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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
Many of my friends are puzzled, in some cases alarmed, about the strength and popularity of Donald Trump. These are both Republicans and Democrats. They don’t understand, but the answer stares them in the face.
Trump’s rise is all about the failure of America’s political class. America’s leaders often make problems worse, by being more interested in corralling personal power than in resolving the great issues of our time. The political class fails to engage in productive give-and-take with voters, instead cramming their “I know what’s best for you” policies down the throats of the general public. Leftist political leaders, especially, do not hesitate to inflame followers by stirring up class, race and gender hatred. They have shoved America into an emotional state of class war.
America’s political leaders view themselves several notches above the general population. Many tend to stick together and protect each other, supporting mutual continuance of the status quo. How have we reached the point where lying to Congress can get you 20 years in the pokey, but a congressman who lies to you gets two more years in office?
Congressional seats are often sought by the worst kind of people, spinmeisters whose spirit of service is limited to repaying only the groups who put them in office. It’s now commonplace for the elected political class to begin raising money again literally the day after they win their latest political campaign. Many federal politicians routinely deceive the public by lying about the true state of affairs in our republic and in the world. Consider the lies by the Obama administration about the true dangers we face, such as the recent White House gleeful confession that they misled the American public about the unpopular nuclear deal with Iran, by manipulating naïve reporters.
Conservative icon Bill Buckley had it right when he said “I’d rather be governed by the first 400 names in the phone book than all the professional politicians.” And, adapting H.L. Mencken, “nobody ever went broke underestimating the cynicism and self-dealing of the American political class.” These are the people who have led us to where there are now more people getting free stuff than full-time workers paying for the free stuff. Pile on the free stuff and you pile up the votes.
So, along comes Donald Trump who offers an “outsider” alternative to the top-down recipes of the established political class. Even with his flaws, Trump’s message rings attractive, because almost no one else, including Bernie Sanders, is a legitimate outsider. You’d think that the established political class would learn a lesson from the enthusiastic big-crowd reactions to Trump. But you’d be wrong. The Beltway politicians and established political operators instead pursue the route to try to deny Trump, proving to voters that Trump’s point is valid: the political class is most interested in self-preservation, with a rotten streak running through it.
Trump’s strength as a politician was born and nurtured in the last eight years of anemic economic growth, U.S. failures to curb crime and the threat of terrorism, and the anxiety-producing U.S. weakness on the world stage. In other words, Obama and the failure of his policies facilitated the rise of Trumpism, along with the failure of Congress to challenge Obama effectively. Trump’s support comes from legitimate anger and frustration, from those who believe he can “blow up the Washington status quo”, as the Wall Street Journal put it.
An ethically bankrupt political class is the cause. Led by Obama, their incompetence has also caused our allies to lose trust, emboldened our enemies, and made us a laughingstock in many countries. While this was happening abroad, back at home, hard-working Americans will be shouldering a growing $19 trillion federal debt and over $100 trillion more in “unofficial” unfunded liabilities. These same productive Americans feel hemmed-in by thousands of laws, trivial politically correct restrictions that reach into almost everything we do, and mountains of smothering regulations on small businesses.
Here in Florida, the answer is more statesmen like Rep. Tom Rooney to fight for governance that works for, not against, productive and responsible people.