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The Trump Phenomenon. The Black Swan at the White House

26/01/2024

Envision a triumphant gladiator, standing solitary against the Washington establishment. This revelation, shared with a skeptical friend on the morning of November 9, 2016, seemed preposterous. Donald Trump, a gladiator? A reviled multi-millionaire? A misogynistic buffoon?

My foresight appears justified, and my erstwhile disbelieving companions begrudgingly acknowledge their misjudgment. Initially, Trump found himself in isolation, confronting his political party and the formidable bureaucratic machinery of Washington D.C.

He stood alone against a formidable propaganda arsenal that included media giants such as CNN, The New York Times, and even some bastions of the Republican press. Nevertheless, those Americans who cherished liberty and reveled in the Christmas spirit placed their faith in him over time. Trump secured the vote of the “Forgotten Man,” weary of perennial defeats in favor of the so-called Davos elites.

The catalyst for the fervor exhibited by the crowds lay in their discontent with the corruption of the Clinton Dynasty, the arrogance of Barack Obama, and the global propaganda machinery. What forces propelled Trump’s political movement? What strategic blows did the candidate deliver against two entrenched presidential families? Did entrepreneurial instincts play a role in shaping his combat strategy? How did he manage to challenge the veneer of Hollywood stars? What apprehensions and anxieties prompted the American populace to wager on an outsider?

Does President Trump’s support exclusively align with the interests of the United States, or does it extend to safeguarding the pillars of the Judeo-Christian civilization in the West? In the contemporary landscape, what instills fear in radical Islam, communist China, and Putin’s Russia?

These are not just inquiries but profound contemplations, pondering the intricacies of a political upheaval that transcends mere electoral dynamics. The saga of Trump’s ascent is akin to a political odyssey, replete with unexpected twists and turns that defy conventional wisdom. The narrative unfolds against a nation grappling with its identity and the global stage, posing questions far beyond the confines of partisan affiliations.

Donald Trump, a figure of spectacular proportions, sent shockwaves across the globe. In sheer amazement, the billions inhabiting this planet bore witness to the meteoric trajectory of a businessman who waged a fierce battle for the coveted title of President of America — and emerged victorious. Yet, amidst this unprecedented journey, Trump found himself an object of derision, with renowned journalists, political analysts, comedians, movie stars, diplomats, international relations specialists, philosophers, clergy, and scholars, treating him like a mere punchline.

The conservative bastion, National Review, issued a call to the intellectual ranks of the American right-wing, urging a boycott of the ascent of this magnate. Jonah Goldberg labeled “Trumpism” as a toxic radiation, while David Brooks, foreseeing a tumultuous reign, deemed him “crazy” and predicted suspension within twelve months of inauguration. Simultaneously, in defense of Donald Trump, various influential figures impacted the international public discourse.

Among the voices supportive of Trump’s unorthodox presidency were luminaries such as the British historian Paul Johnson, the mathematician Nicholas Taleb, the economist Walter Block, the neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the philosopher Nicholas Capaldi, the economist George Gilder, the essayist David Horowitz, the legal expert Frank Buckley, the cultural critic Roger Kimball, the essayist Norman Podhoretz, the logician Robert C. Koons, the constitutional thinker Ken Masugi, the classicist Victor David Hanson, the writer Eric Metaxas, the cosmologist Frank Tipler, the physicist James Trefil (honored professor of George Mason University and an expert in artificial intelligence), Larry P. Arnn (dean of Hillsdale College and Winston Churchill biographer), foreign policy analyst Michael Ledeen, theologian Russell Reno (former editor of the publication First Things), and entrepreneur Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal). A diverse yet honorable tribe.

Just four hours preceding the pivotal scrutiny of November 8th, 2016, I staked a bet on Hillary Clinton’s impending defeat against Trump the Outsider. This wasn’t some meticulously calculated forecast but rather an intuition honed through empirical observation. Driven by a fervent desire to fathom the upheaval coursing through the heart of America, I delved into countless monologues and radio interventions by opinion shapers like Victor D. Hanson, Tucker Carlson, Mark Levin, the late Rush Limbaugh, or Ben Shapiro.

Though a Romanian citizen myself, I perused the narratives that emerged from the depths of the alternative media landscape. The voices marginalized by the mainstream news outlets created a symphony of dissent that echoed across the heartland of America.

In those hours leading up to the scrutiny, my wager wasn’t merely a gamble; it was a calculated bet on the undercurrents of discontent that had ripened in the minds of the silent majority. The ferment of dissatisfaction, meticulously nurtured through alternative channels, was poised to manifest itself in a seismic political event.

My bet paid off, not so much in monetary terms, but in the affirmation that a potent force was at play beneath the veneer of the conventional wisdom of the elites. It was the popular energy fueled by a grassroots movement, a rebellion against the perceived stifling grip of the establishment, and a rejection of the status quo. As the electoral drama unfolded, the outsider, Trump, emerged victorious, defying the expectations of pundits and pollsters alike.

This episode wasn’t merely a moment in political history but a testament to the power of the unheard, the ignored, and the dismissed. The spiral of silence, shattered by the roar of a populace eager to be heard, left an indelible mark on the political landscape. It was a reminder that, in the realm of democracy, every voice, no matter how marginalized, can reshape the nation’s course.

On the much-anticipated Election Day of November 8th, 2016, Hillary Clinton, already heralded as the un-crowned queen by prevailing opinion surveys, stood at the precipice of anticipated victory. Yet, the seismic shift awaiting the nation eluded the clutches of even the most astute prognosticators. The chattering class and the emergent nomenklatura were speechless in the wake of electoral numbers defying conventional wisdom.

Over 2600 districts and 306 electoral colleges resoundingly declared Donald Trump the victor. A staggering 62 million Americans bestowed their vote upon the billionaire magnate, securing for him the largest margin witnessed by the Republicans in three decades. The triumph in unexpected battlegrounds like Wisconsin, a state eluding Republican candidates since Ronald Reagan, and victories in Michigan and Pennsylvania, last claimed by George Bush Sr. in 1988, left the political landscape reeling.

With its epicenter in the heart of America, this electoral earthquake was nothing short of historic. The surprise victories in states like Ohio, previously secured by Barack Obama, demonstrated a political prowess that transcended traditional party lines. As the results unfolded, it became evident that Trump’s appeal resonated with a broad cross-section of the American populace, cutting across geographical and demographic boundaries.

This resounding win was more than a victory; it was a profound reconfiguration of the political map. The electorate, often deemed predictable, revealed a capacity for unforeseen choices that defied historical precedents. The echoes of Trump’s triumph reverberated across the nation, leaving both the established political order and the commentariat grappling to comprehend the magnitude of the electoral upheaval. It was a watershed moment, a testament to the unpredictability inherent in the democratic process, and a stark reminder that the will of the people holds the power to reshape the political destiny of a nation.

Who cast their vote for Donald Trump? It was the proprietor of a neighborhood restaurant, worn down by oppressive IRS controls; the earnest police officer who kisses his children’s foreheads each morning, uncertain if he’ll return home alive; the weary construction engineer, fatigued by the labyrinthine maze of government regulations; the homeschooling enthusiast, a mother driven by a passion for shaping her children’s education.

It was the astute entrepreneur, not inclined to squander profits but to reinvest wisely; the family of three, grappling with the burdensome weight of compulsory health care assurance (Obamacare); the disillusioned missionary priest, repulsed by the censorship of the politically incorrect text of the Bible; the conductor of the opera, criticized for producing Mozart’s Magic Flute under the unfounded label of racism; the laborer in a Midwest grape factory, aware that Trump champions the cause of American industry; the investigative journalist, catching the whiff of corruption in the stagnant air of the Washington D.C. swamp.

It was the high school teacher in California, Arizona, or Texas, alarmed by the influx of drugs streaming in from Mexico and Latin America; the father of a seven-year-old girl, apprehensive that unchecked transgender policies might fuel the specter of pedophilia; the octogenarian retiree, discontented with the dilapidated roads and neglected parks of a supposed sanctuary city.

This is the portrait of a forgotten nation—an ensemble that demanded a fundamental change in a corrupt and bankrupt political system, one that appeared to be in defiance of the natural laws that should guide a thriving society. These were not merely individual votes but collective voices of discontent, echoing across a nation that had long felt marginalized and overlooked. Trump became the vessel for their grievances, a symbol of defiance against a status quo that seemed impervious to their concerns. The ballot cast for Donald J. Trump was more than a political choice; it was a rallying cry for a reinvigorated America, where the interests of its citizens took precedence over the machinations of a detached political elite.

In the lead-up to the elections, the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump unfolded as a spectacle akin to a sports competition. However, rather than engaging in a thoughtful analysis of the contenders’ policy hits in the symbolic ring, a significant portion of the audience fell into the trap of focusing on peripheral commentaries. Donald Trump, a master of controversy and a provocateur, strategically concealed his tactics throughout the competition. Yet, instead of dissecting the efficiency of his political footwork, so-called “experts” often found themselves preoccupied with trivialities such as the color of Trump’s underwear or the nuances of his coiffure.

This diversion into the superficial aspects of the candidates’ personas rather than the substance of their positions underscored a broader trend in political discourse—an inclination towards sensationalism over substance. Trump’s penchant for controversy and provocative statements often served as a smokescreen, diverting attention from his policy proposals and strategic maneuvers.

While the public might have approached the debates with the anticipation of a competitive sports event, the failure to delve into the core issues at stake highlighted a concerning aspect of contemporary political engagement. Instead of scrutinizing the nuances of the candidates’ ideologies and policy prescriptions, the electorate found themselves swayed by the theatrics and theatrics alone.

In this analytical lens, the tendency to focus on the superficial aspects of the candidates’ personas becomes a symptom of a broader issue—the erosion of substantive political discourse. Instead of serving as a platform for an informed discussion on crucial matters, the debates became a stage where distractions overshadowed the gravity of the decisions at hand. As we reflect on this dynamic, it prompts a critical examination of contemporary political engagement and the imperative for a more informed and substantive approach to electoral decision-making.

In the tapestry of Eastern European perspectives on Trump, remarkable insights emerge from the works of Dragoș Paul Aligică, a professor at George Mason University, along with voices such as Mr. Dan Dungaciu from the Romanian Academy, Traian Ungureanu, a former member of the European Parliament, or Gabriel Purcăruș, an essayist and entrepreneur affiliated with the Conservative Party of Canada, Mr. Ionuț Popescu, a former minister of finances in Romania, and Cornell Petrisor, a businessman residing in Seattle.

In this mosaic of voices, an evident bias emerges—a reluctance among countless intelligent individuals to truly listen to the voice of the American people. Instead, their preference seemed to lean towards currying favor with the saloon world of elite opinion. Enter the unpredictable D.J. Trump, who employed uncomfortable strategies to disrupt political correctness and utilized rhetorical schemes to divert attention toward his persona. Despite the discomfort caused, Trump’s words acted like a magnet, resonating with the hearts of millions of abandoned Americans who felt dismissed, disregarded, and, most significantly, let down by the assurances offered by the radical Left.

Three pivotal elements emerge, shedding light on President Trump’s unexpected success. Firstly, his strategic vision, tireless work ethic, and innate instincts as a businessman set him apart. Secondly, Trump tapped into the undercurrent of revolt among those who felt economically abandoned, spiritually betrayed, and stifled by the suffocating embrace of political correctness. Lastly, Trump’s ascent can be attributed to the moral corruption and ideological blindness of a bureaucratic and administrative system that lost touch with the American populace’s fears, needs, and dreams.

“The Trump Phenomenon” stands as a comprehensive analysis, weaving together critical elements from a relatively unknown biography, the favored themes of the Tea Party movement, the exposure of Christian values defining traditional America, the errors of the Left, and the political philosophy of conservatives aligning with the populists. In this narrative, “The Trump Phenomenon” emerges as a complex interplay of personalities, ideologies, and societal discontent that found its voice in a figure who, for all his unconventional methods, resonated with a segment of the American populace that felt overlooked and neglected.

Mihail NEAMȚU

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Cruciada bunului simț: un manifest pentru Europa

Mihail Neamtu

Prietenii mă văd ca pe un scriitor, educator și om politic. Dușmanii ar prefera să nu mă vadă deloc. În fiecare zi, merită să luptăm pentru o Românie deșteaptă, adică trează spiritual, sănătoasă trupește, prosperă economic, puternică militar și întinerită demografic. În marele concert al națiunilor europeană, vocea noastră are un timbru aparte.

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