To Your Right

By Alex Romano, Opinions Editor

When one searches the words “Trump Nixon” on any Internet search engine, one is bound to find oneself overwhelmed with results that consist of bulleted lists and op-eds comparing the incumbent president to his disgraced predecessor. Many are finding the current leader of the free world’s hypersensitivity, paranoia, and shrewdness akin to the thirty-seventh’s own personal flaws. Hawkish Democrats are barking for President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment not even a year into his first term, just as countless vindictive hippies, fed-up liberals, and alarmed Republicans were demanding of President Richard Nixon in the summer of 1974. The scandals, the timing, the campaign rhetoric, the men’s physical appearance, and every other superficial quality are all being used without relent to label Trump as this generation’s Nixon. But the comparison is mostly inaccurate. For the two men’s motivation, political experience, vision, and actual public policy are all carelessly ignored in drawing this presidential Venn diagram. For, in such matters, Trump and Nixon differ vastly, and those who wish to make a comparison to Trump will have to do so with someone else.

But to whom would one compare Trump? In order to go about that task, it first has to be decided how Trump should be characterized, for it would be impossible to make a comparison without understanding each of the figures who are being compared. And how to best characterize Trump depends on who one asks.

If one was to ask a Fox News commentator, one would hear the reply that Donald Trump is a true red-to-the-bone conservative, principled and conscientious, and loyal and uncompromising in his adherence to the Republican platform. He is putting the United States first in every respect: the richest economy to have a stake in the global market, the most independent fuel producer outside of the Middle East, the strongest military on earth, the most competent and dynamic government since the founding of democracy. Anybody who says or believes otherwise is known as a “cuckservative.” Trump is ending a seemingly boundless tide of gross liberalism that has been engulfing the country since January 20, 2009, finally silencing all of those sententious leftists who seek to weaken America’s standing in the world by means of their crafty, cowardly, and outright immoral agenda.

Trump has filled his Cabinet with hard men like Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, and James Mattis. He will staunch the flood of illegal immigrants, show North Korea who is boss, and make America so great that no other country could have a chance at competing… and then maybe lend a hand to other parts of the world if they need it and promise to give something in return. To the victors go the spoils, and Donald Trump wants to make America the ultimate everlasting victor.

Since the Clinton Upset of the early nineties, Congress has been flooded with weaselly deal-making RINO (Republican-In-Name-Only) hacks, who unashamedly sell out their party’s ideals for political gain and flip-flop depending on the way that the wind blows, overwhelming in number the true-blue Republican loyalists who actually seek to help the party reach its goals and triumph every election. No more Bushes, Cruzes, Bachmans, Huntsmans, Romneys, Pauls, Cains, Fiorinas, Santorums, and- God forbid- Kasichs, but make way for Donald Trump, the savior of the Republican Party.

Now let us ask the neoconservatives, the self-proclaimed “traditional Republicans”, the folks who hate hippies and love Ronald Reagan, who know better than to buy the ludicrousness that the Constitution is a living, breathing document and instead rejoice the uniquely American characteristic of states’ rights. To these people, Trump is a mutation. Trump is neither a flaming liberal nor a screaming right-winger, but a radical in his own right.

The neoconservative ideology allows for a dichotomous set of beliefs that would seemingly contradict itself. In order to ensure that no confusion arises from the beliefs’ coexistence in the same platform, the neocons have developed a series of checks to place on their individual ideas to balance them out so that no more weight is placed on one idea over the other.

It is a complex though straightforward ideology: Americans should put America first, but not in a way that isolates the country from the rest of the world. Measures such as tariffs and import surcharges are no-nos that would impair the capitalist system. Go about repairing the economy some other way so that free trade is not obstructed, like maybe cutting funding for wasteful social programs or lowering taxes on businesses to encourage employers to expand and thus create more jobs for potential employees. Refrain from interdiction in the affairs of other nations, unless there is something for America to gain from its involvement in the affair. Support traditional marriage, capital punishment, and strict constructionism; protest abortion, crime, and the welfare state. But protest without harming gays and women and squashing the civil liberties of legal defendants and minorities. Taking away or withholding someone’s rights is not something that should be done just ‘cuz; at least use the country’s founding documents as a basis. These ideas have been the components of traditional Republicanism since the party’s founding, and were best embodied by President Reagan.

Well, then, to whom should we listen? Who came first, the Reaganites or the Trumpers? Is it the alt-right or the neoconservatives who truly represent “traditional Republicanism”, and are the obnoxious, ego-stroking Fox News panelists and Breitbart staffers right when they ridicule the Jeb Bushes and John Kasichs of the country for being RINOs? In order to determine which faction of the Republican party is truly traditional, it is necessary to search into the annals of American political history. It will be a point for this writer to do just that, and finally settle this debate in a future article.

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Author: Alex Romano

Alex Romano '20 is currently editor of the Opinions Section for The Gettysburgian, and is studying to earn a double major in English with a Concentration in Writing and History, and a minor in Theatre Arts. He is also a member of the Film Society and has interest in the school radio program, the literary magazine, and awards offered through the school’s English Department.

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