
From Victor Davis Hanson’s When Normalcy Is Revolution:
For all the hysteria over the bluntness of the mercurial Trump, his agenda marks a return to what used to be seen as fairly normal, as the U.S. goes from hard left back to the populist center.
Trump promises not just to reverse almost immediately all of Obama’s policies, but to do so in a pragmatic fashion that does not seem to be guided by any orthodox or consistently conservative ideology.
Trade deals and jobs are Trump’s obsessions — mostly for the benefit of blue-collar America.
He calls for full-bore gas and oil development, a common culture in lieu of identity politics, secure borders, deregulation, tax reform, a Jacksonian foreign policy, nationalist trade deals in places of globalization, and traditionalist values.
In normal times, Trumpism — again, the agenda as opposed to Trump the person — might be old hat. But after the last eight years, his correction has enraged millions.
Yet securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution.
Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive.
Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged.
Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be.
Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected.
Issuing executive orders has not been seen as revolutionary for the past few years — until now.
Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming the president a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice.
Freezing federal hiring, clamping down on lobbyists, and auditing big bureaucracies — after the Obama-era IRS, VA, GSA, EPA, State Department, and Secret Service scandals — are overdue.
Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda.
In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution.