The Trump Presidential Library Should Be Huge

As President Trump seems likely to leave office in January, the historically minded of us should reflect on his legacy. In the short-term, maybe until 2200, his reputation will doubtless be smeared. It took 250 years for King Charles II to get his due from historians, and Lord Liverpool, almost 200 years later, still has not received it. After 2200, however, Trump should be seen as a good President and a very consequential one. Even before that date, he deserves the largest and doubtless most visited of Presidential libraries.

Trump need not hope for redemption from this century’s Presidential historians. The well-respected Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia put the boot in even before the election: “Trump is the worst President ever — I can’t imagine historians will spend more than 10 minutes debating that.” That of course is merely an indicator of the insanity of the left for the last four years, but Trump need not expect it to stop, and from past experience relating to such above-average rulers as Charles II and Lord Liverpool, the vitriol can continue for a century or more.

Historians are after all both politically committed, almost all in the same direction, and intellectual lemmings, following each other over the cliff of monumental error. Of course, in this over-politicized era, any professor who wants a post at a respectable university really has no choice – Lemming U. will fire him if he attempts any kind of dissent. Fortunately, intellectual follies all eventually end, and those of us not dependent on an academic stipend can take a more balanced view without waiting 200 years.

There is no question that Trump has been a highly consequential president, the most important since Ronald Reagan. In foreign policy, he has reversed the monumental errors of the Bush family in relation to the Middle East and China. In international trade, he has reversed the leftist globaloney of the post-1990 period and moved back towards the traditional Republican trade policy of William McKinley and Calvin Coolidge. Overall, he has perceived that international institutions are by their structure overwhelmingly a force for evil and has taken the first steps to resist the move towards tyrannical global governance.

On domestic policy, he has recognized that unchecked immigration is extremely bad for the living standards of domestic workers, and has taken steps to check it. However, the change in direction and opening of the “Overton Window” towards restriction are more impressive than Trump’s concrete steps on immigration, which can all too quickly be reversed (I would not put it past a President Kamala Harris to knock down the fine if modest wall he has built). His trade policies have also moved in the same direction, so there is less economic disfranchisement of the modestly skilled than four years ago. The pre-2016 shilling for college degrees and the intellectual arrogance of the tech titans was unbearably offensive even to me; I can only imagine what it must have been like for those less educationally fortunate. Trump’s reform of penal laws, removing some of the threat of incarceration from African-Americans, also appears to have been helpful.

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(The Bear's Lair is a weekly column that is intended to appear each Monday, an appropriately gloomy day of the week. Its rationale is that the proportion of "sell" recommendations put ...

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