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President Trump’s political opposition are beside themselves in their continual condemnation of every domestic or foreign policy proposal and action taken by the administration. According to them, everything done by the Trump administration is either some kind of evil grand conspiracy in service of his supposed “Russian puppeteers,” the product of his supposed racist and white supremacist worldview, or just some crackpot idea by someone who is over his head and “winging it” – sometimes in combination!
Compared to the erudite foreign policy establishment, the cultural [il]literati, the grand conservative thinkers among the #NeverTrump wing who make these judgments daily, which are repeated endlessly by the paid parrots in the legacy media, I see things in far simpler terms, which could be distilled to this concept: the President is spearheading an American restoration in much the same way that a builder (or a homeowner) renovates and restores an old house that has been allowed to decay through neglect over the years.
America’s decay since 1960 can be clearly shown by contrasting what we do these days versus what we did yesteryear. There is a LOT that we used to do that we don’t anymore, much of which plays directly into “national objectives” and the national psyche. POTUS is quite simply trying to restore America’s mojo.
For example, we used to teach self-reliance through the adage that “God helps those who help themselves.” The concept involves developing personal initiative, working hard, and providing first for oneself and then for one’s family. To depend on others for one’s basic needs was long considered to be a personal failing and an embarrassment. These days, the political class has constructed a welfare state that teaches inter-generational dependence on the government, destroying self-reliance and also personal integrity and the feeling of self-worth in the process.
We used to practice Christian charity at all levels of the income scale. Even those with modest incomes felt compelled to provide at least a pittance for those in more unfortunate circumstances “because it was the Christian thing to do.” Nowadays, the state has assumed that function to the detriment of both those doing the giving and also those on the receiving end. The givers’ hearts are perceptibly hardened as they shirk what previously was a communal obligation while the state can’t do anything about changing the life trajectory and spirit of those receiving government aid.
We used to have lightly regulated free enterprise; anyone with an idea, a little capital, and an entrepreneurial spirit could start and build a business. The concept of “creative destruction” – the continual removal and replacement of longstanding practices to make way for innovative concepts – was inherently understood and accepted. These days, in order to reduce risk to large businesses in particular, the government is engaged in picking winners and losers on the basis of campaign contributions to politicians who manipulate the tax and regulatory systems to benefit or punish as they deem fit. This is the essence of the corporate capitalism about which the Left rail these days. Their aim is off, though, as it is the government that is the problem, not the solution!
We used to have citizen legislators, as envisioned by the Founders. Those legislators would do the people’s business on a part-time basis, and then return to their own business pursuits thereafter. Now, we have a “professional” political class that has sprung up like cockleburs in a bean field. As citizens, we have ceded authority to them to “run the country,” and how has that worked out? Arguably horribly, as the US national debt exceeds $22 trillion, our inner cities are disaster areas filled with hopeless people with ruined lives, our manufacturing jobs cynically and maliciously exported to China, and our national security and sovereignty directly compromised by open borders nonsense.
We used to believe in – and actually had! – a low-tax, low regulatory government and an understanding that the least government that is closest to the people is the best. And to think that there was once no federal income tax or Internal Revenue Service! Now, thanks to the corrupting influence of the power and control provided by an administrative state which has seeped into every nook and cranny of American society, the political class has come to believe that the federal government can provide virtually everything for everyone – but at the cost of our liberties and freedom, not to mention our money! Are there no federal programs which have failed to achieve their goals that should be retired? I can think of a LOT of them that should be shut down and/or returned to the states per the 10th Amendment! The administrative state’s growth is unabated because it serves the political class – but not We The People!
We used to have healthy debates on whither and where public monies should be spent; this as much as any topic enabled us to sort out the true natures of the politicians we sent to Congress. Now, the federal budget in particular has become so gargantuan that no one can grasp the redundancies and waste therein. Who among us has ever read through the entire federal budget? Our eyes glaze at the minutiae. And the political class has gravitated toward the use of continuing resolutions partly to avoid the scrutiny from the public that would come with actually developing a formal annual federal budget. All that the politicians do these days is argue for more taxes and more spending, as well as changing the priorities for spending all those taxpayer dollars.
We used to be taught the Federalist Papers and de Toqueville in 8th grade civics, as well as a reverence for the Constitution. Young people actually understood how state and federal governments worked, and why they were set up as they were by the Founders, including the key concept of checks and balances and the reasons for the “Great Compromise.” Now, the political class seeks to escape those shackles at every turn while developing convoluted arguments that the Constitution needs to be an “enabling document and not a restrictive one” that ultimately lead to the despotism that the Founders feared most. The ridiculous discussion of doing away with the Electoral College by leftist Democrats like the members of The Squad is symptomatic of the demise of practical civics and American history classes in our public education system
We used to be taught public manners and to practice civic courtesy everywhere; it was part of what growing up, and becoming a responsible and productive citizen was all about. Respect for one’s elders, law enforcement personnel, and civic figures was taught and reinforced as one grew up and came of age. Now, the culture has been coarsened to the point where virtually anything goes and nothing shocks anymore. Public insults have given way to wishing bodily harm and/or death on one’s perceived enemies, especially in the political realm. This has hardened into a political tactic by the leftist Democrats who actually cheer on politically motivated violence by the likes of Antifa and Communist agitators in the streets in places like Portland.
We used to have faith in government institutions, and that the people in those agencies were actually public servants tending to the business of the country. How naïve! We have learned otherwise in the Age of Trump, as the revelations about the corruption in the Obama regime across virtually all departments has increasingly been exposed. Before 2016, how many of us would ever have suspected that elements of the CIA, DoJ, FBI, and State Department were conspiring against a presidential candidate and later an elected president? And although cynically noting double standards in the application of our laws, how many of us could ever have believed the extent to which those double standards have been exposed in DoJ and the FBI covering up major Obama and Clinton scandals in recent years?
Lastly – although the list could go on – we used to worship and believe in God, as well as express those beliefs in the public square. Now, we have lost sight of the country’s founding as a Christian nation, and the political class has virtually excised religion from the public square with the aid of the Communist-founded ACLU and other leftists over the years. And how has that worked out? As one example, the Catholic Church has lost its way, abrogating centuries-old pro-life bedrock principles. One statistic about all others shows how far we’ve fallen: over 60 million abortions have been performed since Roe v. Wade opened the floodgates to abortion on demand in 1973. Then there is the increasing evidence of human trafficking and pedophilia among the political class and supposed cultural icons in America. Let’s face it: the Marxists are winning the culture wars, folks, just as they have long planned!
Now given the aforementioned comparisons, what should our national objectives be if we wish to regain some semblance of the Republic envisioned by the Founders? I’ll give you my 2 cents to chew on, all of which are focused on the long-term. I happen to believe that these objectives are also what underly President Trump’s strategy to restore America and its institutions. Conversely, these are also the items that the Left as manifested by today’s Democrat Party will fight – and are fighting! – tooth-and-nail to prevent.
- Promote self-reliance for all American citizens. Teach it in the schools, enable it through limited government. This requires regaining control of the public education system and booting leftist teachers en masse. Reduce transfer payments to a lifetime limit (x number of years total), except for the truly indigent.
- Repeal “affirmative action” laws throughout the land. Restore merit as the only measuring stick for employment and promotion decisions.
- Hold people responsible for their actions, especially the political and mandarin classes. Enforce racketeering and corruption laws (and pass tougher ones that are rigidly enforced). Public shaming also has a place.
- Pass a constitutional amendment limiting federal spending (both on and off book) to the historical average of percentage of Gross National Product (GNP) before 1960.
- Reform the tax code. I prefer a flat tax with no deductions although I would rather see the income tax replaced by a national sales tax and a return to tariffs as a significant source of national revenue as was the case before the 16th Amendment was passed.
- Limit the federal government to constitutionally-specified functions; return all other matters to the individual states (that means “infrastructure” and other Marxist-inspired lingo/programs). Retire failed programs. Reduce federal subsidies to near zero (except for research and development, which is the seed corn of economic and technological growth).
- Promote civic courtesy and good public manners; publicly shame and ostracize those who don’t comply. Quickly prosecute those who incite violence in their political speech and other public utterances.
- Excise all foreign influence (especially money) from the political class. Rescind all domestic campaign finance restrictions, remove all subsidies from non-profits (except for religious organizations), repeal McCain-Feingold (and get rid of all non-profits organizations except for religious-affiliated and private charities), and require all domestic political contributions be instantly publicized the moment they are made.
- Re-implement loyalty oaths across the federal government at all levels. Monitor and enforce adherence through revamped personnel and whistle-blower policies. Pass laws preventing lobbying of Congress by anyone formerly serving in the federal government in any capacity (bureaucrat, elected official, appointed staffers, etc.).
- Sponsor a series of widely-publicized nationwide and regional conferences and debates over many months in many venues on national defense policy, the conduct of war, commitment of forces overseas, alliances, objectives, etc., leading to a national consensus that can be manifested by the political class. Do the same for domestic policy (might require a Constitutional Convention to delineate/realign federal-state responsibilities although I am leery about deep pocket leftist donors hijacking this through corruption and bribery). POTUS has essentially begun the process with his frequent campaign stops around the country.
I greatly prefer the “then” to the “now,” at least as relates to the comparisons presented here. These recommended actions listed will reverse those comparison and are entirely consistent with the MAGA agenda. In fact, these are the kinds of issues that he is pursuing when he appoints conservative judges to the federal bench, implements tax cuts, reduces government regulations, roots out the political corruption in the Deep State, and gains control of our porous southern border. And they’re certainly NOT in service of his mythical Russian puppet masters in Moscow as the execrable Left ridiculously claims! The end result of a continuation of these actions will be a restoration of America over the long haul while removing the blight and decay that the Left have purposely created over the past few decades. Let’s help POTUS continue his wonderful reclamation project on behalf of all Americans!
The post Then Versus Now, and What to Do About It appeared first on RedState.
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