Understanding US politics circa 2017
Michael B. Wong

Good political discussion and I like the idea of rational manager and transformational revolutionary (as a popular rejection of a crumbling ruling orthodoxy) presidential leadership styles. Your points of Trump not being quite as scary as first feared also ring true. I guess I was never that worried that he’d magically become competent enough at the presidential role to enact anything all that harmful (and I think that is being proven mostly correct in the first few months, despite wailing and moaning in the daily media scrum).

I think your assertion that the selection of Trump is a popular rejection of Reagan orthodoxy is a bit overblown though. As a more libertarian bent person, I don’t think that Reagan was that successful in his transformative leadership, therefore his political ideas cannot be overthrown in this populist wave. His version of political conservatism claimed to target the bureaucracy for reform, but he exploded deficits by overspending in the world’s largest bureaucracy, the US DoD. Bill Clinton did a better job of supply side economics than Reagan by working with GOP congress on tax / spend policies and dialing back a tad in defense spending (roaring ’90s economic growth spurt? coincidence or causal? impossible to tell…).

I really think that the populist wave that gave us Trump is more a rejection of the orthodoxy of the globalist elitist political ruling class (not Reagan revolutionaries, as it was all a bit of show with him) that is propped up by Military Industrial Complex, Banks and Centralized Media Companies (rolling out the propaganda, adverts and entertainment, all the same). This industrial / financial / political construct would have risen in the wake of Vietnam and the malaise of the 1970s and gained strength with deregulation of Reagan, but also on the ample funding of Wall Street lobbying. Rejection of the rule of the global elites, would lead to same populism that triggered the rise of Bernie. Just MHO, or maybe it is just my tinfoil hat spinning tales of the “deep state.”

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