December 6, 2017

Trump Is No Reagan

Even in these times of extreme partisanship, I am astounded by what I have heard (and unfortunately keep hearing) from our president who is, theoretically at least, supposed to represent everyone—those who voted for him and those who did not.

After his election, I optimistically thought he might change course. I kept waiting for us to hear a positive, inspiring, Reaganesque vision of the potential of this nation. What we all got was a constant diatribe as to how we are sinking into the depths of hell, and only a dictatorial strongman can lead us out and “Make America Great Again.”

Many Americans disagree with the direction of the nation, but clearly we are not the dysfunctional Weimar Republic of prewar Germany. Our domestic and foreign problems are tough but manageable.

We do not have tremendous unemployment. It fell from about 10 percent in 2010 to less than half that in 2016, although unskilled/uneducated workers have been hard hit, and wealth distribution is increasingly unequal.

Trump’s fiery rhetoric addresses these worries in the broadest sense, but he has yet to put forth a comprehensive plan to turn things around. In fact, Trumpcare was a $600 billion transfer of wealth to the rich. His budget hypocritically cuts services for the very working class people who voted for him.

Further, despite the Trump speeches during the campaign, we are not plagued with continuing large-scale violent leftist rioting in the streets, tearing our nation asunder. What we do have is very limited, largely peaceful sporadic protesting by  “Resistance” advocates, and continuing white-supremacist violence at least partly brought on by Trump's election and his insistence on equally blaming racists and those protesting racism. Plus, the nation has been plagued for many decades with uncontrolled (but not uncontrollable) gun violence, much of it domestic violence, that has not been addressed by either Congress or the president.

The African-American community as a whole is rightfully concerned because some black citizens are being murdered by a very small minority of law enforcement officers who do not value black lives as much as white ones. And these officers get away with it, even in the face of overwhelming video evidence, as in the recent Minnesota case.

The offending cops are racist and deeply psychologically impaired. They should have been screened out early on and never been cops. But Trump fails to address this issue.

We do have isolated mass murders, which receive a tremendous amount of media time. With the major exception of 9/11, these events are caused by a combination of mental illness, lack of gun control (no registration, gun-show loopholes, semi-automatic weapons, etc.) and, in very few instances, lone-wolf domestic Islamic radicalism.

But widely reported FBI statistics show that violent crime is down, not up, as Trump (who I am sure knows better) has incorrectly stated repeatedly. In fact, several sources have shown that violent crime has gone down to the levels of the 1970s.

Newt Gingrich, Trump’s comrade in hypocrisy, was on CNN during the campaign saying that the facts about crime are irrelevant; what people believe is the only consideration. He said presentation of the actual data, FBI crime statistics, was a plot by media liberals—“media myths,” in Trump’s own words.

Unfortunately, this was Trump’s true campaign plan: Create fear through a constant media campaign that hyped negatives and innuendo and then, in circular fashion, say it must be true because uninformed voters read it on the internet and believe it. Ignore reality when it gets in the way, saying that you cannot trust the facts or the people presenting them. Create your own “alternative facts,” per Kellyanne Conway.

Fox News has aided Trump in his plan to create hysteria on the right. It incorrectly portrayed the nation under Obama as being in crisis due to lack of leadership, implying that a “strongman” would rescue us and save the day.

Reagan was always pleasant and refrained from vile statements and personal attacks. He got a lot done because he worked with and was personally liked by members of both parties, as well as the general public.

Trump is the exact opposite. Leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties despise him, as does most of the electorate. That obnoxious, dictatorial personality is a key reason why he gets virtually nothing accomplished (the other key reason being his total lack of government experience).

My fellow citizens, please wake up and look at the facts. I have heard that fear is defined as “False Evidence Against Reality.” In the 2020 primary and general election, please vote based on rationality, not emotion due to your unsubstantiated fears.

If you do, Trump will be rightfully exiled to his Tower.