Moving into the third full workday of the Trump Administration, finally the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has weighted in. Excerpt:
One reason that a personally popular, landmark Barack Obama failed as president — aside from doubling the debt, institutionalizing zero interest rates, leaving a mess in the Middle East, and using his un-Midas touch to undermine nearly everything he tapped, from health care to immigration law to race relations — was that he was the first modern president under whose tenure the economy never reached a modest 3 percent economic-growth rate. Had Obama just achieved 4 percent economic growth, Hillary Clinton would be president. In other words, economic growth and perceived prosperity cut a lot of political ties.
In other words, economic growth and perceived prosperity cut a lot of political ties.
The election of Donald Trump has turned everything in the political world, from the trivial to the existential, upside down. He is the first non-politician without military experience to become president. The polls and press caricatured him for nearly two years as a classic loser. He won despite being outspent and out-organized, and without real support from his own party or the mainstream conservative press. The Left is rightly convinced that he is a danger to the postmodern redistributive state. The Never Trump Right is still invested in his eventual implosion, issuing “I warned you about him” messages in a nonstop effort of self-justification.
Interestingly, Rasmussen’s Presidential Tracking poll as of yesterday has President Trump’s approval rating moving sharply up; his disapprovals are heading down. If you listen to Rasmussen, President Trump is making friends and influencing people.
And it’s important to note that most of the actions he has taken in this flurry of activity have been aimed at the economy. If he can deliver… As Dr. Hanson concludes: Economic growth cuts through political orthodoxy; economic stagnation intensifies it. Regrettably or not, prosperity, not character per se, determines a president’s political fate.
Here’s where I find myself in the odd condition of disagreeing with Dr. Hanson, a man whose intellectual acumen I have admired for decades. Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I lost this election in part because of the lackluster Obama economy; but mostly she lost the election because she was a lackluster, unenthusiastic candidate; because she was the most deeply and fundamentally corrupt political figure since Huey Long, maybe since Nero; and because she ran a perfectly lousy campaign.
But on the main point he’s right. Economics can make or break a President. This one will be no different.