David Horowitz’s Thumbs-up for Trump
Three years ago, the inauguration of the forty-fifth president of the United States was commemorated by a concert featuring Lee Greenwood and Jon Voight, a parade, three official inaugural balls, massive women’s marches, the writing of a fishy e-mail to herself by outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and the January 17 publication of David Horowitz’s Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America. The book, a comprehensive account and vigorous vindication of Trump’s platform, became a New York Times bestseller.
Now, with the 2020 elections approaching, Horowitz has published a follow-up book entitled Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win. Short, snappy, and supremely savvy, it’s the definitive summing-up of Donald Trump’s efforts during the last three years to enact his “big agenda” -- and of his enemies’ obsessive campaign to foil those efforts at every turn.
Horowitz starts with Trump’s election. During the last three years I’ve amused myself by watching different media outlets’ coverage of Election Night 2016 on YouTube, and I’ve done it so often I thought I could write a dissertation on the topic, but I didn’t know this:
Just after midnight, MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt tweeted, “Lady Gaga is crying backstage, source reports.” A few minutes later, Hunt tweeted again: “Cher is also backstage crying, source reports.” A few minutes later, “Katy Perry was supposed to sing the national anthem at the Hillary Clinton victory party. Someone else took her place.”
Delicious. But quickly enough, those tears turned into rage. And instead of accepting defeat gracefully, the Hillary army, in the name of love, hope, rainbows, and lollipops, sought to destroy the legitimate winner of the election. Jettisoning all vestiges of legitimate journalism once and for all, the New York Times and Washington Post became daily hate sheets, taking the position opposite to Trump’s on every issue, big and small, that came along, including those on which the newspapers had previously taken the same side. How did Trump manage to survive it all? Over to Horowitz:
Almost unique among Republican political figures, Donald Trump had a background that provided him with a certain immunity in his own mind against such attacks. He had spent most of his public life as a supporter of liberal Democrat causes. This gave him a confidence in his core values that enabled him to avoid being intimidated by leftwing attacks on his moral character, particularly the charges that he was racist, sexist, and homophobic. Because Trump was not cowed by political correctness, he could position himself as the leader of a movement to defend traditional American values, and a critic of Democrat hypocrisies.
The key words here are “confidence in his core values.” Unlike so many career politicians, Trump actually believed in something. And belief is a rock. Belief keeps you upright and keeps you from blowing this way and that even in a strong wind. Belief made Trump dive into the swamp in the first place. And belief gave him the guts to take the battle to the heart of the Democratic base -- that is, black Americans.
One demographic study after another has shown that the Democrats would never win another presidential election if they lost most of the black vote; and they richly deserve to lose the black vote, because their policies over the last half century have devastated black communities, black families, black schools, and black jobs. But Republicans, not to mention any names (*cough* Mitt Romney *cough*), have been loath to call them on this. Not Trump.
It started during the 2016 campaign. “At a campaign stop in Michigan,” writes Horowitz, “Trump called on African Americans, suffering under the Democrats’ one-party rule, to liberate themselves by leaving the Democrat Party and voting for him. No Republican presidential candidate before him had ever done that.” Quoting the remarks Trump addressed to black voters on that occasion, Horowitz comments: “It was a devastating indictment -- and irrefutable. Recognizing this, Democrats made no effort to answer the charge with facts. Instead they resorted to the response they had perfected over decades, stigmatizing Trump as a racist.” And in the ensuing weeks, months, and years, they kept hurling the racist label at him, even after he signed a crime-law reform package that was praised by black community leaders and hailed by socialist Van Jones as “a Christmas miracle.”
The charge that Trump was racist could hardly have been more duplicitous. During his decades as a prominent business leader, Trump had been amply praised -- and won awards -- for his colorblind (and pro-woman) hiring policies. He’d singlehandedly broken the back of racially exclusionary policies at Palm Beach country clubs. Nobody had ever called him a racist -- quite the opposite. Now it was Democratic dogma.
Horowitz cites a book I somehow missed – Juan Williams’s What The Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump’s War on Civil Rights (2018). In it, writes Horowitz, “Williams delivered the Democrat party line: ‘[Trump] wants to see black failure and misery. That view justifies his distaste for black people -- some might say his racism. He locks his eyes on the worst of black American life because it makes him and other white people into victims of the trouble in black neighborhoods; he is the hero defending whites against the approaching barbarians." Despicable, but what else would one expect from Williams, who makes his living spouting Democratic Party talking points every afternoon on “The Five”?
Horowitz also provides a forceful takedown of another book I missed -- The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump by Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani, who, in lockstep with her newspaper’s editorial page, compares Trump to Hitler and Stalin -- and of an equally hateful New Yorker article by David Remnick, author of the reverential 2010 biography The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. Nor does Horowitz forget Chris Cuomo’s constant barrage of anti-Trump rhetoric. After quoting chapter and verse from these hacks, Horowitz sums up compellingly the ways in which they failed to hold Obama “accountable for the sins they find beyond the pale in Trump.”
There’s more. Horowitz shines a critical light on some of the major media misrepresentations of the Trump years -- among them the “Muslim ban” that isn’t really a Muslim ban at all; the claims that Trump’s enthusiasm for a border wall is rooted in racism and that he’s called all Mexicans rapists; the characterization of Trump’s attempt to curb illegal immigration as “anti-immigration”; the assertion that he’s weakened NATO when in fact he’s done the opposite; the whole nonsense about the Paris Accords; and, of course, the despicable charge that, as Rachel Maddow put it, “the American presidency is effectively a Russian op.”
Horowitz also says exactly what needs to be said about the he-tweets-too-much issue, the impeachment fiasco, and that famous Ukrainian phone call. Like Trump, Horowitz doesn’t shrink from calling liars liars and calling a spade a spade. He uses the word “seditious” six times and “tyranny” thrice. Nor does he pull punches about Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, noting the former’s support for a terrorist and the latter’s links to Muslim Brotherhood fronts, or about the radicalism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” which he calls “Green Communism.”
As a native New Yorker, I was familiar with the story about how, in 1987, frustrated by the incompetence of municipal authorities, Donald Trump stepped in and offered to renovate the Wollman Rink in Central Park at his own expense. But I didn’t know, or had forgotten, another story that Horowitz tells -- about how Trump, in 1995, kicked in a huge sum to bring the city’s Veterans Day parade back to life.
These stories, dating back to long before the Trump presidency, are important, of course, because they show the genuineness of Trump’s love for his country, its people, and its armed forces -- and thus reinforce the urgency of the need to re-elect this uniquely authentic politician, uniquely capable administrator, and uniquely devoted commander-in-chief to the highest office in the world. More cogently than the work of any other commentator, David Horowitz’s book spells out the nature of Trump’s success as president and explains why his re-election is not just a desideratum but a world-historical necessity.