Of moving paper fantasy
Hallowe’en is nearly upon us, and almost a year has passed since the world got the news of Donald J. Trump’s stunning victory in the Presidential election of 2016. I think it will be one of those moments in history that people will remember exactly where they were when they heard the news.
Amazingly, the sky has not fallen during the first ten months of this Presidency, there are no concentration camps, nor has there been any nuclear war. There was an ill-fated attempt to tie Trump to election-meddling by the evil “Russians”, but that seems to be dying away. (What Russians? The Russian government? Russian people? Russian dressing?) I don’t know, all they have been able to come up with as fact is that “Russians” bought some advertising on Facebook, and boosted posts. If this is illegal vote tampering, wouldn’t the true culprit be Mark Zuckerberg and his associates at Facebook?
The press has been the hardest hit in all of this, their credibility with the American people is at an all-time low. Social media has polarized the people into unprecedented “bubbles” where any person with an differing political or social belief set is excluded, so to those inside the bubble, it really seems like everybody in the country is on the same page, when in reality, the bubbles keep getting smaller and smaller. Some polls have shown that 98% of Republicans who voted for Trump would vote for him today, indicating that the picture being painted of him in the media, i.e. that he is highly unpopular, senile, and facing almost imminent impeachment and imprisonment, is not a true likeness.
If you look through the hyperbolic weed patch of misinformation, you will see that conditions in America today are not terribly different than they were a year ago. There have been 800 police shootings of civilians this year, up 10 from last year at this time, according to The Washington Post, which updates a website that keeps careful track of these statistics, the unemployment rate is down to 4.2% from 5% a year ago, a significant change, but not a sea-change by any means. The economy is improving, not solely due to President Donald Trump, but his leadership hasn’t hurt. Anticipation of tax cuts, less onerous business regulations and the prospect of a more favorable Fed, has driven the stock market to new habitations, in the realm above the 23,000 mark.
America’s leadership status on the world stage has not been weakened, contrary to what has been reported and re-reported in the tainted press. A few indulgent, self-righteous heads of state have snubbed President Trump personally, but there is a new air of respect for America in the world,the kind of respect which is born of fear. People just don’t know how far you can push Trump before there is pushback, and likely dire consequences, so most world leaders are loathe to cross him.
All in all, not much has really changed in the last 12 months, if you look at it honestly. Gay marriage is still the law of the land, and it most likely will remain that way forever, transgendered folks are not under any new restrictions, except that they are restricted from military service by virtue of Presidential tweet, but that is not an unusual state of affairs, they have been restricted since the founding of the Army. It is worth noting that flatfoots, dropouts, epileptics and many other groups of people are also not allowed to serve in the military. The military is not now, nor has it ever been an equal opportunity employer. The commanders have to be given broad leeway to make decisions about how to best utilize the resources allotted them, to best represent the American public’s interests in the world, and to defend us from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
The coming year looks promising, as well. Tax reform should pass, more regulations will be rolled back, unemployment should decrease, perhaps we will finally solve the North Korean problem, and get them assimilated into the rest of polite society, one way or another. The EPA might finally be abolished, as will the Department of Education. (maybe) Remember, these institutions haven’t been around forever, and life went on just fine before they existed, and likely will long after they cease to exist.
Radical ideas brought forth by Democrats in 2016, such as single-payer health care, Universal Basic Income, 90% tax brackets for the upper-income citizenry, and other plans are probably going to be relegated to the ash-heap of history. America is heading into a period of growth and strength, innovation and prosperity, all under the guiding hand of the most unlikely politician of our time, President Donald J. Trump.
Who would have believed this just 2 years ago?