Donald Trump is crude, vulgar, egotistical, even narcissistic. He is, at best, verbally maladroit, and his attempts to backtrack from statements that cause outrage are often embarrassing, even cringeworthy. Still, all in all, Trump often reminds me of what Abraham Lincoln said of another deeply flawed individual, Ulysses Grant, after the bloodbath at Shiloh: "I can't spare this man, he fights."
The real damage to America in my lifetime has not been caused by Donald Trump, but by a shortsighted, insular, and incredibly selfish establishment that regularly confuses its interests with America's and regards ordinary Americans with indifference or contempt. And Donald Trump, in his often crude, imperfect way, is the most significant national figure to resist this establishment in years. Which is why media coverage of Trump has consisted of one episode of outraged hysteria after another since he went down that escalator at Trump Tower, and why there has been a concerted effort to deny the legitimacy of his presidency from day one.
We can't spare this man, he fights.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.