A conservative talks to a liberal relative
Possibly useful model for certain Thanksgiving conversations
"I know good people who had good reasons for voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. As for the general electorate, I'm going to make some sweeping generalizations, but they're important for perspective.
Liberals (and I think I'm being fair to include you) see government as the best and biggest possible force for good. You see injustice in the way women, minorities, gays, the poor, etc. are treated. You want equality. You see people killed left and right with guns, and you want to protect your family and your school kids. And you want to rectify all of that where it'll make the most difference for everyone — from Washington, DC.
It's really important for you to realize that conservatives see the same things. We want to solve those problems, not create or defend them. Obviously, however, our solutions are different, and there are some disagreements over what the problem actually is.
We want to protect our right to defend our own families. We want a rising tide to lift all boats — JFK said that about tax cuts — and we want good schools, good jobs, fair pay, equal justice and opportunity (which doesn't mean equal outcome) for everyone. We just don't think DC is the place to accomplish that. Our families, churches, local communities and states are better suited because we're nearer to the problem than some distant bureaucrat or corrupt national politician.
So to the election.
This election was a reaction to the last eight years. During that time in particular, anyone who didn't support massive growth of government through ObamaCare, financial overhaul, the stimulus, increased minimum wage, same-sex marriage, etc. has been told they're not just wrong but horrible people.
To be sure, there are some haters who claim to be on the Right — people who troll the internet to say awful things to and about liberals. Heck, they say awful things about other conservatives if they're not "pure" enough. I've been called plenty of ugly things by Trump's truest believers whenever I've written the slightest criticism. And I can only imagine that you, along with many liberals, minorities, women, and others, felt that Trump grossly offended your humanity with some of the horrible things he's said.
But to Trump voters, it's the liberals in power — whether in media or elected office — who are smearing regular Americans who just want to be left alone.
For example, this sentiment from Slate columnist Jamelle Bouie: "There's no such thing as a good Trump voter: People voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes. They don't deserve your empathy." That column has well over 100,000 shares on Facebook, so it's not just one dude's opinion. He evidently struck a chord for liberals.
But 700 counties voted for Obama twice. 209 of them voted for Trump this time. Are they now racist?
Liberal philosopher Noam Chomsky, in apparent seriousness, calls the GOP "the most dangerous organization in world history."
And of course Hillary labeled Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables" who are "irredeemable."
When was the last time you reacted kindly to someone who completely besmirched your character? Who assumed the absolute worst about you? And not only that, but someone in power who wanted to force you to do things their way?
Reactions can be bad, too, though. "That jerk just cut me off in traffic!" Well yes, but maybe he was just distracted as he rushed to the hospital because his wife is dying. Was it right to cut you off? No, but maybe he needs a little grace. The same can be said of politics.
Trump voters look around and see corruption in government, factories moving to China, illegal immigrants taking their jobs, riots in major cities — and a media complex that blames them for it. You certainly don't have to agree with those voters to realize that if they see things that way, they'd latch on to the vehicle they think will best rectify those wrongs.
You asked specifically about the margin of white evangelicals voting for Trump. First, I'd say that the term "evangelical" is so broad as to be mostly meaningless. There are seemingly countless denominations that don't even agree on what it means to be a Christian, much less about political agendas. That said, certainly some evangelicals were really for Trump, which may be perplexing given his glaring character flaws. But I suspect most are like the believers I fellowship with every Sunday morning: They were against a woman who supports abortion without restriction, funded by taxpayers; who is no friend of religious liberty; and who would nominate Supreme Court justices who agree with these positions. This election perhaps more than any I've ever read about was a "lesser of two evils" election, and Christians chose according to their perceptions of that "evil."
Next, you asked about Trump's incoming chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Here, I'm going to quote The Wall Street Journal: "We've never met Mr. Bannon, and we don't presume to know his character, but maybe one lesson of 2016 is that deciding that Americans who disagree with you are bigots is a losing strategy. Politics would be healthier if accusations of racism in the country that twice elected the first black President were reserved for more serious use."
Really, that sums up my answer to your overarching question: What happened? I believe Trump voters simply tired of being told how awful they are, and many of them didn't bother to share that with pollsters in advance. They just voted."
How President-Elect Donald Trump Can Fast-Track Deregulation And Wealth Creation
On this, the day after the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president (yes, he has already updated his Twitter profile), President Barack Obama’s 2016 Federal Register page count stands at a record-level 78,898.
The Federal Register, so emblematic of Washington excess, is where the hundreds of Washington bureaucracies post their proposed and final rules and regulations each day.
Obama will break his own all-time record of 81,405 pages even before December gets here. Of the ten highest-ever Federal Register page counts, the incumbent president will own seven of them.
Within those pages, several thousand rules get issued annually, no matter which party holds the Oval Office. Big government is bipartisan.
This all matters because, in reaction to expanding regulation, president-elect Trump called for a moratorium and for a 70 percent reduction in regulations during the campaign.
He’ll need to work with Congress to do anything close to the latter ambition (toned down some by an aide), especially since many crony types like regulations just the way they are, let alone progressives who like to rule above all else. But there are a number of things he can do on his own in the meantime.
That is to say, the “pen and phone” made famous by Obama can be used to advance liberty rather than curtail it (and, within the rule of law, no less)
A quick lesson can be learned from Ronald Reagan. Via executive order (E.O. 12291), he set up the still-existing procedure whereby regulations are reviewed by the White House, and in some cases (alas, too few then and now) receive cost-benefit analysis.
The process has been weakened in the decades since. But a fast reduction in Federal Register page counts and in number of rules is possible simply by having a president concerned about regulatory excess, who expects sanity.
In Reagan’s case, his 1981 version of the administrative pen and phone to restrain the regulatory state arguably made a big difference in regulatory volume, at least for a few years.
Federal rules dropped from the all-time high of 7,745 to as low as 4,589, while Federal Register pages that stood at 73,258 in 1980 hit a low of 44,812. (For details and charts, see ” Channeling Reagan by Executive Order: How the Next President Can Begin Rolling Back the Obama Regulation Rampage.”)
Now, executive actions cannot suffice and more permanent, legislatively instituted reforms are needed. President-elect Trump can easily collaborate with the new 115th Congress on these. Abusive and alarmist agencies themselves need to be legislatively targeted, and we need an advanced program of eliminating agencies and rolling back their powers, if legitimate in the first place, securing authority with the states and the people. That’s the forgotten principle of federalism.
The entire process and institution of the modern out-of-control “administrative state” has got to be reined in. There should be no costly or controversial rule allowed to be issued without Congress’ affirmation (examples go on but include recent bureaucratic forays such as the overtime rule, net neutrality and Environmental Protection Agency excesses like the Waters of the United States rule and the Clean Power Plan).
Unelected bureaucrats making sweeping rules governing (and wrecking) entire sectors of the economy needs to be a thing of the past. Conservatives seeking to rationalize delegation or who’ve made peace with it are not helpful to the cause of substantial reestablishment of constitutional bounds on the state. They are playing in a sandbox on the progressives’ administrative-state beach.
We can revive the separation of powers, and enshrine checks and balances that restrain. We need an executive, legislature, and judiciary, not today’s rock, paper, scissors. Special, new emphasis and care must be brought to bear on agencies’ back door rulemaking, whereby agencies use guidance, memoranda, bulletins, circulars and other regulatory dark matter to implement policy, as highlighted by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) and James Lankford (R-Oklahoma). Note the bipartisan concern.
President-elect Trump may also appreciate that some in Congress appear very eager to implement a regulatory budget. Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia), Budget Committee Chairman, has held hearings on the idea (which has bipartisan roots) and released a working paper. A statement of principles on regulatory budgeting was incorporated into the fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution; Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced legislation to implement a regulatory budget, while also incorporating regulatory dark matter, in the 114th Congress, and will likely reintroduce it; and Rep. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, included it in his widely touted BetterWay task force recommendations.
Part of the interest in a regulatory budget likely stems from the parallel, related campaign for dynamic scoring, since regulations have macroeconomic effect. To work properly and to be manageable, agencies need to be downsized ahead of time.
As the 115th Congress contemplates broad economic liberalization, Trump can jumpstart things with executive orders and oversight. Reagan showed that the president, within the rule of law, can do a lot. Trump promised action, and there are significant things he can do while permanent legislative reforms are pending.
Federal Judge Blocks Implementation of Controversial Overtime Rule
A federal judge blocked implementation of a controversial rule addressing overtime pay from taking effect next week, a rule that had businesses, nonprofits, and higher education institutions bracing for the impacts of the measure.
The Department of Labor’s rule was supposed to take effect Dec. 1, and under the new measure, any employee making up to $47,476 each year would’ve been eligible for overtime pay.
The Obama administration finalized the rule in May, and the federal government’s announcement sent many companies and nonprofits scrambling to figure out how to comply with the law while also protecting both their businesses and employees.
“The more I learned, the more shocked I became that a rule like this would pass with so little input from those who were going to be impacted by it,” Albert Macre, a small business owner in Steubenville, Ohio, told The Daily Signal. “It’s the law of unintended consequences.”
In anticipation of Dec. 1, some businesses decided to reclassify workers who were previously salaried to hourly, while others gave raises to employees who were close to the $47,476 threshold, exempting them from the new rule.
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