Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

A Presidential Campaign Simile: Storm-Tossed Galleon

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Presidential campaigns are like galleons sailing into port, their metaphorical Election Day destinations. Some arrive there first, others not at all.

The news cycle is the propellant wind, their own campaigns the ship and its sails, and the candidates the captains on the bridge. Sometimes, no matter how tall the masts and huge the canvas, the wind blows against them or is all but nonexistent. Then the campaign ship stays in the doldrums or goes backward in the polls because of the headwinds — even despite brilliant rigging, clever tacking, and an adroit captain’s seamanship.

Right now, Trump’s ship has been hit in succession by sudden headwinds and violent storms of impeachment, the contagion, the lockdown, the tragic killing of George Floyd, and both the ensuring peaceful protests and violent looting, rioting, and arson. The result is that his voyage to port has nearly stopped. Even warped polls suggest that in the past few days he has caught little wind in his sails, while Joe Biden, asleep at the wheel, lets his crew ever so slowly capture a tiny breeze or two and drift ahead.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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