Lefting the Right - or - Righting the Left
David L. Bahnsen’s January 17, 2021 writing on
Donald Trump, and the future of conservatism (https://www.yahoo.com/news/final-assessment-trump-presidency-path-113041600.html), provides a good view of how my views
contrast with those on the “responsible right”. His views, of course, are his own, not those
of all on the right.
From the 1619 Project
to cancel culture to intersectionality to COVID tyranny to the woke mob to the
summer 2020 riots, I recognize why the whole “idea” of Trump has been
appealing. It is not my argument that these things are anything other than the
threat to our way of life you believe them to be. I am on your side about
cancel culture, about the desire to redefine America, about the social-justice
mob, and about so much else.
The 1619 Project
was an incredible writing that helped expose many white people to the totality
of how racism infects The United States.
Cancel Culture seems most relevant to me in how, for example, a few
words are taken out-of-context in attempts to totally dismiss the brilliant
insights of AOC. Obviously, it is
abused, at times, but it is used dismissively by the right, as well as by the
vitally important! Racism, absent
looking at sexism and classism, is a narrow slice of much larger problem. Blanketly dismissing it, as Bahnsen does,
shows the narrow, privileged perspective of much of the right at its
“Covid tyranny” sounds
to me like a cruel joke. Dismissing
science and the words of experts, as well as manipulating and distorting what
they have said, has been a key part of what Trump has done. He politicized what should have never been a
Covid was destined to
devastate our economy! The issue was
not the prevention of economic damage, but how to cope with, and attempt to
minimize it. Trump’s inaction, and
repeated contradictions of what he had previously said, and other similar
actions greatly delayed things.
Currently, the distribution of vaccines has been chaotic, due to a lack
of direction and planning.
The effects of
Covid-19 on the economy have been wildly inconsistent. Some super-wealthy people have profited
greatly. Owners of businesses and their
workers, such as with bars and restaurants, have been devastated. BIPOC have been disproportionately affected.
Administration did little or nothing to help those most in need, and to limit
the profiteering that did occur.
The “summer riots”
were largely peaceful demonstrations.
Where there were actual “riots”, generally the damage was limited to
property damage. Where there was
violence against people, it commonly was provocateurs of the right, or police
protests, through distortions, as this conservative man does, is absurd. Bahnsen obviously believes that there are
not deep-seated systemic problems with racism.
His preference that we return to the “normalcy” of the past, shows an
embracement of the racist state we have had, and continue to have.
I am part of the social
justice mob he readily dismisses. I
believe that racism, sexist violence, classist movement towards greater
economic disparities, and similar, is unacceptable. We need to finally address
the issues in lasting, deep ways.
I agree with Bahnsen
that there are tens of millions of Americans who do not feel heard by “the
establishment”. I agree that Trump spoke
to their professed concerns. I believe,
however, that Trump and the Republicans have manipulated the fears of most of
these people, rather than hearing, and seriously dealing with their concerns
(except in supporting their racism, where that was relevant).
incomes and wealth are in the lower two-thirds, have done poorly since the
1960’s, while the upper 10% has done well, and the upper 1-3% has done
Automation and the
out-sourcing of jobs abroad has hurt many people greatly. China, socialism, Muslims,
gays/lesbians/trans people and government have been scapegoated by the well off
and Republicans, hiding economic truths.
These tens of millions
of people need to be heard and spoken to with honesty. Republicans have manipulated these
people. Democrats and the left have simply
not heard them.
Bahnsen speaks loudly
that Hillary Clinton would have been a horrible president. I see no reason to believe that she would
have been any worse than her recent predecessors.
Trump’s three Supreme Court appointments.
Evaluating the changes in Supreme Court justices reflects our individual
biases. Bahnsen makes no mention of the
hypocritical denial of Merritt Garland’s right to be considered for The Court,
while Republicans rushing Barrett through late in 2020.
Bahnsen applauds Mitch
McConnell’s pushing through over 200 federal judge appointments as well as the
Supreme Court successes. He neglects
to mention the clear focus upon ideology, with little concern for the
qualifications of many of the appointees.
The corporate-tax reform was a needed and
important piece of legislation, not as — contrary to popular leftist lies — a
support for the rich, but as a support for the job creation, business
investment, capex, global competitiveness, repatriation of foreign profits, and
reduction of loopholes it fostered. That this accomplishment actually went
through a real legislative process makes it even more important — it cannot be
reversed so easily, and it was actually done properly in the context of the
I do not see how jobs
have been greatly created by Trumpian/ Republican policies in general. There has been encouragement in the hiring of
part-time, poorly paid workers. Helping
very well paid workers not pay “their fair share”, while the super-rich, have been
greatly helped, obviously. Meanwhile,
even prior to Covid’s affecting things, deficits shot up, further weakening the
U.S. Corporate taxation is simply
ridiculous, as very profitable corporations pay very little much of the time.
I am glad the
president relocated to the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, ended the Iranian nuclear
deal, and pulled us out of the Paris accord. These things carry more symbolic
than practical significance, but symbolic gestures do matter.
Again, we view things
from a totally opposite perspective!
U.S. policy is highly un-pragmatic, and hurts a lot of people, without
any substantive benefit. We live with
our heads in the sand!
in the economy are an underrated achievement of his presidency, with cabinet
appointments helping to execute a significant improvement in certain structural
regulations impeding American progress in finance, energy, education, health
care, and more. In fact, the discretionary capacity of some executive-branch
departments was a tremendous vehicle for protection of the unborn inside the
Department of Health & Human Services. Personnel is policy, and while we
have some real disasters in this category for Trump, there were true success
stories, too, ones that will be harder to reverse than people realize.
Again, we live in
totally different worlds! Supporting
policies that decimate the lands, education of our children, healthcare of
many, as well as attempting to make abortions illegal is not what I support.
But I would include
the president’s pardons of Michael Milken and Conrad Black as two of his
Trump’s attempts to limit and ban abortion rights. Women should have the right to choose in
consultation with their doctors, what is best for them.
Bahnsen speaks of how
Trump has made the Republicans into a “working class party”. Smoke and mirrors – have been most successful
in convincing working class people that the wealthy should be admired, and the
poor should be scapegoated. Hopefully –
working class people in larger numbers will wake up and see how they are hurt
by the Republicans. The greatest ways
that they’ve been helped, is that their racism, where it’s significant, has
been encouraged, not discouraged.
I believe that Betsy
DeVos as Education Secretary, Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary, Mike Pompeo
at State, Larry Kudlow at NEC, and other key leadership positions served our
I don’t know of anyone
who seriously cares about public school education who doesn’t have total
contempt for DeVos. Her support of
religious schools and private-for-profit schools at the expense of public
schools is horrible, It squeezes public
schools which significantly educate poor/non-white children with “competition”
that helps the profits of big corporations and religious interests. It does not help the children who need the
help the most. The rest of the “survivors” of the “cabinet wars” have been
almost as bad, in my estimation.
is a little more, however this is enough!
have very little common ground! If this
is a good example of what a “conservative” is, I’m much further to the left,
than I thought I was. Enough said!