Ok, so we’re finally at the point I wanted to reach. I hope that if we understand the nature of change in our society, we can get a better idea of where we are headed. The proof, as they say, shall be in the pudding. Anyone can come up with a hypothesis to explain facts that already happened. It’s a lot harder to do that, and then apply it \\to the future. So here goes.
We’ve already seen how, when change starts to occur, trolls will pop up and try to quash it. Sometimes because they have a different idea, sometimes for the sole purpose of quashing it. In this case, I believe that Obama’s election was the catalyst. His election wasn’t a foregone conclusion. He was a young lawmaker with a relatively short resume, but he was amazing at making an emotional connection to the voters, both positively and negatively. Being young, with a young family, he had an eye on the future. He tried to implement policies that might be painful in the short term, but would yield big benefits in the long term. He tried to avoid big military boondoggles, because he knew that it would be his kids’ generation that would end up both fighting them, and paying for them. Naturally, trolls popped up to keep him down. The Tea party was the biggest manifestation of this.
The Tea Party was quite the conglomeration. At first it was people dressed up in absurd costumes protesting about taxes, mainly. They morphed from that into what they call the Freedom Caucus. The first group, as best I could tell, didn’t have any coherent philosophy. They were largely the beneficiaries of government largess, and they wanted to cut benefits that went to others. It was odd. But their next phase did have much more of a philosophy. They still kept the idea that anything Obama was for, they were against, but they also had very strong ideas about keeping the government out of the free market, and letting people fend for themselves.
Trump is the biggest manifestation of both camps. He is the troll who just wanted to tear Obama down, and he is also the guy who wants the government out of environmental regulations, taxes low, and as few foreign entanglements as possible. So here we see where the rubber hits the road. Which philosophy better describes the world and hence, will win the upcoming war? Long term planning and government intervention? Or short term benefits and a hands off strategy?
I can give you detailed reasoning and strong examples of why I think that long term strategies are the way to go, but I won’t. If you don’t already agree with me I don’t think I can change your mind. Instead, I will predict what will happen. We’ve already seen the first round of healthcare reform fail. They may try again, but failure the first time makes the second seem less likely. It feels increasingly likely that we’re going to see similar battles in the case of immigration reform and tax reform. At this point, I feel reasonably confident in saying that it doesn’t matter how the two sides fight. It doesn’t matter whether that fight comes in the form of republican infighting or democratic filibustering or protests in the street. Trump’s philosophy is already lost. No doubt they will have some success. Even a blind squirrel stumbles across an acorn now and then. But overall we should see legislative failure after failure. It will likely increase in 2018, when democrats win some seats in the House and Senate. Those legislative failures will translate to diplomatic failures, cutting the US off from the rest of the world economically. We’ve already seen how countries fare when they are cut off. Ask Cuba and North Korea how well they’re doing when few will trade with them. That’s the world we’re aiming for.
I could be wrong. Maybe short term strategies are the way to go. Humans are good at solving problems. Maybe we’ll be able to foresee whatever problems we’re causing and change course in time. But I tend to think they will ultimately fail. We’re headed towards a world where America has less power and influence than we’ve had during the 20th century. The trolls won the battle. Now they’ll lose the war, and take us all down with them.