Jonah Goldberg was not entirely pleased with my depiction of him as the antithesis of Donald Trump.
On Twitter, he called my column on “Trump, Emerson and Questions of Character” at Real Clear Politics “profoundly dumb” and wasn’t sure if he would deign to respond to its argument.
That’s fine. I didn’t really intend to get in a tit for tat with Mr. Goldberg. Suffice it to say we have a “profound” difference in our assessment of the importance of Donald Trump — a difference which won’t be bridged by online sparring. I used Mr. Goldberg as the exemplar of a certain East Coast elite that finds Trump’s character so distasteful that they refuse to acknowledge his historical importance as the man who stopped the Clinton machine and the Obama “fundamental transformation” of the United States that was well underway by 2016.
It is understandable that Mr. Goldberg did not appreciate being so conscripted for my rhetorical purpose. However, I do hope that Goldberg will take the time to read my essay far enough to find this definition of character by Emerson:
“Character is the habit of action from the permanent vision of truth. It carries a superiority to all the accidents of life.”
I believe it more than adequately refutes Goldberg’s claim that Trump’s presidency is doomed by his character. Rather, Trump’s “habit of action” fueled by his “permanent vision of truth” has helped the president to already prevail beyond many people’s expectations in his battle with the forces arrayed against him — and demonstrate that he has a good chance of vanquishing them altogether based on not the quality of his character, but the strength of it.
As Emerson says there are no “ideals” in history; just people who have risen to the challenges put before them. I and millions more have put our confidence in President Trump to do so.