Trump’s Priceless Gift to America
Mr. Donald Trump is archvillain to some. He is archangel to others.
He is neither to us.
Yet we might etch his likeness into Rushmore — for one central reason. What is it?
Is it his tariffs? His tax reductions and deregulation? His vastly accelerated vaccine debuts? His judicial nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States? Or is it his pledge to Make America Great Again?
Answer shortly. First to Wall Street…
No Joy on Wall Street Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 259 points on the day. The S&P 500 handed back 37 points; the Nasdaq, 105.
The major U.S. stock indexes fell Thursday on concerns about the global economic comeback from Covid-19. The losses came as Japan declared a state of emergency in Tokyo for the upcoming Olympics and as countries deal with a rebound in cases due to Covid variants.
The Labor Department’s latest jobless claims data came in unexpectedly higher at 373,000, signaling a possible slowdown in the the labor picture amid the Covid recovery. Economists expected to see 350,000 first-time applicants for unemployment benefits for the week ended July 3, according to Dow Jones.
The 10-year Treasury slipped again today, to 1.288%. Gold dug in above $1,800. Bitcoin, meantime, lost $1,663 as of 5 p.m. ET, coming in at $32, 669.
And so it goes.
We now return to our consideration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump…
Citizen Trump Will Not Go Quietly Into That Good Night
Citizen Trump is raising a rumpus.
This past Saturday, he appeared before a raucous throng of 25,000 rain-drenched enthusiasts in Sarasota, Florida.
As is usual, he instantly seized them by the ear… and did not let go his grip until he exited the stage.
For 90 minutes, the old berserker trained his guns on his customary foes — Democrats, fangless Republicans, the media — until his barrels were blistering hot and his ammunition bag was emptied.
(Rumors swirl that he will re-seek the White House in 2024, yet he is keeping the answer dark… for the moment).
Trump Announces a Lawsuit Against Social Media Giants
Yesterday Trump reloaded his guns and was again blasting buckshot… into the buttocks of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg… into the buttocks of Mr. Jack Dorsey… into the buttocks of Mr. Sergey Brin.
In Miami, he announced a class-action legal suit against social media behemoths Facebook, Twitter and Google — and upon these grounds:
While the social media companies are officially private entities, in recent years they have ceased to be private with the enactment and their historical use of Section 230, which profoundly protects them from liability. It is in effect a massive government subsidy, these companies have been co-opted, coerced and weaponized by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship… [they are now] the de facto censorship arm of the U.S. government.
Here Mr. Trump cites Section 230. This 1996 statute shields internet providers from legal action centered upon content. They are merely the messenger, not the message’s author.
They therefore are immune from lawsuit.
Trump — and others — claim these outlets should not fall under Section 230’s protective umbrella if they censor content.
The issue now goes falling into the lap of the courts… before likely dropping to the floor.
But to return to our original question:
Should Mr. Trump soak in presidential glory everlasting because of his tariffs? For his tax reductions and deregulation? His vastly accelerated vaccines? His judicial nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States? Or his pledge to Make America Great Again?
The answer is none of them…
We take a dim view of tariffs in general. That is because they often harm those they are intended to help.
Deregulation is swell, as are tax cuts — provided tax cuts are chained to spending cuts.
Yet President Trump failed to furnish the fetters. He cut spending loose, and federal spending was up and away, prior even to the pandemic.
Vaccines did come rolling out under his watch — and in fabulous time. We are not convinced they are the elixirs they are claimed to be — but let it go for now.
President Trump’s Supreme Court appointments have thrown in with the Court’s liberals nearly as often as its conservatives.
Is America Great Again? “Greatness” is necessarily vague.
It cannot be gauged objectively, as one can gauge the number of inches in a foot, the number of feet in a mile, the number of rocks within a congressman’s skull.
Yet we hazard 2021’s America is no greater than 2016’s America. It may even be lesser than 2016’s America. But it makes no nevermind…
Trump’s Greatest Service
Mr. Trump nonetheless did the nation an inestimable good, a supreme magnificence for which it should be staggeringly grateful. How?
He renewed American distrust.
Trump renewed distrust, that is, of elites (noun, not adjective). These are the elites that boss it, besiege it, ride it, flog it.
Trump renewed American distrust — that is — of the “swamp.”
Dr. Angelo Codevilla professes international relations at Boston University. He is the indomitable foe of America’s “ruling class,” its fierce nemesis.
The ruling class is: The unelected rogues, rascals, cadges, chiselers, grifters, ne’er-do-wells and swindlers that loot, hagride and menace us.
At every opportunity, Codevilla digs his thumbs into their eyes, pulls their noses and yanks their whiskers.
In his latest authoring, he proceeds against this ruling class with savage and splendid fury, righteous fury.
“Trump’s Invaluable Contribution to the Republic Was to Lead Americans Publicly to Disrespect [the Ruling] Class”
Dr. Codevilla, acid dripping from his pen:
Donald Trump became the political vehicle for the American people’s resentment of an overweening, corrupt ruling class. Trump’s invaluable contribution to the Republic was to lead Americans publicly to disrespect that class. Americans elected Trump to preserve freedoms and prosperity against the encroachments of that class…
In 2015 and 2016, candidate Trump’s disrespectful, disdainful attitude toward the ruling class put him at the head of presidential preference polls… Throughout the campaign, he said little of substance — just enough to give the impression that he was on the side of conservatives on just about everything. His leitmotif was “I despise those whom you despise because they despise you. I’m on your side, America’s side.”
Trump promised to “make America great again,” but did not explain what had made it great in the first place nor how to restore it… He did not try to support his many accusations with facts. Millions who disagreed with him or who disliked him personally voted to make Trump president, and even more voted to reelect him.
It was not Trump the man… but Trump the symbol… Trump the proxy.
Trump was merely the cart, to mix the arrangement. The public was the draft horse doing the pulling.
The ruling class set out to clip the reins that yoked them together.
Trump Wasn’t the Main Target of the Ruling Class
Adrift, the horse would lose direction. Alone, Trump would lose his transportation:
But whatever Trump might have thought, his voters knew that hatred for the ruling class — not Trump himself — was why they supported him. It was about themselves, not Trump. The ruling class knew it, too. That is why, for most of the past six years, it brayed so much disdain from every available venue on him personally, trying to convince at least some of his followers that he is unworthy of decent people’s allegiance…
Trump’s peculiarities made it possible for the oligarchy to give the impression that its campaign was about his person, his public flouting of conventional norms, rather than about the preservation of their own power and wealth. The principal consequence of the ruling class’ opposition to candidate Trump was to convince itself, and then its followers, that defeating him was so important that it legitimized, indeed dictated, setting aside all laws, and truth itself…
The ruling class showed that its real target could not have been one pudgy, orange-haired septuagenarian. No. Its target, its enemy, that they denigrated and wished to constrain if not destroy, was nothing less than the traditional America that they did not entirely control. Hence, by its efforts, the ruling class was making the case for Trump’s political persona more definitively than Trump himself could ever do.
Yet President Trump forgot his Machiavelli — if he had ever learned it:
“Never do an enemy a small injury.”
More tomorrow on Trump’s priceless service to America…
Managing Editor, The Daily Reckoning