Is Donald Trump another Reagan? This primary season some pundits and people have said as much, comparing their backgrounds in entertainment and status as outsiders. But one Reagan historian begs to differ. Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Monday to discuss why he felt compelled to set the record straight on the comparison between Reagan and Trump.
"There's a piece done maybe about a year ago which listed 15 alleged similarities between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. And when I got that, Glenn, I just groaned," Kengor said. "They were superficial similarities at best."
What's causing people to make the comparison in the first place? Glenn suggested many people like Trump because of his "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.
"I don't know if people really believe that he's cut from the same cloth, meaning his policies. I think people mean that he's finally somebody who really loves America and loves a strong military and, you know, all that stuff," Glenn said.
Kengor echoed Glenn's sentiments, noting that Trump's slogan is nearly an exact replica of Reagan's 1980 campaign slogan, "Let's Make America Great Again."
Urged by people to discredit the comparison with his vast knowledge of Ronald Reagan, Kengor struggled with the notion.
"And really, Glenn, for me, I thought, 'I don't know where to start writing something like this.' Because as far as I'm concerned, there aren't two men who are more different," Kengor said. "I suppose I could find a couple of policy issues where they seem to agree. But when it comes to intellectually, ideologically, and I would say emotionally, temperamentally, you know, they're completely different, to the point where I would say that Donald Trump is really the anti-Reagan."
"I read an article of yours this morning, the second editorial on this in Conservative Review, and you said there were 15 things that you wrote about in your book. Fifteen markings of what a conservative is to Ronald Reagan. I read the quote from Ronald Reagan that you just put in here, about what a conservative is --- night and day difference answer between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump --- but that is the best definition of a conservative I've ever read," Glenn said.
Reagan said that the heart of American conservatism is "the common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women working out their lives, in their own way.
Kengor then gave Glenn what he called "the money line" from Reagan's remarks:
Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from the willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before. The principles of conservatism are sound because they're based on what men and women have discovered through experience, in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind."
Paul Kengor is the author of six books on Ronald Reagan and other titles, including The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century. His latest book is Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.
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Featured Image: An unearthed photo of a young Donald Trump shaking hands with President Ronald Reagan, courtesy of Newsmax.