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People like Trump

US liberal democracy is now on the line

31 October 2020

9:00 AM

31 October 2020

9:00 AM

From the moment he was declared the winner of the 2016 US presidential election, Donald Trump’s occupation of the White House has been viewed by his opponents as illegitimate.

First, it was argued that his rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, won 2.2 per cent more popular votes. Moreover, the people who voted for Trump were mainly the less-educated from the outer suburbs and smaller towns: Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’.

For Washington’s self-appointed czars, these labourers and hayseeds had put their natural order of things at risk. A crass outsider had been elected without their permission. Conservative commentator, Kurt Schlichter, described their condescending reaction as, ‘you want to have a say in our government and… look what happens when you do. You elect the wrong people. People like Trump.’

Clearly, Donald Trump is an outsider. His shrill tweets and blunt exchanges with world leaders embarrass DC elitists. His effective, if unconventional, negotiating style makes them cringe. It’s also an easy target for an ‘insider’ media which unreasonably characterises his successes as ‘more pain than gain’. Even when he outed 24 Nato members for failing to honour their 2006 financial commitments, he was labelled ‘disrupter in chief’. Perhaps. But at least Nato members will now pick up a larger share of the tab saving Washington nearly $300 million a year.

Needless to say, in Beijing, Brussels, Geneva and Paris, Trump’s ‘America First’ approach makes him persona non grata. In particular, his withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement sent rent-seekers everywhere into panic mode, worried their $1.5 trillion climate change cartel was under serious threat. Efforts were redoubled to ensure no other country followed.

Whatever his critics at home and abroad say, his supporters see him as a president who finally stands up for the United States of America. Despite unremitting distractions, he delivered record high employment for minorities. Nearly four million people were lifted off food stamps. He introduced better, more affordable health care through a transparent, lower cost, patient-focused system. He even brokered peace between the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Israel, any one of which would have assured President Obama another Nobel Peace prize. Yet, Trump’s feat was dismissed because ‘those countries already communicate and engage with Israel’. And, despite the Democrats initially downplaying Covid and accusing Trump of racism for his early imposition of travel restrictions with China, it is he who is blamed for mishandling the coronavirus response, not incompetent governors and mayors.

But his achievements don’t count. Only his missteps do. As he says, he is the victim of ‘the greatest political witch hunt in history’ and, since the day he ran against Hillary Clinton, his opponents have been determined to get rid of him.

Gregg Jarrett, in his book, The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump, describes the FBI as ‘an all-powerful, out of control, rogue agency’. In corroborated testimony, FBI Special Agent William Barnett exposed how the bureau’s investigation of Donald Trump was based on nothing more than ‘supposition on supposition’.

Worse, FBI director, James Comey and his colleagues knew the bureau’s sources were not credible. It has also been revealed that the General Service Administration secretly gave protected Trump Transition Team records to the FBI and the Mueller investigation. Yet after nearly three years of intense probing, orchestrated leaks and unending damaging headlines for the president, Robert Mueller finally conceded there was no evidence.

By contrast, a story in the New York Post, releasing damaging emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop, which support a ‘pay for play’ arrangement involving the former vice president and his son, was buried. Acting like arms of an authoritarian state media, Twitter and Facebook blocked readership. Most major networks similarly censored the revelation, despite Hunter Biden’s former business partner verifying authenticity.

Regardless of whether or not President Trump enjoys a second term, the real story of his presidency (and re-election?) is the emergence from the shadows of a well-organised, powerful movement, largely aligned to the radical Left. Until Trump, it had tolerated marginal political change, confident that control of the bureaucracy and the judiciary was an effective brake. Having failed to contain Trump, the Left is determined under a Biden administration to stack the Supreme Court with socialist judges.

Whatever Donald Trump’s flaws and however much he is hated for interrupting the onward march of socialism, his election was, after all, constitutional. It fulfilled, possibly for the last time, the promise outlined in the Declaration of Independence that governments derive ‘their just powers from the consent of the governed’.

For the last four years that promise and others within the Declaration have been under attack from those who view America’s history and social structure as basically bad. They spurn the system which allows people like Trump, who presidential historian Jon Meacham describes as ‘anguished, nervous white men with a lizard brain’, to vote.

Unsurprisingly a growing number of Trump supporters have become shy about openly declaring their allegiance. Attacks on them are all over Twitter and Youtube. They have been punched, pelted with eggs and had their Make America Great Again hats ripped off and burned.

Unlike those who reject American exceptionalism, Trump supporters collectively embrace traditional libertarian values and are concerned by the growing coalition of big government, big business and the radical green Left, which continues to marginalise them. They watch with alarm donations to the Biden campaign from finance leaders on Wall Street and across the country, running at five times the rate going to Trump.

To them a Trump loss means the surrender of even more precious freedoms as government’s reach – already far broader than the Constitution ever intended – becomes more and more intrusive. Whatever else this election is about, it may finally determine whether the US Bill of Rights is worth the paper it’s written on.

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