by David Solway
One notices that when the current nomination cycle began, Donald Trump was more often than not referred to by his full name: Donald Trump. Or by his surname: Trump. As time went by, his iconic sobriquet began to be used on a regular basis, generally in a not unkindly way: The Donald, as if he were a reified entity, a theatrical performance, or even a sort of force or condition, like The Weather. Now he is increasingly addressed simply as: Donald. The outsider, the mogul, the thespian has become a household guest, someone many of us know—with the exception of his enemies or professional skeptics—as a friendly and companionable figure. This is the other “nomination” that has occurred.
Despite the media hype painting him as an unprincipled opportunist, it appears that he has gradually earned the trust of millions of voters, including the initially undecided. That is, he has become Donald, familiar, admired and likeable.
Indeed, what’s not to like?
He has solemnly promised to fix America’s porous border situation and put paid to the violence and fiscal burdens that attend the vast influx of illegal migrants among ordinary, tax-paying Americans.
He has thrown down the gauntlet before the Islamic terror industry, vowed to halt the flow of “Syrian” refugees into the country, and pledged to set up screening mechanisms to repair a broken immigration system and weed out the carriers of an ideology hostile to the preservation of a free and democratic society.
He has presented himself as the law and order candidate in a nation careening toward anarchy in the streets and open war on the police, which has put every citizen at risk.
He has expressed his contempt for political correctness, a species of evasion and outright lying that is weakening the cultural sinews of the nation and its ability to defend itself against a host of enemies, internal and external.
He is committed to restoring an enfeebled military to its former status as the world’s mightiest fighting force. Additionally, he will honor and support America’s veterans, left to malinger by the Obama administration.
He has promised to renegotiate unfavorable trade deals that have left America at a competitive disadvantage, cost millions of jobs, and led to the gutting of the blue collar, middle class and small entrepreneurial strata of society.
He has vowed to replace globalism with Americanism and to require NATO allies to pay their fair share for defense rather than rely on continued American largesse to make up for shortfalls. Who respects a sucker?
He has promised to end the disaster of Obamacare, to tackle the national debt, to revitalize American manufacture, and to open up a restrictive, dumbed-down, “assembly line” educational system.
Considering this bordereau of serious and meaningful pledges, what’s not to like?
Trump—sorry, Donald—enjoys four distinct advantages over all other political actors on the national stage. He is not a beltway politician, which means he has not been corrupted by the perks and privileges so dear to the political elite. He is self-funded and therefore not beholden to major donors and lobbyists. He is a hands-on person, who pays attention to detail, where the devil is said to live, which accounts for his efficiency in keeping the devil’s handiwork of distraction and error at a minimum. And he possesses the ability to spot talent, to put the right people in place to ensure the success of his various projects. Donald is now “Donald” because he has become a member of the American family.
True, Hillary is also a first-namer, but that’s owing to the fact that she is not Bill, that her name operates no differently from a slogan, and that she is the media’s darling. Hillary is a very nice name, but it is really, like the pricey pantsuit, a form of camouflage; the venality and mendacity that lie beneath do not bear scrutiny.
On the contrary, Donald has nothing to hide, he is who he is, a man who has raised a beautiful and capable family, who is disdainful of media deception and shallowness, who can be direct and aggressive without apology, and who believes in hard work and the prosperity that comes from it. As celebrated author Conrad Black said in a keynote address at a conference that Chatham House rules forbid me to specify, Trump—sorry, Donald—has nothing in common with the punditocracy’s representation of him; he is by no means a scoundrel but a loyal friend, a generous man and a decent employer. He is a phenomenon that has rarely been seen on the political proscenium, at least since Reagan—a real person, warts and all. He has lived the American dream and is determined to dispel the American nightmare. That puts him on the side of every aspiring American, makes him one of us, just Donald. In an op-ed for The National Post, Black makes the point succinctly: “The commentariat should be celebrating the fact that Donald did the necessary to round up the Archie Bunker vote, and it is little wonder that it is now almost half the people.”
And yes, Donald has trodden on sensibilities and spoken abrasively, but sometimes that is necessary. He does not suffer fools gladly and has, as many of his supercilious and pampered adversaries have not, grappled in the rough-and-tumble. This is the world, after all, not some utopian fantasy spawned by the left, the bien pensants, and the cushy academics who build castles in the sand, not office towers and hotels. The man of the hour, however, is the man of the years to come. We know him now as Donald.
What’s not to like?
First published in PJ Media.