Liddick: The dawning of the Age of Trump (column)
January 23, 2017
Here we are, four days into the Age of Trump, and the sun still sets in the west. Who would have thought?
The past few days have been instructive. We learned that since a Republican now occupies the Presidential Chair "dissent is patriotic" once again, rather than being the hateful expression of racism it was when Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office. That "not my president" is a message of unity, as is "Trump equals Hitler." Despite the fact that, by the operation of Godwin's Law — sometimes called the error of Reductio ad Hitlerum — he or she who invokes the comparison loses the argument ipso facto. Only Hitler is Hitler.
We discovered that those calling for a kinder, gentler president than Donald Trump didn't mind doing it by breaking shopfront windows. That black Americans seeking to disrupt the Inauguration were perfectly willing to chain themselves up in service to their liberal Democrat masters — a profound irony, if ever there was one.
Speaking of liberal politicians, 60-odd congressional Democrats didn't attend the ceremonies, to the cheers of their associates and acolytes on the Left. The last time such a number of Democrats boycotted an inauguration, Abraham Lincoln was being sworn in. Poor dears, they were baffled and angered by his victory and terrified that he would deprive them of their slaves. By their truculence and petulant rage they assured the outcome they feared. One can only recall the old adage: "The more things change, the more they remain the same…"
The New York Times and most media called Donald Trump's inauguration speech "dark," but many non-elites thought it a realistic assessment of the hole dug for us by those who think themselves better or wiser than Trump's partisans, who they see as rubes, dupes and racists. When Barack Obama's old hometown of Chicago sees 700-plus residents shot to death out of 4,368 shot last year, that may be "dark." But it's also a fact. And no, for the "Black Lives Matter" crowd, only 14 of those were "police involved" shootings. In comparison, the second battle of Fallujah in Iraq — widely regarded as the bloodiest battle of that war — 95 U.S. soldiers were killed and 525 wounded.
It could be argued that Chicago is an aberration of liberal politics — remember who is the mayor — but across the country from Oakland to Baltimore, Memphis to Milwaukee, large cities are seeing increases in violent crime, including murder. Again, grim. But true.
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Was Trump correct about the American worker's parlous economic condition and their yearning for something different? According to a recent Pew Research poll, 86 percent of us think a secure job is the key to the Middle Class. Alas… In the eight years of Obama, the labor force participation rate dropped by 3.2 percent, from 65.9 percent in December 2008 to 62.7 percent in December of 2016 — among the lowest in four decades.
Losses in employment were particularly acute in manufacturing, which lost 2.4 million jobs by early 2010 and has only regained 900,000 of them. Most of the rest of the highly-touted "millions of jobs" gained since 2009 have been in the low-wage, part-time, no-benefit service sector. They count, but not for much. "Dark," agreed. But true.
This situation is exacerbated by an educational sector clinging to a preference for centralized ideological indoctrination, rather than embracing flexibility and a willingness to supply what the nation's workers-to-be need as much as a sense of self-worth: knowledge, skills and abilities worth being proud of and that can be taken to the workplace, then the bank. Trump's comments on this head may sound bombastic — but they are necessary for the future of the U.S. as a country that innovates, creates and builds. "Dark" or not.
In short, President Trump's "dark" comments, his habit of pointing out uncomfortable realities and inconvenient truths do distinguish him from the run-of-the-mill politician, but they do not mean he is either wrong or perverse. Those who insist he is because he refuses to turn away from things they would rather not see ought to think about why such straight talk strikes a profound chord in so many. And about why their "not my president" message of unity, whether accompanied by broken shop windows or not, seems so hypocritical. They should imagine the apoplexy if that had been the public cry of millions on Jan. 21 of 2009, and then have a long look in the mirror.
They might find what they see there dark indeed.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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