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 left.
Intersectionality is 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 clearest.
“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 political issue.
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.
The Trump 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 violence.
Dismissing the 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).
Families, whose 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 incredibly well.
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.
Bahnsen endorses 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 Constitution.
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!
Deregulatory efforts 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 greatest hits.
Bahnsen embraces 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 country well.
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.
There is a little more, however this is enough!
We 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!