Events and history itself have speeded up greatly over the past generation. It’s close to impossible to reflect on an issue over time, as by the next day it has been replaced by a dozen more issues and events.
This is similar to the way Donald Trump has operated – rapid fire statements and “tweets,” moving on to other topics even as friends and foes are still trying to decipher his previous statements. In this respect, the organized chaos of Donald Trump makes him a perfect president for our time. But events of the past few weeks have revealed what is likely the “real” Trump, and it is a very ugly picture indeed.
The bombing of the Syrian airfield was a relatively puny military strike by the standards of the Pentagon and its globe-straddling ambitions, but it symbolized much. During his 2016 campaign, Trump had the uncanny ability to signal that he “knew the score.” Given that this had been unprecedented in U.S. presidential politics since the days of maybe Andrew Jackson, Middle America embraced a new hero. Ronald Reagan was great rhetorically, but he pretended to be a traditional conservative whereas Trump spoke the language of populism and nationalism that so many Americans had been starved to hear.
As amply demonstrated in this issue’s Intelligence Report, beginning in late March Trump made a dramatic 180 degree turn and instead of trying to “drain the swamp” decided to become just the latest puppet of the swamp to occupy the White House. Oh, he loves to project strength – and maybe he’ll use his unpredictability to bomb North Korea or do something else idiotic to start a major war – but to his base he has shown weakness and cowardice.
It’s possible he can still salvage his administration. He made a good pick for the Supreme Court in Neil Gorsuch – but the key will be his next nominee or nominees. Republican Presidents have followed a pattern of picking a conservative and then a moderate or liberal, with the result that justices like Scalia, Rehnquist and Thomas are never able to become a majority. The Supreme Court hasn’t reversed a single high-impact liberal decision in generations. But of course the flow of U.S. history from the beginning has been the slow but sure march toward greater and greater centralized governmental power and control.
If Trump continues to select good Supreme Court justices, enacts his promised large tax cut, builds the wall, and makes a genuine effort to rid the U.S. of a good portion of the illegal aliens here, and ends H1-B visas, that would be a big improvement over previous Republican Presidents and a quantum leap over the horrors of a Hillary Clinton presidency. But until further notice, we’re now “from Missouri” when it comes to Donald Trump.
But now, Trump has gone full-boar “centrist” and establishment. That’s what Jeb Bush was supposed to be, not Donald Trump. Trump has surrounded himself with internationalists, banksters, neo-conservatives, and Jewish supremacists. The token populist, Steve Bannon, is being pushed toward the exits.
When Ronald Reagan only had a few true-blue conservatives in his administration, such as Paul Craig Roberts, David Stockman and James Watt, excuses were always made for him. Likewise, Trump will always have plenty of supporters who will point the finger everywhere but where it should be. His new base of supporters will be the neo-cons and “Judeo”-Christians who just love war and slaughter from a distance, and other “conservatives” even though there is nothing left of substance to “conserve” in Amerika 2.0.
Ronald Reagan had the opportunity to turn America around in 1980. The American people would have supported him, but he turned out to be 99% rhetoric and 1% action. Now nearly 40 more years have passed, and the last thing Middle America needs is another charlatan.
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