Trump and the Bannister Effect

When I was in 5th grade, in about 1970, there was a girl named Laura who sat across the aisle from me in class. She came to school one day just beaming. “My brother broke the four-minute mile!” We were impressed, to say the least. He was a student at the high school, perhaps a sophomore.

Only 16 years prior, Roger Bannister (1929-2018) broke the four-minute mile for the first time in recorded history, while in his mid-twenties. It was considered impossible in the minds of most, until he did it. That opened the floodgates for hundreds of others to repeat his feat, including Laura’s brother, then just a high school kid.

And I read today that a 10-year old boy named Clark Kent Apuada has broken Michael Phelps 100-meter butterfly swimming record, set in 1995. We’d have to ask this young man what he thinks of Phelps’ example, but certainly Phelps’ performance has inspired the achievement of many swimmers, as is the case in track. It just takes a little inspiration for a youngster to start dreaming and striving.

The Bannister Effect is the notion that once a person sees someone else perform an exceptional feat, all doubt as to the possibility of that feat is erased, encouraging that person to strive for the goal, with hard work and training. This happened with the four-minute mile, and certainly has played into the success of Apuada.

This happens in many areas of life. I’m a guitar player, and I remember in the 70s and early 80s the batch of virtuoso guitarists who were playing licks no one thought possible. “Is that only one guy playing?” we would ask. Excellent guitarists I knew would shake their heads in disbelief, unable to deny the evidence hitting their ears.

But today, since we know it’s possible, you can find sub-10-year-old kids playing those same licks, about twice as fast. Just search for “young guitar virtuoso” on YouTube and you will see what I mean.

All this leads me to the Trump phenomenon. No one would have believed in 2015 that one guy could have done all this in less than two years:

  • Cut taxes
  • Appoint a decent conservative to the Supreme Court
  • Gut Obamacare
  • Destroy ISIS
  • Scrap TPP
  • Dig into NAFTA
  • Slash federal regulations
  • Ban travel from terror-sponsoring nations
  • Move our embassy to Jerusalem
  • Freeze federal hiring
  • Use tariffs to prod our trading partners to negotiate
  • Dump net neutrality
  • Sucker the media into betraying their papier mâché objectivity

Who would have suspected that any man could survive scorching allegation after allegation, with the result being a 50% approval rating? Who would have thought that we could have a president packing rallies with tens of thousands of people overflowing into the parking lot, just to be part of the experience of making America great again? Who would have thought that one man, one solitary man, could take on the corrupt news media, and make them look like fools?

But now we know it is possible. Now we know that there are actually some thinking people in this country. The economic producers in flyover country now see that it is possible to push back and reverse huge chunks of liberal regress, and in only a couple of years. Large masses of the population, including liberals, are seeing that our news media, the Democrats, and the Republicans are part of the same flock of slugs that inhabit Washington, D.C.

August 1 was the 30th anniversary of the Rush Limbaugh program. (Rush achieved another Bannister-level accomplishment that launched conservative media.) President Trump called in to congratulate him. And Trump shocked me by saying this:

“You have a lot of bad people in Washington. You knew that a long time ago. Frankly, before I knew it. I had no idea how evil some of them are, but you have a lot of great people too.”

I have recognized for years that the problem with Washington is not “politics.” The problem is that many, many of the people running government are just plain evil. They are working for their own benefit to the detriment of everyone else, and they don’t care who gets hurt. These people are not just thieves, they are very clever thieves and have figured out how to steal from generations yet unborn. Every child born today inherits over $60,000 in debt, right out of the womb. Well, if the child is lucky enough to be born at all. This is not politics, this is evil.

And Donald Trump called evil, evil. Never in my life had I expected to hear this plain-speaking honesty from a president. I now know it’s possible, and due to the Bannister Effect I’m going to work even harder to put more people in charge who will call good, good, and evil, evil at every level.

There have been some politicians working the Trump angle, talking like Trump, of course. I don’t know whether it’s because they think for the first time they can do positive things like Trump has done, or they are just mimicking Trump to get their hands on the money and power. Time will tell.

But the major benefit of this phenomenon is that now many of the American people, at least the ones who are paying the bills, know that all is not lost. We may well have to go through some kind of social civil war to get us back on track, but the notion that “it’s possible” is now lighting hope in the hearts of working men and women.

I don’t want to be too optimistic because we still have millions of people in this country that the government is paying to support huge government, and those people are not going to wake up tomorrow, slap their foreheads, and proclaim, “I need to get a job!” Sixty million aborted babies are not going to be resurrected because of Trump or the Bannister Effect. But it is encouraging to see so many MAGA hats in public.

The Bannister Effect is also obviously having a terrifying effect on liberals. The corrosive anger on the left is not just due to their socialist agenda being derailed. They realize that conservatives are newly conscious and energized, and have a hope that is strong, rooted in values liberals fear but cannot understand. Hope is a dangerous thing, especially when wielded by an underdog, founded on truth.

To compensate, the left thinks that they can squash this hope by squashing Trump. Sorry, but the hope is out of the bag. This is not about Trump any more. Certainly, there is a huge battle ahead, but we are armed with principles, not the infatuation of personality. We now know the positive possibilities for America are unlimited. Every good thing is possible, with enough hard work and time, even the destruction of liberal evil.

See you on the front lines.

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