Trump and Roosevelt


No, not that Roosevelt. The first one, Teddy. Stephen Beale has an essay over at The American Conservative that asks Is Trump the New Teddy Roosevelt?

Roosevelt—a career politician who sought military service, an avid outdoorsman who hunted elephants and explored the Amazon, and an intellectually curious historian who dabbled in anthropology and zoology—might seem an unlikely model for Trump.

But in terms of policy, the parallels are legion.

Both TR and Trump can be categorized as unabashed nationalists willing to wield executive power in pursuit of their vision as the common good. Read the whole thing.

Don’t Know Much About History


If you don’t know where you came from and whether it was a good place to be, you could wind up choosing to go back there—whether it’s in your best interest or not. There’s a post up over at Acculturated that deals with the problem of historical illiteracy among college graduates and the effect that could have on civic discourse.

To make sense of contemporary policy debates, you need a certain amount of perspective. If you lack that perspective, you can be more susceptible to overreaction and partisan hysteria.

Take the issue of executive power and national security. If you don’t know what Lincoln did during the Civil War (suspend habeas corpus), what Woodrow Wilson did during World War I (severely restrict civil liberties), or what Franklin Roosevelt did during World War II (put Japanese Americans in internment camps), it’s hard to have any real perspective on the actions that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump have taken in the war against Islamic terrorism.

Read the whole thing.

Trump’s Speech


The President spoke to Congress last night. I’m not going to do a review of his speech. You can find more of those than you want on the Interwebz already. This is about the Left’s reactions to the speech.

They didn’t like it.

That’s not surprising. They don’t like Trump, and they don’t like his expressed intention to rein in the size of government. But what they really seem to be upset about is almost-but-not-quite-completely-levelheaded demeanor of the speech. It was almost … well … presidential.

There are parallels being drawn between Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump. Jackson is generally graded poorly for his methods and well for his results. Jackson is credited with advancing the interests of the folks on the frontier (flyover country) over those of the coastal elites. Jackson permanently changed the way American politics were done for a century. If Trump has a similar impact on the county and politics, he will truly be the Left’s worst nightmare, and last night’s speech will have been akin to a visit to Room 101 for them.