Twice in a month, I’ve had the opportunity to see President Donald Trump in action.
The first time it was close-up in an Oval Office sit down with two of my colleagues from The American Spectator. The second time was sitting in the audience at this week’s Trump rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania’s Giant Center.
And what I have seen on both occasions was the exact same thing: Yes, this is a president who is sharply focused, enthusiastic about his job, energetic and last but certainly not least, possessed of a great sense of purpose – not to mention a great sense of humor. He is decidedly up for the impeachment battle that lies ahead.
But there was something else that was vividly obvious. Donald Trump isn’t the leader of the old Republican Party – the party of the country club. He has transformed the Republican Party as it hasn’t been transformed since the days of Ronald Reagan, remaking it into the Country Party.
What I saw on these two occasions were different moments in a very historic moment of the American story. There is an absolute rebellion in this country, a cold war between rank and file Americans and what can only be called those who see themselves as the entitled ruling class of America.
Recall this from Angelo Codevilla’s classic The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It.
The book, Codevilla says:
“….is about the fact that America now divides ever more sharply into two classes, the smaller of which holds the commanding heights of government, from which it disposes in ever greater detail of America’s economic energies, from which it ordains new ways of living as if it had the right to do so, and from which it asserts that that right is based on the majority class’ stupidity, racism, and violent tendencies.
The other class’ position is analogous to that of the frog that awoke to the fact that it was being slow-boiled only when getting out of the pan would require more strength and judgment than it had left. Political clashes are so bitter because each represents the attempt of the Ruling Class to lock down the controls already established on its subordinates, and what the subordinates feel may be their last chance to escape.”
This is the battle between The Ruling Class and what Codevilla, the professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, calls the Country Party. He defines the Country Party as “the party of the Outs.” “Outs” as in not the elitist, in-crowd. He says:
“America’s Outs – the two-thirds of Americans who feel that the Ruling Class is demeaning us, impoverishing us, and demoralizing us- are the people who embody the ideas and habits that made America the world’s envy. And they want the Ruling Class off America’s back.”
Or to borrow a phrase? The Country Party wants to Make America Great Again.
Remember that Codevilla wrote this in 2010 – six full years before Donald Trump was elected president by, let’s say it, the Country Party.
Those cheering, rocking 10,500 Americans in the Giant Center in the middle of Pennsylvania were literally the Country Party personified. And the man I saw sitting behind the famous Resolute desk in the historic elegance of the Oval Office as well as walking out to the center of that cheering rally of thousands is every bit the leader of that Country Party.
The bond between his Country Party supporters and himself is iron clad. One need only look here at the video of the full Hershey rally to get this. Here is captured exactly the Country Party and their leader on the move, determined to, as the slogans go, not just Make America Great Again – but after three years of a Trump presidency to Keep America Great.
Buckle in for the battle ahead.