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Exclusive with Victor Davis Hanson on his new Book “The Case for Trump”

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Today’s Top Story | Exclusive with Victor Davis Hanson on his new Book “The Case for Trump”

 

“In The Case for Trump, award-winning historian and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson explains how a celebrity businessman with no political or military experience triumphed over sixteen well-qualified Republican rivals, a Democrat with a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, and a hostile media and Washington establishment to become president of the United States — and an extremely successful president.”

 

Show Transcript:

 [00:18]   “This is where we stood coming into the night 268 to 204 so clearly an advantage for Secretary Clinton. Take a look here. If Donald Trump wins tonight, no matter who they voted for, take a look at these numbers here. 21% say they’ll be concerned, 37% say they’ll be scared. This night is turning out to be our real nail biter. I wouldn’t call anything encouraging for Hillary Clinton at the moment to be honest with you, my friend. This is the people rising up saying, it’s time to listen to us. It’s time to listen to us. To us in Michigan and Wisconsin and work for the people.”

 [00:50] “Donald Trump shocked the world when he won the presidency. Many on the left, still wonder how anyone could support president Trump and his policies. Today we tried to answer that question. We spoke to Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University. His book. The case for Trump was just released on March 5th. He explains how Trump got elected, why people support his policies and what his chances are for reelection in 2020.”

 [01:18]  Q: Without any political or military experience. Donald Trump beat over 16 well qualified candidates, Hanson argued that his unconventional background is what helped him win.

[01:31] Trump has certain skill sets about negotiating, uh, talking to people, dealing with people that don’t fit the standard hierarchy as we talked about of a politician. But he picked those up from his father, from reality television, from the things that he did. And he had an empathy. This is very radical to say, but he had an empathy with the lower middle classes when he, you talked to people in New York, when he would walk down the street and see a construction project, he would go talk to the cement workers when he went out and campaign, no Republican has ever done this, but he went to Ohio, Pennsylvania and he said things like the word he didn’t say the workers. He didn’t say you veterans. He said “Our”, you said our farm. I’m worried about our farmers. I’m worried about our vets. I’m worried about our manufacturing workers.

[02:27] And that showed an empathy as per Republican. And if you contrast Mitt Romney, he said off the record, but at least I’ll never get the vote of 47% of the country. They’re all on the Dole. They’ll never vote for me. Uh, I just have to write them off. Or Trump came back and say, well, they’re on the Dole because the government sold them out. They didn’t negotiate fair trade deals. And we can put all these people back to work with good paying job that showed an empathy and a practicality that most politicians didn’t have. And it’s quite stunning given his personal checkered history as well, uh, that he would have that empathy. But I think also to finish, he was a social outcast in Manhattan. So if you were a wealthy Manhattan socialites or another billionaire, and you looked at Trump with loud ties and the yellow hair combed over, the Orange Tan you just said, and his girlfriend, the model and then his wife, third marriage.

[03:25]  I don’t want him at my party. I don’t want him, uh, that Mar-a-Largo is garish, I just don’t like Trump Tower. It’s not refined. It’s not subtle. And so there was a class hatred of him, but they, the elite didn’t understand that a billionaire could have more empathy with a working class than a working class person. So there were working class politicians like John Kasich, but he did not resonate with his own class in a way that Trump on the campaign trail eating a Big Mac or the other day he bought athletes in from Clemson and gave them big macs and fries. And it wasn’t phony when John Kerry or Bill Clinton, they had to work at it. He, in his own life, had been a risk taker, a gambler, he failed a lot. We covered, but he never gave up. So his attitude was always, no matter how bad it is, I’m not going to get, he never gets depressed, at least publicly

“So his attitude was tomorrow’s always another day. So he had an enormous energy. The guy only slept four hours, five hours a night. He’s overweight, he’s not in good shape. He’s 72 years. But it doesn’t matter. He’s a force of nature. So he had confidence in his physical and spiritual abilities.

And then he had a great confidence in the United States. He was very pro American, and he was not unabashed to say that. And he didn’t trust other systems. He was not an internationalist and globalist. He didn’t like globalization. He understood that it helped people, but it came always at the expensive of the United States.

So every country said, you won World War II, you’re very wealthy, you can afford to have a big trade deficit with us in China. We can violate all these agreements because you’re so wealthy, and you’re the protector.”

[04:23]  So his attitude was tomorrow’s always another day. So he had an enormous energy. The guy only slept four hours, five hours a night. He’s overweight, he’s not in good shape. He’s 72 years. But it doesn’t matter. He’s a force of nature. So he had confidence in his physical and spiritual abilities. And then he had a great confidence in the United States. He was very pro American, and he was not unabashed to say that. And he didn’t trust other systems. He was not an internationalist and globalist. He didn’t like globalization. He understood that it helped people, but it came always at the expensive of the United States. So every country said, you won World War II, you’re very wealthy, you can afford to have a big trade deficit with us in China. We can violate all these agreements because you’re so wealthy, and you’re the protector.

[05:16]  And this guy came along and said, that was okay in the fifties and sixties and seventies but we’ve done it so long that people now in a large part of the country are not as well off as they should be because of you. And an American protocol, you never blame other countries. You always blame us. They’re on opioids, They’re lazy. Obama, I’m quoting him, we’re lazy sometimes we’re…., and Trump said, no, we’re not lazy. We just got taken, we’re being cheated. That’s a radical thing to say. And it appealed at least so far, It’s appealed to enough people.

[05:54] Q: How did he pick up on issues that aren’t popular in the polls but are popular with Middle Americans?

[06:00] I go through all the things he’s said, all the tweets, he’s done, all the controversies he’s been engaged in and tried to ask the question, why didn’t that destroy him? When the media hated him, the university’s hate him. These books came out and the answer was he was appealing to constituencies on issues, whether it was 51% support that people hadn’t realized. The NFL take a knee and not support. He jumped into that issue. But people criticize him for that. But they didn’t realize that there was American support for athletes who are multi-millionaires at least standing for the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem. So, and the same thing about border security. The same thing about getting out of the climate accord, the same suspicion of the Iran deal. So he looked at all of these issues and he said, which ones have positive American support?

[06:59] 51% and the ones that do and that are conservative, I’m going to jump in on and I’m going to cause a big Ruckus and then they’re going to attack me, but they’re going to be on the wrong side of the polls.

 [07:14] Q: Most Americans can agree the economy is doing well under president Trump, but voters are still divided on many of his other policies like border security. Listen Up to find out why his policies appeal to people in the middle.

[07:28]  People in the Midwest do not want people coming in from Central America to take an example and working at a plant for $10 an hour when they’re trying to get a job for $ 15. Mainstream Republicans as we saw in the 2016 election. They don’t want people coming in from a different country and maybe maybe not voting in the election or at least organizing themselves politically as happened in California. There were people who were undocumented that were, if they didn’t vote, they were in Orange County harvesting votes helping that and people don’t like that. But for a lot of other people who want the border closed is there, um, they don’t want, when they go in to a doctor, they want to make sure that they get speedy service that is not burdened with people who don’t speak English and have not paid taxes and just arrived here illegally or when their kids are in public schools, they want to have advanced placement classes.

 [08:25]  They don’t want to have bilingual classes or when they go to a park or the beach, they want to know that everybody’s on the same page as far as following the rules. And there’s some, and they don’t believe that with a million people here illegally or wherever you are, that in California especially that, that that’s possible when you’re letting them, people you don’t know their, their medical background, you don’t know their legal background and they come, um, without English, without a high school diploma, without means of support and without legality. So they don’t want to wake up one morning and see somebody has identity theft, use their social security number, which the IRS had 1 million identities were stolen in the last four years. So all of those social issues appeal to suburban voters at least enough to get Trump, uh, 50% approval rating on this particular issue.

 [09:21] He promised his base that he would stop illegal immigration and he said that illegal immigration was dangerous and that other methods, whether it was electronic surveillance or drones are employers had not worked. And the only thing that would free up border patrol people to go out and look for illegal aliens and get them off the border was how a wall it would be economical. That was the argument whether you agree with it or not, that was the argument. If he doesn’t do that, that base that we talked about, 38% to 41% will not vote for him. So he has to, the argument that the Democrats are, are using is even though they supported offense in 2006, that if they were to cave, that would give Trump impetus, um, fuel. So they don’t want to give him any credit for anything. But by shutting down the government, what happens is in American politics, the person or entities that do so are blamed initially, but then it’s a question of who gives the better messaging as it is, it continues.

[10:31] So Trump’s message in the long one is superior. He can say, look at all these people who were killed by undocumented aliens. Look at the caravans and keep coming and look at the fact it’s only 5 billion. It’s less than 1% of the annual budget and they’re willing to keep the border open just to make a point. Whereas their point is he put all these federal workers out at some point. If he can persist, I think public opinion, which is running against him now will be 50/50 and people will say for only 5 billion when I can get my job back, what’s the problem? And I kind of want to, the idea of shutting the border down is 50/50 in the polls.

 [11:16] Q: Will Trump’s trade requests with China bring about a structural change?

 [11:21]   Well, Trump is trying to tell China, okay, you’ve had a 30 or 40-year free hand.

 [11:30]  And the argument was if you just give China more latitude, it can violate the World Trade Organization agreements. It can violate certain UN protocols, it can violate environmental, international environmental standards. It can violate a military and political accords because we want to bring a billion people into the world order. And once we bring them in, they will be so affluent and interconnected internet, email videos, etc, that they will become liberal like us. It’s a very arrogant attitude. And after 40 years, I think the attitude is no, what you did was you didn’t, after Tiananmen Square, you didn’t moderate or you didn’t do what happened to Japan or Germany, but you created a monster.

[12:21]  They took all of that advantages and said, rather than seeing it as magnanimity to be appreciated, they saw it as a weakness to be taken advantage of. So the Chinese attitude was, okay, and I’ve had people from China tell me this off the record, if you’re so stupid to allow such imbalances and asymmetries with us, then you’re weak. Psychologically and materially. And if you’re weak, you don’t deserve to be number one. So you’re, we’re going to keep doing it. The problem I think is China overreached and they’re not at a point yet where they have economic and military dominance. So they were very worried right now because now I think the attitude in China is,

 [13:05] I think they’re on to us. I think they know that we cheat. They know that we’re not going to liberalize what they know, that we want military superiority. They know that we’re a colonial mercantile power. They know we’re exploiting countries in Africa and Asia and the Middle East, and we don’t have enough power yet to get away with it. So we’ve got to stop this monster Trump because he’s onto us. And that’s where we are today.

“So the Chinese attitude was, okay, and I’ve had people from China tell me this off the record, if you’re so stupid to allow such imbalances and asymmetries with us, then you’re weak. Psychologically and materially. And if you’re weak, you don’t deserve to be number one. So we’re going to keep doing it.

The problem I think is China overreached and they’re not at a point yet where they have economic and military dominance. So they were very worried right now because now I think the attitude in China is,

“I think they’re on to us. I think they know that we cheat. They know that we’re not going to liberalize what they know, that we want military superiority.

They know that we’re a colonial mercantile power.

They know we’re exploiting countries in Africa and Asia and the Middle East, and we don’t have enough power yet to get away with it.

So we’ve got to stop this monster Trump because he’s onto us.”

And that’s where we are today.”

[13:30] Had Trump not intervened or had Hillary been elected. I think the Chinese would be correct. Then in 15 years from now, we couldn’t stop them. They would control most of the world organizations. They would have the largest economy, they would have the largest military, and we’d be based on exploitation of other countries. The consensus and the, uh, of the elite in the United States was taught. China was on a predetermined trajectory.

 [13:56] It had a billion people in 10 years, it’s GDP would be bigger. It had built the Silk Road Organization, uh, countries were beholden to it, everywhere from Southeast Asia to Korea. People were afraid of it. It’s, the military was being very sophisticated. It was just assumed that would be preeminent. Trump comes along and says, no, that was a new idea that it’s not fore-ordained , that China is going to rule the world. It’s foreordained, that they’re not going to rule the world and they’re going to have an internal crisis of inequality, wealth inequality, uh, environmental damage and human rights, uh, protest and China, not the United States is the one that should be worried about the next 30 years. That was a radical thing to say. Nobody had had said it. They didn’t. They should dare say that.

[14:57] Q: Democrats are lining up to run against president Trump in 2020 although most of them reject the Socialists label. They do support socialist agenda is like Medicare for all. And the green new deal. Well, voters choose increasingly extreme agendas or will they reelect Trump? Here’s what Hansen had to say.

[15:21] Some people say, well, he’s so offensive that I can’t any, uh, ethical manner support his personality or his background. And then the other argument is you need that toughness or toxicity to, to cut through all of this bureaucracy. I have a daughter to take an example and she’s 36. She went to college. She has three children. One is disabled, so she’s a suburban mom. And for her issues such as is there going to be good health care, uh, is the President going to be nice to people? Is he going to be fair? Is he going to conduct himself as a gentleman? Those are bigger issues then for her than it is for an out of work tire worker in a plant in Wisconsin. He’s worried, but so he can’t win without my daughter’s vote. If he doesn’t get her, people like her to vote, he’s not going to win.

 [16:19] So, and he either has to get the economy at a 3% GDP growth steady, and the economy has to keep going as it is on an upward trajectory. He’s doing pretty well abroad, but culturally, uh, he’s under 90% negative media culture. Hollywood hates him. The university’s hate him. The network news hates him. The Democratic Party has gone hard left and trying to impeach him. The emoluments clause, they sued for the voting machines. They sued under the 25th amendment. They tried the Logan Act. Now they’re going to try to impeach him. So for him to survive all of that negativity and anger and opposition, he’s got to thread the needle and get that, uh, constituency that we’ll move him from 42% to 43% and the approval up to 46% or 47%, which is what he had on election eve of 201

[17:18] Q: What are the chances that president Trump will win again in 2020?

 [17:22] I think he has a 50% and better chance of being reelected. And I’ll just finish on that point. With 1992 Bill Clinton got elected with a minority of the vote like Trump did. He was wiped out in the 94 midterms. He lost not a 40 seats or 30 seats, 53 seats. Trump picked up 2 Senate, Clinton lost eight. Trump was polling 44% Clinton at the same time, 40%. Republican’s said that he’s done. They nominated Bob Dole, “96 Clinton crushed him, we go fast forward to 2010 Obama had the largest since the great depression loss in the house, 63 seats, he lost, he lost the house. He lost six Senate seats and he would go on to lose his Senate. He was pulling where Trump is now, the Republicans said, oh, we’re going to cream him. And he’s never been such a bad, uh, midterms for. And so they nominated Mitt Romney who had already lost once and the primaries in 2008 he did not appeal to the base.

 [18:38] He was a gentleman’s silk stocking. Republican Obama crushed him. So what I’m saying is that past presidents given past presidents Trump is polling where Clinton and Obama did and he did better in the midterms and neither one of them and so it’s very likely that he, if they nominate an honest firing candidate, he will do to that candidate what Clinton did to Dole and what Obama did to Romney and so the, the vote in 2020 is going to be for about 10% of the electorate that will make, it won’t be a landslide either way and those it’ll boil down to will the voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, as I said, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana. It will, they come out and in numbers again and vote for him as they did in 2016 and we don’t know yet.

[19:28] Q: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

 [19:30]  What I would like to tell the audience is that they, they should not believe the crude stereotypes of Donald Trump.

[19:38] They need to look at it empirically. It being the Trump phenomenon. If you look how he got elected, why he got elected and what he’s trying to do historically, and just tune out all over the pizzazz and all of this sensationalism. You can see that he has an effective agenda and judge him by the results. Look at the GDP growth. Look at the unemployment growth, look at the foreign policy, but do not listen to the popular press. There’s one final thing about Trump that just what I’m saying to you, I have, we’ll people, and I’ve said this to others, people will say to me, how could you vote for that uncouth, crude monster? If you have a PHD, you’re an academic, you should know better, and what I’m getting at is that 4% to 5% or 6% of the electorate do not voice their support for Trump because socially and culturally, they know that Hollywood doesn’t like it.

 [20:36] The universities don’t like it, the progressive’s don’t like it. Young people don’t like it, and so if he’s not on the ballot, he might not do well in the midterms as he lost the house all the way picked up two seats in the Senate. But when it’s 2020 it’s once again, Trump versus the alternative. The alternative could be pretty crazy given the Democratic candidates and they’re moved to the Left, but we really don’t know to what extent people are still being candid when they say they don’t like Trump or there they do like Trump because we know that they under report what they’re going to vote for because they pay a price. If their friends know they’re going to vote for Trump. But a lot of them feel like, I’m so mad at the NFL, I’m so mad at what China’s done done. I’m so mad at open borders.

 [21:27] I just don’t know what to say. Oh, I don’t like Trump. I, and they’ll tell everybody, but they’ll go into the ballot and vote for him. And that’s about 3% to 5% it was in the past. So we don’t know what his support is. It’s bigger. I have a feeling when he’s on the ballot because of these these considerations. And then second, it’s never Trump by himself. It’s Trump versus an alternative. And the alternative can be Kamala Harris. It can be Beto. It can be the socialist Bernie Sanders can be the American native American Elizabeth Warren, they all bring a lot of baggage. With Bill de Blasio he was going to run. He just said that the money’s in the wrong hands in New York. Uh, Gavin Newsome just announced he wants to have universal health care for even for undocumented, it’s $400 billion. So compared Trump compared to what? Compared to somebody and that somebody could be as unpopular as Hillary Clinton.

News Headlines:

 [22:27]  This is bringing you the best and truthful news updates and in-depth reports.

 [22:44]  President Trump on March 21st signed an executive order that will protect free speech on college campuses across the nation. The president said he would give his support to all college students who have had their first amendment rights taken away. The order directs 12 federal agencies that issue grants that they must ensure that their school’s abide by the first amendment. The President, while speaking from the East Room said before signing the order, quote “Universities that one taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not to silence free speech.
 [23:15] “It is a question playing out on college campuses across the country when it comes to free speech are conservative students. How old are, would different standard than their liberal counterparts? Um, Nevas begins our coverage with a stroke of the pen. President Trump issued an ultimatum to US colleges, Universities that one taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech and the executive order signed today requires colleges to certify that their policy support free speech as a condition to receiving federal research grants. It does not affect schools access to federal financial aid for student tuition.
[23:54]  President Trump first proposed the idea to a gathering of conservatives in Washington earlier this month.
[24:01]  “We believe in free speech, including online and including on campus. “
[24:09] He brought on stage conservative activists, Hayden Williams.
[24:12] “They want our dollars and we give it to them by the billions. They’ve got to allow people like Kayden and many other great young people and old people ” just speak.
[24:30] In the three months since December 21st, 2018 our immigration and customs enforcement or ICE as released 107,000 illegal alien family members into the Interior United States. This is from a statement made by Natalie Asher was the assistant director of the agency’s enforcement and removal operations unit. The releases are due to the catch and release program, which has often been criticized by President Trump. Adding to this mountain crisis, there has been a surge of families crossing the southwest border. I’ll be speaking with reporters. Asher said, quote, “I don’t have a comparison to what it was last year, but I think we can all agree that it was nowhere near this number.”
 [25:10] According to recent data from the agency, I see he arrested 34,546 illegal aliens between October and December in 2018 which was down from the 39,328 arrests last fiscal year. According to ICE more than 64% of those arrested were convicted criminals. Asher said that the drop is due to ice having to shift resources to the quote, absolutely unprecedented crisis on the southwest border. She also said, quote, “I have had to redirect resources in response to the southwest border influx of this growing number of particularly family numbers that are coming into the United States. “
[25:52]  On March 21st the United States imposed new sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies who say they have been involved with helping North Korea evade sanctions. The US Treasury Department also issued an advisory that listed 67 vessels that had said had been engaged in illicit transfers of refined petroleum with North Korean tankers. Other claims were made that it is believed that these vessels also exported North Korean coal. The two firms identified are the Dolly in Hypo International Freight Company Ltd and Downing Dancing International Forwarding Company Ltd, which the advisory said that had helped North Korea evade us and international sanctions. The move prohibits our dealings with the companies and freezes any assets they have in the United States. The measures were announced three weeks after a second meeting between president Trump and Kim Jong Unbroke down over conflicting by North Korea for relief from US sanctions.

                 Today’s quote is from Frank Herbert.

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

 

2 Comments
  1. Frank says

    👍

  2. Frank says

    Nice report

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