Watching Donald Trump’s Ohio rally Saturday reminded me of the best scene in Gone With the Wind, which comes early in the movie at the Twelve Oakes barbecue. It’s a brilliantly constructed sequence wherein Scarlett O’Hara’s (Vivien Leigh) egoistical pursuit of Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) during the grand social occasion contrasts with the undercurrent of imminent Civil War. Except the Southern male aristocrats gathered in the Georgia mansion’s den don’t dread the war, they eagerly look forward to it. “Gentlemen can always fight better than rabble,” one of them crows. Scarlett’s father Gerald (Thomas Mitchell) then asks a more somber Ashley, the wartime troop captain, for his opinion. “Well, gentlemen,” says Ashley. “If Georgia fights, I go with her. But like my father, I hope the Yankees let us leave the Union in peace.” I can appreciate the sentiment. If Trump runs, and wins the Republican nomination, I go with him. But like many others, I hope he passes the “make America great again” baton to a younger warrior.
For I believe political and cultural war is now unavoidable. The other side has crossed the Rubicon. They’ve done more than insult us. They’ve threatened us. Joe Biden and his entire governmental apparatus — spearheaded by AG Merrick Garland’s Justice Department and SecDef Lloyd Austin’s Pentagon — have publicly condemned all patriotic, peaceful opposers to the Marxist transformation of our country as anti-democratic traitors.
And they have put their agents where their mouths are, raiding Trump’s home and intimidating MAGA supporters in true Stasi-like fashion. Now they must be made to pay for it, and so extremely that such a domestic menace will never resurface. This said, Trump’s Youngstown, Ohio speech was the finest, most defiant he has ever given, and the perfect response to Biden’s The Great Dictator screed in Philadelphia.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a more radicalized or dangerous time in our country,” Trump said. “I watched Biden the other day with the red behind him — and CNN changed it to pink, because they wanted it to look better. But that was terrible, the terrible words that were said. But that’s where they’re coming from. But you know what? We’re strong and we’re smart. We’re smarter than them. We’re stronger than them. Our cruel and vindictive political class is not just coming after me. They’re coming after you through me. They’ve already taken away your vote. They’re taking away your voice. And now they want to take away your freedom. And it’s not going to happen.”
Trump delivered his oration with his typical humor that drives leftists insane. How can he be so flippant, they fume, when the walls are closing in? One reason could be the huge legal double victory Trump had Thursday over the same Garland DOJ that defiled his Mar-a-Lago home. Federal Judge Eileen Cannon not only ignored Justice’s demand she qualify her decision to appoint a Special Master on the FBI-seized documents or face appeal, she assigned the man the Trump team wanted for the job (Raymond Dearie).
Trump even had fun with the “deadly serious” January 6 Committee, calling it “the sham unselect committee.” “Which I thought ended a couple of weeks ago when Liz Cheney lost by a record number. Nobody has ever lost so big before.” That must have stuck in Cheney’s Trump-deranged, soon-to-be civilian craw.
However, Trump was deadly serious, unusually eloquent, and disturbingly accurate in his condemnation of the present statist tyranny: “They want to censor you from the internet, banish you from the public square, get you fired from your jobs, target you for destruction with 87,000 new IRS agents.… Use the FBI to spy on patriotic parents, and criminalize political dissent as if we were a Third World country. But the thugs and tyrants attacking our movement … have no idea of the sleeping giant they have awoken. The American people will never accept the corruption and the ruination of our beloved country.”
Ultimately, Trump hit a high note he had never reached before, in what may one day be known as the “We are a nation” speech, like Ronald Reagan’s 1964 endorsement of the doomed Barry Goldwater became the “A Time for Choosing” speech. Some excerpts from late in his remarks:
We are a nation that surrendered in Afghanistan, leaving behind dead soldiers, American citizens, and 85-billion dollars’ worth of the finest military equipment in the world.
We are a nation that allowed Russia to devastate a country, Ukraine, killing hundreds of thousands of people. And it will only get worse. It would never have happened with me as your Commander-in-Chief.…
We are a nation that has weaponized its law enforcement against the opposing political party like never ever before.…
We are a nation that is allowing Iran to build a massive nuclear weapon, and China to use the trillions of dollars it has taken from us to build a military to rival our own.…
And, perhaps more importantly, we are a nation that is no longer respected or listened to around the world.… A nation that is hostile to liberty, freedom, and faith.…
We are a nation that has lost its confidence, willpower, and strength. We are a nation that has lost its way. But we are not going to let this continue. Two years ago, we were a great nation. And we will soon be a great nation again.
I’d still prefer Ron DeSantis to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. He’s just as tough as Trump yet fresher. But after watching the latter’s well-written and impressively delivered speech, I’m even more certain of one thing. If Trump runs, I go with him.