Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump and the Progressive Pyramid

It was well noted during the campaign that people who considered themselves true conservatives were leery of Donald Trump, suspecting that he was more like a progressive Democrat than an ideological conservative. His pre-administration, however, is starting to shape up in ways that conservatives scarcely dared hope.

The Progressive agenda is slow and steady. It is not made of Bolshevik Revolutions or Cuban Revolutions, as much as the agenda thereof was admired on the farthest left. It is more to be compared with the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. Slow at times, very gradual, but steadily moving toward completion. It is a long-term agenda.

It has progressed under all the administrations and congresses of the past 100+ years. At times, construction of the Progressive pyramid moved forward at a rapid pace; the FDR years, the LBJ years and the Obama years are examples. At times, construction slowed to a crawl, with only a few layers or even a few stones put in place, but construction continued.

People ran for office professing ideals of stopping the project, and some even spoke of demolition. While there were some remodels and refits during the Reagan years, the pyramid was no smaller in 1988 than in 1980. Under George Bush 43, it was business as usual. Bill Clinton was enthusiastic about the project, albeit with some paint jobs. Under G.W. Bush, it was business as usual plus a war. He was a grave disappointment to conservatives who had supported him, for he had both houses of Congress in his party for his first two years, and could have done much to roll back the progressive agenda, and instead added to the pyramid without removing a single stone, (though maybe a handful of sand.)

Obama, of course, has been Pharaoh’s master builder.

Now enter Donald Trump.
Conservatives were very skeptical of his promises to make real change, partly because of his past, and partly because of all the promises that had been made before which resulted in nothing to shrink the role of government, to stop construction of the great pyramid, much less to knock off any bricks. But Trump’s appointments spell out a strongly conservative agenda. He is not showing up at the pyramid with stonecutters, masons and construction equipment. He is showing up, so far, with demolition experts, wrecking balls, bulldozers and dumptrucks. He is appointing people to head abusive agencies who are arch-critics of those agencies. He is appointing people to head agencies hated by conservatives with conservatives who hate those agencies. Some of his appointments are the functional equivalent of appointing General George Patton as the commander of the German Wehrmacht, or putting Nelson Mandela in charge of apartheid. Will Trump appoint Wayne La Pierre as head of the BATFE?

The pyramid builders are nervous, and with good reason. For the first time in 100 years, someone is showing up to their beloved pyramid, so carefully built over the decades, not with mortar but with dynamite.

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