Much to the incredulity of the elite political class, Donald Trump is rapidly closing the gap and even surpassing Hillary Clinton. This extends to the critical electoral college swing states. Trump can stumble. Hillary could reboot and change the calculus. That said, right now: advantage Trump.
It gets harder with each passing day to change the fundamental dynamics of the race. The core dynamics of this are masked by a mainstream media preoccupation with non-issues such as Clinton’s walking pneumonia, Trump’s acknowledgement that Obama was born in Hawaii, and so forth.
All that is noise. Few voters care about such trivia. Rather, voters care about prosperity, peace, and who seems better able to protect their interests and their values.
Above all, now, the voters care about the American Dream, composed of two elements: Prosperity and Economic Justice.
Both are legitimate and essential.
Trump was the one Republican candidate during the primaries who drew a line in the sand against cutting Social Security benefits. He threatens punitive action against Big Business for shipping jobs to cheap labor places like Mexico. Believe it or not … like it or not … the message “I’m with you” resonates with workers. (Full disclosure, I’m proudly a dues paying member of the AFL-CIO.)
I’ll take a boss who breaches etiquette but offers raises, bonuses, and opportunity for promotions. That’s preferable to one who has excellent manners but would manage the company – America — so there was no way up for me. I’d rather have a boss who was committed to making the company — America — great, giving me both pride and a fighting chance to rise.
Clinton leans heavily toward economic justice. That’s admirable. That said, she’s been deficient in charting a course toward prosperity to go with it. As Churchill once said in a speech in the House of Commons (22 October 1945), “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” JFK, on the other hand, said, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
I am not here implying in any way that Clinton is a socialist. That said, the progressive policies she proposes, perhaps reluctantly due to her battles during the primaries with an authentic democratic socialist, carry rather more the whiff of shared misery than the vim and vigor of a rising tide. And after eight years – sixteen, to be fair – of sharing miseries, more misery, even virtuously shared, is not what the majority of voters want.
Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.