German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche penned the adage, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” G. Gordon Liddy paraphrased Nietzsche in his 1980 autobiography “Will,” with, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” The 1982 John Milius and Oliver Stone film “Conan the Barbarian” opens with, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
Today, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman and longtime liberal strategist Donna Brazile is applying the saying to Donald Trump.
“I’ve never seen anything like this with Donald Trump,” Brazile told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “I mean, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I mean, being convict — I mean, being indicted, that’s making him stronger? Raising $10 million using an ugly mug shot to raise money? This is a movement.”
Brazile said she had seen two political movements in her life, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. But she’s never seen anything like Donald Trump.
“I’ve never seen anything like this with Donald Trump… I mean, being indicted, that’s making him stronger, raising $10 million using a… mug shot… We have to respect the fact it’s a movement.”
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) September 3, 2023
“And anyone who thinks that you can apply the old political rules to try to defeat this candidate based on ‘He’s scary,’ ‘He’s ugly,’ whatever you might want to call him, this is a movement,” Brazile continued. “And we have to respect the fact that it’s a movement.”
I’m no fan of Donna Brazile, but she is shrewd when it comes to politics. She made her political bones a long time ago and has nothing to prove. She can call it as she sees it. While many liberals are blind as moles — a symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome — Brazile can see the obvious.
She may not have come out and said it, but it’s there between the lines: The majority of Americans know Trump is being politically persecuted and they don’t like it.
Reihan Salam, president of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of National Review, agreed with Brazile. “I think for a lot of people, they feel like the talk about litigation — you know, these various charges, they consider that noise that is baked in, and when he’s [Trump] focused on the issues, he speaks in a very accessible way that could be meaningful in a general election.”
In other words, Trump’s playing his cards smart this time around. It’s not all bluster and name-calling — though there’s some of that, too. The bluster is balanced with straight information about the issues that are on the American mind — the economy, the military, education, culture and what it means to be American. Whether people like Trump’s stance on these issues or not, they can respect — as Brazile does — that Trump has a plan for the country, rather than relying solely on demonizing the opponent.
Trump’s base is firmly behind him. That’s not all. He has the momentum to widen his voter base into territories once thought to be liberal strongholds.
Take the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) for example. This international union is one of the largest in North America. Unions are generally thought to be in the back pocket of liberals. The Trump movement seeks to tear that pocket off the pants of the liberals and claim a greater share of the union vote.
In July, a headline from the New York Times read, “Trump Seeks U.A.W.’s Support as the Union Wavers on Backing Biden.” The article was subtitled, “A video from the former president attacked electric vehicles, predicting the demise of the American automotive industry.”
Team Trump posted the video on social media with the caption, “#Agenda47: Rescuing America’s Auto Industry from Joe Biden’s Disastrous Job-Killing Policies”.
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) July 20, 2023
Salam was aware of Trump’s jaunt into enemy territory. “I’ll also just note that he’s [Trump’s] been incredibly shrewd and disciplined when he’s focused on the political. This week, for example, he was trying to appeal to UAW members to talk about, this effort to transition away from combustion engine vehicles. Now, that might not sound like a very wonky thing, but that’s what he’s very focused on and disciplined about when he’s campaigning.”
It looks like Trump has politically matured. Leading a movement takes discipline, and it appears that Trump knows it. The left may be trying to kill Trump by any means at their disposal politically, but each time they fail, they make him stronger.
Trump isn’t the type of Übermensch or Superman Nietzsche envisioned. After all, Nietzsche pronounced the death of God, while Trump has been a staunch supporter of religious freedom. Trump is no Conan the Barbarian, who witnessed the death of his parents as a child and was nourished on blood and revenge. And Trump is no political insider like G. Gordon Liddy, who the New York Times painted as, “a cloak-and-dagger lawyer who masterminded dirty tricks for the White House and concocted the bungled burglary that led to the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974.”
Trump is unique. He is a force of nature. Will the left be able to bring him down? Anything can happen, but if the left hopes to stop the Trump movement, they’ll have to kill him — figuratively or literally. Anything less is like giving spinach to Popeye.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.