ORLANDO, Florida — There are great personalities built on sand.
Just ask porn lawyer Michael Avenatti and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Avenatti, media experts assured us, would be our next president — before he went to jail for being a charlatan, a grifter and a thief.
Mr. Cuomo was the “love guv” who drove “Cuomo-sexuals” in the media wild over his steady statesmanship during the coronavirus pandemic. He wrote a book about leadership in crisis. He earned an Emmy award for his press conferences. He, too, would be our next president, they assured us.
Until, that is, he was exposed for issuing orders that killed thousands of elderly people in nursing homes and hid crucial information that might have saved thousands more at the height of the pandemic. Now he is looking at a federal investigation into his deadly coverup and even fellow Democrats are talking about impeaching him.
Also, it turns out, he is a total creep.
Foundations built on sand do not last.
And then there are great personalities built on rock.
Just ask Donald Trump.
The former president has been impeached twice — and acquitted twice. He endured five years of the most insanely vicious political press — literally billions of dollars in fake and dirty campaign advertising. The federal government spent tens of millions of dollars pursuing the wildest conspiracy theories that lunatics in the press and partisan Washington Democrats could come up with.
He was smeared, slimed and lacerated by longtime political hacks in Washington desperate to protect their power. They did all they could to undermine the legitimacy of his stunning victory in the 2016 election. They spent the next four years inciting riot and insurrection.
The country burned.
Yet Mr. Trump was vindicated in both impeachments. And he was cleared in the massive federal probe into Democrats’ dark fantasies.
On Sunday, he emerged here very much intact and as powerful as ever inside the Republican Party.
To be sure, he has scars to show for all he has been through. It is a wonder the man is still standing.
But standing he is. And the crowds went wild.
That is because Mr. Trump is — and always has been — so much more than just a famous flash in the political fire.
What got Mr. Trump elected in 2016 and what earned him 75 million votes in 2020 wasn’t just his personality. It was the issues he embraced without flinching.
The wall. China. Foreign wars. America First.
These are all short-hand now. Why? Because Mr. Trump so successfully defined each issue and pushed it to the very top of the political agenda. It is the enduring magic of Donald Trump.
He builds. He sells. He markets.
Single-handedly, Mr. Trump dragged the Republican Party out of the clutches of their craven donor class who despise the actual voters they need to stay in power. Mr. Trump redefined the party.
That is why Mr. Trump remains the most dangerous man Washington has seen in a half-century. He is owned by no one. And he speaks for the people.
Right now President Biden can tear down Mr. Trump’s border wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can build a new one around the Capitol. Democrats can jump back into bed with Iran. Mr. Biden’s family can sell out America to China.
Joe Biden can swap America First with America Last. But these are all loser issues for them.
Still standing is Mr. Trump. And he proved this week he aims to get back into the fight and swing away, dangerous as ever.
• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He may be reached at [email protected]
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