The Animal Cunning and Instinct of Donald Trump

It has been my contention since early in 2016 that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was the only one of the 17 (or was it 18?) in the primary that could win the general election because he knew how to go above and beyond the media and culture. It was Donald Trump that had, in Victor Davis Hanson’s words, “animal cunning,” and with that won the information war in 2016, not conservatives or Republicans.

Here is Victor Davis Hanson:

He grasped that what voters cared about were the very issues politicos were disdainfully ignoring.

The American middle classes, the Chinese, and Vladimir Putin have never been convinced that Ivy League degrees, vast Washington experience, and cultural sophistication necessarily translate into national wisdom. Trump instead relies more on instinct and operates from cunning — and we will soon see whether we should redefine “wisdom.”

But for now, for example, we have never heard a presidential candidate say such a thing as “We love our miners” — not “we like” miners, but “we love” them. And not just any miners, but “our” miners, as if, like “our vets,” the working people of our moribund economic regions were unique and exceptional people, neither clingers nor irredeemables. In Trump’s gut formulation, miners certainly did not deserve “to be put out of business” by Hillary Clinton, as if they were little more than the necessary casualties of the war against global warming. For Trump, miners were not the human equivalent of the 4,200 bald eagles that the Obama administration recently assured the wind turbine industry can be shredded for the greater good of alternate energy and green profiteering.

n other words, Trump instinctively saw the miners of West Virginia — and by extension the working-class populations of states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio — as emblematic of the forgotten man, in a way few of his Republican rivals, much less Hilary Clinton, grasped.

Read more: National Review