President Trump and a Season of Hard Lessons for America
It is a season of hard lessons.
It can be fruitful – but only if the lessons are learned. Don’t hold your breath.
President Donald Trump was unable to get his luke-warm reform of Obamacare approved by enough Republicans, so it’s dead for now. Despite the hand-wringing on the right and the celebration on the left, this is the best thing that could happen to that bill, which didn’t go nearly far enough in replacing Obamacare with what should be the only acceptable replacement – a free-market system that relegates government to the shadows, instead of the driver’s seat.
About 17% of Americans liked the bill, which means 83% didn’t like it. It would have left tens of millions without coverage. It would have made the UN-affordable care act even more unaffordable for many. Had this bill passed, Democrats would have been super-charged in the mid-term elections, gaining back angry blue-collar defectors, who so surprisingly elected Trump, but now would blame Republicans.
The only “fix” for Obamacare will come when it crashes and burns. It’s on target to do that. Republicans tossing a life-line to this doomed big government scheme play into the hands of its creators – Democrats. Let it crash and burn. Only then will a genuine replacement be widely embraced. Until then, let the country find out what horrors result from Democrat-dictated government health care.
Speaking of crashing and burning, California is nose-diving to oblivion at warp speed. Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown wants $50 billion in new gasoline and vehicle taxes. He says it’s needed to pay for road repairs. Californians should smell a rat. They’ve been paying billions of dollars in gas and car taxes for ages precisely to repair roads. But that money has been diverted by the super-majority Democratic-controlled Legislature to pay for other stuff, like public employee salaries and benefits, and hare-brained schemes to combat the non-threat of so-called global warming.
At least Brown promises this tax will last only 10 years. Californians ought to recognize that rat smell again. In 2014 Brown promised a new tax increase would last only 2 years. Two years later he campaigned to make it permanent. Another former California governor once said the closest thing to eternal life on the earth is a government bureau. This California governor wants to add taxes to the list of eternal evils.
Speaking of eternal evils and eternal bureaus, Trump seems to be following through with his campaign promise to drain the swamp. Or at least eradicating some of the swamp creatures’ creations – rules and regulations governing how Americans live. But a closer examination reveals he’s not ridding the swamp of the creatures who thrive in it: bureaucrats and lobbyists.
Trump cheerleaders celebrate whenever he reverses an Obama executive order or removes a bureaucratic obstacle. That will be about as effective as a thumb in the dike while the sea rises to pour over the wall. Until conservatives understand that a government with the power to reward is the same as a government with the power to punish, not much will change.
Does anyone really think conservative interests won’t seek the same kind of rewards sought by left-wing interests under previous administrations? Does anyone think the Constitution is going to be amended to prohibit Americans from petitioning their government – which is the old-fashioned way of describing lobbying? Only when government is emasculated will it be incapable of rewarding and punishing, and those most effective in lobbying will continue to be rewarded, and those least effective will be punished.
This is the reason for small, limited government. Otherwise, we won’t drain the swamp, we’ll just swap the creatures there now for new creatures. That’s not draining. That’s treading water.
Speaking of treading water, the domestic threat from terrorism will not be eliminated by targeting “refugees” or immigrants from particular countries, as Trump is trying to do. The threat posed by refugees and immigrants to the American way of life can only begin to be solved by not allowing in people who hold values antithetical to the American way of life.
If you think it’s OK to beat your wife, you need to find somewhere else to immigrate to. If you think suicide bombing earns you a place in paradise, you need to go elsewhere. If you’re ideal is to replace the American constitutional system with a religious-political scheme cooked up 1,400 years ago by a man who consummated his marriage to a 9-year-old girl, you need to stay away.
As long as people who exalt anti-American ideals are allowed to enter our nation, which is to say, anti-western civilization ideals, we invite domestic terrorism. If you’re thinking that it will be extremely difficult to know whether a prospective refugee or immigrant is lying when those questions are put to him, you’re right. So what? The burden should be on the refugee and immigrant to demonstrate beyond doubt that they are compatible with our way of life. We don’t have to prove them worthy. They do.
Let’s recap. Will these hard lessons be learned? Didn’t I already say, don’t hold your breath?
With Obamacare the signs, aren’t good. For reasons endemic to politicians, Trump and mainstream Republicans feel they must “do something.” As long as they persist in tinkering, Obamacare will be delayed from crashing and burning. If they manage to re-make it into Obamacare-lite, they will have succeeded only in shifting the blame from Democrats to Republicans when it inevitably does crash and burn.
California’s outlook is about as pessimistic. There sadly is no way conservatives will have an ounce of influence in the state’s foreseeable future. Democrats there, who more resemble Marxists than they do the party of JFK, will never relinquish their death grip on the state, and will hold fast to their suicidal social and economic ideology to the end. Think Venezuela.
As for that swamp, for all the good Trump has managed in a short time, don’t lose sight that it’s not all played out yet. He already is blocked on refugees by progressive federal judges, and the first wave of lawsuits challenging his environmental rollbacks are just now being filed. Damaging leaks will continue if not accelerate for his tenure. Already he is talking about partnering with Democrats to get something done.
The Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party element in the House, is being abandoned for “compromise” with progressive Democrats. What could go wrong? Already Trump promises to campaign against the most conservative representatives in his own party. Gee, who would benefit from him turning against the people who brought him to office?
As for terror threats, actually the outlook is marginally more optimistic. But only because the way things are going will inevitably result in more frequent, more violent, more deadly terror attacks and more demands by jihadists that their values be accommodated here, as they have achieved in Europe. But the U.S. isn’t Europe. Not yet, anyway. Americans just might be repulsed enough and awakened by the growing threat to do what Europe has waited too long to do. Or not. The chances of learning this lesson are probably about 50-50.
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