- Is the nation changing or resisting?
Click for AUDIO VERSION.To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.
When I hear the vicious political discourse and boisterous hyperbole of today, it suggests to me the country is embroiled in a cultural revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since before the Civil War. One of the basic precepts regarding culture is, in order for a person to function and succeed, he/she must learn to conform to the culture or face rejection. Enter the ultimate outsider to our federal government, Donald Trump, a businessman who has never held political office. It is the very fact he was an outsider that propelled him to the presidency. After all, people had grown weary of "business as usual" in the nation's capitol by both Republicans and Democrats, and were ready for a change.
As an outsider and businessman more concerned with results, Mr. Trump decided not to adapt to the Washington culture, but deliberately contested it instead, thereby causing friction with both parties. His agenda included overturning a great deal of former President Obama's policies and treaties. More importantly, he wanted to change the mood and outlook of the country. To the public, this represented a "correction," to the politicians, it represented heresy and a significant change to the status quo. The big question thereby becomes, was this change necessary? To those who elected Mr. Trump, the unequivocal answer is "Yes"; to everyone else, he is perceived as a genuine threat to their existence, which has triggered an uproar.
Some time ago, I wrote a review of author Mark Leibovich’s book, "This Town." This was a fascinating description of the power and control of the Washington establishment. As I wrote back then...
"Leibovich reveals the true culture of DC, where an incestuous relationship exists between Government, Journalists, and Lobbyists. All scratch each other’s backs in order to climb their respective totem polls and grab as much money as possible along the way. He paints a picture of unadulterated collusion. He makes it clear Washington exists not to solve the problems of the country but to line the pockets of the residents there."
"Through the book, Leibovich slips and reveals the Democratic bias of the press. Regardless of President Obama’s problems, he can do no wrong in the eyes of the mainstream media. In their eyes, the president is blameless for everything and genuinely the most brilliant president there has ever been. This is only surpassed by the media’s love affair with the Clintons. For some unknown reason, they are totally in awe of Hillary as well as her husband."
"If the book teaches us anything, it is that the system is broken and in need of major repair."
More than anything else, the corruption of the Washington establishment paved the way for Donald Trump's ascension to the presidency.
The push back to President Trump has been incredible, yet expected. Both political parties could not believe he was elected to the highest office in the land. The media considered him DOA as a candidate and nothing but a joke who could be easily defeated by Her Highness Hillary. They grossly underestimated the dissatisfaction of the American public to the goings-on in Washington. In contrast, Donald Trump didn't underestimate the people and used this to his advantage. His election left the establishment in shock and awe, thereby creating the push back we've been experiencing since Mr. Trump's election.
To illustrate, consider the substantial body of changes we have observed in just the first two years of Mr. Trump's presidency, and how our lexicon has changed. It has hardly been "business as usual" since his arrival.
* We're now familiar with the concept of the "Deep State," representing a body of people believed to be involved in the secret manipulation of government. We never heard of this expression prior to President Trump.
* The terms "resistance" and "obstruction" are now commonly used in Congress to delay and thwart the president's plans and appointees, such as the recent showdowns over the wall along our southern border.
* Talks of presidential impeachment have surfaced in both the press and the Congress. The 25th amendment of the Constitution was relatively unknown. Now it is frequently quoted as a means to remove the president.
* The "Mueller Probe" was initiated in the hopes it would discover the president was working illegally with the Russians in the election. So far, nothing of any substance has surfaced.
* The term "RINO" was coined to denote "Republicans In Name Only," meaning moderate Republicans who resist the president's agenda. There is also the "Never Trump" movement consisting of Republicans dead set against Mr. Trump's election and policies. It is this latter group that foiled the President's plans for replacing Obamacare. He could have done much more without such people in the political establishment.
* The "take a knee" protest in the National Football League caused a furor over the patriotism of the NFL players. Further, snubbing a White House visit upon winning a sports championship came into vogue. Such shenanigans were never considered before.
* The public now accepts "Fake News" as a valid concept associated with the Main Stream Media, which continues to lose credibility (and subscribers). According to the MSM, President Trump is incompetent and, as such, is incapable of doing anything right, be it large or small.
* Anti-Trump marches are still popular. We've also witnessed the rise of "ANTIFA," self-proclaimed "Anti-Fascists" who use violence and mayhem as their tactics in demonstrations. We've also seen the rise of left-wing organizations, such as the Sunrise Movement, representing young demonstrators supporting such things as the "New Green Deal." There is also the rise of the "#MeToo Movement" who attempted to disrupt the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
* Free-speech on college campuses is under attack. If a talk does not conform to "political correctness," the person's 1st Amendment rights are suspended or assaulted. This has resulted in states writing legislation to overturn this policy.
* It is not uncommon for social media to censor postings supporting President Trump.
* Entertainer award ceremonies are now used as a political soap box as opposed to recognizing their craft.
* Trump supporters are now regularly ridiculed and demeaned in terms of their intelligence and values.
* Late night television, which used to avoid political subjects, is now dependent on jabs at the president.
* We have witnessed fraudulent claims of victimization (e.g., Jussie Smollet, Covington Catholic) and false accusations of hate crimes, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. This is all widely reported by the news media, regardless if it is right or wrong.
* Anything said or done by the President, be it meaningful or a trifle, results in a Pavlovian protest and lampoon. This includes his family, the Vice President, and his inner circle of advisers. Opponents encourage people to openly harass them in public.
* President Trump is frequently labeled a "pathological liar," yet when the establishment is caught spreading falsehoods, "Oops" is the typical response and all is forgiven. Further, the days of respectful debate are long gone, and replaced by hate and yelling.
* Today, we are witnessing the migration of people away from states controlled by Democrats, such as California and New York, to Republican controlled states, such as Texas and Florida, which are considered economically stable.
* We are seeing the erosion of history and civics in our classrooms, thereby grooming a generation of people ignorant of how and why government works, thereby making them more manipulative.
* Democrat candidates for president in 2020 have difficulty demonstrating their accomplishments. Instead of touting policy, they promise a multitude of public freebies and bash the President at every opportunity. Linked to this...
* We're witnessing a rise in Socialism in this country as it is perceived as the antithesis of the policies of the Trump administration. Even though Socialism has failed throughout the world, liberals continue to embrace it and vilify anyone opposing it.
Gee, have I missed anything?
Does this sound like a culture embracing Mr. Trump or stubbornly rejecting him? Such fierce refutation of the President denotes the severity of cultural change. It also appears to be orchestrated. Whereas the country was rapidly moving towards a liberal agenda under former President Obama, President Trump has changed the course of the country by 180 degrees, hence the push back.
Within any culture, a person must observe the rules of morality, protocol, and socialization. To change the culture, you must address all three areas, which is what the president has been doing since his inauguration.
* In terms of morality, he has embraced God (and refuses to apologize for it), believes in the rule of law (particularly in the areas of immigration, and law and order), he is pro-life, supports charitable organizations (especially those for children), and believes in the dignity of work as it is important to the well-being of humans, both financially and mentally.
* In terms of protocol, President Trump has let the world know, under no uncertain terms, it is no longer business as usual, that important treaties have to be renegotiated, he has re-appraised our allies and enemies, and spurns the culture of political correctness.
* In terms of socialization, he has assumed a brash, unapologetic tone, and is unafraid to push back against his opponents, particularly the main stream media, which other presidents have been afraid to do. He has effectively used social media to perform an end-run around the press and get his message directly to the public, without the media's filtering, something no other president has had the luxury of doing.
In other words, he has been bucking the establishment as described in Leibovich's book.
President Trump has embraced the 3-Cs, Christianity, Capitalism, and Conservative values, all of which causes the news media and Democrats to panic, as well as a few Republicans. Yet, he perseveres. To change the culture of the country, he must remain steadfast and resolute, in spite of constant criticisms and resistance. This is something he became adept at as a successful businessman. He is fully cognizant success depends on "winning," which explains why he has been pushing hard on economic initiatives, trade, peace, and safety of the country. This is not so much about creating a "Win-Lose" scenario (whereby in order for one to win, the other party must lose), as much as it is about changing the culture to "Win-Win" whereby the secret to success is getting people to take pride in their country, themselves, work together and thwart those who would undermine this extraordinary country as devised by our founding fathers. By doing so, he hopes to restore a sense of patriotism, citizenship, work ethic, and family values.
Yes, President Trump understands this is a cultural revolution we are embroiled in. He has seen it before in business on a smaller scale and understands it is difficult to change it, but he also understands the virtue of having everyone pulling on the same oar. He may have a few scars on him before he is finished, but he is unafraid to lead us into this brave new world. If he was to quit, the status quo wins and the establishment continues unabated.
Had the Democrat candidate won in 2016, there would not be the brouhaha we are experiencing today. Had any other Republican won the candidacy, most of whom were politicians, there would have likely been a cultural revolution, but not to the degree we are embroiled in now as Mr. Trump is the outsider and willing to push back against his opponents.
One last note, the 2020 election will tell us the effect of changing the nation's culture. If President Trump wins, we know he is being successful, but if he is defeated, the Washington establishment will return to normal and the status quo has won. This will also affect the 2024 election in terms of electing Mr. Trump's successor. Our support for President Trump will be measured by whether we want to see the culture of the country return to a liberal agenda, or if we favor a return to traditional conservative values.
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.
Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim's columns, see: timbryce.com
Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.
Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube. Click for TIM'S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.