One reason that a personally popular, landmark Barack Obama failed as president — aside from doubling the debt, institutionalizing zero interest rates, leaving a mess in the Middle East, and using his un-Midas touch to undermine nearly everything he tapped, from health care to immigration law to race relations — was that he was the first modern president under whose tenure the economy never reached a modest 3 percent economic-growth rate. Had Obama just achieved 4 percent economic growth, Hillary Clinton would be president.Read more here.
In other words, economic growth and perceived prosperity cut a lot of political ties. Reagan lacked the legislative apparatus to become a true revolutionary; Trump’s windfall Republican majorities almost force him into that insurrectionary role. The election of Donald Trump has turned everything in the political world, from the trivial to the existential, upside down. He is the first non-politician without military experience to become president. The polls and press caricatured him for nearly two years as a classic loser. He won despite being outspent and out-organized, and without real support from his own party or the mainstream conservative press. The Left is rightly convinced that he is a danger to the postmodern redistributive state. The Never Trump Right is still invested in his eventual implosion, issuing “I warned you about him” messages in a nonstop effort of self-justification.
On policy, Trump promises to outdo the reset of Ronald Reagan, who lacked Trump’s Republican-controlled Congress, vast majorities in the state legislatures and governorships, and the blank-check authority bequeathed by Harry Reid and Barack Obama, whose ends-justify-any-means-necessary changes in legislative and executive protocols have fortified the presidency with enormous new avenues of power. Reagan lacked the legislative apparatus to become a true revolutionary; Trump’s windfall Republican majorities almost force him into that insurrectionary role.
So Trump is intent on overturning Obama’s therapeutic foreign policy, slashing federal spending, rebuilding the military, exporting fossil fuels, waging a cultural war against political correctness and the liberal media, and enforcing immigration law. In other words, from his person to his policies, Donald Trump is a revolutionary, with a huge target on his back that the foundations, universities, networks, major newspapers, Hollywood, and the coastal-strip elite will always have in their scope.
...But it’s far more likely that Trump’s fate will hinge on his economic reforms. Achieve 4 percent–plus GDP growth rate and then Black Lives Matter, the residuals of Occupy Wall Street, the hysterical House Democrats, and the assorted unhinged fringe of Michael Moore, Lena Dunham, and Madonna will recede into the woodwork.
Economic growth cuts through political orthodoxy; economic stagnation intensifies it. Regrettably or not, prosperity, not character per se, determines a president’s political fate.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Will Lena Dunham, Madonna, and Michael Moore "recede into the woodwork?"
Victor Davis Hanson writes about the political importance of a healthy economy.