Does the Present Culture of Uncertainty Favor Trump?

You don’t have to travel very far outside the Beltway to encounter a lot of folks who feel like that “these are the worst of times” –– if not “worst,” then very much in the running.

Some 70 to 80 percent of Americans believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction and there is plenty of evidence to support their thinking. In spite of the President and Mrs. Clinton’s rosy utopianism, millions of Americans are worse off financially now than they were 8 years ago. Seniors have seen their incomes dwindle frighteningly as interest rates earned on CD’s and savings accounts have shrunk to less than 1 percent, working Americans’ wages stagnated years ago, unemployment figures –– including people who’ve given up on finding work – are intolerable, Millennials, especially, face a very uncertain future with unemployment hitting their generation especially hard. Everyone faces rising prices in the most obvious place for ordinary folks: the grocery store, particularly when it comes to the cost of meat which has been driven up by the cost of grain due to the government’s ethanol mandate. Taxes and regulations are squeezing out jobs-producing small businesses (In 1994, small businesses less than 1 year old created 4.1 million jobs but only 3 million in 2015) eliminating non-essentials out of the family budgets of Americans.

Culturally, corruption is pervasive –– in politics, certainly, but also in popular culture where even the Super Bowl entertainment and televised media award shows –– staples of family entertainment –– are vulgar and trashy. The environment? Everywhere you look the streets and highways are littered with trash. We cannot be assured of our safety shopping in our malls, worshipping in our churches or putting in our day’s work at the office. Public services are overextended; we can’t even talk to a real person on the customer service lines of businesses. Our police departments say the shortage of applicants willing to face today’s challenges and crises threatens public safety even more.

In his recent comments in First Things’ Public Square, R. R. Reno put things into perspective. Reno wrote about the vulnerability of twenty-first century America. That vulnerability goes far beyond the natural human reality of “finitude, which means knowing that one may have to endure setbacks, illnesses, and disappointments.” Today’s vulnerability, he wrote, is a “pervasive disquietude [that] is transforming our society and politics.” Our Millennials, especially, he believes experience the undermining of “the credibility of the past [that] deprives them of a cultural inheritance that they feel they can trust. Without confidence that the past provides secure anchors and reliable patterns of life, they feel isolated” and cannot “trust inherited wisdom and patterns of life to guide” them on their way.

The Millennial world and, increasingly, the general culture, consists of “a horizon of freedom [that] is also a horizon of possible missteps, failures, and wounds.” Thus, speech must be censured, “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” provided. Campuses must also set out clearly a procedure by which any relationship between the sexes can only proceed through a series of verbal “yes” or “no” responses. No wonder guys have quit asking girls out on dates. In world of meaningless sex, it is no wonder that marriage rates are declining and loneliness is now recognized as a major national problem. Plus, social scientists are increasingly concerned about the denigration of masculinity.

Reno recognizes the importance of religion as a powerful influence on social stability, permanence and policy. Of course, the left knows this, thus the pervasive religious liberty and freedom of speech battles today. Reno’s major point in this regard is, “without a trustworthy Father in heaven (and often without a father in the home), the rising generation is more and more likely to ask big government (and a culture of political correctness) to provide security and comfort.” Nothing is more insecure or uncomfortable than today’s public schools and college campuses where, Reno says, “inclusion” is not working very well and, in fact in many places, are “largely dysfunctional.”

All of this uncertainty and vulnerability in very disparate sections of the society, is producing cultural “earthquakes.” The end result is that the upper elites and those on government dole are the winners. The losers are the middle-class who’ve “seen no income growth in the last few decades.” They’ve lost financially and culturally. Their Judeo-Christian values and mores have been trashed, and their patriotism and faith are derided and belittled. Even in their own country, they are strangers in an increasingly strange and hostile land.

The pervasive sense of uncertainty and disorientation has erupted in ways that are bewildering many if not most of the candidates for office in this election season as it has resulted in nullifying their old tried and true techniques of persuading the public. President Obama, the first Black President, has exacerbated racial tensions to the disbelief and puzzlement of many who thought he would help bring healing and mark the end of the racial divide. Now, racial polarization is widespread; according to the media, only “Black Lives Matter” and the prevailing narrative is that “white people” with their privilege are the enemy. President Obama even spoke derisively of the grandmother who raised him as “a typical white person.” Religious people were stereotyped and marginalized as “bitter clingers.” While laser-like in his focus on any suspected hint of hidden racism among the people of this country, he refuses to even call terrorists, “Islamic terrorists” even though all have been radical jihadists. Speaking in Laos, he caricatured Americans as typically lazy and uninformed.

Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, the first female candidate of a major party for President, is so corrupt and takes such extreme radical leftist positions that even many of those who would celebrate breaking the “glass ceiling” oppose her candidacy. Hillary has written off those opposed to her candidacy as “deplorable” and described them in mean-spirited stereotypes because she views all those who are unwilling to get on her bandwagon as “irredeemable.” (Well-read Americans have observed how frequently those “on the Hillary bandwagon” are just one small misstep from being thrown “under the Hillary bus.”) As though she were the Pope, she has declared Americans’ “deep-seated religious beliefs have to change.” Contrary to the Democratic Party’s historic alignment with 9-to-5 wage earners, Hillary’s obvious disparagement of the working class is particularly off-putting to those working class men and women who are out-of-work.

During the Obama Administration, according to National Review data [TL1] on Black America: labor-force participation went down 2.1 percent; food stamp participants increased 58.2 percent, home ownership dropped 9.5 percent and real median income declined 1.5 percent. Those are disastrous figures making uncertainty and vulnerability pervasive through the middle class, Millennials and Senior Citizens.

In the face of all these facts, why would Mrs. Clinton shrilly ask in a recent speech, “Why am I not 50 points ahead?” It’s actually surprising that the race is close at all.

Donald Trump is a different political candidate. In many respects he is an unknown even though he’s been in the public eye his whole life and his every fault and failure is well known. Nevertheless, in spite of so much negative press, Donald Trump is gaining on Hillary. It’s a measure of how desperately Americans want change and a restoration of Constitutional governance.

Working Americans respond positively when he says he wants to “Make America Great Again.” Main Street Americans want someone who respects the values of hard-work, faith, family, and patriotism, not someone who will give the nation 4 more years like the last 8 wretched, discouraging years of race-mongering and corruption that we’ve had to endure without a Justice Department, Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation or White House we can trust.

Many Americans are hungry, even desperate, to see a restoration of our basic freedoms – religious liberty, freedom of speech, respect for life and opportunities for all to reach their full potential. We wait anxiously to see if we are an emerging majority and if this once great nation of ours can be put back on the right track toward a hopeful future.

You don’t have to travel very far outside the Beltway to encounter a lot of folks who feel like that “these are the worst of times” –– if not “worst,” then very much in the running.

Some 70 to 80 percent of Americans believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction and there is plenty of evidence to support their thinking. In spite of the President and Mrs. Clinton’s rosy utopianism, millions of Americans are worse off financially now than they were 8 years ago. Seniors have seen their incomes dwindle frighteningly as interest rates earned on CD’s and savings accounts have shrunk to less than 1 percent, working Americans’ wages stagnated years ago, unemployment figures –– including people who’ve given up on finding work – are intolerable, Millennials, especially, face a very uncertain future with unemployment hitting their generation especially hard. Everyone faces rising prices in the most obvious place for ordinary folks: the grocery store, particularly when it comes to the cost of meat which has been driven up by the cost of grain due to the government’s ethanol mandate. Taxes and regulations are squeezing out jobs-producing small businesses (In 1994, small businesses less than 1 year old created 4.1 million jobs but only 3 million in 2015) eliminating non-essentials out of the family budgets of Americans.

Culturally, corruption is pervasive –– in politics, certainly, but also in popular culture where even the Super Bowl entertainment and televised media award shows –– staples of family entertainment –– are vulgar and trashy. The environment? Everywhere you look the streets and highways are littered with trash. We cannot be assured of our safety shopping in our malls, worshipping in our churches or putting in our day’s work at the office. Public services are overextended; we can’t even talk to a real person on the customer service lines of businesses. Our police departments say the shortage of applicants willing to face today’s challenges and crises threatens public safety even more.

In his recent comments in First Things’ Public Square, R. R. Reno put things into perspective. Reno wrote about the vulnerability of twenty-first century America. That vulnerability goes far beyond the natural human reality of “finitude, which means knowing that one may have to endure setbacks, illnesses, and disappointments.” Today’s vulnerability, he wrote, is a “pervasive disquietude [that] is transforming our society and politics.” Our Millennials, especially, he believes experience the undermining of “the credibility of the past [that] deprives them of a cultural inheritance that they feel they can trust. Without confidence that the past provides secure anchors and reliable patterns of life, they feel isolated” and cannot “trust inherited wisdom and patterns of life to guide” them on their way.

The Millennial world and, increasingly, the general culture, consists of “a horizon of freedom [that] is also a horizon of possible missteps, failures, and wounds.” Thus, speech must be censured, “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” provided. Campuses must also set out clearly a procedure by which any relationship between the sexes can only proceed through a series of verbal “yes” or “no” responses. No wonder guys have quit asking girls out on dates. In world of meaningless sex, it is no wonder that marriage rates are declining and loneliness is now recognized as a major national problem. Plus, social scientists are increasingly concerned about the denigration of masculinity.

Reno recognizes the importance of religion as a powerful influence on social stability, permanence and policy. Of course, the left knows this, thus the pervasive religious liberty and freedom of speech battles today. Reno’s major point in this regard is, “without a trustworthy Father in heaven (and often without a father in the home), the rising generation is more and more likely to ask big government (and a culture of political correctness) to provide security and comfort.” Nothing is more insecure or uncomfortable than today’s public schools and college campuses where, Reno says, “inclusion” is not working very well and, in fact in many places, are “largely dysfunctional.”

All of this uncertainty and vulnerability in very disparate sections of the society, is producing cultural “earthquakes.” The end result is that the upper elites and those on government dole are the winners. The losers are the middle-class who’ve “seen no income growth in the last few decades.” They’ve lost financially and culturally. Their Judeo-Christian values and mores have been trashed, and their patriotism and faith are derided and belittled. Even in their own country, they are strangers in an increasingly strange and hostile land.

The pervasive sense of uncertainty and disorientation has erupted in ways that are bewildering many if not most of the candidates for office in this election season as it has resulted in nullifying their old tried and true techniques of persuading the public. President Obama, the first Black President, has exacerbated racial tensions to the disbelief and puzzlement of many who thought he would help bring healing and mark the end of the racial divide. Now, racial polarization is widespread; according to the media, only “Black Lives Matter” and the prevailing narrative is that “white people” with their privilege are the enemy. President Obama even spoke derisively of the grandmother who raised him as “a typical white person.” Religious people were stereotyped and marginalized as “bitter clingers.” While laser-like in his focus on any suspected hint of hidden racism among the people of this country, he refuses to even call terrorists, “Islamic terrorists” even though all have been radical jihadists. Speaking in Laos, he caricatured Americans as typically lazy and uninformed.

Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, the first female candidate of a major party for President, is so corrupt and takes such extreme radical leftist positions that even many of those who would celebrate breaking the “glass ceiling” oppose her candidacy. Hillary has written off those opposed to her candidacy as “deplorable” and described them in mean-spirited stereotypes because she views all those who are unwilling to get on her bandwagon as “irredeemable.” (Well-read Americans have observed how frequently those “on the Hillary bandwagon” are just one small misstep from being thrown “under the Hillary bus.”) As though she were the Pope, she has declared Americans’ “deep-seated religious beliefs have to change.” Contrary to the Democratic Party’s historic alignment with 9-to-5 wage earners, Hillary’s obvious disparagement of the working class is particularly off-putting to those working class men and women who are out-of-work.

During the Obama Administration, according to National Review data [TL1] on Black America: labor-force participation went down 2.1 percent; food stamp participants increased 58.2 percent, home ownership dropped 9.5 percent and real median income declined 1.5 percent. Those are disastrous figures making uncertainty and vulnerability pervasive through the middle class, Millennials and Senior Citizens.

In the face of all these facts, why would Mrs. Clinton shrilly ask in a recent speech, “Why am I not 50 points ahead?” It’s actually surprising that the race is close at all.

Donald Trump is a different political candidate. In many respects he is an unknown even though he’s been in the public eye his whole life and his every fault and failure is well known. Nevertheless, in spite of so much negative press, Donald Trump is gaining on Hillary. It’s a measure of how desperately Americans want change and a restoration of Constitutional governance.

Working Americans respond positively when he says he wants to “Make America Great Again.” Main Street Americans want someone who respects the values of hard-work, faith, family, and patriotism, not someone who will give the nation 4 more years like the last 8 wretched, discouraging years of race-mongering and corruption that we’ve had to endure without a Justice Department, Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation or White House we can trust.

Many Americans are hungry, even desperate, to see a restoration of our basic freedoms – religious liberty, freedom of speech, respect for life and opportunities for all to reach their full potential. We wait anxiously to see if we are an emerging majority and if this once great nation of ours can be put back on the right track toward a hopeful future.