VDH: Will Trump ride off into the sunset, or play the broken hero?

In this moment of wishing the wounded Shane would ride off into the Tetons and leave the more civilized alone, we should remember Trump’s four historical accomplishments that will only grow in light of Biden’s subsequent disastrous four years.

One is partisan. Trump utterly destroyed the 30-year Clinton grifting and quid pro quo machine in general, and Hillary Clinton’s endless and often toxic political career in particular. It was characterized by the despicable Uranium One sale, the foreign shake-down contributions to the Clinton Foundation, her destruction of subpoenaed emails and devices, and her blatant violation of State Department rules of personal communications.

Clinton’s failing campaign and eventual collapse in 2016 was so shocking that it all but crushed her very psyche — to the point that she had funded a foreign ex-spy to systematically and illegally destroy her political opponent. She ended up denying the very legitimacy of the election she lost. Then she topped that off by urging Joe Biden not to accept the 2020 verdict should he lose the popular vote. Hillary Clinton is physically, psychologically, and spiritually spent — and never recovered from her ill-fated collisions with Donald Trump.

Two, Donald Trump recalibrated the Republican Party to become more populist and nationalist. Previously it was shrinking and offered the Left an easy stereotype of a small club of aristocratic white corporate elites. Yet Trumpism did not renounce prior Republicanism, at least not entirely. Rather, Trump sought to save it by recalibrating the party. He demanded toughness with China, attacked illegal immigration, addressed the crisis of the deindustrialized American interior and adopted a Jacksonian foreign policy. That was all in addition to embracing Republican policies of low-taxes, small-government, deregulation, traditional values, and originalist justices.

Three, Trump’s actual four years of governance were characterized, before the advent of the pandemic, by robust growth, low inflation, energy independence, low unemployment, a rebuilding of the US military, eventual curbing of illegal immigration, the Abraham Accords, and forcing NATO to spend far more on defense. Trump saved the Supreme Court and lower federal courts for a generation.

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