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Making Sense of the Trump Election

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 20, 2016

With the presidential election behind us, pundits attempt to analyze and explain the results.  Some on the Right interpret the Trump victory as a conservative mandate.  Others on the Left blame Hillary Clinton’s poor campaigning skills or the low intelligence of voters for the loss.  Such conclusions from both sides miss the greater meaning of the election, which is a continuation of the political paradigm shift worldwide.

In the United States the shift began with the Tea Party after Obama’s first election.  It continued with Democrats losing power in both subsequent mid-term elections.

trumpThe United Kingdom voted for Brexit, to disconnect themselves from the European Union.  Similar to the US presidential election, expert pollsters indicated Brexit would not occur.  Just like in the United States the People proved the experts out of touch.

The paradigm shift is the result of the failure of Progressive governments to meet the needs of the People.  While governments bailed out banks in 2009 to the benefit of the wealthy, and continually come up with social programs for the less fortunate, they have ignored the needs of the middle class whose financial well-being has been eroded.

The forces that led to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump will continue to pick up momentum.  As governments continue with the same failed policies, they will lose legitimacy and be voted out.  These forces will likely lead to the breakup of the European Union, as well as increased European nationalism.

John Mauldin recently published an article titled This Could Be Our 1989” that helps explain the eroding authority of Progressive governments.  He begins by quoting Jeffrey Tucker of the Foundation for Economic Education who correctly said:

“All these details of the Trump platform are still important, but strike me as less relevant to what we can expect going forward.  The more I look at it, the less it seems to me that the election results are less about what Trump believes and more about what he represents: a fundamental shattering of an old paradigm.  And I’m finding the widespread commentary that this represents some kind of triumph of racism, misogyny, etc. etc., to be superficial and even preposterous.  And you know this if you visit with any regular voter.

What lies in ruins here is not common decency and morality – much less the character of a whole people and nation – but rather an anachronistic, arrogant, entitled, smug, conceited ruling elite and ruling paradigm.  You can see this in the clues that show that the vote was not so much for a particular vision of one man, but against a prevailing model of managing the world.” [Emphasis added.]

Mauldin then goes on to offer some logical conclusions relating to not only the Trump election, but also the paradigm shift in political power unfolding before us.  This includes:

  • When I read (somewhat bemusedly) that the halls of power in Europe are in an uproar over our election, I think that they should be. Not because Trump is now president but because elites everywhere – the people who “know” how the world should be run and expect the “little people” to stay in line – are an endangered species”.  Yes, these elites have much to fear as they watch their base of power disintegrate.
  • “It is up to the leadership of countries and communities to make sure that everyone is protected – equally – and to do so without burdening future generations with the task of paying for the solutions they come up with.” For decades governments worldwide have ignored the plight of the middle class who are now revolting at the ballot box.
  • The old institutions are not up to the task of managing a world awash in massive and ever faster technological and social changes that are not leaving us enough time to adjust. We went from a world where 50% of us worked on family farms to where less than 2% do today, but that took 8-10 generations.”  Many of the institutions that Mauldin is referring to were created shortly after World War II.  It is not surprising that they are not working in this rapidly changing world.  Expecting the ruling political class to implement change that while necessary, would diminish their power, is illogical.  It is also not surprising that the old guard claims that incoming change endangers society.

Mauldin concludes that those shaking at the idea of a Trump presidency should “get a grip”, reminding us that the power of US presidents are quite limited by the Constitution.  While Progressives, including the current president, have suggested that the Constitution should be a living document that can be morphed to their political agenda, many in this country, including real conservatives, conclude otherwise.  Strict interpretation of the Constitution and the powers it gives the office of the presidency inhibits any president, including Trump, from significant overreach.

The American People have spoken.  They are demanding change and have elected Donald Trump to carry out that mandate.  Time will tell if he is up to the task.  Should he not, he will be voted out by the same group that have given him the office he will shortly command.

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