Over the past week, President Donald Trump has been uniting the country behind the fight against the coronavirus.
That was not apparent at first, with former Vice President Joe Biden plugging his own plan, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) saying Trump should be replaced, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ignoring him entirely. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) compared Trump to Hitler last Sunday, an astonishingly tone-deaf attack in a time of crisis.
But the tide had already begun to turn last Friday, when Trump appeared with business leaders in the Rose Garden as he declared a national emergency.
The message: this is serious, and Americans are stepping up to help.
The country saw people uniting around the president — which is what we needed to see.
Democrats could have been part of that tableau, but they, and the media, kept suggesting that it was more important to replace him.
Hence the boomlet in media praise for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who thanked Trump for speedy federal help, but then accused the administration of causing “chaos.”
That ended quickly, after Trump called Cuomo out, telling him to “do more.” What seemed at first like a tit-for-tat Twitter spat was the president’s way of enforcing unity in wartime.
Cuomo got the message, and more Democrats began to fall in line behind the effort.
Former Democratic Party presidential candidate Andrew Yang led the way, offering support to the White House after it began to consider sending $1,000 checks directly to American families, picking up an idea he suggested during his campaign.
Yang, with his experience in business and philanthropy, understood that pulling together in times of crisis did not mean giving up on political dissent, but meant putting the country’s immediate needs first.
Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden didn’t get the memo. And the media, as usual, were late catching up. Journalists in the White House Briefing Room shouted questions about “racism” because Trump had the temerity to call coronavirus a “Chinese virus” — which it is — in response to China spreading false conspiracy theories about the U.S. military spawning the pandemic.
But the country had moved on.
The grocery supply chain — farmers, workers, truckers — worked hard to re-stock the shelves.
The “gig economy,” targeted by many in the political establishment, sprang into action, providing crucial delivery services. And as the Trump rolled out his relief plans, working with Congress, Democrats began praising Trump.
Rep. Ilhan Omar of the “Squad” called Trump’s leadership “incredible.”
Even CNN’s Dana Bash praised Trump.
The conventional wisdom at the start of this crisis was that Trump’s tool kit — his preference for good news, his emphasis on the stock market, and of course his tweets — was unsuited to the task of managing the outbreak.
But experience proved the opposite. His early instinct to close the borders was a salvation. Even his narcissism has made him more effective: he knows this is his task.
Everything in his life thus far has prepared him for this moment.
There may be hard times ahead. Two weeks ago, the country was celebrating a “blockbuster” jobs report; we may soon see millions of layoffs.
But the president — and the experts — say that we can make a rapid comeback.
“Make America Great Again” was the best campaign slogan in the history of American politics.
Maligned by the media, cast falsely as a racist symbol, “MAGA” is the new national mission.
We can be great again, and we will.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.