Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trump's Worldview

There is an urge many of us feel to attribute benevolence to our highest leaders. When Donald Trump says his job creation and economic performance is going to be a beautiful thing to watch, we want to believe that he is thinking of his people, like Santa working hard all year round so everyone down below will get to enjoy the surprises he has to bring.

Well, boys and girls, I hate to have to tell you that there is no such thing as Santa Claus -- but there may be a Grinch. You can put aside any notions of Trump or his administration working on your behalf. He and many of his crew don't believe in that. They are objectivists, followers of the Ayn Rand philosophy that we should all be out to maximize our own happiness under laissez faire government with an economy in which "the lazy" fare not well at all.

Objectivism deplores the idea of sacrifice, so don't count on Trump or many of his cabinet to give up ongoing business interests in order to remain objective for the common good. (Putting your business affairs in the hands of your family hardly extinguishes conflicts of interest.)

The ideal government sought by objectivists is more like the much smaller one that Trump is hiring hatchet men like Rick Perry, Scott Pruitt, and Ben Carson to wind down. "The business of America is business," Calvin Coolidge said before it turned out there wasn't going to be much business in America when the Great Depression hit. Now, we can simplify it to, "America: it's just business," because government is to be largely run by businessmen with a keen sense of rational self-interest.

When all our President-apparent has ever known in his career is business, how could we expect that it would be any different? A petition to electors to hand the Presidency over to a more qualified candidate (whoever that may be) notes:
[Trump] has, unlike every previous Commander-in-Chief, never served in any public position, whether elected or appointed, civilian or military, thereby bringing no experience or proven judgement on behalf of The People, or evidence of a character suited to high office.
That's why Trump was elected - because he isn't tainted by political baggage, and can, therefore, be objective in his decisions. He will be so objective, in fact, that you and I are merely objects to him.

The Green Party values, though in favor of smaller government, stand in stark contrast to objectivism, particularly in the matter of economics. The Green Party advocates community-based economics:
We support redesigning our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. We support developing new economic activities and institutions that allow us to use technology in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological, and responsive and accountable to communities. We support establishing a form of basic economic security open to all. We call for moving beyond the narrow 'job ethic' to new definitions of 'work,' 'jobs' and 'income' in a cooperative and democratic economy. We support restructuring our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy – those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, and the like. We support restricting the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation. 
It comes down to a philosophy of  inter-being vs. one of separation. With his philosophy of separation, the only way the Big Twit will be able to hold the country together will be an existential crisis, e.g. war against a powerful opponent.

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