Think of this as part of a post-Vietnam Reagan reboot, a time when the United States in Rambo-esque fashion was quite literally muscling up and over-arming in a major way. Reagan presided over “the biggest peacetime defense build-up in history” against what, referencing Star Wars, he called an “evil empire”—the Soviet Union. In those years, he also worked to rid the country of what was then termed “the Vietnam Syndrome” in part by rebranding that war a “noble cause.” In a time when loss and decline were much on the American brain, he dismissed them both, even as he set the country on a path toward the present moment of 1 percent dysfunction in a country that no longer invests fully in its own infrastructure, whose wages are stagnant, whose poor are a growth industry, whose wealth now flows eternally upward in a political environment awash in the money of the ultra-wealthy, and whose over-armed military continues to pursue a path of endless failure in the Greater Middle East.

A caravan of more than 1,500 Honduran migrants moves north after crossing the border from Honduras into Guatemala on Oct. 15, 2018 in Esquipulas, Guatemala. The caravan, the second of 2018, began Friday in San Pedro Sula, Honduras with plans to march north through Guatemala and Mexico en route to the United States. Honduras has some of the highest crime and poverty rates in Latin America.  John Moore, Getty Images

But a closer look at conservative rhetoric in recent years reveals that “Make America Great Again” was not Trump’s invention. It evolved from a phrase that became central to the Republican establishment during the Obama years: “American exceptionalism.” People often equate the expression with the notion that God made America “a city upon a hill,” in the words of the Puritan colonist John Winthrop. However, as University of California-Berkeley sociology professor Jerome Karabel noted in a 2011 article, this usage only came into vogue after Barack Obama became president. Previously it was mainly used by academics to mean that America is an exception compared with other Western democracies, for better or worse, as illustrated by its top-notch universities or its bare-bones gun control.


Trump traveled to the Nevada Republican Convention in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 23, and also appeared on the trip at a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Dean Heller. Along with policy issues Trump addressed Heller's challenger, U.S. Representative Jacky Rosen, as "Wacky Jacky". The president continued, asking of the simultaneous Nevada Democratic Party convention in Reno featuring Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, "Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas, can you believe it?"[235]
In New York City and around the world, the Trump signature is synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses. Among them are the world-renowned Fifth Avenue skyscraper, Trump Tower, and the luxury residential buildings, Trump Parc, Trump Palace, Trump Plaza, 610 Park Avenue, The Trump World Tower (the tallest building on the East Side of Manhattan), and Trump Park Avenue. Mr. Trump was also responsible for the designation and construction of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on land controlled by him, known as the West 34th Street Railroad Yards, and the total exterior restoration of the Grand Central Terminal as part of his conversion of the neighboring Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The development is considered one of the most successful restorations in the City and earned Mr. Trump an award from Manhattan’s Community Board Five for the “tasteful and creative recycling of a distinguished hotel.” Over the years, Mr. Trump has owned and sold many great buildings in New York including the Plaza Hotel (which he renovated and brought back to its original grandeur, as heralded by the New York Times Magazine), the St. Moritz Hotel (three times…and now called the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South) and until 2002, the land under the Empire State Building (which allowed the land and lease to be merged together for the first time in over 50 years). Additionally, the NikeTown store is owned by Mr. Trump, on East 57th Street and adjacent to Tiffany’s. In early 2008, Gucci opened their largest store in the world in Trump Tower.
During the campaign, Trump often used the slogan, especially by wearing hats emblazoned with the phrase in white letters, which soon became popular among his supporters.[18] The slogan was so important to the campaign that it spent more on making the hats – sold for $25 each on its website – than on polling, consultants, or television commercials; the candidate claimed that "millions" were sold.[15] Following Trump's election, the website of his presidential transition was established at greatagain.gov.[19] President Trump stated in January 2017 that the slogan of his 2020 reelection campaign would be "Keep America Great" and immediately ordered a lawyer to trademark it.[15] Trump tweeted “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” on September 1, 2018,[20] apparently in response to Meghan McCain telling about 3,000 mourners at John McCain’s memorial service “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.” [21]

As of April 2018, Trump and his businesses had been involved in more than 4,000 state and federal legal actions, according to a running tally by USA Today.[180] As of 2016, he or one of his companies had been the plaintiff in 1,900 cases and the defendant in 1,450. With Trump or his company as plaintiff, more than half the cases have been against gamblers at his casinos who had failed to pay off their debts. With Trump or his company as a defendant, the most common type of case involved personal injury cases at his hotels. In cases where there was a clear resolution, Trump's side won 451 times and lost 38.[181][182]


Jump up ^ Penzenstadler, Nick; Page, Susan (June 2, 2016). "Exclusive: Trump's 3,500 lawsuits unprecedented for a presidential nominee". USA Today. Retrieved June 2, 2016. About 100 additional disputes centered on other issues at the casinos. Trump and his enterprises have been named in almost 700 personal-injury claims and about 165 court disputes with government agencies ... Due to his branding value, Trump is determined to defend his name and reputation.

A few days after my visit to the White House, I went to see Bannon, who was holed up in his suite at the Regency in New York, the same hotel where Michael Cohen was ensconced just a few floors away. Bannon was giddy. He was fresh from Rome, where populist political parties he’d supported had just formed an anti-immigration, anti-European Union government. “Populist nationalism is on the move everywhere in the world,” Bannon boasted. Events seemed to be breaking his way in Washington too. “It’s like my white board’s there and Trump is checking shit off,” Bannon said. He marveled at Trump’s border crackdown and decision to launch a global trade war. “Trump is on the full MAGA agenda,” he said. Bannon admitted that he and Trump still don’t speak, but he gets his ideas to Trump through other channels, mainly Lewandowski and Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows.
Is Trump instead harkening back to World War II, when the "greatest generation" went to fight in Europe and the Pacific theater, and women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers? Even then, women were paid at half the rate of men, and were swiftly removed from the workforce when the men came home. Very few were able to attend college. African-Americans, many of whom fought in the war, continued to live as second-class citizens under segregationist policies across the South. Japanese-Americans were locked up in internment camps.
I found this lengthy rationalization interesting but not surprising. Not surprising because from years of reading your posts I know that you have a core iron-clad principle: pro-life/antiabortion. For all his wrong-headed positions and for all his erratic/weird behavior including his "love" for the North Korean leader, Trump is revamping the federal judiciary that will almost certainly be acceptable to abortion restrictions if not outlawing it altogether. The Democrat nominee in 2020 will almost certainly be fervently Pro-Choice. 2020 is as long way off but if Trump wants another term, he will win the GOP nomination. Like you I voted for McMullin and regret it--although I regret not choosing another third party candidate. I could not vote for Trump in 2016 and likely in 2020 could not stomach the Democrat nominee anymore than I could Clinton. But I can't imagine voting for Trump.
“This is politics 101: Define your opponents before they can define themselves,” Jason Miller, a former top aide to Trump’s 2016 campaign, said in a recent interview. “For many of these top-flight Democratic presidential contenders, voters will learn far more about them from what President Trump says than what they have to say for the next year to 18 months.”
The Washington Post reported that days after Comey's dismissal the special counsel started investigating whether Trump had obstructed justice.[724] Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow stated that he had not been notified of any such investigation.[725][726] ABC News later reported that the special counsel was gathering preliminary information about possible obstruction of justice but had not launched a full-scale investigation.[727]
Vice President Mike Pence attended Joni Ernst's 3rd Annual Roast and Ride fundraiser, held on June 3 at the Central Iowa Expo near Boone, Iowa.[119][120][125][126] The previous editions of this event have included presidential campaign appearances. Trump himself had previously attended Ernst's fundraiser in 2016 while campaigning in Iowa, and seven Republican presidential contenders attended the event in 2015.[125]
As a candidate Trump questioned whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members,[654] and suggested that he might leave NATO unless changes are made to the alliance.[655] As president, he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO in March 2017.[656] However, he has repeatedly accused fellow NATO members of paying less than their fair share of the expenses of the alliance.[657]

After Donald Trump popularized the use of the phrase, the phrase and modifications of it became widely used to refer to his election campaign and his politics. Trump's primary opponents, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, began using "Make America Great Again" in speeches, inciting Trump to send cease-and-desist letters to them. Trump claimed after the election that the hats "were copied, unfortunately. It was knocked off by 10 to one [...] but it was a slogan, and every time somebody buys one, that's an advertisement".[15] Cruz later sold hats featuring, "Make Trump Debate Again", in response to Trump's boycotting the Iowa January 28, 2016 debate.[29]
“Part of what he’s doing that makes it feel like a reality show is that he is feeding you something every night,” said Brent Montgomery, chief executive of Wheelhouse Entertainment and the creator of “Pawn Stars,” about the Trump show’s rotating cast and daily plot twists (picking a fight with the N.F.L., praising Kim Jong-un). “You can’t afford to miss one episode or you’re left behind.”
In 1996, Trump acquired the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, which was a vacant seventy-one story skyscraper on Wall Street. After an extensive renovation, the high-rise was renamed the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.[136] In 1997, he began construction on Riverside South, which he dubbed Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. He and the other investors in the project ultimately sold their interest for $1.8 billion in 2005 in what was then the biggest residential sale in the history of New York City.[137] From 1994 to 2002, Trump owned a 50 percent share of the Empire State Building. He intended to rename it "Trump Empire State Building Tower Apartments" if he had been able to boost his share.[138][139] In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower.[140] In 2002, Trump acquired the former Hotel Delmonico, which was renovated and reopened in 2004 as the Trump Park Avenue; the building consisted of 35 stories of luxury condominiums.[141]
Trump's cabinet nominations included U.S. Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions as Attorney General,[687] financier Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury,[688] retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense,[689] and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.[690] Trump also brought on board politicians who had opposed him during the presidential campaign, such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,[691] and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.[692]
For much of the country, the situation at the border posed a moral crisis. But for the Trump campaign, the quandary was political. Immigration was not only a Trumpian rhetorical staple—Build the Wall! Mexico Will Pay For It!—but mostly a winning issue for the G.O.P. Now, the news that the United States government had forcibly separated as many as 2,000 children from their families, a number of them with little hope of ever being re-united, was a bridge Republicans weren’t willing to cross with Trump. Michael Hayden, C.I.A. director under George W. Bush, compared the detention camps to Auschwitz. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell privately told Trump he would “go down big on the issue,” a Republican briefed on the conversations told me. And so, Trump, who prides himself on an umbilical connection to his base, did the most un-Trumpian of things: he blinked. As the furor over child separations intensified, and with the midterms looming and Robert Mueller circling ever closer, the stakes were existential. “He felt trapped,” recalled a Republican who spoke with the president during the deliberations. Walk the policy back, and he risked angering his hard-line anti-immigration base; dig in and it would further galvanize Democrats and independents to vote against Republicans in November, likely tilting the House, and possibly even the Senate, in their favor, and facilitating the possibility of an impeachment trial. “This election is very simple,” Steve Bannon told me recently. “It’s an up-or-down vote on impeachment.”

Mr. Fleiss used to joke that at the end of every episode of “The Bachelor,” the host should tease the Champagne-fueled finale as “The most shocking rose ceremony ever!” On Tuesday, there was Mr. Trump at the United Nations General Assembly, making a roomful of staid diplomats chuckle with the line “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” (Another favorite: “The likes of which this country may never have seen before!”)


The temporary order was replaced by Presidential Proclamation 9645 on September 24, 2017, which permanently restricts travel from the originally targeted countries except Iraq and Sudan, and further bans travelers from North Korea and Chad, and certain Venezuelan officials.[592] After lower courts partially blocked the new restrictions with injunctions, the Supreme Court allowed the September version to go into full effect on December 4.[593] In January 2018, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a challenge to the travel ban.[594] The Court heard oral arguments on April 25,[595][594] and ultimately upheld the travel ban in a June ruling.[596]
Presidential approval ratings have shown Trump to be the least popular President in the history of modern opinion polling as of the start of his second year in office.[11][12][13][14] Early polls have shown Trump trailing by a margin of 10–18 percent against several hypothetical Democratic candidates, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand.[15] International observers point out that Presidential job approval is highly partisan: "The Republican Party is Donald Trump's party. ... [Recent] polling - which shows the president with near record levels of backing from Republican voters - confirms the fact." [42] Gallup polling data shows that job approval for Donald Trump is 80 to 90 percent among Republicans versus only 5 to 10 percent among Democrats.[43] The reverse was the case for Barack Obama[44]
×