The subtle, dangerous way Donald Trump has changed American political discourse

Trump and his kin have effectively rotated the axis upon which we place political candidates.

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1 Response to The subtle, dangerous way Donald Trump has changed American political discourse

  1. Peter Schaeffer says:

    “Trump and his kin have effectively rotated the axis upon which we place political candidates”

    That’s quite true and he should be commended for it. For years, this country (and Europe) have been run by a bipartisan elite that have enriched themselves and ravaged the lives of everyone else. No the people (in Europe and America) are revolting. Why is that surprising.

    The left vs. right distinction was (too a large degree) a convenient framework that kept the Cosmopolitan Elite in charge while devastating everyone else. Let’s take two important examples, immigration and trade.

    The elite left wanted cheap voters (and cheap servants). The elite right wanted cheap labor (and cheap servants). Ordinary Americans wanted border control and immigration enforcement. The elites collaborated to make sure that the border remained open and immigration enforcement didn’t happen.

    Ordinary Americans got lower wages, unemployment, failing schools, unaffordable housing, gridlock, welfare dependency, family disintegration, etc. The elites got their way.

    Since at least NAFTA, Americans have been quite wary of “free trade” deals. Rightfully so. Millions of jobs have been lost to “free trade” and America has visibly declined as a consequence. Of course, the left elite wanted to be smug and cosmopolitan and right elite wanted corporate bonuses and unlimited outsourcing. Did it matter that millions of Americans were destroyed in the process? Of course, not. Did it matter that America declined via “free trade”. Of course, not. The elites got their way.

    Like it or not, on the key issues (immigration, trade, foreign policy, political correctness) of the day, Paul Ryan and Barack Obama are peas in a pod. Hillary is just another pea.

    Trump and Brexit are popular reactions to failed policies of the elites. Trump may or may not win, but he deserves enormous credit for breaking open the sealed political system of the elites.

    Peggy Noonan captured this rather well in the WSJ

    “How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen – Those in power see people at the bottom as aliens whose bizarre emotions they must try to manage”

    “The larger point is that this is something we are seeing all over, the top detaching itself from the bottom, feeling little loyalty to it or affiliation with it. It is a theme I see working its way throughout the West’s power centers. At its heart it is not only a detachment from, but a lack of interest in, the lives of your countrymen, of those who are not at the table, and who understand that they’ve been abandoned by their leaders’ selfishness and mad virtue-signalling.”

    “Affluence detaches, power adds distance to experience. I don’t have it fully right in my mind but something big is happening here with this division between the leaders and the led. It is very much a feature of our age. But it is odd that our elites have abandoned or are abandoning the idea that they belong to a country, that they have ties that bring responsibilities, that they should feel loyalty to their people or, at the very least, a grounded respect.

    I close with a story that I haven’t seen in the mainstream press. This week the Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson reported that recent Syrian refugees being resettled in Virginia, were sent to the state’s poorest communities. Data from the State Department showed that almost all Virginia’s refugees since October “have been placed in towns with lower incomes and higher poverty rates, hours away from the wealthy suburbs outside of Washington, D.C.” Of 121 refugees, 112 were placed in communities at least 100 miles from the nation’s capital. The suburban counties of Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington—among the wealthiest in the nation, and home to high concentrations of those who create, and populate, government and the media—have received only nine refugees.

    Some of the detachment isn’t unconscious. Some of it is sheer and clever self-protection. At least on some level they can take care of their own.”

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