Here is my response to an article by Robert Reich entitled ‘Donald Trump , The American Fascist,’ sent to me by a friend. Mr. Reich is a well know American left wing Democrat and had served in the Cabinet of Bill Clinton in the 1990’s.
Of Trump’s many faults I think the two that stand out are: his lack of any detailed policy prescriptions and the excessive attention on himself. He gives every indication , at least at this point, to be unqualified for the job he seeks and his omission and commission on various issues are very troubling.
As many commentators have noted the present governing class are at least partly responsible for the effective rise of this phenomenon. The low unemployment rate masks a real problem in the mid west ( many have left the work force) and the push farther left by Obama and cohorts has been assisted by a Republican group who promised just the opposite. Many conservatives thought that the tea party success would act as a wake up call but it did not . Senator Ted Cruz has been despised by his republican colleagues for doing exactly what he had promised : hence , shining a glaring light on their weakness. It was Cruz who fought and won to keep the Ten Commandments displayed in a public place.
The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation has published on its website a detailed document by its scholars entitled ‘Solutions’ ( it is detailed and worth a read ) laying out a conservative platform . In the section on the economy they detail succinctly a number of facts which dramatically describe the economic side of the issue
‘The employment-to-population ratio for prime-age workers (25–54-year-olds) stood at 77.2 percent in the fall of 2015, down 2.5 percentage points from fall 2007 before the recession. The net drop in unemployment comes from people leaving the labor force, not individuals finding new jobs.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, employers created 7.7 million gross new jobs. In the first quarter of 2015, they created 6.9 million gross new jobs—10 percent below pre-recession levels.
Demographic changes like the ageing of the baby boomers cannot explain why the prime-age employment rate has fallen. The economy remains weaker than the headline unemployment rate suggests.
The CBO estimates that the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare) will cause 2 million workers to leave the labor force.
Trying to create jobs with infrastructure spending will not work. Infrastructure spending involves heavy capital investments but is not labor intensive. Highway, street, and bridge construction employs only 300,000 workers—just 0.2 percent of the labor force.
In its first six years the Obama Administration implemented regulations costing businesses $160 billion annually.
Americans would save $3,800 off the price of a new car if Congress repealed the CAFE regulation.’
In moving further to the left (Obama was selected the most liberal member of the Senate) American society has developed a penchant for political correct approaches , all the way from unscientific claims on climate change ( with proponents trying to silence legitimate questions), to refusing to allow conservative individuals from speaking on various US campuses , to the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, to the lies about keeping your doctor and insurance plan, to lies of posting pending legislation online, to a ‘common core ‘ education policy which robs the states and local school boards from meaningful input. This latter action undermines the spirit and intent of the constitution and moves the infiltration of the bureaucracy into the everyday lives of every American . Hayek must be moving in his grave.
The utter failure of the Federal Government to develop a real immigration policy , while thousands stream across the southern border ( aided and abetted by some crony capitalists) exacerbates the ordinary American’s growing belief that the powers that be do not care about them and their economic plight. Can you imagine sanctuary cities, where convicted immigrants are protected?
Then there are the foreign policy gaffes. Can you imagine being in the armed forces of the US after Obama got elected and then began his apology tour? The special forces person in Iraq listening to his or her President apologizing for America’s past action, the military person on the border of South and North Korea, the navy person plying the seas , especially in the Middle East. Then the US Government under Obama embarrassing the West in ignoring their own red line in Syria, leaving Iraq prematurely when success was in the bag and hence assisting in the rise of ISIS, bungling Libya , being outmanoeuvred by the thug Putin in Ukraine and Syria.
It is in this context that I think one must view the present popularity of Donald Trump. This in no way excuses Trump’s behaviour but I submit explains in some measure why it is popular now.