READER: An Open Letter To President Trump
A little "flyover country" wisdom that I hope'll do you some good...
PRESIDENT TRUMP, Sunday night we had the American Country Music Awards show. Taking advantage of the coincidence I'm going to borrow from that genre to remind you that you've got to dance with the one that brung ya if you want things to go well.
Right now your toddler of an administration is beset from all sides. You need all the friends you can get, and that means you need to keep and cultivate those who reached out to you and reached out for you in order to put you where you are today.
Let me tell you how to do that:
STOP WITH THE "REPEAL AND REPLACE" GIBBERISH ABOUT OBAMACARE! No one who got excited about your candidacy did so because they imagined you (or Paul Ryan) had a better plan for government control of healthcare's 17% of the economy. They did so because you made them believe you were going to yank that 17% back out of the jaws of Leviathan and let it resume its proper place in the free market from which Obama had kidnapped it.
We don't want any replacement! We want you to repeal Obamacare and, optimally, continue by repealing every other tentacle of the state wrapped around any aspect of the medical, healthcare and health insurance fields.
See this for guidance. Following these prescriptions will provide a huge boost in prosperity to everyone except government bureaucrats, doctors, hospitals, HMOs and big insurance companies. That means: "big boost in prosperity for 300 million Americans" at the expense of reduced luxury benefits from a rigged-system to the small fraction remaining. Do the math.
Restoring every aspect of medicine to the complete free market will do you a world of political good. It's also not only the right thing to do from a statesmanship perspective, but the right thing to do from a moral perspective, too. Rent-seeking by special interests is always evil.
SCRAP THESE INSANE PLANS TO INCREASE MILITARY SPENDING! You should be cutting military spending!!
Want to refresh and renew exhausted resources? That's fine.
Do it by resolving to have fewer of them altogether, like, say, about 3/4 of what we have now. Then spend part of the funding surplus that results from that reduction on polishing up that 75% 'til it shines brightly, while paying down the national debt with the rest.
Restore the Department of Defense's mission to DEFENSE. No more messing in other people's backyards (or living rooms, as would be a more apt description of the evils visited upon the world by the demonic neocons who have controlled United States foreign policy for the last 37 years or so).
Your base was yours because it believed you meant to do just what I've described-- pull in the bloody horns and start the settle-back from rampaging Hulk to restrained Bruce Banner. Let's face it. We don't need the Hulk.
America is absolutely invulnerable to any kind of military threat. A little terrorism might happen here or there, but that kind of thing cannot be stopped no matter how much "stamping-out" is attempted, and the math doesn't work.
The money sucked out of the economy for a massive military cuts what people can spend on looking after themselves and what can be spent publicly on keeping infrastructure safe. I can't prove it, but I'd bet that more Americans have died in the last 17 years because of crappy roads or an inability to afford air-conditioning than have been killed by terrorists (or Russians).
If you factor in all our young men and women killed or grievously wounded doing all that Hulking-around, the obscene imbalance is even worse.
Here's the bottom line: The people who put you in office don't give a damn about whether Sunnis or Shias control the Middle East, or whether Assad stays in power in Syria or not [Sorry, WRONG, as I, for one, DO care: An unprecedented 86% of Syrians voted Assad into office, and their choice is none of your business, neo-con America! They would rather Israel and Egypt and Saudi Arabia make peace with their neighbors and their own citizens than be protected from having to do so by American arms and American foreign aid. And they couldn't care less about the success of the Nazis currently running Western Ukraine, or the fate of the Baltic states, or Montenegro.
Your base neither hates nor fears Russia, China, or Iran. They don't even worry about North Korea.
Pull in those damn horns, boot every war-monger out of your administration, and cultivate honest peace and friendship with all nations and entangling alliances with none. You will renew the support of your enthusiastic base and even capture a whole lot of new supporters.
DROP THE HYPERVENTILATED ISLAMAPHOBIA! It makes you sound like an hysterical middle-school girl. It also makes you sound like you're plagued with inner uncertainties.
Jefferson once observed that actual truth doesn't need censorship or oppression to help it defeat lies. The same principle applies here, and this is the picture it paints: Anyone who wants to forcibly suppress a religion is admitting that he doesn't think his own religion can win on its virtues.
Shame on you.
Further, neither I nor anyone I know has ever been harmed here in America by a Muslim as a result or as an expression of that person being a Muslim. But EVERYONE I know has been harmed by the "national security state" apparatus set up or sustained on the pretext of protecting us all from Islam.
The only threats anyone here might face from people who happen to be Muslim would be because we have been breaking into their homes and killing them for about the last 70 years. If we had been treating the Swiss and the Swedes the way we have treated Iranians, Iraqis and Palestinians over the same 70 years, we'd have as much to fear from them as we do now from our Muslim victims. Would you then be rousing the rabble against "the evils of Lutheranism"?
C'mon, President Trump. Don't be that kind of a demagogue.
Have your travel ban, if you like, but be upfront. Squarely state that it isn't because we fear Islam, but because we fear blowback, and because what blowback might be coming our way just happens to be from mostly Muslim countries.
DROP THE DAMNED WAR ON DRUGS! What the hell is wrong with you, flogging this now-nearly 50-year-old assault on liberty on for yet more laps? Do you not realize this is just a job-security program for a giant chunk of law-enforcement and prison industry workers AND for drug dealers as well?
At the same time, you can't possibly think it is actually curbing drug use, unless you've been "using" yourself and the thinking-cap has gotten a bit askew. The evidence to the contrary is all around and unmistakable, not least in the very fact that we're fifty years into this thuggishness.
Wars that drag on for fifty years are wars that have been lost. After all the money and destruction of that "war", drugs are just as available as ever. And at higher potencies and lower prices, to hear your own drug warriors tell it.
GET GOING ON THE PROSECUTIONS of the criminals infesting the last few administrations. You campaigned on "draining the swamp". You do that, in large part, by punishing last year's swamp creature for his or her crimes. Only the deterrence effect of punishing last year's crimes makes the waters in Washington undesirable to the kind of creatures we don't want there anymore.
Why hasn't James Clapper been clapped in irons yet for his perjury? Where is the indictment for Hillary Clinton and her cronies for violating her security duties in order to make political use of government secrets (among other things)? What about the people who tortured Chelsea Manning for years during [her] custody?
ONE LAST CRITIQUE (for now), that'll really help you defend yourself against your tormentors and underminers: Catch on to the fact that the Freedom Caucus, and what it holds dear, outperforms you with your base, politically. Justin Amash beat your numbers in his district last November by 8 points.
Show some fidelity to the policies you pitched during the campaign, and pitch some extra good woo toward that 8 points-worth of activist Americans that are found all over the country, and you could spank Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi right back into their progressive snake-pits.
NOW, ON THE OTHER HAND, you HAVE gotten a bunch of things right for your real base, too, and they merit pointing out. Your "dump two regs for every new one adopted" thing is outstanding-- in principle, anyway. Make it really happen as advertised!
Your plan to defund the NEA, CPB, GCCI and numerous other boondoggles, is great, too. And your proposal to cut many other agencies and programs pretty deeply (by Washington standards) makes every liberty-loving American's heart sing.
This is all good. Make it all much, much better by defunding the agencies that spy on all of us all the time, and the ones that seize property from people who've been convicted of nothing, in what are really nothing more and nothing less than street-thug-grade shakedowns. Get rid of the TSA, too, and every other "security theater" money-suck.
Your apparent embodiment of the contempt most thinking people have for the statist-infested "main-stream-media" pressitutes (I'll tell any lie you want for A-list status at your next Georgetown party, big boy...") is most admirable and appreciated. The same for what we think is your genuine disdain for the "intelligence industry".
We've all looked with favor on your political support for Brexit and the impulse that drives it. Do more of that! Support secession movements everywhere and always, and you will be loved.
FINALLY, let me remind you, Mr. President, of a couple of things on which you campaigned (or at least promised to do) which were very helpful in boosting your numbers. Actually pursuing these worthy goals will be very helpful to you now, as well:
Re-investigate (or really, investigate for the first time) 9/11. Everyone on the planet knows the official story is bull-deuces. A lot of us care.
Audit the Fed. A lot of us care about that, too.