Monday, December 24, 2018

Rand-y rampage

Seen on Instapundit: a mini-rant from Rand Paul, one of Trump's closer allies:

No matter what Trump does, the left will position itself against him.* As Styx has repeatedly pointed out: Trump tries to make peace with North Korea, and the left hates him for it. Trump tries to be conciliatory with Russia, and this fuels the bullshit collusion narrative. Trump tries to secure the US/Mexico border—something Bill Clinton stressed the importance of doing in the 1990s—and the Dems say he's being a racist (even though the adjective "Mexican" doesn't designate a race). Keep in mind that many of Trump's stances betray his roots as a New York liberal Democrat. He's against unrestricted free trade, an orientation that had been a Democrat position for decades (Dems are normally pro-union and constantly worried about jobs being farmed out of the country for the sake of "cheap labor," which ties in to Dem accusations that the GOP prefers slave labor). He's for bringing jobs back to America. He's for focusing on workers' rights, and he wants to increase the number of available domestic jobs. Democrat, Democrat, Democrat. And now, contra the neocons and per the old Dem rhetoric, Trump is trying to make the US less interventionist** and, perhaps, more respectful of other countries' sovereignty instead of thinking that we have the right to blow into another nation, topple its government, and install an administration that's supposedly friendlier to American interests. Why can't the current Democrats get on board with this agenda? Because their chosen champion lost, leaving them butthurt and grieving, and they can't scrape together the maturity to be happy that someone at the top is finally implementing their old agenda. To be fair, the GOP was butthurt back in the 90s when Bill Clinton was busily appropriating GOP notions of a balanced budget, etc. Thus swings the pendulum, I guess. The US government is a metaphor for how human beings are resolutely determined to remain as unhappy as possible. Agent Smith was right: humans rail against misery, but in truth, they crave it.

NB: for those eager to point out that the above-noted Dem flip-flopping wouldn't be possible without concomitant GOP flip-flopping, let me say that I agree, but only to a point. The GOP didn't turn in unison; it's internally torn because Trump waddled over and flipped the chessboard. The Never Trumper contingent wants very much to stick to the old ways and not evolve; they see perfectly well where Trump wants to go, and the thought of going down that road terrifies them, probably because that road veers Democrat-ward in terms of major agenda items. Trump may actually need a second term to get more of the iron filings into proper alignment with his neo-Republican vision, but I think it's safe to say that a fundamental fissure exists in the GOP, and it's here to stay.

ADDENDUM: Rand Paul at greater length here.

*This effectively makes leftists into slaves of Trump: since they've chosen to be reactive instead of proactive, they must wait for Trump to act before they can know what to do. This is no different from the stupidity of a rebellious teen who sits whenever his mother stands.

**Then again, many major Democrats were on board with the neocon agenda back in the day. Sure, sure—regime change is just fine... until it's suddenly not.