The Mainstream Media, with a slavish devotion to the daily proclamations of the Democratic National Committee, continues to spin a narrative that there are millions of Trump acolytes and devotees who mindlessly support Donald J. Trump without regard to his tone or tenor. The Left uses dog whistles intended to evoke the image of Trump supporters as mesmerized automaton Germans in the era of Hitler.
My interactions with the president’s supporters tells a completely different story.
The supporters of President Trump reflect that they have studied the issues, balanced the risks and benefits, and have concluded that they will vote for the Republicans, despite misgivings about or disagreements with Mr. Trump.
This is the case specifically because of a conservative policy agenda that includes, among other things: lower taxes, fewer superfluous and outdated regulations, sensible control of the borders, judges who adhere to the rule of the law, school vouchers, a commitment to uphold federal and state criminal laws, and a healthcare program that is not dependent on yet another federal bureaucracy.
Put another way, these people, whatever their party allegiance, support policies that reflect an understanding that the great wealth of this country was created because of a free enterprise system that encourages entrepreneurship, work, tenacity, perseverance, family, ethics, community and faith.
We are now at a place where there can and should be a conversation about the challenges remaining. However, this conversation must include the question of why policies enacted to defeat poverty have instead created a culture of violence, despair and disillusionment.
The evidence is particularly apparent in our big cities — notably in cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades. These city leaders have governed by spending billions of tax dollars to no appreciable benefit to their constituents.
This will not be an easy conversation, and many on the Left don’t want to have that conversation at all. Indeed, they want no conversation, because a conversation necessarily involves listening respectfully to points of view with which you may disagree, not just speaking about your own point of view. Such a conversation also does not involve uncontrollable emotion by yelling, threatening, intimidation or a rejection of the basic principle of free speech.
This is not a white or black problem, but an American problem, because it is largely governmental policies, though often well intentioned, that have brought about the destruction of the family and a horrific and disproportionate inner-city crime rate.
This is a conversation that must take place with honesty and sincerity. If progress in opportunity and outcome are to be realized, which is the undoubted hope and desire of all Americans of every stripe, we must begin this process.
Simply stated, race is not to blame for the disparity in wealth in this country, and race-baiting policies will not solve the problem. Indeed, the blame is far less about racism than about the perverse incentives of the welfare state, and the deplorable status of inner-city educational opportunities.
We cannot expect a quick fix for a problem decades in the making.
Just as an example, we have a public school educational system that is grossly underperforming, in some areas to the point of near collapse. We could begin with an overhaul of the public school educational system, requiring responsibility and accountability as a basic premise. This is not to understate the contributions of those teachers who remain dedicated to their profession, and who care deeply about their students.
However, that segment of society has also become politicized, unconscionably so. The point is that we can make a huge difference in education by acknowledging what Condoleezza Rice, a former secretary of state, has referred to as the real “civil rights issue of our time.”
Reform can come about at many levels.
Just as an example, we can acknowledge the tremendous value of the school voucher program. This should be done now. Throwing more billions at a broken system, while at the same time ignoring the part of the educational system that works so well, resolves nothing.
The contrast could not be more stark.
Under a Biden Administration, we can plan on increased regulations, the stifling of the economy only just beginning to recover, and an abandonment of the economic system that has made our country so long a model for the rest of the world.
Biden’s commitment, indeed his loud and trumpeted threat, to “get rid of shareholder capitalism” makes no sense whatsoever, but it certainly seems to be a convenient “bumper sticker” talking point. It utterly, and no doubt deliberately, ignores the fact that 45% of our population participates in the stock and bond market, through their retirement plans (401K, 403b, 457 and IRA). More than 55% of the U.S. population owns stocks.
By simple definition, therefore, the dismissive suggestion that we should simply “get rid of shareholder capitalism” is a recipe for complete disaster and financial collapse.
We don’t need any more shallow and silly “bumper sticker” talking points. We need reasoned and thoughtful solutions.
What we all need to understand is how critical our 2020 vote is. Our future, and the future of our children, will be determined with this election, more so than at any time in our lifetimes.
People need to keep that in mind and not make decisions based upon the convenient and catchy slogans of the day.
Emotion is not a substitute for reason. Neither is the volume of one’s voice a replacement for thoughtful discourse.
Timothy N. Tremblay
The author lives in Santa Barbara.