Thomas Jefferson clearly spend a great deal of time considering the wisdom of the self governed. Google his quotes to see what I mean.
I live in a strongly Hillary part of the country. I fully understand how people can take the headlines of Hillary’s campaign and conclude the Trump is the anti-Christ of social development. Many of those, including people I know to be good and earnest people, are feeling betrayed by the half of the country who voted for Trump. After all, Trump has been consistently portrayed as the personification of racism, sexism, bigotry, and intolerance. If that’s true or not, we shall see. For myself, every vote I’ve cast has been a lesser of two evils proposition.
The fact is that he was smarter than the entire democratic machine. He understood how the American people felt better than the media, the Democrats, the Republican establishment, and pretty much everyone else. If you look back over the history of the campaign, Trump was quite accurate in his prognostication. He generally said it poorly, crudely, but in the current environment, perhaps that rough talk was one of his smartest accomplishments. We have listened to smooth, calculated noise from the political elite for most of our lives, watched the results, and concluded that politics was no longer a decent representation of our personal goals as Americans.
The Hillary rhetoric sniff test has been demonstrably refuted. She has behaved in way that should clearly indicate that she has lost her connection to the average woman. Every time she declares herself as the champion of women, I look to her acceptance of money from the worst examples of women’s rights in the entire world. I look to the salaries she pays to her female employees. I look the her record, which either represents a compromised version of women’s rights, or an outright version of “she is greater than thee”. In other words, you are a lesser class to her and her entire inner circle. At the most generous, she is disconnected, at the least, and at the most, she is the logical conclusion of a an elite political class who thinks it’s entirely legitimate to manipulate you into thinking they know better for you than you do yourself.
In a country designed for “by the people” this is a problem.
For me, the results of the election are less about a “For Trump” ideal, than a “Listen to us” mandate. Trump is a guilty pleasure. He was smart enough to talk about the forgotten men and women of America, who were cast aside with the passing of NAFTA. The bottom line is that the light of America is about being foundationally solid enough to say that our model for the world is authoritative. That authority is under attack everywhere and we can feel it right down to our wallets.
Trump speaks to that, frequently very poorly. The man could have articulated almost everything he said much more clearly and smoothly. Hillary failed for a variety of reasons. But probably the most is that she showed a disdain for the people she proposed to represent. Did she feel a strong role to represent women, to pass her message forward into the body politic? Probably not. As a result, she never carried her message with the ring of truth. We all understand that electing a woman president is a big deal. She just wasn’t the woman to elect. It seems likely that if she managed to win, the mess she dragged with her would have made it harder to elect a woman in the future. The right woman. I fully understand the argument that she lost because of sexism, but I don’t buy it. I think it has more to do with the confluence of anger with the whole political process along with her mounting piles of evidence of corruption, with is the essential source of that anger. Part of that may have been her entitled expectation that she had earned it. Part of it may have been her own personal history and decisions, which does not support her position. Full credit to her for her gracious concession. More speeches like that would have gone a long way to establish her authenticity. She also spoke eloquently about the power of women to break the ultimate glass ceiling and all the other ceilings that women face in this world. I respect the message and I have no doubt that there will be a woman president in my lifetime. If we can turn all the corners that we need to turn in this country, there will come a time when an honest woman will handle the growth of this nation better than any man.
And let’s be clear: We must grow. There is nothing about the concept of this nation that allows us to rest on our laurels. We must grow culturally, and lose all the labels that we slap on everyone. I could write another post on this one subject, but given the words I’ve read today, no one needs help with this definition. Here’s the main issue, though, one that Trump seems to see but never articulates well. If we don’t grow economically first, then none of the rest of it works. It’s simple human nature that when we have enough to live our own lives, we are automatically more generous to others’ views. It’s also human nature that those who have struggled are more inclined to help when their own situation improves. In the big game, the survival of the whole American ideal, an economically strong middle class is the key. If we retain enough power to have our voice, then America rests on a broad base. If we don’t, then we live on a knife edge that can be destroyed easily. My personal belief is that there has been a long term concerted effort to destroy the American middle class. I don’t know who wants it, but I know that it’s a model that fits the patterns of our lives. I have hope that Trump is willing to fly a finger in that general direction, even if his motivation is to preserve his own business legacy.
One of the great ironies of the result is that Trump was successful enough that he had better walk the walk. He, with the support of both houses, has no excuse for failing to clean up the mess we find ourselves in, no excuse for failing to drain the swamp. With his full mandate, he must support all of it on his shoulders. For those of you who have only heard the headlines of Hillary’s campaign, he’s not a sexist demon. He runs a radical meritocracy and pays his women the same as men for similar levels of responsibility. If a woman can do the job better, he puts one in the job. Check Hillary’s foundation for the contrast in women’s pay. He’s not a racist, although I can see how he has made it easy to apply that brush to him. His equation is not based on race; it’s based on good for America, versus not good for America. The caveat is that as a businessman, it is also good for his business versus not good for his business. He uses the tools available to get result. He’s had 18 solid months transition his own model of business from that of the Trump brand to that of America, and get ready because he will use every tool available to make America succeed. He doesn’t know any other way to approach it. If you think it’s about sexism, racism, anti-gay or anything else, I suspect you are going to find that it’s simply about the success of every American within his concept of a larger American system that must succeed.
What happens if he turns the corner on our economic success? What happens if he’s right and we can actually collect more taxes from lower tax rates? What happens if he can actually drain the swamp, which we all know is filled with the stickiest, most virulent mud imaginable. What happens if companies want to be in America again? What happens if he rebuilds our manufacturing base? What happens if he destroys medical monopolies and medical price fixing, which by the way is the real reason we can’t afford decent health coverage in this country? What happens if he redirects resources to fixing our problems instead of trying to shore up a web of influence over the rest of the world? What happens if he manages to create enough money to begin paying down our stupendous debt? How does that single action affect our children and grandchildren? What if he fights wars to win, instead of fighting limited actions that only enrich the contractors while degrading the readiness of our military? For that matter, what if he builds a military that no one would even consider engaging on the world stage?
I’ll leave you to answer. Meanwhile, the riots have started.