Donald Trump is regularly denounced as an electoral interloper, someone ignorant of the rules of the political game and who possesses a brash and mercurial temperament unsuited to the demands of presidential office. The litany of complaints and condemnations shows no sign of abating and is indeed picking up momentum with every passing day: he is a dictator in the making, a Putin in American clothing, a man with an itchy nuclear finger, and a potential killer of journalists and political opponents. Calls have been heard for impeachment and assassination. The attack on a lawfully elected president is not only visceral and remorseless but arguably bordering on treasonous.

Is he really the ignoramus and tyrant-in-the-making that his enemies have portrayed him to be? Trump has notably surrounded himself with people who know their stuff — intelligent, knowledgeable and successful in their fields — which suggests that he knows how to find and choose the right partners and associates, as his business career abundantly proves. He has demonstrated time and again, during his nomination run and electoral victory, that he is gifted with determination, street smarts, a taste for winning, and a remarkably steep learning curve.

His proclaimed intention to “drain the swamp,” revealing that he was willing to state, boldly and without equivocation, what no other major political figure had the courage or insight to put on record, has resonated with heartland America. For the swamp manifestly exists and its toxic substance is relentlessly advancing into the receding terrain of the republic, like the bio-engineered virus in James Rollins’ The 6th Extinction that threatens everything in its path.

Trump is perfectly aware that he is under prolonged siege and may have understood that his enemies will never back off and slink ignominiously away. Trying to establish an entente cordiale with them is doomed to failure. The hard-core Democrat Left and its cronies in academia and the media, Obama himself (reportedly planning a “crusade” against Trump), the Black Bloc Antifa rioters, the generation of deeply indoctrinated and under-educated students, practically the entire entertainment industry — actors and sports figures whose respective talents have little to do with developed intelligence — and the denizens of many national institutions, the State Department and a corrupted judiciary chief among them, will continue to fight tooth and nail down to the wire. There is no reconciling with the unreconcilable.

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