I hear that they speak all the time. Trump follows Macron’s labor-market reforms and calls to congratulate him. The first state visit of his administration will be Macron’s to Washington next month, a special honor for “a great guy.” The French president is Trump’s best friend in Europe ..
.. Both understood the fact that voters were bored as well as angry, mistrustful of the liberal consensus, angry at globalization’s predations, restive for grandeur, thirsty for the outspoken rather than the dutiful warnings of experts.
.. Both men came from nowhere, mavericks hoisted to the highest offices of their lands by a wave of disgust at politics-as-usual. They are, in their way, accidents of history, thrust to power at the passing of an era. Longing for disruption produced these two disrupters.
.. Macron, who at 40 could be Trump’s son, has honed a grandiose theater of the center, thereby giving centrist politics new vigor at a time of extremist temptation. He’s tough on immigration because he knows his survival depends on it. Trump’s is the theater of the zigzagging bully, nonstop noise often drowning out meaning. For both men, movement and action are essential.
.. Gaullist pomp, shunned by Macron’s predecessor, is back. If that’s what it takes to defeat the racist National Front, bring it on. Macron celebrated his victory last year with an address to the French people at the Louvre, greeted Putin at Versailles
.. “It’s not ‘Make France Great Again’ — except that it is, sort of,” a French friend observed.
As I mentioned earlier this week, if the election of Trump distresses you, your problem is not merely with Trump, but with the electorates that put him there — in both the GOP primary and the country as a whole. No matter how Trump’s presidency finishes, that electorate is still going to be there, unless there is a significant change in the way Americans see the responsibility of voting. (It’s not just Trump voters. Large chunks of the electorate also embraced a Socialist septuagenarian who promised free health care, free college education, free child care, and cradle-to-grave government care, all financed by taxing the rich, and of course, Hillary Clinton, a walking embodiment of secrecy, lies, arrogance, and victimhood.)
.. What if a president is more successful if he knows and understands the complicated apparatus of the federal government, and doesn’t have to rely on staff for the little details like, “No new gas pipeline plans can be approved anywhere in the country if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has less than three members”?
That racial stereotyping hides the real cause and scale of economic damage to blue-collar and white-collar Americans families amid the rising wealth of the technocratic globalized elite which dominates the Democratic Party and at least half of the GOP.
.. That government failure is exemplified by the housing bubble, which destroyed a huge percentage of wealth held by black Americans.
A 2011 report by the Pew Research Center showed that the median wealth of black American households dropped by 53 percent because of the property bubble. The mid-point median of black American wealth crashed from $12,124 in 2005 to just $5,677 in 2009, according to the Pew report.
.. White Americans suffered far less from the bubble because many had already paid off their mortgages, because their debts were a small percentage of their income, and because whites had more assets in the stock market and other sectors outside the housing market. Still, the median wealth of white households also dropped by a huge 16 percent, from $134,992 in 2005 to $113,149 in 2009.
.. Meanwhile, wages for all men have remained flat for the past 44 years since 1973, according to the Census Bureau.
.. when Obama settled into the White House during the housing implosion, his economic policies helped very clever people invest their way back up to more wealth. The New York Post described the process:
The years 2008 through 2015 should be known as the Great Fleecing.
During that time, the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world occurred. Some $4.5 trillion was given to Wall Street banks through its Quantitative Easing program, with the American people picking up the IOU … Who did this help? The 1%, and pretty much only the 1%.
.. The report does not discuss how technology is concentrating wealth among higher-skilled people, and it omits any talk of globalized outsourcing. It also avoids family stability and it ignores the topic of immigration, which has flooded the nation’s marketplace with cheap labor that effectively imposes a 5 percent tax on labor — and then transfers $500 billion a year to company owners and investors.
.. the report then lists a series of unrealistic demands, including a massive tax increase on the wealthy, a massive financial grant to children that could be spent when they become adults, more house-buying aid for poor people, a higher minimum wage, and “a federal jobs guarantee [that] would function similarly to the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s.”
.. But many people of all colors who cannot get through college are falling behind because technology, work, and business are becoming more complex. This increasing complexity ensures that an increasing share of income and wealth goes to people who are smart enough to arbitrage the increasing social and technological diversity, regardless of color... the Democratic elite prefers to import foreign voters rather than accept the equal social status of all blue-collar Americans... four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs. However, the government imports roughly 1 million legal immigrants to compete against Americans for jobs... That Washington-imposed policy of mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.
.. Turnout is a big reason. Last year, Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 voted for Clinton over Trump in a landslide. Only 43 percent of citizens in that age group voted, however.
.. By contrast, Americans over age 65 supported Trump — and 71 percent of them voted.
.. First, don’t make the mistake of blaming everything on nefarious Republicans. Yes, Republicans have gerrymandered districts and shamefully suppressed votes (and Democrats should keep pushing for laws that make voting easier). But the turnout gap is bigger than any Republican scheme... My instinct is that the answer for Democrats involves a passionate message of fairness — of providing jobs, lifting wages, protecting rights and fighting Trump’s plutocracy... It can be bolder than Democrats have been in decades. But it should not resemble a complete progressive wish list, which could turn off swing voters without even raising turnout... The country’s real silent majority prefers Democrats, if only that majority could be stirred to vote.