Trump Stands between America and Tyranny

Monday, October 14, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Fletch Daniels
October 14, 2019

The movie Titanic had one really good scene. The ship had already swiped the iceberg. The behemoth continued sailing along and appeared to be doing just fine. But one person on the ship, Thomas Andrews, knew that it was doomed. Andrews was a naval architect who was in charge of the plans to build the ship.

After he tells the captain and some other key people on the ship that it is going to sink, they react in disbelief. One declares that the ship can’t possibly sink.

Andrews responds, “She’s made of iron, sir! I assure you she can. And she will. It is a mathematical certainty.”

It’s one of cinema’s great scenes as men wrestle with approaching doom, made all the stronger by Victor Garber’s superb performance. It’s also the perfect metaphor for our current moment in history.

People pay too little attention to math because numbers lie far less effectively than words. There comes a point when a nation has raced over the cliff, but it may take years before that reality becomes obvious to everyone.

This movie scene was on my mind heading into election night in 2016. All indications were that Hillary Clinton was going to be elected. Based upon the math, America as a nation appeared doomed. Clinton was eyeing the White House like a ravenous wolf and relishing the opportunity to cast misery across America.

But Wisconsin and then Michigan and finally Pennsylvania vomited on her pantsuit. On election night, I had no idea what we had just elected, but the fact that it wasn’t Clinton was more than enough for one night.

Three years later, President Trump has shattered conservative expectations and may go down in history as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. It brings to mind another historical surprise. Winston Churchill was elevated to leadership during England’s darkest days against all odds. He was under withering attack by both the opposing party and his own in those early months, and his survival as leader was very much in doubt.

Trump was also elevated under extraordinary circumstances that many would regard as a historical anomaly. As a New York real estate mogul and non-politician, he was declared unelectable by prominent and respected Republican pundits. The media initially pushed his candidacy with glee, assuming he would be the easiest Republican for their paramour to knock off in the general election. They were spectacularly wrong.

Both Churchill and Trump were leaders chosen, like Esther in the Bible, for “such a time as this.” Interestingly, both men were also considered beneath the dignity of the office by their manifest and often self-righteous critics. Both also survived relentless and withering political and cultural assaults while dealing with formidable foreign foes, with China supplanting the authoritarian great power threats of yesteryear.

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