“The separation between the middle class and the upper class, it’s growing, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. . . . It’s easier to control people when they’re under your thumb.”
.. if the middle class really stood to benefit from this tax plan, Republicans wouldn’t have worked behind closed doors and rushed to pass it.
.. As Johnson has watched interviews with Republican lawmakers, he said, he has noticed that they can’t answer this simple question: “Is this going to help the middle class?”
“I don’t even get upset anymore, because they’re not going to listen,” said Johnson, who traveled to Sterling Heights on Wednesday to do some Christmas shopping at Lakeside Mall. “They don’t care. There’s nothing else to say. They just don’t care.”
Establishment Republicans have tried five ways to defeat or control Donald Trump, and they have all failed. Jeb Bush tried to outlast Trump, and let him destroy himself. That failed. Marco Rubio and others tried to denounceTrump by attacking his character. That failed. Reince Priebus tried to co-opt Trump to make him a more normal Republican. That failed.
Paul Ryan tried to use Trump; Congress would pass Republican legislation and Trump would just sign it. That failed. Mitch McConnell tried to outmaneuver Trump and Trumpism by containing his power and reach. In the Senate race in Alabama last week and everywhere else, that has failed.
.. The Bob Corkers of the party are leaving while the Roy Moores are ascending.
.. The only way to beat Trump is to beat him philosophically. Right now the populists have a story to tell the country about what’s gone wrong. It’s a coherent story, which they tell with great conviction. The regular Republicans have no story, no conviction and no argument.
.. The Trump story is that good honest Americans are being screwed by aliens. Regular Americans are being oppressed by a snobbish elite that rigs the game in its favor. White Americans are being invaded by immigrants who take their wealth and divide their culture. Normal Americans are threatened by an Islamic radicalism that murders their children.
This is a tribal story. The tribe needs a strong warrior in a hostile world. We need to build walls to keep out illegals, erect barriers to hold off foreign threats, wage endless war on the globalist elites.
.. Somebody is going to have to arise to point out that this is a deeply wrong and un-American story. The whole point of America is that we are not a tribe. We are a universal nation, founded on universal principles
.. The core American idea is not the fortress, it’s the frontier. First, we thrived by exploring a physical frontier during the migration west, and now we explore technological, scientific, social and human frontiers.
.. From Jonathan Edwards to Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln to Frederick Douglass, Americans have always admired those who made themselves anew. They have generally welcomed immigrants who live this script and fortify this dynamism.
.. The original Republicans were not for or against government, they were for government that sparked mobility; they were against government that enervated ambition.
.. Today, the main enemy is not aliens; it’s division — between rich and poor, white and black, educated and less educated, right and left.
.. Trumpist populists want to widen the divisions and rearrange the fences. They want to turn us into an old, settled and fearful nation.
.. with entitlement reform that spends less on the affluent elderly and more on the enterprising young families
.. this striving American dream is still lurking in every heart. It’s waiting for somebody who has the guts to say
- no to tribe, yes to universal nation,
- no to fences, yes to the frontier,
- no to closed, and yes to the open future,
- no to the fear-driven homogeneity of the old continent and yes to the diverse hopefulness of the new one.
Consider the tenor of Trump’s first week in office. It’s all about threat perception. He has made moves to build a wall against the Mexican threat, to build barriers against the Muslim threat, to end a trade deal with Asia to fight the foreign economic threat, to build black site torture chambers against the terrorist threat.
Trump is on his political honeymoon, which should be a moment of joy and promise. But he seems to suffer from an angry form of anhedonia, the inability to experience happiness. Instead of savoring the moment, he’s spent the week in a series of nasty squabbles about his ratings and crowd sizes.
If Reagan’s dominant emotional note was optimism, Trump’s is fear. If Reagan’s optimism was expansive, Trump’s fear propels him to close in: Pull in from Asian entanglements through rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Pull in from European entanglements by disparaging NATO. It’s not a cowering, timid fear; it’s more a dark, resentful porcupine fear.
.. Trump has changed the way the Republican Party sees the world. Republicans used to have a basic faith in the dynamism and openness of the free market. Now the party fears openness and competition.
.. In the summer of 2015, according to a Pew Research Center poll, Republicans said free trade deals had been good for the country by 51 to 39 percent. By the summer of 2016, Republicans said those deals had been bad for America by 61 percent to 32 percent.
‘I think it’s a shame,” says Sasha Dyck, who was carpooling to the U.S. when ordered to turn back
Dyck said that he and his fellow travellers told the border agents they were going to Washington, D.C., to take part in Saturday’s women’s rights march, an event where hundreds of thousands are expected to attend.
.. Dyck says they were then held for several hours, fingerprinted and had their cellphones examined.
.. Dyck said the agents did not say why they were denied entry, but told them that if they tried to cross the border again this weekend, they would be arrested.
.. “I think it’s a shame. I think the U.S. has historically been a very open country — open to other ideas or open to other people. Perhaps we’re seeing the start of them closing in on themselves.”
Dyck said he remembers a completely different mood when he went to Washington for Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
“At that point, the border guard said, ‘Come on in!’ It was open arms. They were so happy to celebrate with the world. It’s going to be a very different feeling this time.”