Trump Makes a Move - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Trump Makes a Move

He fired himself. And he’s looking for a new job.

Donald Trump has announced he is departing from NBC’s The Apprentice — the show that entered “You’re fired” into the American popular lexicon — and he’s headed for New Hampshire. His goal: to fire the Obama agenda…with an eye to becoming the Republican nominee himself.

The announcement of “The Donald J. Trump Presidential Exploratory Committee” came yesterday. Said Mr. Trump: 

I have a great love for our country, but it is a country that is in serious trouble. We have lost the respect of the entire world. Americans deserve better than what they get from their politicians — who are all talk and no action! I have built a great company, created thousands of jobs and built a tremendous net worth with some of the finest and most prestigious assets in the world — and very little debt! All Americans deserve the same opportunity. Our real unemployment rate is staggering while our manufacturing base is eroding on a daily basis. We must rebuild our infrastructure, control our borders, support local control of education, greatly strengthen our military, care for our veterans and put Americans back to work! We must stop other countries from totally taking advantage of our representatives who are being out-negotiated at every turn. I am the only one who can make America truly great again!

Coming as it does on the heels of Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election in Israel, the Trump announcement is one more reminder that the “sell-by” date of the Obama popularity and policies has been reached. The Obama White House went out of its way to make its disdain for Bibi abundantly clear. Obama campaign strategists appeared in Israel to help defeat the prime minister, and the U.S. Senate is suddenly aware that U.S. tax dollars may have been funneled into the anti-Netanyahu campaign. All of this meeting with an outright rejection from Israeli voters. Flatly refusing to give Mr. Obama what he so desperately wanted.

Donald Trump is frequently scorned in the mainstream media — the same media that has been saying repeatedly that Bibi Netanyahu was in dire straits and about to lose his re-election. They got Netanyahu wrong and similarly it is a mistake to underestimate Trump and most particularly the wave of anti-Obama sentiment he — and some but not all other potential GOP candidates — represents. Suffice to say: Jeb Bush he is not.

One of the repeated truths of American presidential elections is that these elections come in two varieties. Either the incumbent seeking re-election or the outgoing incumbent is popular — or not. Popular presidents like a Ronald Reagan or, to go back into the historical mists, an FDR, Calvin Coolidge, Theodore Roosevelt, or Andrew Jackson are used as touchstones by the nominee of their party. The candidate running for re-election says “re-elect me.” If the incumbent is both retiring and popular, his successor as the nominee of his party says some version of “I will be like him — our beloved incumbent.”

The opposite of this is the unpopular president, the guy of whom the opposite party’s nominee says, “Elect me and I will be totally the opposite of him.” Think Barack Obama as the un-Bush, Ike as the un-Truman, FDR as the un-Hoover, Harding as the un-Wilson.

What Donald Trump represents is the un-Obama. A serious break with the abysmally failed Obama agenda on everything from the economy to education to China to national security and so much more. That’s before you even get to the question of style. He’s a great speaker, as seen here at Congressman Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit. And as with the poisonous press attacking Netanyahu in the wake of his victory, the pro-Obama media will go after Trump and any other vividly “un-Obama” with a vengeance. As Rush Limbaugh recounted yesterday in playing one clip after another of mainstream media figures ascribing Netanyahu’s win to “racism,” the furies of liberals at the rejection of liberalism have no bounds. Donald Trump is to be applauded for stepping out there knowing full well the virtual mud bath that is headed his way. It is safe to say he has his eyes wide open about the ways of the media.

As with Netanyahu himself, it is a mistake to underestimate someone who is so vividly not Obama. Which, most assuredly, Donald Trump is not. It is, in fact, a mistake to underestimate Trump himself.

As discussed in this corner from time to time, Trump is a serious man with a serious record of success. One doesn’t get to be “Donald Trump” without a serious set of smarts and considerable hard work. He is an American Original. 

Money is not necessarily a determinative factor in presidential politics — if it were the well-funded John Connally would have defeated Ronald Reagan for the 1980 GOP nomination. But money helps — and in the peculiarities of American culture so too does celebrity obtained for achievement other than being a politician. Trump may be giving up The Apprentice series but he has long since become a fixture of American pop culture — as was Ronald Reagan before his political career began.

Trump is a builder — of the economy in general, of hotels, resorts, office buildings, golf courses and all manner of other things in the specific. He is a job creator, having created thousands upon thousands of jobs. And he is — a quality desperately lacking in the GOP Establishment — fearless. He speaks his mind and he is always, always in the habit of — as one of his books puts it — of making sure to Think Big

A very disturbing feature of modern liberalism is its negativity, its fundamental belief in dividing people by race and class. In the case of Donald Trump, they will go after him for — what else? — his wealth. Not understanding that there are millions of Americans who see Trump not through the pinched lens of class envy but rather as someone to applaud, cheer on, learn from, to study — and to look to when it comes to achieving goals financial and otherwise. All of this based on his considerable record of achievement. “I want to make the country rich again,” says Trump characteristically, surely touching on an issue that is all too real for Americans struggling to eke out an existence in the Obama redistributionist economy.

The 2016 campaign is now under way. There are no crystal balls available to foresee the outcome. But it is already clear that the Republican field will be big and deep. Yesterday, Donald Trump gave the surest indicator yet that he will in fact join the fray. The news of his exploratory committee also included the news that he was today on the way to New Hampshire for yet another appearance. Already announced is the addition of staff members in both New Hampshire and Iowa. 

One of the reasons for the success of Benjamin Netanyahu is that Israelis — not to mention millions of Americans — see the prime minister as a decisive man of moral clarity, a man who is unafraid to think big — and act. It is precisely the Trump approach as Trump himself exemplifies it and has written. A president of the United States without a seriously pro-American attitude, the willingness to act, to persist, and to do so with a real passion for the people and country he represents, is, as America and the world have learned to their sorrow, doomed to failure.

Donald Trump doesn’t do failure.

Buckle in.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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