Martial Arts as War (MAW) and Martial Arts as Sport (MAS)—these are the two paradigms that, by and large, define the contemporary universe of the martial arts. Or so I have argued in previous essays. Now, it’s true, of course, that—as my own Master-Instructor observed to me in one of our countless conversations over this […]
I have recently encountered folks, including friends, who, upon having vigorously supported Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, now claim to have become disenchanted with him.
Whether it is because President Trump lobbed cruise missiles into Syria; continues to permit Third World refugees into the United States; advocates on behalf of Obamacare Lite; still hasn’t so much as proceeded to “build the wall,” or any number of other things—these one-time Trump supporters now purport to be off the Trump train, so to speak.
For a few simple reasons, I find this attitude to be, at the very least, misplaced. It is appropriate only in the case of those who, in backing Trump, believed that they were voting for a messiah, “our last chance” to turn this ship of state around “make America great again.”
It is appropriate to be jaded or shattered by Trump’s failure to meet one’s expectations, and just six months into his presidency to boot, only under one or more of the following conditions:
(1)One expected for Trump to keep every promise that he so much as hinted at while on the campaign stump;
(2)One forgot Trump’s personal history as a New York City billionaire/celebrity who not only never lifted a finger to advance any conservative and/or libertarian causes, but who frustrated the advancement of such causes by donating the lion’s share of his tremendous resources to Democrats and, beginning just five years prior to running for the presidency, Big Government, neoconservative Republicans.
(3) One forgot that Trump derided such honorable conservatives and libertarians as Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul.
(4)One forgot that, to Trump’s credit, he never pretended to be a “limited government” Constitutionalist. Trump made campaign promises, like repealing and replacing Obamacare, “destroying” ISIS (which means more American military involvement in the Middle East and beyond), and growing the military even larger than it already is. These pledges underscored for all with eyes to see Trump’s affection for a large, centralized, administrative state.
(5) Perhaps more importantly than all else, one thinks of a society’s politics narrowly, in terms of the policies or legislation enacted by politicians.
For certain, President Trump must be held accountable for his mistakes. His supporters must be as vigilant in criticizing him as they are in defending him against his increasingly unhinged enemies. There is, however, all of the difference in the world between reasonable and unreasonable criticism.
In point of fact, within a remarkably short span of time, President Trump has achieved an impressive array of feats:
Whether it is fighting for and, for practical purposes, winning his “travel ban;” presiding over a nearly 70 percent reduction in illegal border crossings; deterring illegal immigration from some sources; drastically reducing a massive amount of Obama-era regulation; or leaning on companies that would have otherwise relocated to other lands to remain within the United States—these are just some of the achievements that Trump can claim credit for despite having served in office for such a short period of time.
Ultimately, though, those of us who self-regard as classical conservatives and libertarians have always valued Trump’s presidential candidacy for other reasons.
In other words, as the paleo-libertarian Ilana Mercer argued in her book, The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed, it is not Trump the man or even the candidate that is of primary importance. It is, rather, the “Trump Process,” as Mercer puts it.
Mercer is not alone among those of us who support Trump because of what he represents. The Trump Process transcends Trump. The Process transcends politics, conceived narrowly in terms of the machinery of the government.
The Trump Process, we hope, will indelibly impact the culture, for as conservatives in particular have always realized, a society’s “politics” are “downstream” from its culture.
Trump’s rise and the spread of the Trump Process signify two extremely powerful cultural shifts. They symbolize a resounding repudiation of the current Zeitgeist, “Political Correctness,” with all that this entails, and an equally resounding repudiation of the nation-denying and liberty-threatening “globalism” that Trump’s army of elitist enemies in the Regime have been relentlessly pushing for decades.
That Trump is indeed perceived by his enemies to be perilous to their whole way of life is gotten easily enough from the mercilessness with which they pursue every opportunity to stall his agenda.
This, however, brings us to the second virtue of the Trump Process.
If not for Trump, tens of millions of Americans who would have otherwise remained oblivious to it all would not have awakened to the sinister, manipulative machinations of what I have elsewhere called “the Regime.” The latter is a sprawling Government-Media complex whose members consist as much of Republicans as it does of Democrats.
Trump, whether or not he intended it, unveiled the moral rot of the GOP, the Party of the Jack Ass, the Fake News media (of both leftist and neoconservative varieties), and the Deep State—all while revealing that, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, they constitute but different facets of a single unitary Regime.
The Trump Process has also disclosed that this Regime relies upon, in addition to trillions of taxpayer dollars, an ideology, a neo-liberal/neoconservative internationalist or “globalist” ideology that is and has always been antithetical to the interests of Americans for whom patriotism is loyalty to and love for their country—not the abstract “proposition” or concept with which both Republican and Democrat Regimists have identified America.
If Trump’s nomination to the presidency didn’t raze the GOP to the ground, it was the equivalent of a bomb that did its fair share of damage. Millions will never again see yesteryear’s GOP superstars, its politicians and media propagandists, in the same light. The Trump Process was the light that sent the rats scattering.
Now that he is POTUS, disgruntled leftist politicians at local, state, and federal levels in every branch are engaged in acts of defiance—little acts of secession—and, in some instances, as in California, threatening all-out secession. Trump’s presidency, the Trump Process, is a disruptive force. It is starting to look like “creative destruction,” as if it could be the first step toward a less centralized, more liberty-affirming, kind of social order—precisely that state of affairs for which Mercer and many of us hope.
Trump or, more specifically and in keeping with Ilana Mercer’s term of choice, the Trump Process, has been a wrecking ball vis-à-vis the Regime, the Republican-Democrat/Deep State/Fake News media Axis.
As the paleo-libertarian Mercer was at pains to clarify in her book against those libertarians who, incapable of seeing the forest for the trees, refused to so much as consider voting for him, it is for these reasons, for the sake of the creative destruction of the Trump Process that liberty-lovers could and should support Trump.
And it is for these reasons that lovers of liberty should continue to support him.