For the second time this month, events are moving so fast that a Musing I wrote seems bland compared to rapidly moving events. Lacking time to write a new Musing, I am going to run the one I prepared. However, I need to mention the chilling effect that Brandon Straka’s arrest had on me. I have written a few times about the #Walkaway Movement, and his arrest resonates with me as reminiscent of the tactics of the Soviet Union.
Now to today’s Musing.
About two years ago I began comparing President Trump to General Patton. Other than learning about the World War II leader as a part of overall history, my first closer look came when I started to watch the movie Patton starring George C. Scott. Very shortly into the film I turned it off, repelled by the offensive language. My first assumption was that the profanity was added by Hollywood in order to interest adolescent boys (of all ages). However, a quick search revealed that the foul language had actually been tamped down.
Why did General Patton use such vile words when addressing young, untested soldiers? It turns out that this was a purposeful choice. Knowing that many of these young men were religious and upright, he wanted to deliberately shock them. Having been raised to be loving and gentle, they now needed to become killers. The alternative was the enemy killing them. Working against time, General Patton administered a form of shock therapy to jolt these soldiers into their new reality.
This idea meshed with the other things I read about him. Reports spoke of his soldiers’ loyalty to him and of their mothers’ gratitude that their sons were serving under him rather than under other generals. A brash leader, often unpopular with his peers and scorned by the Washington elites, the people actually on the battleground adored him. The similarity to President Trump is obvious.
General Patton’s brusqueness, his conviction that his tactics were best, and his lack of working through the proper channels did not always serve him well. There were times his actions and words were “beyond the pale.” In 1945 he notoriously sent soldiers on a disastrous mission that is assumed to have been undertaken in an attempt to free his son-in-law who was a German captive.
Yet—he was a great general who commanded loyalty and love from his troops. He was also successful in most of his war-time efforts. The analogy to President Trump is clear.
Donald Trump did not fit the presidential mold. Those who see him as having destroyed the GOP are forgetting that before his candidacy the GOP was on life-support. It was gasping for breath and increasingly ignored by its natural constituents. My husband and I aren’t the only Republicans who voted third-party, kept our checkbooks closed, and groaned as one uninspiring presidential candidate after another was pushed forward. A Jeb Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney presidency most likely would have been a swan song for the GOP in the unlikely event they were ever elected.
President Trump breathed enthusiasm and fervor back into conservative America. He revived a dying political brand. In doing so, he spoke brashly, alienated many, made missteps and was devoutly hated. He pulled back the curtain on Leftism and the pretense that this country still has unified, agreed upon American values. I think he mishandled the COVID crisis (though the world leaders who handled it well are few and far between and I doubt any American politician would have done better), and ran a poor second campaign. He also had unprecedented media forces allied against him and the question remains exactly how effective the voter fraud that occurred was. Like General Patton, the very qualities that led to his success also led to his failure.
Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if President Trump would have stopped tweeting, made more domestic alliances and been guided by others? Yes—and he wouldn’t have been the president he was with so many outstanding accomplishments. Had he followed more experienced advisors, he probably wouldn’t have been president at all. The good and the bad go together and the greater a person’s potential, the greater his upsides and downsides.
I am not enough of a student of military history to conjecture as to what World War II would have looked like without a General Patton. The fact is that the civilized world survived an ominous threat. America is severely internally threatened today, which naturally will lead to external hostility as well. Any elected Republican who thinks that getting rid of President Trump is the solution to the nation’s problems is squandering the advances of the past four years.
Are you looking to get married? Married, but looking to thrive?
Wish to bless someone in your life?
Take a look at
The Lasting Love Set
20% off ending soon