He need not try to replicate aspects of Bush or Reagan.
By Duncan Hunter
Published in USA Today, July 21, 2016
As a candidate for president, and now the Republican nominee, Donald Trump has tapped into everything that Americans dislike about the last eight years under Barack Obama.
Trump seized the momentum early, decimating a deep bench of primary opponents, and his message of harnessing America’s inherent potential for greatness continues to resonate. That message has taken different forms, but its central premise is that America already possesses the right talent and a fighting spirit to match. All that’s needed is a leader with real-world experience and a record of success.
Trump is not driven by some false sense of loyalty, feeling as though he needs to echo ideals and a vision that are not his own. He’s created his own brand, both in business and politics, and he’s renewed a feeling of American greatness that’s been missing for too long.
Trump is not George W. Bush. He’s not Ronald Reagan. These leaders presided over their own challenges that made them unique, and there is a whole new set of challenges that will fall to the next president. Trump need not try to replicate aspects of Bush or Reagan, or anyone else. He just needs to put America first — and he’ll do that as president.
Reagan, for instance, confronted the Soviet Union at the end of a decades-long Cold War. Bush was a wartime president despite wanting to focus on domestic policy. Both were leaders in their own right, and Trump will be as well.
There is now the threat of the Islamic State terror group, a resurgent al-Qaeda, an emboldened Russia and a nuclear Iran. America’s borders are largely unsecured. It continues to lose ground to competitors as a result of unbalanced trade deals. There’s no playbook, but Trump’s commitment to project strength is the right start.
He recognizes that America is still leading the world, but we’ve lost our way under Obama. That explains why the Republican National Convention has shaped up to be far less about policy debates and legislative bona fides than about authenticity and leadership.
More Americans are showing that’s what they want, and that’s what a President Trump will deliver.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has endorsed Donald Trump for president.