Cheap Seats 2016
Healing - 11/23
By Rich Trzupek
Being a conservative sort of fellow, I have spent a good deal of my publisher’s ink over the past eight years criticizing the policies and actions of the Obama administration. In doing so, I have attempted to focus primarily on the substance of those policies and actions, not on anyone’s reason for implementing them.
Most failed liberal positions can trace their roots to somebody’s good intentions. With few exceptions, we all have good intentions. We should judge the worth of strategies and tactics not by what they were supposed to achieve, but by what actually happened. Results matter, not intentions.
Obama’s failure to stem the tide of radical Islam, in terms of both ideology and violent practitioners, is but one example. There is nothing theoretically wrong with trying understanding and kind words when dealing with the jihadists and their many supporters, but that approach clearly has not worked.
Similarly, I’m sure that Obama believed his Keynesian attempts to “prime the pump of our economy” through the stimuli was the best way to address the Great Recession of 2008. Eight years later, the economy remains stagnant, tens of millions have dropped out of the workforce altogether (and thus don’t appear in unemployment statistics) and national debt exceeds GDP for the only time in American history unrelated to fighting World War II.
As I noted in last week’s column, that is the way a Trump administration should be evaluated: calmly, objectively using meaning fact-based metrics that can be traced to unbiased sources. The challenge for me and my conservative/libertarian friends is to ensure that happens, and to ensure that happens in a non-confrontational way.
There are a lot of frightened people on the other side of the political spectrum today. Many of them are young people who have been indoctrinated by our broken educational system to embrace concepts like “micro-aggression” and “hate speech” and who demand safe zones on campus to protect them from ideas they don’t care to hear.
Fright often turns into violence and we have seen that metamorphosis occur from the moment Ms. Clinton conceded. I don’t think the violence represents anything but a minority of Trump-haters, but I also think that a majority of them are honestly afraid about what is going to happen in American during the next four years.
I don’t believe there will mass deportations of Mexican immigrants who crossed the border illegally and I don’t believe families of such immigrants will be broken apart. I do believe that border security will vastly improve, that illegal immigrants of any sort who commit grave offenses will be dealt with more harshly and that the new administration will work with Congress to once again enforce a viable quota system to manage immigration.
I don’t believe there will be a ban on the immigration of Muslims into the United States. I do believe that the US will be much more careful about vetting potential immigrants and visitors who hail from regions where Radical Islam is prevalent.
I don’t believe that laws will be passed that any reasonable person would deem sexist, racist or be otherwise offensive to any particular group of Americans.
So our job over the next four years is two-fold: to do our best to ensure that none of those very unlikely scenarios that so frighten the left occur, and to do our best to counter what will undoubtedly be a continuous firestorm generated by the MSM meant to convince the left that their worst nightmares are in fact coming true.
Trump is a divisive character to be sure, it’s his strength and his weakness. But, in my opinion, that’s mostly about the way he talks and his penchant for the grandiose. The way he talks scares the hell out of his detractors who place enormous meaning on every single word spoken by anyone, while it endears him to many of his backers, who were raised to believe that actions speak far louder than words.
There are certainly going to be millions of hard-core liberals who are not going to support the new Prez or his policies and actions no matter what Trump does. But I’m sure there are many who are willing to be proven wrong – perhaps even hoping for it – to whom many of us could and should engage in our own little worlds over the next four years.
One favor: do so calmly and kindly. The rhetoric, on both sides, during the last eight years has run the gamut from embarrassing to despicable. Let’s dial it down a few notches, try to listen, try to reason and let’s see if we can’t all heal a bit.