Part II: The road to hell is paved with government intentions.
The Trump Phenomenon
While the Republican establishment didn’t accept that the media would destroy any Republican, no matter how moderate, their base voters did. The voters had enough of conventional politicians looking the part and then selling them out with legislation that is exactly the opposite of what they wanted all the while seeking the hateful media’s approval.
In a crowded field of solid Republican talent, newbie politician Donald J. Trump came to the fore. Many in the Tea Party wanted a fiscal conservative like Ted Cruz. And, in fact, Sen. Cruz won his home state. Even Cruz, though, couldn’t overcome Trump’s formidable abilities, the chief being his pugilistic interaction with the media.
Trump, more than any other living Republican, knew both the cultural and political establishment and the media. Like most Americans outside the Beltway, he had little use for either.
Trump’s honest outrage at the political classes’ failures reflected the feelings of many Americans. Had the working class been destroyed? Yes. Had the middle class been abused and harmed? Yes. Had small business owners been frustrated, inhibited with regulations and taxation? Yes. Were corporations encouraged to move production overseas due to taxation, regulation, and rhetoric? Yes. Had stupid wars sapped America’s strength? Yes.
Trump laid bare their corruption for all to see. He knew their contempt and what they said behind closed doors. He knew the stupidity and mendacity of the media.
Many establishment Republicans, especially, think that Trump’s rhetoric is a ruse. They think that he postures at populism and is simply sloganeering to gain power for its own sake. They view him as an empty charlatan pretending and using the American people to feed his egotistical need to run things — America as his most recent business acquisition. They’re wrong, both about Trump and about the people he represents.
President Trump’s voters saw, for the first time, a Republican who kept his promises against a tsunami of opposition from the media, the Democrats, and worst of all, his own party. Trump’s rhetorical and policy loyalty to his voters has garnered fanatical loyalty in return.
Trump’s voters are often portrayed as cultists. This is projection. President Obama, a lightweight and lazy politician, enjoyed slavish devotion from the Left and more importantly, the media. It continues to this day. Obama’s 1000-watt smile, talk-show circuit gabbing and slow-jamming gave vacuous commentators and media types the character they wanted. Plus, he was black. White liberals, black liberals, and even many so-called conservative commentators swooned. Forget the content of his policy; his pants were pressed perfectly.
In contrast, President Trump enjoys steadfast support because he steadfastly supports his voters. If these citizens seem desperate, it’s because they believe, and maybe not wrongly, that they’ll never have political representation again.
When No One Listens
On the left, Democrat cities are infested with homeless encampments filled with drug addicts and hopeless people — people who lost their jobs, homes, and, finally, their dignity. High-minded and pharisaical, leftists drive past these sufferers on their way to their gated communities, figuring that the government will take care of the problem.
The rich pay huge sums in taxes. Their capacity for charity is all taxed up. The homeless’ interactions with government often are the police and the jailer. Mentally ill, drug-addled police interactions rarely go well for anyone.
Radicalized college students high on Marxism and literally high, and also bored with COVID incarceration, march, burn, and loot in protest. It’s in the name of racial justice, but it’s more about power. Their solution is tearing down the current system, burning it to the ground, and starting over with some form of communist utopia where everyone has a job, a roof over his head, and food, and hopefully drugs but not too many, in his belly.
Corporatists like Barack Obama and now Joe Biden won’t mollify the Antifa–BLM–AOC wing of the Democrat Party. The problem is that the message these activists embrace isn’t entirely wrong. Democrat leaders, like the Republican leaders, are wholly beholden to big corporate and technology interests. Rich people pay their way, after all. That’s why Biden’s appointees are a hodgepodge of social justice and big business and big military. The Democrat Party is a mess.
In the wake of government, media, and big business betrayal of America, both sides’ bases are hardening. But so are their leaders. A toxic mix, the ingredients thrown together in the late 1990s, brews and is crystalizing into pure, refined political poison.
Words and votes don’t seem to be getting the political elite’s attention.
American governance and her form of capitalism has been hung in the balance by the American people and found wanting by both sides of America for different reasons. Americans distrust the bureaucracy, the media, the politicians, the police, and the voting process itself.
Still the media and the elites in both parties act as though the next political cycle will magically get the country back to normal, to norms, blithely denying their part in destroying norms. It’s as if they hope the country embraces their fit of amnesia.
Have these leaders considered how frustrated people solve problems when words and votes fail?
The Beginning of Woes
The year 2020 wasn’t the apex of the crisis. It is the beginning of it. Layering COVID and the American mayors’, governors’, and scientists’ abject hypocrisy onto this toxic environment further illustrates Donald Trump’s point. The questionably fraudulent election is icing on the cake. The voters see and understand who benefits with the return to norms. Hint: It’s not them.
If people conclude that even voting in overwhelming numbers doesn’t matter, problems will be solved another way.
Shutting down the economy for a year, destroying small businesses, and closing schools (over one-third of small businesses in New York and New Jersey are permanently shuttered) while simultaneously wiping out the service industry and making those workers jobless means that the government and bureaucracy is undermined even as people need more support. There have been street protests, ostensibly about racism and police brutality, but as much about pent-up frustration from being penned like animals.
Big corporations thrive during the COVID economy, in contrast to their struggling small business brethren. Government workers have not missed one paycheck. Certainly, no elected official has missed a paycheck — except Donald Trump, who doesn’t take one and has seen his business shrink since taking office.
Meanwhile, there’s a looming mortgage crisis, again. Over six million people missed their October mortgage payment. Over a third of renters aren’t paying rent — but their landlords must still pay their bills.
Then there are the educational disparities being forced by big-city teachers’ unions, who serve the most at-risk children. The teachers are refusing to go back to school to teach, and these children are left behind. Kids in the suburbs are being taught in-person, though. These disadvantages will be felt for a generation.
Europe is erupting in protests. The American media, provincial and Trump-focused as usual, ignores it. How long until mass protests happen here? Or will the managerial class be content to have a large swath of America out of work and dependent upon the government?
COVID Saved Their Day
Donald Trump’s tenure resulted in a pro-American and pro-growth business environment, capital and jobs returning to America, real wage increases for the working class and lower middle class, and historically low unemployment. The fear and frustration of the small businessman, blue-collar and service working Americans was starting to fade and be replaced by optimism. This harmed the interests of the Left. Taking away a population’s dependency means depriving Big Brother of his power.
The government aristocracy, media, foreign policy, and educational elite are thrilled to have Biden back. He will bring a return to the policies that they enjoy: hegemony of the “elites” who got America into foreign entanglements, a tyrant-appeasing citizen-of-the-world philosophy that enriched and emboldened China, Russia, and Iran and marginalized Taiwan, vulnerable European countries, and Israel. Jobs and economic power will be exported, harming the American middle class in service of cheap goods from countries who hate America.
America’s current political environment started nearly a generation ago with a wholly preventable mortgage lending crisis. Each election since has been an attempt by Americans to get the focus back on America. Between 9/11 and an endless war that followed, the housing crisis, and unchecked immigration coupled with exporting jobs, Americans just want to to come home, go to work, and come home again.
Donald Trump recognized this and promised to remember the people. When he did as promised, the establishment attempted to destroy him. It continues to this day. It is possible that Donald Trump and his family will be persecuted for the rest of their days for the crime of revealing the government no-talents for what they are: empty, callous, self-dealing, America-indifferent mediocrities with a lust for power and other people’s money.
Trump’s voters would be weird if they didn’t take this behavior personally.
When will the dam burst? It’s difficult to predict. There will come a day — soon, one suspects — when Nancy Pelosi gets recorded doing another maskless haircut or a mayor or governor insults his or her voters so flagrantly that he incites the populace. That Americans haven’t yet full-throttle revolted is a testament to their patience and goodwill, or maybe to their apathy and hopelessness. Gun shops and sporting goods stores have run out of ammo except for buckshot, and even that’s getting difficult to find. This should concern the powers that be.
When words fail, when votes fail, when people feel like they have nothing to lose, desperate people do desperate things. Half the country believes they’re being deprived of the politician they voted for and who finally spoke for them. The other half are agitating to destroy the system they believe is fundamentally unfair. The people at the top seem indifferent to everyone. The road that started with government interventions won’t end well.