I didn’t vote for Trump … or Hillary. I couldn’t be stuck in the middle again, trying to choose between two idiots, neither of whom I figured was good for the country. I voted 3rd party. Some might think that was a wasted vote, but what it did for me was to release me from ownership of this election. I didn’t mourn that Hillary lost (I wouldn’t have anyway) and I don’t feel the need to voraciously protect Trump’s win. It was liberating … having no stake in the election results.
I have followed the transition with some trepidation as Trump has made some really stupid statements. But I’ve also watched with interest as he’s picked (some) advisors whose ideas I like.
So last night we sat down and listened to his inaugural address … twice, because the teenager wasn’t there the first time and we thought he should hear it too just to say he had. What did I think?
I applaud Trump for tossing out the inaugural address playbook. He didn’t promise to spend a certain impressive amount of money to create an impressive number of jobs, train workers, build bridges, etc. He kept it vague … which would be appropriate in a country that is $21 trillion in debt. Like a businessman (oh!), he perhaps recognized that he will need to figure out what there is to spend … and he will find out there’s nothing left. The treasury has been looted. We can’t afford the trillion dollars he proposes to spend on roads and bridges. We don’t have the money. The government steals about 2 1/2 trillion dollars from us and then spends a little over 3 trillion. It’s been doing that for a decade and a half now. They’ve done that for so long that we no longer have any wiggle room. I suspect Trump knows that, which is why he didn’t make specific promises.
I appreciated that he acknowledged that the people put him in office. If I believed that he was actually going to turn federal power back to the states and individuals it was always supposed to rest with, I’d be cheering with the crowds. But I don’t think the federal bureaucracy will let him do that … even if he is himself inclined to do it. For the record, I would love if the federal government devolved most of its usurped power back to the states because I can make an appointment to talk to our governor. I’m not exaggerating. It’s the beauty of living in a small-population state that we know our political leaders personally. Governor Walker isn’t the perfect governor, but he’s a whole lot more accessible than a faceless bureaucrat in Washington DC or the President of the United States. He knows what it is like to live here and our needs can be explained to him. The same doesn’t exist with that faceless bureaucrat in DC … or even one who has moved to Alaska from DC and holds themselves aloft from those who live here.
But I’ve been lied to by too many politicians to believe that this is going to happen.
I took issue with a few things Trump said. Don’t patronize me with paraphrasing the Bible. I know you don’t believe in it. Just stop!
Our military does not require rebuilding. We have the largest military in the world. We’re spread across hundred of countries. We spend $600 billion a year on the military. We don’t need to rebuild our “deteriorated” military. We may need to reassign them. We might want to start leaving countries and bringing troops home. We could do it gradually to give the ecnomy time to absorb the new workers. We could deploy some to the border and ports to defend our real needs.
I’ve been opposed to protectionism for a long time and I think Trump’s tariffs sound a lot like Smoot-Hawley, which deepened the Market Correction of 1929 into the Great Depression. If Trump wants to make America Great Again, get rid of the Jones Act so Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico can live affordably. Get rid of all regulations that have come into existence since 2006. Make the agencies involved rest of them justify their existence. All of them. Stop treating Americans like a mass of people like some amorphous organism that all want the same things. Start treating us like individuals and letting us make our own decisions. We are not a collective. Some of us don’t want to be.
So, I’m still willing to give Trump a chance, but he also still concerns me.
What worries me more is the protesters who tried to block access to the inaugural. When conservatives were disappointed that Barack Obama was elected president and immediately made it clear that he and the Democratic Congress had no intention of representing the 47% of the country that didn’t vote for him (which was AFTER the inauguration), the “tea party” gathered in parks and auditoriums to make their voices heard, but they didn’t throw rocks or punches or assault people.
What has happened to this country? We seem unable to listen to one another and treat each other with respect, disagreeing on ideas but respecting each other as humans. We assign lunacy or devilry to anyone we disagree with and that makes it impossible for us to hear one another.
If things keep going the way they are going now, secession will become more attractive even to the Big Government folks. That’s a good thing. Federalism was a worthy experiment, but it hasn’t worked out for small-population states, especially in the west. If Trump returns the power to the states, things might be better, but then the blue states will elect someone more to their liking and we’ll end up fighting to keep federalism. Wouldn’t it be better if we agreed to disagree and separated? We could still be friends, conduct trade, travel freely, work together for common concerns, but the concentrated blue zones would no longer be able to force the red zones to do it their way.
I don’t think Trump is going to do this, but I am looking at what we do beyond him. If we want “the people” to be in charge, we should consider that what is really needed is to stop trying to force our neighbors to do it our way. Actual federalism is one way to do that. Secession with cooperation is another way. It moves us in the right direction.
We need to stop expecting the guy in the Oval Office to save us. Let’s save ourselves. Trump drops hints that he believes that, but I don’t think he does. He thinks he’s our savior. I already have a Savior and I can make my own decisions..
How about you?. If the Donald got rid of taxation, regulation, monopolies, licensing, the EPA, downsized and domesticated the military, actually opened up free trade … could you handle it? Would you rejoice? Or would it scare the hell out of you?