Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Donald Trump's Speech

This was the best speech I have heard from an American president at least since Ronald Reagan.

It was long, and I won't go into detailed analysis, but I agreed with most of what Trump said, and I was pleased by the tone.  I have been waiting for 26 years to hear a President speak who wasn't leftist,  mealy-mouthed, or just plain disingenuous.  I thought this was great stuff.

The few MSM commentators I've heard seemed disoriented.  I suppose they wanted to pick it apart and attack Trump as outrageous, but that's hard to do with this.  Commentators also focused on Mrs. Owens as the emotional highlight, and I suppose it was, but what really struck me emotionally was Trump's earlier emphasis on education.  America's government education is a catastrophe, and arguably the worst threat to or nation, because ignorant people who can neither think nor learn can't defend freedom, and will lose it.  Trump's call for freedom for people to choose among all kinds of education had me cheering.  Freedom!  That's exactly what people both need and deserve.  I cheered.
Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Nancy Pelosi, and similar scoundrels seemed particularly incensed by this.  Freedom for citizens to choose their own way is so far from what they believe that they could only glare in hatred...which pretty much sums up the platform of the Democrat party these days, the party of hate.

I also appreciated the presence of the Jamiel Shaw, the gentleman whose son was murdered by illegal alien gang members.  I suppose in the next few days Alex Nowrasteh, the Bier brothers,  Ben Powell, Bryan Caplan, and Alex Tabarrok will try to explain why it's actually a good thing that Shaw's murderer, or the twice deported felon who murdered the husbands of Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver weren't prevented from entering the country.  But no sensible or decent person will buy such vicious madness.

And I especially loved it when Trump made this point: "My job is not to represent the world, it's to represent the United States of America."  Until recently, I can't imagine this would have made sense as a statement; it would have been as non-controversial as saying there are two sexes.  But in these Crazy Years its now dogma that sex and "gender" are fluid and infinite, and the idea that the President is supposed to be concerned with serving Americans, rather than foreigners or the "international community" is no doubt considered Nationalist, Fascist, Racist, and Authoritarian.  Well, that's ridiculous.

Trump's comments on international trade were interesting.  I am an advocate of free trade.  But I noticed what Trump explicitly condemned in trade is not trade itself, but other countries applying high tariffs in cases where we have none.  What he called for, I think, was pressure to make other countries drop their trade barriers.  Adam Smith himself suggested this, and the principle of WTO enforcement is built on such retaliatory tariffs.  If so, it's not an inherently objectionable idea.

There was much more, but in short, Trump laid out good principles and, by and large, a good agenda.  I hope he sticks to it, and I hope Congress gets to work.

I have not heard the full speech yet -- but yes, tariffs were historically a source of public finance for the US. And I would rather have a small tariff than the highest corporate income tax rate on the planet.

He still wants trillion-dollar infrastructure spending, increased family/maternity regulation. 'Everything can be fixed.' Sounds like Obama 2008 to me.
Thanks, George. I think the maternity leave is a terrible idea, and so too the infrastructure idea. But I don't see the comparison to Obama. Trump's cut-two-for-one regulation idea is entirely unObamian. So too his willingness to use "Islam" in defining our enemies. (This is extremely important, because one must understand the ideology of the enemy -- and the war to save civilization is first of all about ideas. There are fools on the left who claim -- many of them "experts" -- who pretend that those who insist on correctly identifying the enemy think that if we do so the enemy will vanish. No one thinks that. We do understand that people who won't clearly identify their enemy and his motivations because it isn't PC to do so will likely be conquered.) In large, the speech was anti-political establishment. And that's not Obama.
Hear, hear on the naming the enemy and cutting down the administrative state. In that sense he is a 180 from Obama. Hell, in almost every sense he is... except the utopianism.

I am speaking more in the sense of the possibility of what the state can do. Trump and his movement still has the idea that if only we had "the right people" and "the right deals/laws/regulations" in place, then everything is going to be "so unbelievably great." He said as such: "Everything can be fixed." The passive voice is ambiguous of course. Fixed by whom? By people living their lives -- hell yeah, we can fix things. By the state getting "the right people" in charge? Meh.
I agree. I'm not certain, but I think every U.S. president of the 20th and 21st Centuries spoke in utopian terms during addresses such as this (except Coolidge) so you are certainly right on this count. OTOH, I think Trump's positions on tax reform (rate cuts), health care, FDA, 2-for-1 regulations, pipelines, school/education reform are more about restoring decision making power back to citizens, and Gorsuch is definitely nothing like Kagan, Sotomayor, or Garland, thank heavens! So this is rather un-Obamian.

I have thought a bit about what Hillary might have been saying had she been elected: massive new "free college" programs, draconian gun control, $500 billion infrastructure program for solar panels, far left SCOTUS nominee, accelerated unvetted immigration from middle east, national $15/hr minimum wage, accelerated implementation of Clean Power Plan, and nuclear strikes on states that went for Trump.

We'd probably appreciate that last, to put us out of our misery.
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