White House

Go Ahead, Let Trump Make Your Day

President Donald Trump greets supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, January 30, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Genteel Republicans such as Clint Eastwood should accept the tradeoff of the president’s style for his record of conservative victories.

‘The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” screen legend Clint Eastwood said February 21 in the Wall Street Journal. The actor and director’s comment raised eyebrows, especially coming from one of Hollywood’s few openly conservative luminaries. Eastwood, 89, told interviewer Tunku Varadarajan that he likes “certain things that Trump’s done” but wishes the president behaved “in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names.”

How sad that such a prominent and normally sensible figure on the Right opposes Donald Trump, not on policy differences, but because the president does not mirror Mr. Rogers.

Yes, Trump should use Twitter more selectively; he need not react to everything under the sun. And his name-calling often is counterproductive. But it is baffling for Eastwood, who backed Trump in 2016, to abandon him now over a lack of gentility. Like so many of those who oppose Trump’s style, Eastwood pines for a long-lost world.

Political gentility sounds lovely, but it should be a two-way street. Alas, Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general, perfectly captured the attitude of today’s Left: “When they go low, we kick ’em. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.”

Eastwood and others who share his concerns crave gentility, even as Democrats and their left-wing media allies call Trump a black-hating white nationalist who, as Resist Fascism’s Sunsara Taylor said on February 22, 2017, “could arguably be worse than Hitler.”

Trump’s critics insist that he’s a homophobe — never mind that he just made Richard Grenell acting national intelligence director and thus America’s first openly gay cabinet member. Through Grenell’s efforts, the supposedly gay-bashing Trump administration has worked to decriminalize homosexuality in nations where gay relationships can lead to prison time or even beheading.

Trump haters also have mocked his fast-food consumption, weight-shamed him, and even recruited psychiatrists to declare him mentally ill without even examining him or obtaining his permission. This flagrantly violates the Goldwater Rule: Section 7 of the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics.

Trump haters call him an anti-Semite, never mind his muscularly pro-Israel policies; his Orthodox Jewish daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren; and (among other exculpatory evidence) the two White House Hanukkah parties that he hosted in December.

Trump foes routinely pillory his elegant wife’s attire and Christmas decor. More revolting, the late actor Peter Fonda said via Twitter that the Trumps’ son Barron, then twelve, should have been placed “in a cage with pedophiles.”

Academy Award–winning actor Robert De Niro repeatedly has said of Trump, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.), said, “My testosterone sometimes makes me want to feel like punching him.” Former vice president Joe Biden said: “If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”

And numerous artists have depicted, by turns, Trump’s stabbing, shooting, rape, and decapitation.

How genteel!

Democrats called Trump a Russian asset before, during, and after the 22-month Robert Mueller investigation found no such thing. Since Ukraine-o-rama failed to remove Trump from office, Democrats are rerunning their Donald “KGB” Trump rubbish.

If Trump is a Russian tool, why did he invite onto the stage at his February 21 Las Vegas rally the U.S. Olympic hockey players who beat their Soviet rivals in 1980’s “Miracle on Ice?” The Russian team’s Defeat on Ice, which came soon after the USSR invaded Afghanistan, was one of the Soviets’ most humiliating moments. It hinted at the deep rot of the socialist workers’ paradise. If Trump is Putin’s stooge, why would he make Moscow relive that embarrassment?

And while we’re at it, why would Trump repeatedly slap sanctions on the Kremlin, urge Germany to purchase American — rather than Russian — natural gas, and supply Ukraine with Javelin missiles, which swiftly would turn Russian tanks into flaming ruins?

The Left slams Trump 24/7/365, no matter what. Beyond that, they invent stories, from his “expulsion” of the Martin Luther King Jr. bust from the Oval Office to his “empowerment” of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville to the “dangerously overfed” koi in a Tokyo pond to the pro-Trump “white nationalist” students from Covington Catholic High School.

Zachary Greenberg punches Hayden Williams. (Photo courtesy of Campus Reform/The Leadership Institute)

The Trump-hating Left also displays its gentility by violently attacking conservatives and Trump supporters. Leftist thug Zachary Greenberg clocked Campus Reform/Leadership Institute staffer Hayden Williams on February 19, 2019, for manning a Turning Point USA literature table at U.C. Berkeley. Williams’s black eye was conspicuous in subsequent TV appearances.

Last June, Antifa terrorists assaulted conservative Internet journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, Ore. Ngo was hospitalized overnight with a cerebral hemorrhage.

Last July, a young couple in Hobart, Ind., eyed two 14-year-olds on bikes adorned with Trump flags. They ran the twin brothers off the road with their car, yanked down one Trump flag, and drove over it.

Art dealer Jahangir Turan says 15 to 18 teenagers beat his face in last August for wearing a Make America Great Again hat on Manhattan’s Canal Street. “F–k Trump!” he recalls them yelling, as they slammed him into a scaffold and broke his cheekbone.

John Dennis, a Republican running against Nancy Pelosi, encountered an enraged leftist in San Francisco at a February 1 community clean-up event. Social worker Stefan Goldstone screamed in Dennis’s face: “I want you dead!

Jacksonville, Fla., police say that on February 8, Gregory William Loel Timm, 27, steered his van into a tent in which local Republicans registered voters. Why? “Someone had to take a stand,” he said. The police report added: “The suspect advised that he does not like President Trump.”

Retired NYPD detective Daniel Sprague’s red hat says, “Make Fifty Great Again.” Even this was too much for the woman who attacked him from behind in a Nashville bar on February 10, yelling, “How dare you?” She drew blood from his cheek. Sprague says the cut “is pretty deep, and it goes to the bone.”

Retired NYPD detective Daniel Sprague (By permission of Daniel Sprague)

How genteel!

Conservatives tried “genteel” with Bush the elder, Bush the younger, and Mitt Romney. Although sometimes grumpy, the late Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) also fit this category. These courtly Republicans either lost to tougher Democrats or knuckled under to Democrats’ demands for larger social programs, higher domestic spending, tighter regulations, and fresher entitlements. None of this should be news to a conservative like Eastwood.

In a world of inescapable tradeoffs. Americans should focus on President Trump’s public policy. If they do, they will see a tough, energetic, and focused leader who, 90 percent of the time, delivers what conservatives and free-marketeers want: tax cuts, deregulation, energy independence, 210 constitutionalist judges, dead terrorists, and more.

As for the other 10 percent, Trump raised import taxes. But now, they’re yielding to modern trade deals with China, South Korea, and Japan. Meanwhile, the U.S. works to strike commercial agreements with the U.K. and India, and recently signed an updated version of NAFTA.

Social spending is too high, but that was Democrats’ ransom for freeing vital defense outlays. Trump should have driven harder bargains here, but he chose national security over fiscal discipline.

Yes, entitlements should be on the table, but the genteel Republicans did little about this, either. Bush 43 touched Social Security, “the third rail of politics,” got the shock of his life, and never looked back. He also launched Medicare Part D, the prescription-drug plan. His father’s one term as president featured no effort at entitlement reform.

Too bad Eastwood and the Genteel Caucus miss the big picture. Having a 90-percent conservative president is worth the trade-off in occasional Twitter outbursts and grade-school name-calling. Pity: Clint Eastwood did not make my day.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

Most Popular

Year Zero

Every cultural revolution starts at year zero, whether explicitly or implicitly. The French Revolution recalibrated the calendar to begin anew, and the genocidal Pol Pot declared his own Cambodian revolutionary ascension as the beginning of time. Somewhere after May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd, while ... Read More

Year Zero

Every cultural revolution starts at year zero, whether explicitly or implicitly. The French Revolution recalibrated the calendar to begin anew, and the genocidal Pol Pot declared his own Cambodian revolutionary ascension as the beginning of time. Somewhere after May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd, while ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
U.S.

A Data Double Take: Police Shootings

In a recent article, social scientist Patrick Ball revisited his and Kristian Lum’s 2015 study, which made a compelling argument for the underreporting of lethal police shootings by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Lum and Ball’s study may be old, but it bears revisiting amid debates over the American ... Read More
U.S.

A Data Double Take: Police Shootings

In a recent article, social scientist Patrick Ball revisited his and Kristian Lum’s 2015 study, which made a compelling argument for the underreporting of lethal police shootings by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Lum and Ball’s study may be old, but it bears revisiting amid debates over the American ... Read More
Culture

How Long Will Margaret Sanger Last?

Much of the radical Left is at present consumed by a feverish desire to erase from U.S. history anyone whom they’ve deemed in some way insufficiently loyal to the progressive creed of 2020. The statue-toppling brigades have exercised little discretion in determining which of our leaders are no longer fit for ... Read More
Culture

How Long Will Margaret Sanger Last?

Much of the radical Left is at present consumed by a feverish desire to erase from U.S. history anyone whom they’ve deemed in some way insufficiently loyal to the progressive creed of 2020. The statue-toppling brigades have exercised little discretion in determining which of our leaders are no longer fit for ... Read More
Education

Meritocracy without Meeting

Harvard University announced that it was canceling in-person classes for the entire upcoming academic year because of COVID-19. Students can attend digital Harvard for the exact same price. Some of my fellow conservatives are wondering if the stresses of pandemic conditions will finally pop an over-inflated ... Read More
Education

Meritocracy without Meeting

Harvard University announced that it was canceling in-person classes for the entire upcoming academic year because of COVID-19. Students can attend digital Harvard for the exact same price. Some of my fellow conservatives are wondering if the stresses of pandemic conditions will finally pop an over-inflated ... Read More
Culture

A Triumph at Mount Rushmore

If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s July Fourth speech at Mount Rushmore clarified the battle lines of our culture war. The New York Times called the speech “dark and divisive,” while an Associated Press headline declared, “Trump pushes racial division.” A Washington Post story said the speech ... Read More
Culture

A Triumph at Mount Rushmore

If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s July Fourth speech at Mount Rushmore clarified the battle lines of our culture war. The New York Times called the speech “dark and divisive,” while an Associated Press headline declared, “Trump pushes racial division.” A Washington Post story said the speech ... Read More