Perhaps President Trump’s experience as a builder has uniquely grounded him in the real world in a way that is both necessary and refreshing. Our political, intellectual, and business elites have mostly become post-American. This is just where they live, not who they are. Some are devoted to a set of ideas and America is their laboratory, others are devoted to profit or pleasure and America is a good place to maximize both but there is no essential attachment. Missing is the overriding sense of being an American. This sad phenomena is only a generation or two old and mostly infects our elites but it is nonetheless destructive of our politics and culture. It stands as an intentionally created divide between the ruling class who can live anywhere and the country class who wants to and mostly has to live here.
Trump is a rebuke to all of this. His inaugural address was unapologetic pride in this country. It signalled that civic virtue and patriotism will be cornerstones of the Trump era. They are not dead, they weren’t even dormant, but they have been devalued in the halls of power for so long you could be forgiven if you thought they were.
President Trump sounded notes not heard for a long time. He reminds us, as Lincoln did, that we are one American people and that all Americans who share a patriotic love of country and a belief in the principles of the Declaration of Independence have a right to claim a common connection with the Founders “as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration.” For the globalists and the post-Americans these words are parochial artifacts of a barbarous past that they would sweep away. But for most Americans they are inspiration. They called to mind the warmth embrace of kith and kin, of home, and of the enduring promise of America. That probably sounds either treacly or embarrassing to many modern, well educated ears, but this is our country and we love it.
In the age of the participation trophy putting America first sounds selfish, even hubristic, but doing so is the job of the American president. So yes, President Trump, put America first.