Trump Is Not Conservative, He’s A Pragmatist
Massie misoverestimates Trump. He (Massie) sets up his Trump plea by muddying the terms liberal, conservative and Republican.
Massie’s refrain that 'this problem isn’t a Republican/ conservative problem, or a liberal problem' is a way to conflate conservatives with Progressives by equating conservatives with Republicans. Not buying it. Limited government and the Rule of Law are principles, not pragmatically applied suggestions. Sure, many Republicans are Statists. I want them gone. I don’t see how that excuses Trump.
Massie goes on to make some big claims for Trump. Some examples,
“The impending collapse of the economy isn't a liberal or conservative problem, it is an American problem. That said, until it is viewed as a problem that demands a common sense approach to resolution, it will never be fixed because the Democrats and Republicans know only one way to fix things and the longevity of their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect. Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work, they do not promise to accommodate.”Apparently there’s some meaning of “negotiate” which eschews any reference whatsoever to the word “accommodate.”
Our economic woes are a Statist problem, enabled by the Progressive Woodrow Wilson’s Federal Reserve and the willingness of politicians to spend money we don’t have. This tendency is reinforced by crony capitalism and political vigorish, proud Trump specialties, designed to attract government subsidies.
The “longevity of their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect” sounds like something Trump might say if he used words longer than 3 syllables and had an even worse command of grammar than he does. It’s contentless and self-contradictory.
And I’m waiting to hear Trump's common sense approach. I guess Trump’s refusal to consider entitlement reform will have to change, since that’s just accommodating voters.
"Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work, they do not promise to accommodate.” Taking vast pride in unpredictability, pragmatism and flexibility - and having outrageous negotiating positions - is promising to accommodate. How else can a Trumpian “Deal” be done? Yes, yes, I know. Trump’s accommodations will be really, really great accommodations.
“Trump uniquely understands that China’s manipulation of currency is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem that threatens our financial stability and he understands the proper balance needed to fix it.”Really? A 45% tariff is “the proper balance?” Has Massie never heard of master monetary manipulators Janet Yellen or Mario Drahgi? Can he not observe what a devaluation of the Yuan does to risk calculations in our stock markets? Who is going to buy all those T-Bills?
Ted Cruz (and Rand Paul) has the idea that we should stop threatening our own financial stability: Return to a gold standard and Audit the Fed.
“As a pragmatist Donald Trump hasn't made wild pie-in-the-sky promises of a cell phone in every pocket, free college tuition, and a $15 hour minimum wage for working the drive-through a Carl’s Hamburgers.”This statement is so willfully ignorant that it calls into question Massie’s every point.
He’s right, Trump hasn’t promised cell phones, free college tuition or job killing minimum wages. No, he’s merely proposed to save $300 billion from a Medicare drug budget that’s only $78 billion, to force a sovereign nation to pay for a wall through economic warfare and (a biggie) to compel Nabisco to return Oreo manufacturing to the United States. Trump is proposing to spend $10 trillion, paid for by reducing “fraud, waste and abuse.”
“…Trump is a pragmatist. He sees a problem and understands it must be fixed. He doesn’t see the problem as liberal or conservative, he sees it only as a problem. That is a quality that should be admired and applauded, not condemned.”Massie admires Trump’s “pragmatism.” Another way of saying “flexible.” In Trump’s case, another way of saying “ignorant of the principle of having principles” against which to measure actions or evaluate unintended consequences. Trump indeed sees problems and wants to fix them. So, what are some of the problems Trump sees?
-We aren’t using torture and we aren’t killing the wives and children of terrorists.
Fix: Issue illegal orders to the military.
Has observance of the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions been a problem for you, or is it just Trump?
-Some publications write things some people don’t like.
Fix: Make it easier to sue for libel.
Have First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech been a problem for you, or just Trump? (Well, and John McCain, but that's another story.)
-Need some property, but the owner doesn’t wish to sell.
Fix: Apply eminent domain for personal gain.
Have you needed to take some old lady’s house to build a parking lot, or is that problem unique to Trump?
Does Trump ever ask himself whether the Federal Government SHOULD fix something? Are his solutions grounded in reality? That’s rhetorical.
"The two points central to the pragmatist ethics are: a formal rejection of all fixed standards—and an unquestioning absorption of the prevailing standards. The same two points constitute the pragmatist approach to politics, which, developed most influentially by Dewey, became the philosophy of the Progressive movement in this country (and of most of its liberal descendants down to the present day)."
“How to Read (and Not to Write),”
The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 26, 5
Update, March 28, 2:50PM
OBAMA ON FREEDOM VS. TOTALITARIANISM — WHATEVER WORKS