Love him or hate him, during Trump’s presidency, the economy was strong, markets were up, inflation was under control, gas prices were low, illegal border crossings were down, crime was lower, trade deals were renegotiated, ISIS was defeated, NATO allies were stepping up, and China was stepping back (a little). Deny all that if you want to. The point here is that something like 100 million Americans believe it, strongly, and are bewildered and angered by elite hatred for the man they think delivered it.
Nor was Trump’s record all that radical—much less so than that of Joe Biden, who is using school-lunch funding to push gender ideology on poor kids, to cite but one example. Trump’s core agenda—border protection, trade balance, foreign restraint—was quite moderate, both intrinsically and in comparison to past Republican and Democratic precedent. And that’s before we even get to the fact that Trump neglected much of his own agenda in favor of the old Chamber of Commerce, fusionist, Reaganite, Conservatism, Inc., agenda. Corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and bombing Syria: These are all things Trump’s base doesn’t want, but the oligarchs desperately do, which Trump gave them. And still they try to destroy him.
Think about that. Trump was obviously a man who asked what are the best interests of the nation and its people. ALL its people. The nation was demonstrably better off under his leadership and the MAGA faction damn well knew that and knew why. At last the country was being led by someone who wasn’t a crackhead ideologue who hated the people and everything about their history, culture, and laws. Yet, the vast political class that had been so inconvenienced by the operation of the American electoral system in 2016 went ballistic over the fact that their lunatic, malicious agenda of mass transformation had been rejected.
As someone who writes Contemplations on the Tree of Woe observes:
. . . Our contemporary consensus is not just wrong here and there, not just mildly out of step on reality. It is wrong on the fundamentals. The very building blocks of our entire society are misshapen and fractured, and they do not fit together. They are, in fact, so broken that they are leading us to ruin.
Trump’s action were so wildly out of kilter with the wishes of the political class — the holders of those misshapen and fractured opinions — that the very highest officials engaged in open sedition with their concocted cries of Russian influence with Trump or/and interference in U.S. elections (Washington Post, New Yorker/James Clapper, Foreign Affairs, BBC/James Comey, Brookings Institute, and Daily Beast). With impunity, let it be said. A massive where-there’s-smoke exercise in distortion ensued.
Trump’s ballpark normalcy was a threat to the proponents of the abnormal. Think about the implications of that. The celebration of that abnormality today is the summum bonum of the political class with their zealous embrace of what is perverted and stupid.
 “They Can’t Let Him Back In.” By Michael Anton, Compact, 7/28/22.
 “Why Has Our World Gone so Crazy?” By Contemplations on the Tree of Woe, 7/29/22.