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Monday, March 13, 2017

A few weeks ago, my column discussed the opponents to Mr. Trump. I divided them into three groups: the true believers, the pragmatists, and the anarchists. Among the pragmatists, I referenced “a church full of relatives”. The excerpt was as follows:

“The pragmatists see everything differently. These people are not extremists. They believe that the status quo ante has worked quite well for the past 50 years, and they do not want to see it replaced with something different which may not work as well and which is therefore a leap in the dark.


“I have a whole church full of relatives who are solidly anti-Trump but are certainly not extremists. They are lifelong Democrats, solid citizens in a Midwestern state (Michigan) which has been governed with few exceptions by union-backed governors and senators ever since the Depression. They are against Mr. Trump because they don’t like his style but primarily because they don’t understand him and don’t agree with what they do understand, a lot of which comes from the heavily biased media. Most Democratic politicians also fall into this category.”

This comment drew the following response from Cousin May:

“I enjoyed reading your recent commentary. I am not so sure I fit into the category you have placed your “church full of relatives”. I am devastated by the election of Donald Trump and have decided to quell my angst by taking action and communicating as much as possible with our elected officials. I have strong feelings about the appointment of Betsy DeVos as I am familiar with her lack of experience in education. And I have strong feelings about the preservation of our environment. I find it hard to accept the frequent tweets and constant comments about the “size of the inauguration crowd”. Really … who cares!

“I have always felt the deepest respect for the President of the United States even if I did not agree with his opinions and policies. But, I have absolutely no respect for Donald Trump, nor do I have confidence in his governing abilities. I am just grateful that my daughter is too old to be drafted. That is unless he changes the rules when he takes us to war.”

I responded: “Thanks for the comments, May. The only way for Mr. Trump to gain your respect is to earn it. Looks like he has a few years to try. Best to family.”

She then hit me with the zinger: “Has he truly earned your respect?”

I had to think about that for a minute. I responded,

“Yes. Slowly. He certainly was not my first choice as the messenger, but I understood his message very early: We are now in a post-Cold War era where many of the policies we used to win the Cold War have become too expensive for us to maintain. American bounty restored the economies of all our friends and foes. Our former enemies, Germany and Japan, have flourishing economies, and with the Eurozone they are now our competitors for world markets. Continuing to provide for their defense and granting unreciprocated free access to our domestic market, as examples, makes no sense when we are facing default on US Treasuries every year. Of all the candidates in both parties, none but Trump had an analysis and a set of solutions for the fundamental problem America faces – a $20 trillion national debt. Everyone else was content to spend us into oblivion.

“Fortunately, enough people saw Trump as a new broom that he got elected. Now he has his chance to implement his solutions. If he can pull it off, and if these new approaches facilitate a return to fiscal sanity, then he deserves my profound respect. If he fails, we will become another Greece on a macro scale – the end of the American century. The message far transcends the messenger.”

I do not always understand or agree with Mr. Trump, especially when he counter-punches on trivial issues. Along with many others, I hope that he will stick to educating the public on the monumental changes he advocates as these issues begin to take legislative form.

On the other hand, I do sympathize with his fight against the efforts of the bureaucracy to undermine his presidency with criminal “leaks” and against the press which is all too willing to champion these fake news stories. What is most impressive, however, is his kinetic activity in fulfilling his campaign promises, and his reaching out to all the individuals and groups who have a stake in the many initiatives his administration is undertaking.

If the liberal Democrats succeed in defeating his program, another Great Depression awaits us. It may happen anyway, because the whole world is swimming in an ocean of debt — China’s real debt is 250 percent of GDP, Japan’s debt to GDP is 229 percent, European Union (average) is 92 percent compared to USA’s 104 percent. Only Russia, which defaulted in 1998 when its debt to GDP was 100 percent and no one would lend them any money, is minimal at 17 percent.

Donald J. Trump is now the president of the United States of America. So, we take the good along with the “feet of clay,” and hope the president occasionally reflects on the old saying, “There is a time and a place for everything.” After all, as evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. reminds us: “We were electing a President not a Pastor.”

When all is said and done, however, we elected him to save the nation from economic catastrophe. By the time his term is up in 2021, we will know whether he was able to save us all, because by then the die will have been cast. We do not have time to wait for someone else to be elected in 2020. We have to hope he is successful in “making America greater than ever!”


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