Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Creative Destruction, the American Way

 

The Republicans have been “over the target” for three years, led by President Donald Trump, and that’s a great outcome. Their efforts have been hit and miss (such as not getting a healthcare bill and immigration bills passed). But it’s been clear for a while that the Democrats’ hysterical and irrational behavior is an indicator that the swamp is being drained, bit by bit.

For many of us, watching this slow, chaotic process unfold is unnerving. So much can happen while policies, traditions, and plans are being disassembled. Yet this slow-motion unfolding, when studied carefully, is encouraging for the future.

When Donald Trump was first elected, the protests were loud and unremitting. They still are, and in fact, are increasing in their intensity and confusion. The disorder is enough to drive a sane person over the edge, and I believe that the Democrats are hoping for just those outcomes. Although to a great extent, I don’t think most of them are that devious; they just don’t like what is happening to the status quo.

So for those of us who prefer that politics unfold in a sensible or at least strategic way (that we understand), we’re going to need to find an ocean of patience for the next five years. I say five years because I believe Donald Trump will be re-elected, and there is no reason to assume that the climate will improve; the weather looks unceasingly stormy from here on out.

The reality of the future is emerging out of the chaos. Trump’s disruption is actually working, as unpleasant as it can be. Some Republicans hoped for these outcomes out of anger and vengeance. Other Republicans were more aligned with Democrats, although not fully on board with them; they preferred keeping the status quo, which was not only profitable for them, but familiar and comforting.

And then there are the Republicans who do genuinely understand that the future of the Republic is at stake. You might even say that we are witnessing a period of “creative destruction.” There is no way to move forward without annihilating some of the underpinnings of the administrative state and the Progressive movement. As much as I despise disorder, I’m convinced we have no choice but to keep hacking away at the foundations of those premises and structures that have been in place for the last 100 years.

It’s frightening to contemplate. We always risk destroying the ethical with the immoral; we might go too far and wipe out tenets that benefit the country and our citizens. The prospect of watching the future unfolding is painful because we really have no way of knowing how far we must go. But we must continue to move forward; if we don’t, we risk losing everything for which this country stands.

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There are 27 comments.

  1. I Walton Member

     Democrats seem wildly irrational, off base, destructive, but the same views exercised in local government can work for them and at times for their communities should they actually care about their stated objectives. Some do but don’t understand. The party leadership, in contrast, knows what it’s doing and as long as power accumulates in Washington, they win.

    • #1
    • January 5, 2020, at 7:29 AM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Democrats seem wildly irrational, off base, destructive, but the same views exercised in local government can work for them and at times for their communities should they actually care about their stated objectives. Some do but don’t understand. The party leadership, in contrast, knows what it’s doing and as long as power accumulates in Washington, they win.

    @iwalton, who are you referring to when you say, “party leadership”? I’ve not been impressed with the steps they’ve taken especially of late. I think they may underestimated the Republicans this time.

    • #2
    • January 5, 2020, at 7:33 AM PST
    • Like
  3. OldPhil Coolidge

    keep hacking away at the foundations of those premises and structures that have been in place for the last 100 years

    Big chainsaws are needed.

    • #3
    • January 5, 2020, at 7:47 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    keep hacking away at the foundations of those premises and structures that have been in place for the last 100 years

    Big chainsaws are needed.

    Indeed, @oldphil. And there are still some people who could make our work much more difficult. I’m looking at you, Mitch McConnell.e

    • #4
    • January 5, 2020, at 7:59 AM PST
    • Like
  5. GrannyDude Member

    Well done, Susan! You’ve put into words, concisely and cogently, what I’ve been struggling to articulate for myself. Thanks! 

    • #5
    • January 5, 2020, at 8:49 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Well done, Susan! You’ve put into words, concisely and cogently, what I’ve been struggling to articulate for myself. Thanks!

    I think you join me in disliking destruction in any form, @GrannyDude. But I see no other way. Thanks for the kind words.

    • #6
    • January 5, 2020, at 8:50 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Trump’s no longer a hypothetical, as he was in the 2016 election. He had spent the previous 35-plus years being so outlandish and over-the-top in terms of his public persona that any prediction about what he might do could gain credence, for good or bad.

    For 2020, he still is outlandish in many ways, including his love of feuds, which the Democrats and many in the media are giving him ample opportunity to embrace. But now he has a record, where policy-wise, people don’t have to guess what Trump will or won’t do. He’s going to run for re-election based on what he has or hasn’t done, and whether or not the country’s better off now than it was four years ago.

    That the Democrats and the hardest of the hard-core #NeverTrump crowd reflexively oppose anything Trump supports ends up making the dividing lines more stark for whatever swing voters there are left — Joe Biden started out a year ago planning to run a ‘return to normalcy’ campaign, where he would focus more on Trump’s tone than his actions, and look to win back swing voters upset about Trump’s decorum. Fast-foward 10 months or so, and wacky-but-lovable Uncle Joe’s calling for bans on coal, fracking, plastic bags and other things in order to woo the Democrats’ irate base that wants 100 percent opposition to Trump on everything.

    That creates a situation where the Democrats want a status quo for the government as it was prior to the Trump years, but are locked in on fundamentally changing America even more than Obama did while in office. It’s a Maintain the Swamp strategy that instead wants to drain the disapproved parts of the private sector, and barring a similar collapse as during the 2008 election cycle when the mortgage came due on the Clinton era housing policies, it’s hard to see swing voters looking at Trump’s record and the Democrats’ plans and having the majority go for the latter.

    • #7
    • January 5, 2020, at 8:56 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    That the Democrats and the hardest of the hard-core #NeverTrump crowd reflexively oppose anything Trump supports ends up making the dividing lines more stark for whatever swing voters there are left

    Thanks, @jon1979. Great comment. I have especially been concerned about swing voters for a while. I figured Trump’s style would drive them away. I think his record, however, will make the difference and we have a good chance of bringing the swing voters and independents around. At least that’s my hope!

    • #8
    • January 5, 2020, at 9:03 AM PST
    • Like
  9. Rodin Member

    I think Trump understands that keeping the Progressives crazy is the best foundation for a Red Wave. It is a high risk/high reward strategy — just what Trump wants. If we can just sit back and enjoy the spectacle without ruminating on the success and progress of individual plays, we will feel a lot better. Yes, there are going to be some sacks and fumbles. But there are also going to be some long bombs and open field runs. The game is 60:00:00 long, not 59:59:59.

    • #9
    • January 5, 2020, at 9:11 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I love the football analogy, @rodin. It is so apt! Yes, we must try to restrain ourselves on his missteps and appreciate each time the Progressives lose it. Works for me!

    • #10
    • January 5, 2020, at 9:15 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    That the Democrats and the hardest of the hard-core #NeverTrump crowd reflexively oppose anything Trump supports ends up making the dividing lines more stark for whatever swing voters there are left

    Thanks, @jon1979. Great comment. I have especially been concerned about swing voters for a while. I figured Trump’s style would drive them away. I think his record, however, will make the difference and we have a good chance of bringing the swing voters and independents around. At least that’s my hope!

    I think the ones he’s going to totally turn off he’d already alienated 2-3 years ago, and that includes the #NeverTrump types who value decorum above end results. There’s still a case to be made by those types about what the Republican Party does after Trump, but the swing voters who are repulsed by Trump’s behavior to the point that no matter what he’s done policy-wise, they’re not voting for him likely stopped being swing voters in 2017-18.

    Best you might get out of them in 2020 is not voting for president at all, if Bernie ends up being the nominee (and the same deal with some of the #NeverTrump people, who’d far rather make the convoluted case for True Conservatives for Biden or even Buttigieg than they would for Bernie this fall). But at the same time there are others who didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary in 2016, based on the hypotheticals of what Trump might do, who are now willing to vote for him in 2020, because he has a record that’s assuaged their fears, and that group could end up being as large or larger than the repulsed swing voters.

    • #11
    • January 5, 2020, at 9:15 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Susan Quinn: such as not getting a healthcare bill … passed

    Looking at the current GOP platform, I don’t see any bill proposed. Mostly it is “Obamacare bad”. Below is the actual platform language. I don’t see soccer moms changing their votes based on these words.

     

    In its place we must combine what worked best in the past with changes needed for the future. We must recover the traditional patient-physician relationship based on mutual trust, informed consent, and confidentiality. To simplify the system for both patients and providers, we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to increase healthcare options and contain costs. Our goal is to ensure that all Americans have improved access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, including those struggling with mental illness.

    We will return to the states their historic role of regulating local insurance markets, limit federal requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid, and call on state officials to reconsider the costly medical mandates, imposed under their own laws, that price millions of low-income families out of the insurance market. To guarantee first-rate care for the needy, we propose to block grant Medicaid and other payments and to assist all patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, to obtain coverage in a robust consumer market. Through Obamacare, the current Administration has promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare. We, however, affirm the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life. Numerous studies have shown that abortion endangers the health and well-being of women, and we stand firmly against it.

    To ensure vigorous competition in healthcare, and because cost-awareness is the best guard against over-utilization, we will promote price transparency so consumers can know the cost of treatments before they agree to them. We will empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools in order to expand coverage to the uninsured. We believe that individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage should be protected from discrimination. We applaud the advance of technology in electronic medical records while affirming patient privacy and ownership of personal health information.

    Consumer choice is the most powerful factor in healthcare reform. Today’s highly mobile workforce needs portability of insurance coverage that can go with them from job to job. The need to maintain coverage should not dictate where families have to live and work. We propose to end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance and allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines. In light of that, we propose repealing the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act which protects insurance companies from anti-trust litigation. We look to the growth of Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts that empower patients and advance choice in healthcare.

    Our aging population must have access to safe and affordable care. Because most seniors desire to age at home, we will make homecare a priority in public policy and will implement programs to protect against elder abuse.

     

    • #12
    • January 5, 2020, at 9:23 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I think Trump understands that keeping the Progressives crazy is the best foundation for a Red Wave. It is a high risk/high reward strategy — just what Trump wants. If we can just sit back and enjoy the spectacle without ruminating on the success and progress of individual plays, we will feel a lot better. Yes, there are going to be some sacks and fumbles. But there are also going to be some long bombs and open field runs. The game is 60:00:00 long, not 59:59:59.

    Trump benefits from both the Democrats robotic opposition to everything he does, and from their Immediate Gratification Syndrome, that makes them want him out of office now. Combined you end up with batshirt crazy actions like ranting about the targeted killing of the world’s leading enabler of state sponsored terrorism, while the latter keeps them from focusing on 1-2 things Trump’s done wrong over an extended period. If what Trump did on Monday doesn’t have the public howling for his resignation by Wednesday, it’s off to a new outrage by Thursday, and Trump knows he can simply tweet something out to troll them and make them change the subject.

    The lack of focus, now over almost three years, has served to convince most voters that even something like impeachment is just politics as usual, and they tune things out at least until the election gets closer (I’d actually be more concerned about some or Trump’s billionaire opponents attempting to do a repeat of 2008, and working to try and tank the economy this fall when people are paying attention).

    • #13
    • January 5, 2020, at 9:24 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    It seems to me that the opposition to Trump ignores what it took to amass a huge fortune in real estate development. It took considerable intelligence, good judgement of risks and nerves of steel. There is one good story about him that none of the left or NTs seems to appreciate. It was the occasion where he pointed out to his daughter that a homeless man was richer than he was as he was a billion dollars in debt. That was his low point but it was not the end. How many would have the nerves to rebuild that fortune? My roommate in college was the son of a real estate developer in California in the 1920s and 30s. His father had been a millionaire and bankrupt three times. Fortunately for my roommate, he ended up on top.

    Trump’s manners and public image may not be appealing. They were not to me. Conrad Black’s biography is the best I have read. I recommend it. Black has been rich and has been attacked by the Deep State types, namely Patrick Fitzgerald who prosecuted Scooter Libby for a non-crime based on lies. He also knows Trump and has done business with him.

    https://www.amazon.com/Donald-J-Trump-President-Other/dp/1621577872/

     

    • #14
    • January 5, 2020, at 9:55 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Rodin Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    The lack of focus, now over almost three years, has served to convince most voters that even something like impeachment is just politics as usual….

    Actually its politics as “unusual” which we hope will not become usual. If it does we have a bastardized form of parliamentary government (and a British style civil service unaccountable to anyone).

     (I’d actually be more concerned about some or Trump’s billionaire opponents attempting to do a repeat of 2008, and working to try and tank the economy this fall when people are paying attention).

    Let’s hope that this strategy would be like OPEC trying to control oil prices by getting everyone to agree on what their part would be. It rarely worked well because of someone’s need not to accept as much short-term pain for their personal pocketbook as was being proposed. Money has to make money (like a feeding shark) so it flows to its best opportunity (America). This makes it difficult to coordinate an adverse economic event solely in America of sufficiently short-term duration to not eat the capital of the perpetrators. Even tyrants need an economically sound America as a securing the finances of potential bolt-holes for the future.

     

    • #15
    • January 5, 2020, at 10:04 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: such as not getting a healthcare bill … passed

    Looking at the current GOP platform, I don’t see any bill proposed. Mostly it is “Obamacare bad”. Below is the actual platform language. I don’t see soccer moms changing their votes based on these words.

     

    In its place we must combine what worked best in the past with changes needed for the future. We must recover the traditional patient-physician relationship based on mutual trust, informed consent, and confidentiality. To simplify the system for both patients and providers, we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to increase healthcare options and contain costs. Our goal is to ensure that all Americans have improved access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, including those struggling with mental illness.

    We will return to the states their historic role of regulating local insurance markets, limit federal requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid, and call on state officials to reconsider the costly medical mandates, imposed under their own laws, that price millions of low-income families out of the insurance market. To guarantee first-rate care for the needy, we propose to block grant Medicaid and other payments and to assist all patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, to obtain coverage in a robust consumer market. Through Obamacare, the current Administration has promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare. We, however, affirm the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life. Numerous studies have shown that abortion endangers the health and well-being of women, and we stand firmly against it.

    To ensure vigorous competition in healthcare, and because cost-awareness is the best guard against over-utilization, we will promote price transparency so consumers can know the cost of treatments before they agree to them. We will empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools in order to expand coverage to the uninsured. We believe that individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage should be protected from discrimination. We applaud the advance of technology in electronic medical records while affirming patient privacy and ownership of personal health information.

    Consumer choice is the most powerful factor in healthcare reform. Today’s highly mobile workforce needs portability of insurance coverage that can go with them from job to job. The need to maintain coverage should not dictate where families have to live and work. We propose to end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance and allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines. In light of that, we propose repealing the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act which protects insurance companies from anti-trust litigation. We look to the growth of Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts that empower patients and advance choice in healthcare.

    Our aging population must have access to safe and affordable care. Because most seniors desire to age at home, we will make homecare a priority in public policy and will implement programs to protect against elder abuse.

     

    Actually there’s a lot to like here, I think. How it gets implemented and whether it goes through is another story.

    • #16
    • January 5, 2020, at 10:12 AM PST
    • Like
  17. aardo vozz Member

    @susanquinn, your post puts me in mind of some lines I remember from Carl Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln: “ It was a time of birth and a time of death. What was being born, no one knew. What was dying, no one could say.” 

    • #17
    • January 5, 2020, at 11:30 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    aardo vozz (View Comment):

    @susanquinn, your post puts me in mind of some lines I remember from Carl Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln: “ It was a time of birth and a time of death. What was being born, no one knew. What was dying, no one could say.”

    Well said, @aardovozz. And it is so uncomfortable to be in those places of uncertainty. The temptation is great to make all of it stop, but something has already been born and is dying. We will all need to wait and see. Thanks.

    • #18
    • January 5, 2020, at 11:34 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. philo Member

    Susan Quinn: …we are witnessing a period of “creative destruction.”

    If your premise is correct (HINT: It is!) then it is awfully curious that the good Mr. Romney isn`t a bit more supportive. Kinda telling.

    • #19
    • January 5, 2020, at 12:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    philo (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: …we are witnessing a period of “creative destruction.”

    If your premise is correct (HINT: It is!) then it is awfully curious that the good Mr. Romney isn`t a bit more supportive. Kinda telling.

    Ultimately I think that Romney will have trouble deciding which camp he’s in: the Swamp or the camp of creative destruction. I don’t expect him to come over completely, but I don’t think he’ll want to be an outsider, either. That role wears thin after a while. Or am I way off base, @Philo?

    • #20
    • January 5, 2020, at 12:32 PM PST
    • Like
  21. Rodin Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: …we are witnessing a period of “creative destruction.”

    If your premise is correct (HINT: It is!) then it is awfully curious that the good Mr. Romney isn`t a bit more supportive. Kinda telling.

    Ultimately I think that Romney will have trouble deciding which camp he’s in: the Swamp or the camp of creative destruction. I don’t expect him to come over completely, but I don’t think he’ll want to be an outsider, either. That role wears thin after a while. Or am I way off base, @Philo?

    There was an interesting talk by Bill Whittle back in 2012 right after Romney’s loss that sized up Romney pretty well…as well as the (Trumpian) future of the Republican Party (if conservatism was to win). The video is important to be watched through to the end, but the point of Romney — then and now — is that he was more interested in a reputation for personal moral rectitude than he was in doing the hard work in the political arena if his personal success was to be translated into success for the nation.

    • #21
    • January 5, 2020, at 12:51 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Stad Thatcher

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Well done, Susan! You’ve put into words, concisely and cogently, what I’ve been struggling to articulate for myself. Thanks!

    Ain’t she great?

    • #22
    • January 5, 2020, at 1:09 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    There was an interesting talk by Bill Whittle back in 2012 right after Romney’s loss that sized up Romney pretty well…as well as the (Trumpian) future of the Republican Party (if conservatism was to win). The video is important to be watched through to the end, but the point of Romney — then and now — is that he was more interested in a reputation for personal moral rectitude than he was in doing the hard work in the political arena if his personal success was to be translated into success for the nation.

    @rodin, Bill Whittle is brilliant– and fearless–and he’s correct about Romney. His comments also apply to other Republicans. We need more people like Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows who are not afraid to push back and tell the truth. It takes a lot of courage and commitment to say what needs to be said. These men and their cohorts are champions!

    • #23
    • January 5, 2020, at 1:18 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Ultimately I think that Romney will have trouble deciding which camp he’s in: the Swamp or the camp of creative destruction. I don’t expect him to come over completely, but I don’t think he’ll want to be an outsider, either. That role wears thin after a while. Or am I way off base, @Philo?

    There was an interesting talk by Bill Whittle back in 2012 right after Romney’s loss that sized up Romney pretty well…as well as the (Trumpian) future of the Republican Party (if conservatism was to win). The video is important to be watched through to the end, but the point of Romney — then and now — is that he was more interested in a reputation for personal moral rectitude than he was in doing the hard work in the political arena if his personal success was to be translated into success for the nation.

    That kind of goes to George Will’s column from June of 2018 where he advised GOP voters to elect both a Democratic House and Senate that November in order to teach not just Trump a lesson, but teach Republican congressional leaders a lesson for not challenging Trump. Will, who famously wrote a column decrying the presence of blue jeans in the American workplace, AFAIK has not repudiated or even qualified that column in the past year, despite the actions of House Democrats, and the column seemed to be based on the idea that he doesn’t really care if the Democrats act like Morlocks while in power, as long as the side he’s on shows proper decorum and manners. A mannered Mitt Romney who loses in the preferable choice to a Trump who wins under that mindset.

    I’m pretty sure that sentiment is also going to carry through to the 2020 election, though I’m not sure once you’ve gotten rid of Trump how you’re getting his voters back — including the Trump-skeptical ones — in the aftermath of working to ensure his defeat.

    • #24
    • January 5, 2020, at 1:26 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Rodin Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    I’m not sure once you’ve gotten rid of Trump how you’re getting his voters back — including the Trump-skeptical ones — in the aftermath of working to ensure his defeat.

    I am pretty sure you don’t. What hope would Republicans hold out to such voters that the “uni-party” of Dems and compliant Republicans is any better than a One Party system? I think John Galt-ism is more likely with the attendant “bad luck” of which Heinlein spoke. 

    • #25
    • January 5, 2020, at 4:06 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    I’m not sure once you’ve gotten rid of Trump how you’re getting his voters back — including the Trump-skeptical ones — in the aftermath of working to ensure his defeat.

    I am pretty sure you don’t. What hope would Republicans hold out to such voters that the “uni-party” of Dems and compliant Republicans is any better than a One Party system? I think John Galt-ism is more likely with the attendant “bad luck” of which Heinlein spoke.

    If you’re trying to scuttle Trump in 2020, with the idea you’re going to be the intellectual arbiters of the Republican Party again in 2021, the strategerie seems to be about on the same level as the Underpants Gnomes profit plan on that episode of “South Park”. Though you can tell some of them want Biden to get the Democratic nomination because they know trying to craft a message than claims Bernie Sanders is the True Conservative choice in 2020, and then come back as the GOP’s conquering heroes this Thanksgiving, might even be a bridge too far for them.

    • #26
    • January 5, 2020, at 4:12 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Steve C. Member

    I take comfort in the commonsensical observation, “It’s never as bad or as good as we think it is.”

    • #27
    • January 6, 2020, at 6:12 AM PST
    • 2 likes