Watching as President Trump rallies his forces to fight the legal battle that the Democrats have forced on him reminded me just how different he is from the losers in the Republican party that preceded him. And one of his pithy designations stands out as a marker. He called Jeb Bush “low energy.” And that is how I can segregate Donald Trump from the rest of the “conservatives.” He is anything but low energy. It is his dynamism that allows him to defy gravity. When the other conservatives allow themselves to sink down in the quick sand Donald Trump powers up and out. Basically, he is not afraid of tackling a challenge. He is undaunted by hard work and not afraid metaphorically to get his hands dirty.
Another thing about him is he looks for ways to take advantage of structural weaknesses that his enemies try to hide beneath a façade of strength. This speaks to the experience of a lifetime dealing with crooked politicians and their business associates. He knows a stacked deck when he sees one and he knows how to use the rules of the game to his own advantage. These things speak to intelligence and experience.
Another characteristic is that he is not an idealist. He decisions are based on observable fact not theory. If something has been tried and failed, he learns from that. He’s adaptable and can roll with the punches. This speaks to a flexibility that allows less important factors to be subordinated to higher order imperatives.
And finally, he is driven by his desire to win. His egoism drives him to conquer obstacles of every kind, whether they’re individuals, organizations or collective barriers that stand in the way of his goals. To this end he has assembled a team of people who work to achieve the objectives he has identified.
When I look at this list of traits what I see are the traits that I would characterize as the qualifications of a survivor. Individuals that have these traits will survive in good times and bad. They will thrive and rise to the top in good times and they will survive and hold their own during adversity.
This is what we need to emulate if we want to preserve ourselves, our family, our friends and the things we believe in. We need to be energetic and adaptable in the face of adversity and hostility from the society that is endeavoring to stamp us out. We will need to learn the rules of the game and use them to our advantage in advancing our agenda and hindering our enemies.
And finally, we need to have the pure willpower to endure the hard work and endless disappointments that await us in a struggle that basically has no end. My generation will not see the end of this struggle. I doubt my children will see it won. But I have grandchildren and they are worth fighting for. I want them to know what freedom is. And I can settle for seeing incremental progress. We can start by beginning the hard work of building institutions and organizations that are entirely on our side. No more Fox News, no more Boy Scouts, no more Weekly Standards.
So, here’s to President Donald J. Trump. Here’s to the first President of the new America. It’s being created inside the old and it will be born in hard work and pain. But it needs to be done and it will allow us to once again be free. So, think about the traits you’ll need to go forward. Decide if you have the right stuff. Because otherwise you might as well join the hive and be comfortably absorbed into the collective and eventually painlessly euthanized. That’s the choice.