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Assault on America, Day 369: Perspective, New Year’s resolutions and honoring good news

Trump and Reagan
In Washington, a lot of people are paid a lot of money to gaze into the hazy, undefined future and make predictions. Naturally, in an American presidential election year -- and the first year of a brand-new decade -- many are trying their hand at forecasting the lead-up to November’s inevitable duel between President Donald Trump (assuming he survives impeachment, of course) and his Democrat opponent.

Pollsters sample the public. Pundits take the numbers and plug them into formulas. Historians weigh the data and offer conclusions loaded with “what ifs.” It’s not much different than peering into a fortune teller’s cheesy crystal ball and pulling out a prophecy.

But some things aren’t all that hard to see. It doesn’t take a genius to figure there’s trouble ahead in 2020. Democrats are motivated as never before to take down a president they claim is a threat to human existence on planet earth. Regardless of the justification, this year’s election promises to be singularly vicious. Eternal Trump “conservative” skeptic Jonah Goldberg wrote at National Review, “If Biden becomes the Democratic nominee, this is precisely how the campaign will play out: a kind of louder echo of 2016. A vast endeavor of ‘I know you are but what am I?’ in which the president invites the machinery at his disposal to muddy the waters enough that everyone seems equally dirty. As with his campaign against Hillary Clinton, the president can’t make a majority like him, but he can certainly turn voters against his opponent.

“The Trump campaign didn’t concoct the 2016 ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theory (that the Clintons had something to do with a pedophile ring in a D.C. pizza joint). But he gave enough of a signal boost to the trolls — with retweets and interviews — that the line demarcating outrageous behavior moved far enough to make his antics seem in bounds. Now, Trump’s antics are, by definition, presidential and the policy of the GOP.”

Antics? The Merriam-Webster dictionary indicates “antic” means, 1: an attention-drawing, often wildly playful or funny act or action, or 2, a performer of a grotesque or ludicrous part (buffoon). Additionally, antic is, “characterized by clownish extravagance or absurdity”, or, “whimsically lighthearted.” You be the judge if any of these particular definitions fits President Donald Trump.

It's clear that if it hasn’t happened already, Goldberg’s determined to completely sever his ties with the conservative movement and the Republican Party. It’s his choice and his livelihood, but if you’re four years into Donald Trump’s political career and haven’t realized by now that much of his “behavior” is a calculated tactic to get people like Goldberg -- and every other snobbish “I know more than you how a president should act” and uptight Trump antagonist -- in a tizzy, you might as well just give up the commentary game.

2020 will feature plenty of “experts” discussing Trump’s tweets and manners -- or lack thereof -- as something the American public cares about, as though normal folks look at their burgeoning bank accounts and the busy and productive U.S. economy with a smirk while unconsciously mumbling to themselves, “yeah, this is great stuff, but that guy in the White House really annoyed me today when he insulted the media again.” Sheesh. What to do?

Granted I don’t pay nearly as much mind (as Goldberg does) to what the “trolls” say in the “Twitterverse,” but Trump’s (with the help of an amazingly talented team of political public relations experts, policy wonks and capable leaders) guided his administration to a whole host of victories in three short years. Like a quarterback who “wins ugly,” Trump distributes the policy “ball” to his playmakers, allowing them to manage the details while he faces the media and the doubters -- and pushes the big picture buttons.

Just win, baby. Isn’t that an advertising slogan? Or how about “Make America Great Again”? Or “Keep America Great”? That’s it in a nutshell.

Why the bother when much of what these discontented elitist nincompoops whined about never came close to coming true? Remember, the #NeverTrump faction developed when a number of reputable conservatives legitimately questioned whether Trump was doing all of this (meaning his political candidacy) as a grand stunt to further his perceived egotistical addiction to fame and fortune. Why sugarcoat it? They doubted his patriotic bona fides.

Then, time after time, Trump triumphed in a political battle and still the doubters assaulted his sincerity. It’s as though they expected him at any moment to scream “Psych!”, resign from office, and head back to Trump Tower amidst a grand parade lined by tens of millions of admirers.

Get over it, Jonah. The behavior you consider “outrageous” is viewed as entirely necessary by a lot of people who not only want to defeat the political establishment, they want the elites humiliated and permanently discredited in the doing. For far too long the creatures have controlled the bog. Well, Trump’s now draining the putrid swamp and exposing them as the damp, muddy, corrupted scum that they are. Who cares if he “behaves” in an unpresidential way? Trump gets results. It’s about time.

Would Goldberg and company be happier if there were a feckless nice guy in the White House who couldn’t get anything accomplished? What do they truly want? #NeverTrump and other so-called Republican Trump bashers should answer a simple question: Who would do it better?

Goldberg continued, “Of course, Biden might not be the nominee. But there’s no reason to believe that would change Trump’s behavior, when the presidency hasn’t. And the other possible nominees are sufficiently left wing to make Trump’s job even easier.”

By insinuating that Trump will amp up the insults if Biden is the Democrat nominee, is Goldberg seriously defending the former Obama VP here? Is Biden beyond criticism? Should Trump start acting “presidential” to mount a more conventional campaign and stop hurting feelings? Would the Democrats then cease calling him a criminal (Kamala Harris said it) and a woman abuser?

As indicated above, everyone knows 2020’s destined to be a slugfest. But then again, sometimes you just know it’ll be bad. Like being a professional football general manager after a losing season and walking into a closed door meeting with the team’s owner armed with statistics showing your years-in-the-making grand strategy didn’t work, profits are non-existent and heads are about to roll…including probably your own.

Or as a teenager introducing your new someone to your folks figuring they won’t approve of the glaringly obvious non-compatibility of the odd coupling. Or sitting down at your desk and having the teacher pass out a test you hadn’t spent a minute preparing for. There’re just some things that are eminently anticipated to the point where it's more than clairvoyance to foresee an unavoidable nasty confrontation around the corner.

2020 is one of those no-brainers. The political future is at stake.

In the alternative, would 2020 be any different if Marco Rubio had vanquished Trump and the rest of the 2016 Republican field (and then beaten Hillary)? Democrats and their media allies made no secret of their distaste for and outright no-holds-barred opposition to Trump in every capacity back then, just as they have every day since. It started long before the New Yorker was elected and even prior to his taking command of the Republican Party as the GOP nominee. To Trump’s doubters, it was simply unfathomable that a brash, “Orange Man” outsider could just show up, start spitting out controversial things and push aside the political establishment -- and then be elected president. Yet Trump did it.

As the party out of power, Democrats have an extra degree of dislike for Trump. Part of it’s due to his in-your-face, punch-back mentality (they aren’t used to it; they prefer men like John McCain who pretend to “get along”). But the major reason is Trump’s been remarkably successful at making promises that defied decades of ruling class “wisdom” -- and then kept them. Simple, isn’t it?

People -- especially the political commentating class -- focus far too often on the negative. Shouldn’t we grab a little perspective here? John Fund wrote at Fox News, “[L]et us not tune out the slinging of political mud in the coming campaign or the natural disasters that take human life. But let’s all resolve to put it all into some context, and carry with us the realization that human progress continues.

“Ridley, the author of the book ‘The Rational Optimist,’ predicts that at the end of the 2020s ‘we will see less poverty, less child mortality, less land devoted to agriculture in the world. There will be more tigers, whales, forests and nature reserves. (We) will be richer, and each of us will use fewer resources.’

“Let me add to that a prediction that if more of us recognized our ‘bad news biases’ and resolved to let a bit more sunshine into our lives, we would all live in a saner world.”

Sage advice. Amidst so many good things going on around us -- people working at historic levels, incomes rising, trade agreements being struck, foreign threats being contained without largescale military commitments (strikes against Iran notwithstanding), illegal immigration being down considerably, and the list goes on -- Americans are drawn to the contentious and negative.

In his piece Fund discusses how it’s been proven that bad news draws attention. The liberal establishment media wouldn’t survive if it just reported the good things, right? Folks wouldn’t watch or buy their newspaper subscriptions. If MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow actually told the truth about the Steele dossier, she wouldn’t have a show, would she? It’s true for conservatives, too. Setting contrasts with our opponents -- often by using negative ads -- is the means to settle the campaign score.

If a candidate pointed out how his or her opponent likes kittens and donates to the local orphanage, it ain’t going to help their cause. It’s human nature.

Fund suggests everyone make a New Year’s resolution to not forget the good news that’s changing our world. Not a bad way to put it. 2020 is going to be a heck of a tough year in the political realm and it’s doubtful we’ll emerge with more friends on the other side of the ideological fence than we started with. But can we also keep the good news in mind?

Political forecasters will continue seeing dark clouds on the 2020 horizon regardless of the positive outcomes among the citizenry. No one expects Trump or his adversaries to roll over and play dead. But at times like these, perspective is in order -- and that includes Trump’s critics and the insatiable media.

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