Historians tell us that the War Department didn’t have much respect for him. They told the president that he drank too much. He was reckless. He was too willing to accept large numbers of casualties. Establishment Republicans worried aloud that Grant’s approach would lead to military and political disaster. When Lincoln was asked why he chose the diminutive Ulysses Grant to command the Union Forces, he said that he could not spare him “because he fights.”
Lincoln had more than a stomach full of the resume’ rich Generals who looked the part. The ones who said the right things, who came from the right families and graduated near the top of their class at West Point. They were risk averse. They dawdled while Confederate Generals with smaller armies out maneuvered them. Grant had mud on his boots and graduated in the middle of his class. But, he understood what needed to be done to win the war.
After suffering staggering casualties in the battle known as the Wilderness, Grant wrote, “I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.” He would not retreat. He would advance and keep moving South. He would press the enemy all the way to Richmond. Backing up or apologizing were not in his vocabulary. General George Patton was clearly a follower of the Unconditional Surrender Grant philosophy.
Robert E. Lee was a brilliant strategist. The General was also well acquainted with Washington politics. His family plantation was just across the Potomac. (It was taken away for non-payment of taxes and turned into a national cemetery.) He understood that the Union had many advantages. In a long, protracted war, the North had the steel and the numbers. But Lee believed that if he could inflict enough pain, staging some successful raids into Union territory, Lincoln’s political base would go wobbly and demand an armistice.
The modern-day Left believes that if they can inflict enough pain, if they can stage some strikes on judicial appointees and other vulnerable Republicans, GOP leaders will sound the retreat and call for peace. The mob actions are strategic. They will continue until Republicans surrender. Hillary said as much.
Enter a Commander in Chief who thinks like Ulysses Grant. He understands the stakes. That this is about what kind of a nation we will leave to future generations. Will we have mob rule or the rule of law? The days of Republican retreat are over. For too long have been losing this war. We’ve had too many Field Generals who would fight and then quickly withdraw.
Until Grant started to show other Union Generals that fighting and withdrawing were prescriptions for defeat, the war was not going well. Grant was the indispensable man. So is Donald Trump.
Like Grant, Trump has faults. He may not have mud on his boots. But, too often he steps on his own story by getting into the mud with his adversaries in Twitter storms. The overriding story however is Donald Trump’s clarity of vision and his determination. He will not apologize. He will not retreat. He will press until they are vanquished. This includes our adversaries who pretend to be the defenders of a free press. Not only does he expect to win. He expects the nation to win.
His steely determination is bearing fruit on every front. From the booming economy to trade deals to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula we see amazing progress. CNN has been reduced to claiming “they are not Fake News!” The Left and their allies in the media have thrown everything they have at him. Trump continues his unrelenting advance.
The same media experts that loudly predicted that Donald Trump would never become president are at it again. They started early this cycle, ensuring us that a Blue Wave was coming. The House was already gone and the Senate was within their grasp.
But they once again discount the massive turnouts at these rallies. They ignore the power of one man with courage. Like Grant, Trump is the indispensable man.
Because he fights.
Gil Gutknecht served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota. He writes about healthcare and political issues of the day. He is currently working on a book about the high costs of Rx drugs.