People who are still thinking about American politics in terms of “right” and “left” should rethink that paradigm which exists in political fantasyland.
Steve Bannon is out at the White House. With his departure, he gave an interview to the Weekly Standard‘s Peter J. Boyer and said this:
The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.
Memo, Mr. Bannon: the “Trump presidency” you fought for and “won” never existed.
People on the political “right” (aside: I reject the “left/right” paradigm, as it is nothing but choosing between flavors of statism, but use it here so people know whom I’m talking about) love tilting at windmills. Actually, the “right” can’t have a discussion without heading back to fantasyland.
“Conservatism”, as it has become, is solely about recreating a time that never happened — that supposed glorious golden age of the 1950s where every child prayed in school, no one used profanity, no one had premarital sex…and most married couples even slept in separate twin beds and only touched each other at appointed times for procreation – and when the Republican president Dwight Eisenhower created the awesome conservative governmental edifice of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, today the two “conservative” favorites of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education. Or something.
Or they long for the “conservatism” of President Ronald Reagan, who among his first acts as President was to continue his predecessor’s plan (the über-conservative Jimmy Carter…wait, what?!) for a cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs…and that’s worked out so well.
“But the RINOs!”, we hear people cry. If only those “Republicans in name only” would disappear then “conservatism” would rule. Who are these “RINOs”? Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are the two favorite punching bags right now and both men have records that are far more conservative than that of the party they belong to.
So back to Donald Trump. It’s no secret I’m not a fan, and I haven’t been for the last thirty-odd years since I became aware of him in the mid-1980s, growing up in New Jersey outside New York City, where “the Donald” was regularly in the news long before anyone else in America became aware of him.
Since the beginning of his campaign, I’ve been very vocal about comparing now-President Trump’s rhetoric with his record. Just as you might compare Republican records with rhetoric and start shouting “RINO!”, what you should probably realize is that the problem isn’t “RINOs” but with people who think the Republican Party is their rhetoric and not their record. The GOP is what it always has been: pro-big government, so long as it’s them who’s in charge. The real “RINOs” are the people who actually think the GOP believes in their own rhetoric.
The same goes for Donald Trump. He is what he is, and always has been. The “Deep State” people in government aren’t the problem; he’s one of them. The “Democrats” in Trump’s administration aren’t “sabotaging” him; they’re just letting Trump be Trump.
To believe that Donald Trump would deliver on all his campaign rhetoric required ignoring everything the man did or said for the entirety of his adult life prior to 2011 or so. It was simply a preposterous idea to think that a Trump presidency would be anything but what we’ve gotten.
Donald Trump an anti-globalist? Have you ever listened to how he complains about American infrastructure and then praises how wonderful infrastructure is everywhere else? That isn’t a pro-American view, that’s a pro-globalist view. Would a businessman supposedly as pro-American as Donald Trump manufacture every product that carries his name overseas? He is what he is.
Want to know when we’ll see the “real” Donald Trump shine? It will be after the 2018 election if Democrats take back the House and/or Senate. Can’t you just wait to see the great “deals” the President inks with Chuck Schumer? But it’s totally realistic to think Trump will “drain the swamp”, after he donated extensively to…uhm…Chuck Schumer (and others).
If the Trump presidency continues on its course (and there’s zero reason to think it won’t based on his record) I’m sure folks like Steve Bannon will scapegoat everyone except the person they hitched their wagon to, and of course, themselves.
In fantasyland, apparently there are no mirrors.