Political Editors / August 4, 2021

In Brief: Peggy Noonan’s Trump Derangement

Author and publisher Conrad Black takes the longtime Wall Street Journal columnist to task.

Peggy Noonan is a bestselling author and Wall Street Journal columnist, and a former special assistant and speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. She’s also a Trump-hater, though, and Conrad Black calls her out for her failure to understand and appreciate the nation’s 45th president — especially in light of his disastrous successor. As Black writes:

Peggy Noonan’s column in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday is a very clear exposé of the profound political division in America today. Her position is that Donald Trump is a deadly combination of crazy, dishonest, and incompetent, that there can be no possible question that he was and is unsuited to be president, and that he was unquestionably honestly defeated in the presidential election. More, he deliberately incited a violent assault upon the U.S. Capitol on January 6, his party is afraid of him even though his support is thin and diminishing, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s investigation into the events of January 6 must be pursued with energy and thoroughness, for the chief purpose of ensuring that Trump never returns to public office.

This is the epiphany of the comparatively civilized Trump-hater and it is almost entirely false.

At no point does Noonan dispute the accomplishments of the Trump Administration, and I do not recall that she has ever disputed them. The near elimination of illegal immigration and of unemployment and the sharply rising incomes in low-income ethnic minority areas, reduced taxes, the identification in sober terms of the Chinese challenge, the elimination of oil imports, the extermination of ISIS, shaping up of NATO, the Abraham Accords in the Middle East, and the pressure on Iran and de-escalation of the confrontation with North Korea; to the best of my recollection as a regular reader of hers, Noonan never disputed any of this.

Donald Trump is the only U.S. president in modern history to have received more votes during his reelection campaign than in his original campaign and yet fail to win reelection. Barack Obama, for example, received four million fewer votes his second time around, while Trump gained nearly 11 million. Noonan simply doesn’t understand Trump’s appeal, nor does she appreciate his great successes from a policy perspective. As Black observes:

The real problem for Noonan is that she begins to realize Trump’s support is not fading; the Republican Party is his party now, and she and the other NeverTrumpers have lost everything: they were useful idiots for the Democrats and must now wear their responsibility for the probably dishonest election of the most incompetent administration in American history.

Black concludes: “Trump’s policies were right in almost every area. He or a candidate approved by him will pick up the pieces when this nightmare in the White House ends. Trying (hopelessly) to bury Trump isn’t the answer; restoring integrity to the electoral process is. The last election was the closest the United States has come to tanks on the White House lawn. Any such recurrence could produce the real thing — if the generals aren’t too busy teaching ‘antiracism’ to the ranks.”

Read the whole thing here.

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