Reagan And Trump: American Nationalists

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Patrick Buchanan via,

Since World War II, the two men who have most terrified this city by winning the presidency are Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

And they have much in common.

Both came out of the popular culture, Reagan out of Hollywood, Trump out of a successful reality TV show. Both possessed the gifts of showmen — extraordinarily valuable political assets in a television age that deals cruelly with the uncharismatic.

Both became instruments of insurgencies out to overthrow the establishment of the party whose nomination they were seeking.

Reagan emerged as the champion of the postwar conservatism that had captured the Republican Party with Barry Goldwater’s nomination in 1964. His victory in 1980 came at the apogee of conservative power.

The populism that enabled Trump to crush 16 Republican rivals and put him over the top in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan had also arisen a decade and a half before — in the 1990s.

A decisive advantage Reagan and Trump both enjoyed is that in their decisive years, the establishments of both parties were seen as having failed the nation.

Reagan was victorious after Russia invaded Afghanistan; Americans were taken hostage in Tehran; and the U.S. had endured 21 percent interest rates, 13 percent inflation, 7 percent unemployment and zero growth.

When Trump won, Americans had gone through years of wage stagnation. Our industrial base had been hollowed out. And we seemed unable to win or end a half-dozen Middle East wars in which we had become ensnared.

What is the common denominator of both the Reagan landslide of 1980 and Trump’s victory?

Both candidates appealed to American nationalism.

In the late 1970s, Reagan took the lead in the campaign to save the Panama Canal. “We bought it. We paid for it. It’s ours. And we’re going to keep it,” thundered the Gipper.

While he lost the fight for the Canal when the GOP establishment in the Senate lined up behind Jimmy Carter, the battle established Reagan as a leader who put his country first.

Trump unapologetically seized upon the nationalist slogan that was most detested by our globalist elites, “America first!”

He would build a wall, secure the border, stop the invasion. He would trash the rotten trade treaties negotiated by transnational elites who had sold out our sovereignty and sent our jobs to China.

He would demand that freeloading allies in Europe, the Far East and the Persian Gulf pay their fair share of the cost of their defense.

In the rhetoric of Reagan and Trump there is a simplicity and a directness that is familiar to, and appeals to, the men and women out in Middle America, to whom both directed their campaigns.

In his first press conference in January of 1981, Reagan said of the Kremlin, “They reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat. … We operate on a different set of standards.”

He called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and the “focus of evil in the modern world.”

The State Department was as wary of what Reagan might say or do then as they are of what Trump might tweet now.

But while there are similarities between these outsiders who captured their nominations and won the presidency by defying and then defeating the establishments of both political parties, the situations they confront are dissimilar.

Reagan took office in a time of Cold War clarity.

Though there was sharp disagreement over how tough the United States should be and what was needed for national defense, there was no real question as to who our adversaries were.

As had been true since the time of Harry Truman, the world struggle was between communism and freedom, the USSR and the West, the Warsaw Pact and the NATO alliance.

There was a moral clarity then that no longer exists now.

Today, the Soviet Empire is gone, the Warsaw Pact is gone, the Soviet Union is gone, and the Communist movement is moribund.

NATO embraces three former republics of the USSR, and we confront Moscow in places like Crimea and the Donbass that no American of the Reagan era would have regarded as a national interest of the United States.

We no longer agree on who our greatest enemies are, or what the greatest threats are.

Is it Vladimir Putin’s Russia? Is it Iran? Is it China, which Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson says must be made to vacate the air, missile and naval bases it has built on rocks and reefs in a South China Sea that Beijing claims as its national territory?

Is it North Korea, now testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles?

Beyond issues of war and peace, there are issues at home — race, crime, policing, abortion, LGBT rights, immigration (legal and illegal) and countless others on which this multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic nation is split two, three, many ways.

The existential question of the Trump era might be framed thus: How long will this divided democracy endure as one nation and one people?

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flaminratzazz's picture

fvk reagan

the two should not be compared.

Americans were taken hostage in Tehran; and the U.S. had endured 21 percent interest rates, 13 percent inflation, 7 percent unemployment and zero growth.

and just exactly who controlls this?

it sure as hell is not the evil soviets

Reagan was a tool for the bush cartel, nothing more, nothing less.

Trump is the enemy of same


Hopeless for Change's picture

There is no question who our enemies are, it's just not acceptable to name them.

Ignatius's picture

And apparently the deep state was "OK" with JFK... 'cepting of course that "lone nut" thingy.

nuubee's picture

wth? This is nonsense:
"The populism that enabled Trump to crush 16 Republican rivals and put him over the top in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan had also arisen a decade and a half before — in the 1990s."

1990s? Bullshit. The populism you're seeing now grew out of internet communication, alternative media, and globalist over-reach, i.e., within the last 5 years.

Stimulati's picture

Reagan, who illegally sold weapons to the terror regime in Iran and armed the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Trump, who takes orders from Moscow.  Good comparison.

any_mouse's picture

Hmm, Inauguration security is in the hands of Obama's appointees.

Never has been an issue in the past.

It would be for the greater good of the Nation if Obama would publicly ask for restraint and civility during the events.

Be a Man. Not a nigger.

Syrin's picture

Hillary thanks you for your vote.  

flaminratzazz's picture

voting is for those that still live inside the matrix.. been outside for years .. but please, carry on

bobsmith5's picture

You are dead wrong flaminratzazz, Reagan was shot for his departure from the socialist model of the "New World Order" after which Bush became the president from then on. 

Kennedy was assassinated because he was going to return the power of money and credit to the government with the silver certificates he issued.   Anyone who opposes the bankers either gets assassinated or attempted assassination.  The author of this article was dead wrong about those who opposed them after WW2.

This goes on internationally as well as both Kadafi and Saddam were murdered because they were going to use their oil money power to create gold standards in defiance of the same monetary powers.

If Trump attempts to remove the monetary powers of the bankers he risk the same fate.  Only an extremely well informed public can prevent such an outcome.  If Trump attempts to take away their power before fuly exposing them publicly he is a dead duck. 

flaminratzazz's picture

trump is the enemy of the same.. aka bush cartel.. people have taken my first post incorrectly..seems we are losing cognitive perception on ZH.


froze25's picture

Or you need to write better.

flaminratzazz's picture

dealing with fvkin 3rd graders has its disadvantages

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

While certainly not perfect, Reagan was the last vestige of Statesman that this country may ever see. I don't think Trump has one drop of the class and depth that Reagan had. He may have toed the line after the hit, but Reagan almost lost his life for bucking the system. So, cut him some slack.

He is responsible for setting the economic stage for the 1990's boom, we'd have still been languishing in 1970-1980s stagflation if not for him and Volker making everyone take the reality pill.

I'll bet there are some Eastern Bloc entrepreneurs who appreciate the restructuring of Soviet Russia that Reagan engineered, as well.


I'm Broke AF's picture

The question is how long before everything goes down the shit drain and the shit storm poops on everyone.  

#chocolaterain coming.

Oldwood's picture

We always have politicians selling hope and change.

The progressives sell the hope that is will all change to provide money for nothing, either through entitlements or cronyism.

Conservatives sell hope that it will change to benefit those who work hard and live the moral life.

I fear we live in a futility of hope because what the progressives want will never last and what the conservatives want will never be allowed.

Only the ILLUSION persists.

Our threat is that the progressives will violently fight to preserve their free shit, and the conservatives will not, still clinging to their notion of hard work and morality perservering.

flaminratzazz's picture

the simple fact that the pols have to sell hope and change should be a huge wake up call to the voters.

Hope you all get what you want real good and hard this time.




wisehiney's picture

Where can I get a copy of that picture.

I will put it on the wall in my bar.

Great Americans both.

flaminratzazz's picture

lol.. good Lord;; Sean Hannity is posting on ZH

wisehiney's picture

Even the drug dealers got rich in the 80's.

But there is always some loser......

flaminratzazz's picture

logging was good until the Clinton's took over

koan's picture

Reagan was a B movie hack that had Alzheimers when he went into office, and had to be walked through everything, and so his "advisors" got what they wanted because the brain dead Reagan didn't know any better..
Here's Merrill Lynch Regan telling Reagan to "hurry up", nuff said... Reagan was an empty head.

So... no they are nothing alike.


Bigly, Yuuuge, Ghina, comb-over, assassination attempts/threats, Narcissism, & Iran Contra CIA Cocaine money laundering.

stampman's picture

"Bigly, Yuuuge, Ghina, comb-over, assassination attempts/threats, Narcissism, & Iran Contra CIA Cocaine money laundering."

And then there is you:  putz extraordinaire.

stampman's picture

"Reagan was an empty head."

You can say that again.

"Reagan was an empty head."

lester1's picture

Reagan was a big time globalist!! The guy lowered tariffs which led to million of American jobs to be shipped overseas !!! 

jfb's picture

Nope. Lowering tariffs is not the real cause; deficits are. You will see this soon by yourself, if the congress ever accept to work with Trump (which I doubt), if a foreign nation sells more because of lower tariffs what can they do with their $$$?

1)-Buying US stuff, so creating jobs in another sector

2)Buying US bonds (since the US has a deficit), which doesn't create real, durable jobs but finance indirectly the US deep state/military complex

3) Burning their USD (which is nearly like (2) if the debts is too high to be repaid)

True Blue's picture

And signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act into law in 1986, that granted millions of illegal aliens a "one time" amnesty, in exchange for CONgressional promises to secure the border (which never happened.)

stampman's picture

Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson is America's foremost traitor for sponsoring that law on behalf of treasonous American employment criminals and against everything law abiding Americans stand for.

Alan Simpson should be executed for treason.

I notice the US intel internet backbone trolls are out, interfering with my posting and ISP service again.

I'll say it again, it is my legal opinion, a right I hold:

Alan Simpson should be executed for treason.

innertrader's picture
It was BUSH who presided over the initiation of NAFTA and Clinton who signed it.  I will NEVER FORGET BUSH STANDING UP WITH HIS FIST IN THE AIR SAYING "THE NEW WORLD ORDER", once it was passed!!!  Kind of like watching barry soretoro kissing the muslim kings ring!!!

America is not a democracy, it's a Constitutional Republic.
Once you fully understand what that means, everything falls into place.

The word "democracy" is not found in any of the founding documents: not in The Declaration of Independence, not in The Bill of Rights, not in The Constitution.




alfbell's picture

Amerika is going down. Trump is going to try and save it. He's an American hero. He is not a worthless politician, which is what Congress is comprised of. He is not a denizen of DC, a swamp filled with evil and corrupt and immoral snakes that are destroying the Great American Experiment.




subversion's picture

Reagan was at Bohemian grove with the rest of them. The photos are out there.

XqWretch's picture

3 more days... hopefully this wasnt all just talk this last year or so

besnook's picture

reagan unleashed the crazy christian right and the banksters upon the usa. the best thing he did was withdraw support for israel in the lebanon war refusing to be baited when the mossad killed 243 marines in their barracks.

flaminratzazz's picture

but but but.. israel = allies!!!

Robert Trip's picture

It's going to be a great day, Inauguration Day.


"Anybody seen Grandma?

I'm going to keep coming back until somebody's seen Grandma."

George Seagal.

stampman's picture

Ask Puopolo.  He knows what happened to Grandma.

gatorengineer's picture

Well, they both are cleaning up (or trying / tried) after terrible inept Democratic administrations.....  That is about the only commonality I see at this point.  But hey if it brings back the free love of the 80s bring it.


Ronald McDonald Reagan & TrumpO the AssClown have much in common with regard to retard sandwich eating & movie making. Reagan starred in Bedtime For Bonzo, which was panned by the critics as being very terrible, and TrumpO the AssClown starred in Golden Showers For Hookers, which was panned by the critics as being equally as terrible.

flaminratzazz's picture

you have to slow your boat down when "trolling4svkers"

(my first banned account)

Blanco Diablo's picture

You must have a straight IV of Viagra in order to constantly blow so many loads of sheet.

innertrader's picture

You are like barry soretoro, I bet you would click your up arrow 40 times if you could, but only once is it!

NobodyNowhere's picture

Hillary-Media-Obama combo was far more formidable than Jimmy Carter who had become a global embarassment for America.

Regan was good natured, genuine, as a person.

Don has much greater calibre, but a huge financial handicap and a tighter elitist grip.

CC Lemon's picture

Reagan had eight years of consistenly lower interest rates and consistently more debt. Tons of spending and tons of growth. Reagan wanted a gold standard but got overruled, but still good looked even though it was a credit card expansion.


Trump has zero rates and everybody maxed out on debt. No spending excpet money printing and no growth.


Not exactly the same situation.


innertrader's picture

NOT even close, don't forget the $20 TRILLION IN DEBT, that we know of!!!

sheikurbootie's picture

Instead of firing all of the ATC, Trump will clean house at the CIA.

rejected's picture

"There was a moral clarity then that no longer exists now."

"Today, the Soviet Empire is gone, the Warsaw Pact is gone, the Soviet Union is gone, and the Communist movement is moribund."

Pat,,, There is a moral clarity today but it doesn't favor the USA as it once did.

Like Darth Vader of Star Wars the USA was/is seduced by the dark side while Russia has become the hated Galactic Republic the 'Empire' wants to eliminate.

az_patriot's picture

A major difference between the Reagan and Trump eras is that, this time, the Democrats (now fully infested with liberals in their ranks) are intent on self-destruction over losing the election.  The Democrats (and the MSM) are showing no decorum, no honesty, no integrity, and utter childishness.  While they fester in their feeding frenzy of destructive behavior and toy with polling data to try to harm Trump, they are virtually assuring not only their massacre at the mid-term elections, but a solid second term for Trump before he's even in office.  Only the extreme left and the Hollywood loony bin thinks anything positive about the liberal left.