... not like most right-wing pamphlets masquerading as books. Hanson, a historian of war and a Classics scholar, is not your typical news network blowhard with a ghost writer. As such, The Case for Trump is riddled with allusions to ancient Greece and the Roman republic. Rather than simply the vulgarian of mass media caricature, Hanson sees Trump as more akin to the Roman populist Catiline or even the Missouri-bred President Harry Truman ... Hanson’s volume is very pro-Trump, but does admit that the president has not really expanded his base since the election, and only recently realized that fighting against the 'deep state' cannot extricate the president from the necessity of having to work with the FBI, CIA, and other Washington insiders ... Where The Case for Trump truly shines is in depicting Trump’s enemies. Hanson skewers the 'deep state,' the media, and the bicoastal elite for their incestuousness and disdain for the hoi polloi ... will not be read by Democratic voters or die-hard liberals. It should be ... Simply calling Trump supporters 'racist,' 'homophobic,' or 'xenophobic' will only serve to irritate the lower middle class. The Case for Trump, plus the recent election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil (where whites are not the racial majority), should wake up Democrats and their supporters to the fact that unpopular progressive policies (more regulation, de-growth in the economy, open borders) and racial hectoring against whites will never unify a country.
Its analysis, based on old polling and news clips, is interminable, marred by some cable-news-style exaggeration and not particularly original. Victor Davis Hanson does, however, explain in passing and in the book’s concluding two chapters why he thinks Trump has been a good president, and this argument has some genuine merit and originality ... Except for detailing Trump’s success in boosting the economy, Hanson does not argue these points against obvious objections ... Most of Hanson’s book was written before the 2018 election and does not seem to have been substantially revised in the light of the Republican defeats.
While Hanson doesn’t dwell on his personal history in The Case for Trump, it’s easy to see how this struggle would put him on a different path than the NeverTrump tories and neocons of the inner suburbs and global cities ... It is an intriguing hop from Achilles and Ajax to 1970s and ’80s scatalogical humor. Not being trained or well read in the classics, I am reluctant to pass judgment on Hanson’s recurring comparison of Trump to the demagogues and tragic heroes of the ancient era. But it is certainly a fascinating lens, and one a classicist like Hanson should more of less feel obliged to use ... Disappointingly, Hanson doesn’t have nearly as much fun comparing Trump to nonfictional classical leaders ... ultimately unconvincing because, try as he might, Hanson knows that making a case for Donald Trump is inescapably an act of self-negation, the history professor’s version of a pediatric dentist writing a book called The Case for Cocoa Puffs.