"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Donald Trump And Rolling Back The Liberal Agenda–Newton’s Third Law

When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.
Much has been made of Donald Trump’s supposed extremism and how he and his socio-political agenda are misogynist, homophobic, and racist.

There is nothing in Trump’s long historical record that justifies these criticisms.  There have been no court cases against him for discriminatory hiring or firing, nor any for sexual assault or misconduct.   He has maintained a principled legal and moral posture towards women, blacks, Latinos, and gays.  His hotel executives have always included women, his reality television shows featured as many women as men and both were treated equally, and his daughters have been given authority and responsibility in his businesses.


Why then such hostility? Trump is a showman, a burlesque performer, and a vaudevillian as well as a real estate mogul.  He has understood that overstatement, bluff, and braggadocio are the stock-in-trade of Hollywood movie moguls as well as New York City investors.  Perhaps more than anything he has understood the art of image, meme, and personality.  Trump has made his living as an outsized, demanding, and intimidating character; and has never been shy about demonstrating the rewards of wealth and power.  Arm candy, glitz, yachts, private planes, and third and fourth homes have been his stock in trade – rewards and embellishments of his image.  Americans have always been in love with Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the celebrities of People Magazine.

Hollywood’s showpieces – the great romantic movies and adventures of past and present – are the result of brutal infighting, sexual favor, and indomitable egos.  New York City was not built by the temperate and respectful, but by aggressive, impatient, intolerant, and unstoppable figures.  Rockefeller, J.P.Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and their colleagues created empires of rail, steel, energy, and finance because of their strength, absolute confidence, and determination; and no man of such power and influence ever retreated to the parlor with a good book in the evening.

In other words, one can expect no different from Donald Trump.  He, like his industrialist forefathers, is a man of ambition, talent, intelligence, and appetite.  It is to his credit that given the sanctimony and moral opprobrium of the times he has never been convicted of insider trading, stock manipulation, Enron-style financial chicanery, or sexual misconduct. 

Yet the brutal, ad hominem presumptive attacks have taken their toll.  They were used to try to defeat him; but now that he has won, his opponents live in fear that the lie they perpetuated will come to fruition – that he in white nationalist fervor will intern African Americans, deport all Muslims and Latinos, lead pogroms on gay clubs, unleash the police with Duterte-style authority, and turn the country into an autocratic state.

None of this, of course, will happen although Trump will indeed confront the very issues of race, gender, and ethnicity so championed by the liberal Left. 

Yet it is wrong to think that his policies and actions will be hateful and abusive.  He is out only to redress the imbalance that has resulted from liberal policies and agendas.  He is not racist when he calls out Black Lives Matter for inflaming racial hatred of both blacks and whites and for doing more to set back the cause of civil rights and economic and social parity than any other political movement.  He is not racist when he calls for an end to racial entitlement, the re-establishment of normative moral codes of behavior, and a culture of responsibility. 

He is no animus against Latinos per se, and understands that the maids, gardeners, kitchen staff, and garage attendants that make his hotels run efficiently are Hispanic  He knows like the residents of Dallas, Houston, and Washington, DC that without willing and responsible workers from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, the economies of those cities would suffer.  His calls for The Wall, for summary round-ups of illegal aliens, and punitive responses to illegality have nothing to do with racial prejudice, but with reality.  He, and the many apologists for immigration reform, insist that illegal labor is driving down wages, distorting market prices for food and services, adding pressure to the environment, increasing public costs, and challenging the American ideal of one culture, one language.

He has no visible animosity towards gays and recently (11.14.16) and publically stated his endorsement for gay rights – ‘settled’ by the Supreme Court.  As above, he has done nothing to delay, retard, or inhibit the rise of talented women within his television production or real estate businesses.
Yet there is no doubt that Donald Trump has said ‘enough’ to the issues of race, gender, and ethnicity because they have taken over the national discourse and in his opinion have distorted the more reasonable and objective dialogue that must take place to improve economic mobility and access to wealth.  Constant, persistent, and hostile criticism of anyone who opposes the liberal agenda as racist, sexist, and homophobic not only does no good but does measurable harm.

There is no doubt that Trump, his advisors, and most Americans realize that something is wrong in the black community; and he like the rest of us want improvement.  Yet we all look at the billions of dollars wasted on programs of entitlement, public welfare, self-esteem and inclusivity, and  failing public education in inner city neighborhoods and feel it is time to change course. 

When Trump calls for an end to entitlement; demands a performance-based welfare and education policy, stricter policing, and less tolerance for using history (e.g. slavery) as a justification for anti-social behavior, he is not racist but realistic.

When Trump calls for  immigration reform – the issuance of a national identity card and the right to inspect it; harsh penalties for employers who hire illegal workers; immediate deportation of any illegal immigrant with a criminal record, and yes, the wall-fence – he is not ethnically insensitive, but realistic.

When he supports the right of private business owners to refuse services that offend their moral and religious principles he is not homophobic, but only intends to redress what many see as an imbalance between personal religious beliefs and secular demands. 

It is no surprise that the American people have elected a President who will roll back the liberal agenda.  The most zealous will hope for a complete dismantling of the progressive apparatus and an establishment of a purist conservative society; but the more realistic understand that the Trump phenomenon is simply part of a natural search for equilibrium and order.  In other words, a radical populist government is unlikely given the many opposing and contradictory positions within the Republican party, not to say the electorate. 

What will happen is that a Trump Administration will face down street protestors, restore respect for the police, challenge the cant and debilitating safe spaces of universities, and rescind the now discredited social programs of the progressive Left.


The new Administration will not deny global warming, but will insist on a more rational cost-benefit and risk analysis before investing.  In other words, just as Trump will not resort to equally inflammatory rhetoric and accusation, he will demand that every investment in global warming response be justified in terms of evident and potential risk to both environment and jobs.

His own inflamed campaign rhetoric – taken as gospel by his opponents – was meant to highlight issues and political commitment, not to lay out considered policy.  The Left took him at his word – racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic and climate denier – when his supporters heard only principle.  Enough is enough, they said.  Time to turn attention to unnoticed needs, to push back against intellectual entitlement, to return to the practical realism of ‘the ends justify the means’.

What is happening in America is not so catastrophic or cataclysmic as Trump’s opponents would have us believe. Conservatives and disaffected, angry, frustrated Americans who support them are  simply acting according to Newton’s Third Law – a countervailing force pushing to reestablish political equilibrium.

Put another way, it is the beginning of a new cycle in the perpetual circular movement of history, always in motion because of the energy expended by opposing forces.   Or famously circular business cycles.

Of course Hillary Clinton’s supporters are upset; but their disc0nsolateness is due to an unrealistic assumption that she would win because her cause was righteous as well as right.  The election was not just a political defeat but a highly personal and moral one.  It is hard to recover from that.

Those more sanguine Hillary supporters will understand The Political Wheel, be patient, work to accelerate its turning towards a better place, and organize to facilitate the trajectory.  Those more emotionally damaged will protest in the streets and continue the campaign rhetoric of race, gender, and ethnicity until the effects of popular Trumpism quiet if not cloture the debate.

To Trump supporters his election is no less than a revolution – ‘cleaning the swamp’ and the Augean stables of Washington – but to the more temperate, it is politics and physics the way they are supposed to behave.

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