Sunday, January 22, 2017

Trump Inaugural Address: Brilliant, Populist, NOT CONSERVATIVE

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
On Friday, Donald J. Trump became President of the United States. His inaugural address was pure Trump: a populist brew of government interventionism, patriotic rhetoric, law and order toughness, protectionist economics, and isolationist foreign policy. It was politically brilliant, and it had little to do with conservatism.
Trump is Trump.
His supporters will cheer, of course, as they would at nearly anything he said. His critics will complain, of course, as they would at nearly anything he said. But if Trump’s inaugural address foretold any serious policy, he just presaged a major political realignment: a movement of the Republican Party away from the Reagan conservatism of the past – fiscal conservatism, social conservatism, foreign policy hawkishness – to Pat Buchananite populism. Trump’s philosophy – what we’ve seen of it, at least -- is absolutely antithetical to the idea of maintaining liberty at home through small government and abroad through alliances and muscular defense.
That will shake up both sides of the political aisle. It will also make conservative philosophy a stranger to the halls of power for the foreseeable future.
Read the rest from Ben Shapiro HERE.

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cimbri said...

Reagan lived in a totally different era, so it's rather foolish to compare his direction of the executive branch to Trump's. In foreign policy, the USA was facing the Soviet behemoth, which was engaged in the spread of communism on every continent. Reagan rightly fought or lent support to fight the Soviets everywhere, from Angola and Mozambique, to Grenada, Poland and elsewhere.

The Soviets fell during the next administration, and the Warsaw Pact, that military coalition which NATO was designed to counter, dissolved. NATO should have consequently been dissolved a long time ago. Currently, Russia has an economy the size of Italy. It's absurd that the US is required to defend such massive nations as Germany, Britain, France, et al, any one of which has an economy much larger and more powerful than Russia. So, therefore, although the new defense secretary has not suggested it, the disbanding of NATO would be perfectly reasonable, which means that Trump criticizing NATO is even more reasonable. But again, a comparison with Reagan makes no sense in foreign policy.

Economically, only the rhetoric is different with Trump. I've noticed something about the last 3 conservative presidents. They all ran as conservatives, but tacked to the center. Trump seems to be doing the opposite; he ran as a centrist but is tacking conservative. Reagan, as we know, saved the motorcycle industry with quotas against Japanese bikes; he also put quotas on Japanese cars, which did 2 things - it forced the Japanese to start building cars in America, and reduced imports from that country. Reagan committed other sacrileges against conservative doctrine. We don't know yet, but there is a good chance that Trump's interventions will be no more intrusive than Reagan's.

Ultimately, actions and results are all that matters. Sure, there's no question that Reagan mastered conservative rhetoric and Trump is generally a plain spoken man, not trained in the conservative policy world. However I think the conservatives will be pleased at how Trump works out. We'll see how it goes.

RomneyMan said...

Excellent summary.