Donald Trump


Let’s just hope Trump does some good things as promised, and keep his feet to the fire when he reflexively tacks left.

Blowhards like Moore need to be trounced in the public square of ideas.

Most importantly, Moore seems to argue that Trump’s victory happened because of some shortcoming with Reagan’s free market philosophy — that philosophy must be “modernized” thanks to different “concerns and priorities.” That’s nonsense, and Moore knows that’s nonsense. The principles of free market economics do not change because human beings do not change. Consensual exchange of goods and services is a positive good. It does not become bad because some of your voters think it is bad, or because some voters decry the pressures free markets create on industries in which they work. Stimulus packages don’t become better just because they’re stamped with a giant “T.” Neither do trillion-dollar infrastructure packages. Boondoggles are boondoggles. But not according to Moore, who seems fine with such boondoggles so long as his guy is the one pushing them. This is partisan hackery at its worst.

Stephen Moore at event

Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan economic staffer Stephen Moore penned a piece for National Review in which he explained that the Republican Party must now bow before all of Donald Trump’s ideas. Moore visited Republicans on the Hill last week and stated, “just as Reagan converted the GOP into a conservative party, with his victory this year, Trump has converted the GOP into a populist, America First party.”

What did Moore mean by this? He explains that it wasn’t a “backhanded slam against Reagan’s legacy,” but times have changed:

[T]his is 2016 not 1986. The world is a different place. The concerns and priorities of the American people are different today from what they were 30 years ago. The voters spoke with a thunderclap. Trump squashed his 16 GOP rivals — a group that was touted as the most talented field of contenders in modern history — as if they were bugs crashing into his windshield. Republican voters opted for his new breed of economic populism….A realignment occurred while all the high-falutin’ intellectuals and political consultants were napping. So yes, this means we have awoken to a new party that will be a lot tougher on illegal immigration. A lot more skeptical of lopsided trade deals. A lot warier of foreign entanglements. More prone to spend money on infrastructure. ‎I don’t approve of all of these shifts, but they are what the voters voted for.

First off, this sort of snark from a career Washington staffer is rather hilarious. Moore is the definition of a “high-falutin’” intellectual, except that now he’s embraced some FDR-style down-home populism because it’s politically convenient. Moore’s playing Lonesome Rhodes just because he visited Ohio a few times with one of the world’s richest men, who got cheers by parroting Keynesian arguments. Now he’s a Cracker Barrel regular, apparently. That’s just sad.

This is partisan hackery at its worst.

But Moore’s broader argument seems to be that Donald Trump won, and thus all of his policies should win. That’s asinine. Moore radically exaggerates the popularity of Donald Trump’s program in order to make this case: Trump did not crush his competitors like “bugs,” for example — in fact, Trump won the lowest percentage of the primary vote since Reagan in 1968 (Reagan lost that nomination to Nixon), and had the most votes cast against him of any nominee in history. Trump did not win a sweeping national victory — in fact, he lost the popular vote by well over two million votes and came in 44th out of 54 elections in terms of the Electoral College. That’s not the mark of a sweeping mindset change among Americans.

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