“Every successful analysis begins with a unified theory.”
Some Americans credit Donald Trump for the success of Brexit, while others are saying Trump owes Brexit for bumping his campaign toward the presidency.
Actually, both are true to a point, but in a reciprocating way. But the key to understanding that symbiosis is not found in single issues, such as immigration, as some surmise, but in the darkening mood of the industrialized world which has been simmering on a hot stove since the end of the Cold War. Today “globalism”, which only a week ago was acknowledged to be a good thing, when spoken of in the most general of terms, as rolled off the virtuous tongues of world leaders such as Barack Obama and Angela Merkel, has suddenly been shred of its noble raiment and wrapped in a darker aspect; as nothing more than a coterie of corporatists and statists. “Bleeding fascists.” Big Business allied with Big Government had just gotten too damned big. Or so sayeth 54% of the citizens of the United Kingdom.
I doubt Donald Trump foresaw this, or the role he might have played in it. He’s no Wat Tyler. I doubt he even knows who Wat Tyler was. Still, he probably, quite by accident, captured this mood like a firefly, lighting up half the world. A herald of things to come.
About that zeitgeist then, it is aimed at something more elemental than Islamic immigration, or racism and bigotry, as the Left have always called it, and Fleet Street mercantilists and Wall Street crony-capitalists have chimed in to call it lately.
It is aimed, rather, at that underlying, more ancient cancer shared mutually in both Europe and America. Bureaucratism.
Joke: A lawyer with a frog on his head walks into a doctor’s office. The doctor looks up, and the frog says, “Hey, doc, can you get this carbuncle off my behind?” (That’s the cleaned-up version.)
For years, much longer than Donald Trump has been involved in politics, Europe, one nation at a time, has been simmering on the stewpot of over-bearing absentee bureaucracy…with the emphasis of the “over-bearing” and “absentee” inasmuch as one the greatest freedoms a peoples can possess is to be able to decide when enough is enough by saying just how much bad government they are willing to put up with. Much of modern history since the formal formation of the European Union in 1993 has been defined on just where their various breaking points are. When Bulgaria applied for provisional membership after the Kosovo War I warned my government friends there that they would be swapping economic benefits for a few in exchange for burdensome regulation on the many by a faceless, nameless bureaucracy in Brussels. This has been known, and likely a regret, among the majority of the newer EU members for at least a decade.
Although never labeled as being anti-statist or anti-bureaucracy, the mere fact of Trump’s success outside the channels of state-approved success, i.e., big-corporation-government alliances, and his being mocked as a pedestrian black sheep in those quarters, from “rodeo clown” to “bigot” for speaking a truth every nation in Europe that has a Muslim population knows to be true, and which ironically was provided courtesy of a world-wide media who thought they were destroying him instead of puffing him up, has made Trump, instead of a clown, to millions of people around the world is an anti-establishment hero.
Brexit has now given statistical analysts the opportunity to begin to quantify this unseen “nationalism”.
Did Donald Trump have anything to do with the fact that Britons showed up in record numbers to scratch an itch which for years they just couldn’t reach? The itch had been there a long time, but it is a fair question, although there’s no way to prove it.
It’s been four whole days since the Brexit vote, and while talking heads and media are filled with regret, name-calling, even sore-losership, demanding a mulligan, a do-over, a few sober souls are stepping back and taking note of the impact of this large increase in voter turnout, as to its causes, phobia (Bill Maher) or hatred for that absentee bureaucratic state class (me) and what it might mean for the coming American election. It’s possibly a game changer.
What we know from Brexit is that the nationalist fire is real, as is the anti-immigration and anti-statist fire, and both have a strong presence in the United States. Europeans would prefer to deal with their own home-grown bureaucrats in London, Paris, Bonn in keeping with their own national traditions, like storming the Bastille or Wat Tyler’s rough justice, just as Georgians theirs in Atlanta, Kansans, theirs in Topeka. In fact, our Constitution originally limited absentee federal power on this very idea.
Pollsters missed turnout by a wide margin in the UK last week even though every signal was there it would be huge. 72%! You can see, then, the problem American pollsters already have, since a large portion of Trump voters already fall outside any of the “likely Republican” categories, (think Reagan democrats). And even if they know where to find those voters, the Bradley (or Wilder) effect, (where voters refused to tell a pollster they wouldn’t vote for a black man), will extend to many women, union workers, and now gays, unwilling to say aloud they will not vote for Hillary. To make matters worse American pollsters can’t even predict how many “likely voters” there will be. In fact, they are still registering.
The pollsters’ dilemma translates into a kind of statistical terror if it can be conceived that from a 54% turnout in 2012, that number could climb over 60%, much less 70%. How many more votes will be cast? Millions, and almost none of them leaning toward Hillary. That would break the Democrats’ bank, for as the Dems know, even in the best of times, they can only steal about 3%.
Such is the mercilessness of mathematics. If true, Donald Trump would be a virtual shoo-in in November …unless he can be denied the nomination at the convention. I’m sure that’s crossed a lot of people’s minds already. There’s a new scheme reported every day. Only now, denying Trump becomes more problematic, for Reince Priebus is not, by nature, a brave person…after all, he is one of those lawyers walking around with a frog on his head…and Brexit proves that if Trump takes his voters and goes home they will be far more than the 14M he tallied in the primaries. The American anti-establishment population is far larger than that, only pollsters have only been alerted this week to look for them and try to count them. Priebus must now recalculate with this new math whether the party can survive with Trump, for it almost for sure cannot if he is forced off the stage. Priebus cannot allow himself to become a name forever remembered in infamy.
And had George Will severed ties with the Washington Post, who has sent him a nice paycheck every month since the 1970s, THAT would be news. But not the GOP. Since Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson have already parted with the GOP (and RedState.com, in reality), there really aren’t that many people who can follow George through that tiny little trap door of symbolic meaningless gestures anyway. Everywhere I go I’ve asked where one goes to get his name in the paper because he quit the GOP. I quit a few years ago, and no one bothered to even send a condolence note, although they have quit calling, asking for money. Maybe that’s how they strike your name. I didn’t have to un-sign anything, no “Proud Member” card or secret decoder ring to return, no unpaid bar bills at the RNC lounge. And I can remember that David Duke didn’t even have to tell the RNC he’d joined. What’s that all about? Besides, Mr Will, what did the RNC do wrong that has made you so angry? What should they have done differently? All I can figure out is that the RNC didn’t cheat to deny Trump the nomination, and that’s what gores George Will’s ox. So George Will seems to be telling us more about George Will, in a very unflattering un-conservative way, that he really approves of stealing a nomination. In doing so he only magnifies the real value of that WAPO paycheck. He was always an elitist liberal in drag, another Tory who has consigned himself to the dustbin of history, choosing King over People.
Kill the Bureaucrats
With all due respect to Will Shakespeare, although lawyers are an arm of the bureaucratic cancer, we need to shoot the bureaucrats first.
What private businessman, Herman Cain comes to mind, as well as Donald Trump, but also my friend Chris, downstairs, who owns the moisture control company, and has seen it cut in half since 2009, hasn’t wished he could march into a doctor’s office and ask him to remove that Washington wart on their butt?
This is my prediction, which, unlike Beck or Erickson, I will not state as an ontological certitude. Just a prediction, but one predicated on my own years in the private sector as well as Trump’s past history, like Herman Cain, of working exclusively in the private sector. When, as president, Trump sees a budget, he will see it as a businessmen would see it, not with the eyes of a lifelong politician. Trump will carry an historic, even instinctive, dislike for deficits and the wasteful bureaucracy it feeds and the millions upon millions of people it annoys to the point, as Brexit proves, of popular uprising.
During the early part of the primary season, I asked a question, could Ted Cruz bring himself to fire half a million bureaucrats. Although I can’t put my finger on hard numbers, I simply know that Donald Trump is wired to reduce the size of government, something no president and Congress has done since Coolidge at least. And reducing government means letting bureaucrats, not soldiers, go.
The modern IRS was born in 1913, the Veteran’s Administration just before WWII, the EPA in 1970, and DHS just after 9/11. The dramatic rise of the size and scope and power of DHS in just 14 years is indicative of just how great our bureaucratic cancer has metastasized. We have a sneering IRS director, John Koskinen, who is indifferent to the mission of the VA toward its military members, protecting its career bureaucrats. But DHS draws special attention for in those few 14 years it has grown to be our third largest bureaucracy, yet is led by a vacuous empty vessel named Jeh Johnson, a male Janet Reno. Every time I see him speak, I’m look for ear-buds to see if maybe Webb Hubbell isn’t whispering answers to him. He’s got the 3-second delay down pat.
Today more government bureaucrats carry guns than our military, and that frightens me a little, since half of the DHS budget is spent surveilling prospective domestic terrorists such as Tea Parties, leaving foreign terrorism to the FBI and the politically correct rules provided by their bosses over at DOJ, where there is no such thing as Islamic jihad.
Oh, and Jeh runs the TSA, whose task it is to get citizens from place to place as slowly and aggravatingly as possible. (Here in Richmond, a one hour flight to Atlanta to see my grandchildren requires more hours, approximately 9, than the four hundred mile drive, approximately 7, at about $800 less in cost.) If Jeh would cut that trip down to five hours, I’d fly. Only he won’t, because he doesn’t know how. Nor cares. The perfect bureaucrat.
I’m not sure which seat Herman Cain should occupy around President Trump’s council room, but I spoke with Herman about this very subject in my interview with him on New Year’s Eve, 2010, for a two-part series at RedState.com, and which was partially responsible for my being shown the door there a month later. Once Herman made his intentions known, RS did not want a voice against EEs chosen candidate, whoever that was. I forget.
A President Donald Trump can shake the very roots of bureaucratic Washington simply by appointing private sector men and women to fill key government slots. The change in perspective alone could change government in a way the Europeans will be fumbling around in the dark to find for decades. They have no such cultural history to understand a balanced budget.
Bureaucracy-busting is in my wheelhouse, having years of experience in analyzing ways to deflate a bureaucracy without a backlash, or “wrecking”, as Stalin called it. Most of our federal budget goes to feeding this brood…in the 70s they drove Fords, in Clinton’s day Volvos, today, Lexus…and look at those bonuses all the agencies are dishing out, some six-figures. Most of the new hires in Obama’s “growing economy” since 2009 has been in government, and at the higher GS-professional levels. Count the number of people Obamacare has hired, and clearly not for the purpose of making it work. There is not a government agency that cannot be cut 30% and still achieve its stated mission, and some agencies should be simply shut down because they really have no mission, as Herman and I also discussed.
The risk going in is that any new executive must properly diagnose the disease and arrive at a unified theory how to address it. Executives who come from a lifetime of public sector work are virtually blind that such a problem even exists, never having seen a budget that was lean, and results oriented. Deficit financing through taxation, and accounting prestidigitation, is the only world the know.
One caveat, though. Wrecking is the one great tool the bureaucracies can and will use to make their new bosses and the people regret any anti-bureaucracy policies. (See what California bureaucrats did to punish voters after the Jarvis Amendment in 1978.) You have to have a sense of natural law, animal behavior, to understand that at some point bureaucrats become like animals in the wild, operating like pack predators defending their turf.
To keep this short, let me offer a simple rule: when trying to reduce a bureaucracy, have a keen sense of the natural biology of predators, and go after them with stealth. To be effective, breaking up a bureaucracy must be carried out as a covert operation, for they have no compunction to punish the people they are charged to protect.
I submit that any system based on indifference…reliable, predictable indifference to humanity as we understand it to be…is the greatest evil on the face of the earth.
If you are going to sin against God, or the bureaucracy, sin against God. At least He will forgive you. (Admiral Rickover)