Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Doing the Obama

30 years ago nobody would've imagined a Junior Senator, lacking both private  and State governance experience, making it into the White House. But he did. And he did it because his campaign emphasized emotion over substance. Remember "Hope and Change", "Yes We Can"? Oh and by the way, lest we forget: he did it twice. And the last time he whipped a vastly more qualified opponent. I call this "doing the Obama".

I know that Trump is "doing the Obama" to get into office. Trump's a fast learner and he's leveraging what works. The other Republicans either co-opt Trump's approach or they are gone. Trump's approach to campaigning is brilliant.

So what is "doing the Obama" really? It is leveraging the angst of low-information voters. Frankly, today's voters are probably the most ignorant in a couple of generations. Lots of reasons for it: 3rd-world Public Education system, entitlement mentality, Media ignoring their fiduciary responsibility, and the glaring fact that the gyrations in the Oval Office have little impact on everyday life.

So is "doing the Obama" bad?  Not really. After all, as demonstrated by Obama, you can make all sorts of promises and then renege on them once in office. And if the public continues to hold the Office of the President in low esteem, nobody will be shocked.

Trump is a smart businessman with a big ego. He has a good shot at the Presidency, assuming he doesn't self-implode. Whether or not he can be a good President is anyone's guess. But I'm impressed at his campaign, and disappointed in his Republican opposition.

Trump's Wall

The various talking heads of the entertainment side of the media have had a lot of fun with Trump. He's arguably good for their business. He gives them lots of buzz to sell, and in so doing he gets his populist notions aired. Doubt it? Well think of Marco Rubio's approach to uncontrolled Mexican immigration - can you remember anything? Nope? That's because Rubio couldn't get the time of day from the media, and now he is gone.

Trump's wall is a polarizing idea. Why? Because it will work. And that defines the ideological split in America on the subject of immigration. I know there are entertainment talking heads who deride the idea as fundamentally unworkable, but these are not very bright people - they just work for laughs. The Wall most certainly will work.

There are those in America who believe borders are meaningless - we are all "citizens of the world" - to misquote Barack Obama. Conversely there are those who believe America is a sovereign nation, American citizenship should convey special privileges, American citizens should be economically protected, and America should be selective on who we allow in. In my view, this defines the tension in the immigration debate in general.

Much of the wave of popularity Trump is riding is generated by the rising anger of Americans who feel betrayed by the Beltway. President Obama has long since lost his sizzle to thinking people, he no longer commands the bully pulpit. Can you think of Obama's solution to uncontrolled Mexican immigration? Did positive thoughts come to mind?

America has absorbed 12 million unskilled, uneducated, from Latin America - probably the largest foreign aid program ever run under a different name. Made sense to prop up failing Latin American States back in the Reagan years when the Soviet Union was creating proxy states. Doesn't make sense now.

The entry-level job market has been hammered by a gross over-supply of labor. Wages have stagnated for years, causing some jurisdictions to pursue a silly course of mandating "living" minimum wages.

So if you are in ideological agreement with President Obama, the Wall scares you. If you disagree with the President, the Wall is one real solution that doesn't require an act of Congress.