This 100 Days Thing Is Rubbish

Here we are all discussing President Trump and his first 100 days. As if it matters, yet.

Politics combines two impossible dreams. Some people want to use government and politics to return to the golden age of the past; other people want to use government and politics to realize a fantastical dream of the future.

President Trump got elected at least in part by promising to recover for the white working class the good old days of good jobs at good wages in the good old manufacturing industry of the 1950s. He proposed to do this with good trade deals, building a wall, and repealing ObamaCare. Oh, and tax cuts.

President Obama got elected by promising a new golden age of Hope and Change. He implemented this by bailing out state and local governments, passing ObamaCare, regulating finance, putting the brake on fossil fuel energy development, and dividing the nation on race and gender.

In other words, U.S. politics is nothing more than baying at the moon while chanting spells and burning witches. But politics has never restored a golden age, and there is no chance that politics will get us to the next one.

Enough of tawdry political lies: let us instead try to imagine the future without incantations and burning heretics.

First, the future is closer than you think. The day when AI will take over the world and make all today’s jobs irrelevant is coming soon. A much smarter man than I told me that at lunch last week. On that day, it won’t just be the white working class dying of despair, but the haughty knowledge workers as well. So what will we do? Will we die of opioid overdoses? Will we descend into vice like rich kids in Victorian novels? Will we all become creative artists? Or will we, as Marx prophesied, “hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner?”

Second, nobody knows nothing, and what they do know is wrong. It is obvious that the average liberal protester, veteran of the Women’s March, the March for Science, the Peoples’ March for Climate, knows nothing except to repeat the catch-phrases thought up by their cunning leaders and their bribed apologists in the media. The average worker thinks that good manufacturing jobs can be brought back. Climate scientists tell us that the Earth that is in an ordinary interglacial in the middle of an Ice Age is warming catastrophically. The average politician thinks that prosperity can be legislated with a government program. And race and gender hustlers want us to believe that nothing has changed since the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s.

Third, Force is not the Answer. It is comical that the very people marching and protesting and chanting “War is not the Answer” deeply believe that government force is the answer to every economic and social problem, from low wages to the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the Silicon Valley tech industry. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) says that Americans are two-to-one in favor of raising the minimum wage, expanding Social Security, reducing the cost of college, increasing financial regulation, and making the rich pay their fair share of taxes. I’ll bet we are, as long as somebody else is forced to pay for it.

So here we are after 100 days of Trump, and we don’t yet know if President Trump is a genius or a buffoon; we don’t know if the Democrats are going down for the count or to a glorious victory in 2018.

I tell you what: if Trump is a buffoon, what does it say about a political elite that was roundly defeated by a buffoon? Today the wise heads are tut-tutting because Trump admits that the job of president is much harder than he thought. Isn’t that exactly what every start-up entrepreneur finds out?

We do know this. Whether the Trump presidency represents a move away from the hegemony of the liberal ruling class or just an interregnum in the ratcheting growth of big government, the end of Trump’s first 100 days is not even Winston Churchill’s “end of the beginning.”

Brexit in Britain, Trump in America, and Le Pen, win or lose, in France, are all signs that the great Western middle class of flyover country and la péripherique is waking up to the fact that they have been had.

Nobody knows where it will end, and nobody knows what President Trump is really going to do about it.

But I tell you this: at the end of the Trump presidency we will realize the political issues we are fighting over today have been made completely irrelevant by “events, dear boy.”

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

Here we are all discussing President Trump and his first 100 days. As if it matters, yet.

Politics combines two impossible dreams. Some people want to use government and politics to return to the golden age of the past; other people want to use government and politics to realize a fantastical dream of the future.

President Trump got elected at least in part by promising to recover for the white working class the good old days of good jobs at good wages in the good old manufacturing industry of the 1950s. He proposed to do this with good trade deals, building a wall, and repealing ObamaCare. Oh, and tax cuts.

President Obama got elected by promising a new golden age of Hope and Change. He implemented this by bailing out state and local governments, passing ObamaCare, regulating finance, putting the brake on fossil fuel energy development, and dividing the nation on race and gender.

In other words, U.S. politics is nothing more than baying at the moon while chanting spells and burning witches. But politics has never restored a golden age, and there is no chance that politics will get us to the next one.

Enough of tawdry political lies: let us instead try to imagine the future without incantations and burning heretics.

First, the future is closer than you think. The day when AI will take over the world and make all today’s jobs irrelevant is coming soon. A much smarter man than I told me that at lunch last week. On that day, it won’t just be the white working class dying of despair, but the haughty knowledge workers as well. So what will we do? Will we die of opioid overdoses? Will we descend into vice like rich kids in Victorian novels? Will we all become creative artists? Or will we, as Marx prophesied, “hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner?”

Second, nobody knows nothing, and what they do know is wrong. It is obvious that the average liberal protester, veteran of the Women’s March, the March for Science, the Peoples’ March for Climate, knows nothing except to repeat the catch-phrases thought up by their cunning leaders and their bribed apologists in the media. The average worker thinks that good manufacturing jobs can be brought back. Climate scientists tell us that the Earth that is in an ordinary interglacial in the middle of an Ice Age is warming catastrophically. The average politician thinks that prosperity can be legislated with a government program. And race and gender hustlers want us to believe that nothing has changed since the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s.

Third, Force is not the Answer. It is comical that the very people marching and protesting and chanting “War is not the Answer” deeply believe that government force is the answer to every economic and social problem, from low wages to the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the Silicon Valley tech industry. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) says that Americans are two-to-one in favor of raising the minimum wage, expanding Social Security, reducing the cost of college, increasing financial regulation, and making the rich pay their fair share of taxes. I’ll bet we are, as long as somebody else is forced to pay for it.

So here we are after 100 days of Trump, and we don’t yet know if President Trump is a genius or a buffoon; we don’t know if the Democrats are going down for the count or to a glorious victory in 2018.

I tell you what: if Trump is a buffoon, what does it say about a political elite that was roundly defeated by a buffoon? Today the wise heads are tut-tutting because Trump admits that the job of president is much harder than he thought. Isn’t that exactly what every start-up entrepreneur finds out?

We do know this. Whether the Trump presidency represents a move away from the hegemony of the liberal ruling class or just an interregnum in the ratcheting growth of big government, the end of Trump’s first 100 days is not even Winston Churchill’s “end of the beginning.”

Brexit in Britain, Trump in America, and Le Pen, win or lose, in France, are all signs that the great Western middle class of flyover country and la péripherique is waking up to the fact that they have been had.

Nobody knows where it will end, and nobody knows what President Trump is really going to do about it.

But I tell you this: at the end of the Trump presidency we will realize the political issues we are fighting over today have been made completely irrelevant by “events, dear boy.”

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

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