Here is Victor Davis Hanson on “progressives bearing gifts”:
Donald Trump in 2016 did not only run against the planted rumors of the fake Steele dossier, 90 percent negative media coverage, his own boisterous past, and the “Access Hollywood” tape. He also was campaigning against Hillary Clinton—and the nation’s quarter-century weariness with the Clinton scandals, crimes, money-grubbing, and hypocrisies.
For a quarter of the country, independents especially, a vote for Trump was not a referendum on a Democrat or Republican, or even love or hate for Donald Trump, but rather reflected a “Never Hillary” desire to be done with the very name Clinton.So, too, in 2020 Trump will not be running only on his own record, or even his person but also against a living and breathing alternative candidate, one that both offers a precise antithetical agenda and displays a concrete personage.
Considering all of that, during the last week, Trump has been given great gifts in a way no one might have imaged just a month ago.
Trump in 2020 might have controversially slurred his future Democratic rival as a socialist, radical late-term abortion advocate, open borders chauvinist, a Medicare destroyer who wished to make it free for everyone, or wacko environmentalist intent on banning gas and diesel engines.Now he won’t have to smear anyone: the Democrats have largely done that to themselves. Policy-wise the 2020 choice will be between Trump’s mostly doctrinaire conservatism, spiced with populist trade and immigration agendas, and what is a now a new Democrat orthodoxy of Bernie Sanders’ adolescent socialism and incoherent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Neverland something or other.
Trump legitimately will be able to say of a 2020 opponent, “Candidate X wants over the next 10 years to junk your present car, to scrap your combine, to stop your jet travel, to ban your cruise ship, to take away your lawn mower and snow blower, to outlaw your snowmobiles and jet skis, to shut down the fracking industry, the heavy equipment manufacturing sector (I doubt there will be a replacement battery-powered Cat D-11), the pipeline and rail business, and to make every homeowner an indebted remodeler, refitting his house while for all his green trouble and expense he still will be paying more for solar and wind-generated electricity.
Read more: American Greatness