Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Shoulda Woulda Coulda Avoided Trump

Now that Donald Trump, with a 3 out 4 win on Tuesday March 8 primaries, is looking like the Republican presidential nominee it is easy to start the Monday morning quarterbacking.

The Republican Party shoulda woulda coulda focused on the injustices suffered by the white working class instead of ruining the political career of Marco Rubio by pushing the rookie senator into a nasty Gang of Eight to push through immigration reform.

The whole notion of the GOP establishment's minority outreach was folly, because appealing to minorities as minorities is the Democrats' game, and they are way better at it than Republicans will ever be.

We can now see what the Republican establishment should have done. It should have started outreach to the America-wide working class, white, black, and brown, appealing to them as typical Americans getting a raw deal from the top-down globalist world view of the global ruling class.

But they didn't, and now we have Trump.

Reading Jim Geraghty this morning got me to thinking that the problem is GOPers and conservatives that approach politics as policy. We conservatives all approach politics as ideology, as putting together a set of ideas to improve the nation.

But politics isn't policy. Politics is violence; it is angry people shouting that they have been screwed by the unjust ruling class and they are not going to take it any more. Democrats and liberals understand this; that's what their activism culture is all about, with its marches and its slogans and its demands and its protest signs. It is political violence by other means.

Now Donald Trump has tapped into the injustice roiling middle America. We should have known it was there, because Charles Murray showed it to us in Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. Remember, he wrote the book exclusively about white America in part because of the trouble he got into with The Bell Curve and in part because he wanted his message to be free of racial cant. It's not just minorities and women that are hardest hit, it's ordinary white Americans below the magic 25 percent of the educated elite.

I'm as rigid and severe a libertarian conservative as any in Illyria. I want to dismantle the welfare state and give the money back to the workers and the middle class from whence it came. Not because I want to beggar the workers but because I believe that social insurance programs sequester the savings of the workers and give them to activists and bureaucrats to play with and to waste. And that is unjust. I want an untrammeled creative destruction economy not because I have it in for workers but because I believe that when you start handing out economic privileges like tariffs and pro-union legislation you are setting yourself up for Detroit. Protectionism lets companies coast instead of compete, and union legislation lets workers price themselves out of the market. And when the crash comes it is not just a correction but a Detroit-type meltdown that ends with grass growing in the streets.

But I recognize that not one person in a hundred really gets this. So I understand the point of a non-ideological Trump candidacy that just rubs the magic lamp with incantations about making America great again. Instead of listing out a terrifying agenda of reform and retrenchment we need a center-right presidency that sugar-coats the medicine and doesn't scare people.

The liberals and the New York Times  are breathlessly arguing that Trump appeals to the darkest forces in the GOP. They mean white racists and white militias. You can't really blame them; the liberal race shaming game has allowed liberals to dominate the culture for 50 years. But that doesn't mean that white working class males don't have genuine grievances that a just ruling class should, would, and could try to ameliorate.

And the big upside potential for Republicans is that the sorrows of the white working class apply also to minority working class folks. Blacks and Hispanics got hammered by the Great Recession because they were the "fortunate" recipients of the liar loans that got them into houses they couldn't afford. And the Crash wiped them out. I'd say that there are millions of blacks and Hispanics ready for the Trump message and anxious to make America great again so that they can prosper.

Can Trump do it? Can the Republican Party do it? Can anyone blunt the race and gender politics of the Democrats and get Americans to vote as Americans and not as a tribe?

Stay tuned. because things are just getting interesting.

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