Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
Today, Jim Geraghty writes snidely:
VDH writes, “The hostile reaction to Trump is a sort of proof of his success.” Does it follow, then, that if Trump was widely loved, it would be proof of his failure?”
Geraghty creates a false either/or binary. The hostile reaction against Trump does largely arise from his controversial agendas that are proving for the most part on the economy and foreign policy to be successful. And yet it is simultaneously true that if he were to moderate his positions and stick with the status quo, he might be more popular — and yet I think less effective.
Geraghty also did not read carefully what I wrote. The opposite of “the hostile reaction” as “sort of proof of his success” is not “widely loved” and “proof” (absolute as opposed to sort of proof) of his failure.”
But aside from either Trump’s diehard supporters or critics, the larger point of the column was a disconnect — that the upswing in the economy and restoring deterrence abroad, counterintuitively, seem to free voters to focus on a variety of issues less resonant in recessionary or wartime conditions. And that paradox does not necessarily benefit Trump.