Donald Trump the modern-day Reagan? Really?

I never, ever ever thought this day would come.

I never thought that one day, I would find myself publicly defending the reputation of Ronald Reagan against the likes of Newt Gingrich. But that day having arrived, I will take up my heavy burden and proceed.

As you may have noticed, Gingrich has fallen in love with Donald Trump. This is not an unusual or unexpected event. The former speaker has always had a 13-year-old boy’s romantic view of history, always prone to man-crushes for the latest “Great Man” to appear on the scene. Back in the day, his aides and colleagues refused to let him meet alone with President Bill Clinton, because the besotted Gingrich could so easily fall prey to Clinton’s charms. His lieutenant Dick Armey likened Gingrich to Ado Annie of the musical “Oklahoma,” a character who confesses that she just “cain’t say no” to suitors.

That adolescent, romantic sense of history also extends to a fondness for revolution against the establishment. It doesn’t matter who’s perpetrating the revolution against what establishment, for what reason. All it takes is the idea of some Robespierre sending thousands to the guillotine, overthrowing whatever “ancien regime” that happens to be around, and the 72-year-old Gingrich gets weak in the knees.

Throw in the fact that Trump’s campaign style is the epitome of that advocated by Gingrich for years, and his infatuation with The Donald becomes not just comprehensible but inevitable.

Take a look at this interview with Gingrich at Slate, in which Newt is downright giddy about Trump (h/t Political Insider). It doesn’t matter what policy positions Trump may take, or whether he holds positions in the first place. It doesn’t matter that Trump has no concept of foreign policy, that he dabbles with violence as a political tool, that he is crude and crass in seeking this nation’s highest honor. What matters is that Trump projects strength and authority, attributes that bring out Gingrich at his Ado Annie-est.

But throughout that interview, and in comments elsewhere, Gingrich repeatedly likens Trump to Reagan. Both challenged the establishment, Gingrich says. Both were underdogs in the polls. Both make the left uncomfortable, both are “really big change agents.” “He may do more to break up the Left than any conservative in our lifetime except maybe Reagan,” he happily told Fox News. ¹

I’m no fan of Reagan, but it’s a deeply insulting comparison.

Reagan, unlike Trump, knew what he wanted to accomplish as a politician and president. Like it or not — I did not — he had a policy agenda, and it extended beyond mere personal self-aggrandizement. Reagan respected the system, he respected the office of president and he respected his opponents. Reagan would never — in public or private — have bragged about the size of his sex organs or belittled women. He rarely stooped to childish taunts and personal insults. And despite the later mythologizing, Reagan was an incrementalist, a fact that at the time infuriated Gingrich.

Again, it’s hard to believe that I find myself writing this. But if Donald Trump is the modern equivalent of Ronald Reagan, as Gingrich would have us believe, then the collapse of our political culture over the past 35 years is more complete than I imagined.

—————

¹In reality, Trump is breaking up the right, not the left, another indication that love as deep as that of Gingrich is truly blinding.

Reader Comments 0

1057 comments
Joe Felix
Joe Felix

Make sense to me, Reagan an actor and Trump is acting his A** of during this election cycle!

Raul Cesar Moreira
Raul Cesar Moreira

I do not think so, far from it. Scum and scam artist, white trash far from being Reagan

Drew Kelly
Drew Kelly

Jay, when are you going to deal with the dysfunctional criminal Hillary and the economically illiterate socialist Bernie on your side of the race?

lvg
lvg

""""And so Mr. Cruz created a “Religious Liberty Advisory Council” to offer suggestions of things he can do as president to protect religious freedom — in other words, to make sure that evangelical Christianity is embedded in government and the law, and that gay Americans and other godless non-believers are dealt with properly.

The council includes only members of “the most conservative iterations of Christianity.” It is led by Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, a group that makes the Tea Party look like a gang of socialist agitators. So the results were predictable, and predictably disturbing.

They include making sure that gay Americans don’t have any special protection against discrimination in the public arena or the workplace; repealing the mandate that employers’ health insurance plans include contraception coverage; allowing religious groups to go on claiming tax deductions for blatantly political activity; and on and on.""""


kingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/ted-cruzs-terrifying-approach-to-religious-liberty/

Jan Marynowski
Jan Marynowski

Jay Bookman you are a lying hateful little man. ........

Jay Smallwood
Jay Smallwood

Jay Bookman is probably scared of the Trump Chalk Writings too

Phyllis Haugh
Phyllis Haugh

Bet it took even Reagan to put together all the details of what he wanted to do. Media so biased.

Summer Smith
Summer Smith

Remember people that Bookman and the AJC are nothing more than tabloid entertainment. Most everything published from them is far from the real truth and should not be taken seriously. Real and Objective Journalism has been long gone from this operation.

Peachs
Peachs

@JayBook there must be a disconnect between journalism and the perception on the ground.  


Why would Belgium not be on caffeine alert for terrorism, or minorities mob the voting booths, here in the US, as they see their constitutional liberties threaten. 


I really dealt Belgium wants to be blown away, but they are probably jaded to the screaming.  I think in the minority they think it is hopeless and why bother in Georgia. If they let it, they are right..

Peachs
Peachs

A Republican could win this thing , the general election,if they don't have to go through the blood letting primary.  The right have killed themselves getting the red meat crowd to vote in the primaries. 


Ryan comes out with that liberal speech yesterday, he is prepping for the general election, with the blessings of the Republican establishment, watch and see. 

goat diddler
goat diddler

Yep. Apology, check. Clean hands from this years primaries, check.

He's ready to be inserted as the nominee.

Peachs
Peachs

@foo2u this has been the plan the whole time, Trump can't just walk away from a billion dollar business, those things don't grow on trees, especially for him, he is not that talented a business man. 

goat diddler
goat diddler

Love this:

"Class of 1995 Emory alumna here. I cannot express how frustratingly disappointed I am with both the students and administrators due to recent news of "pain and intimidation" due to chalk writing on campus. In the early '90s, students on both sides of gay/lesbian rights had the opportunity to discuss their issues and clarify their opinions because discussion was encouraged. Though always a little liberal-leaning, students could proudly be conservative, libertarian, or progressive, and share their thoughts freely. Now, CHALK PROMOTION of a presidential candidate causes terror, pain, and God-forbid erosion of "safe spaces" makes me embarrassed to admit I ever attended Emory. You are the laughing-stock of the nation and the world. Every student who whined and cried over this silliness should be sent back home to GROW UP before allowing to return, if at all. Professors and administrators who encourage this nonsense should be fired, tenured or not. Students aren't learning to be intelligent, thoughtful adults, they are coddled like kindergarteners. It's pathetic. You will never see another dime from me as I cannot and will not encourage this behavior. I gave you 2 stars because, yes, in the '90s, I had an excellent education that prepared me for graduate school and ministry. Obviously, that would not be the case today. I only hope this is a learning experience for Emory and that some day it will become an elite university again."

Peachs
Peachs

@foo2u Lord knows Atlanta could use some elite school, and I think this too will pass, Yale went through some of the same stuff, kids growing up, just surprised how immature they have gotten. 

Peachs
Peachs

@juliainatlanta Trump comes in worth whatever and may be worth whatever, after this is over, it is a windfall for him.  

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

From below, and I'm only posting it as one of many such sentiments I've seen (including from Gotalife) on the topic:

TD: According to Scott Walker today, if the convention is contested then no one running will be the nominee. 

DCL: That would be effed up. 

TD: Yep

Question, and I realize as a likely-Dem voter I don't really have a dog in that fight but it interests me nevertheless: If nobody manages to secure enough votes to win a clear majority in a nominating process, isn't there a case to be made that none of those who'd been running were really worthy of a nomination? Is an organization beyond-the-pale for deciding to go outside of the primary/caucus race to choose a candidate?

Peachs
Peachs

@Visual_Cortex they got something up their sleeve, Trump can be bought, do you think he really wants to be president, that take work and discipline? So they get rid of him, and I use to think put in Bush, but now i am thinking somehow they talk Ryan into it. 

Peachs
Peachs

I love how the Republicans want the state to decide, but not the city...


What they really want is to protect the rural ,and destroy the urban. So they bring a New Yorker to do it!

Peachs
Peachs

@Visual_Cortex @Peachs they hate the cities, which are political machines that don't vote, except in presidential election years, and let these dimwits control a nation by apathy. No one to blame for the poverty but ourselves. 

John Washington
John Washington

Saw a meme the other day (posted by an ultra conservative) that compared Trump to Reagan and showed how they were very similar. I had to agree. Reagan was a horrible president that cause the creation of Al Qaeda and the destruction of the middle class with his "voodoo economics". Trump is poised to build on and expand both of those devastating failures.

Starlette Horn
Starlette Horn

Reagan had more class them him, and I'm a DEM....

Peachs
Peachs

name one person that doesn't have more class than him..

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Peachs

Does it have to be a native-born American? If so, then Kim Jong-un is out.

Peachs
Peachs

Reagan at least had em fooled..

Peachs
Peachs

So meds are what the right are on?

Pat Howard
Pat Howard

Bookman, a bed wetting liberal, criticizes a Republican running for president. The only thing surprising is the AJC is still being published

Peachs
Peachs

@foo2u smells smoke 4000 miles away and the floods begin. 

Peachs
Peachs

Funny seeing the Republican Party is about to die in front of our very eyes ,and will be reported by the AJC..

goat diddler
goat diddler

Shouty book facers like him DO know a thing or two about bed wetting...

YouLibs
YouLibs

I see the Pope has started his apology tour by washing the feet of Muslims.


Does he not understand that security comes from attacking and arming against the "others"?

goat diddler
goat diddler

Ryan will be the nominee... No other reason could explain his attempted apology... Surely not conscience anyway...

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@gotalife They posted a video today celebrating Brussels featuring Donald Trump in the background calling Brussels disgusting. ISIS loves Donald Trump this is their second video featuring Donald Trump.

gotalife
gotalife

@YouLibs @gotalife The President wants to reclaim all isis territory before he leaves office. They are being attacked on two fronts.

honested
honested

@StraightNoChaser 

The true danger among us.

Isn't it time to revisit the First Amendment to do something about these freaks?

Dexter Porter
Dexter Porter

Also Reagan's wife wasn't a porn star, but then again no first lady has been a porn star. But apparently that doesn't matter anymore.