Trump’s Presidency – International Commentary (29)

Clinton and Obama talked a good line. They are both slick talkers. But with 16 years to make significant changes, they have zip to show for it. This is good news.

There is not much that any President can do to change things in the absence of a war. At least 85% of the federal budget is spoken for. The deficits remain huge. The unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security keep growing. The bureaucracy is untouchable. Congress is impotent. The electorate is divided 50-50. This is gridlock.

Trump will not break this gridlock. His supporters have hope. It will not be fulfilled. At some point, political despair will set in. Then Washington’s checks will bounce.

That is when good people had better be ready politically at the county level. [1]

It’s always good to find some joy in politics. Why? There isn’t much to go around.

Donald Trump has been blunt, controversial and compelling. He’s won Americans over. Soon, the White House will be his. Much of this has been heady and kind of exciting, and now the Establishment has been humbled by an outsider, who refused to identify with the Establishment, even the political party he is affiliated with. He didn’t need them, and he let them know.

This has been a part of his appeal, and this has been unheard of in modern US political history.

But three years from now may very well tell a different story. He’ll have an election coming, an economy in serious trouble, and the substantial changes that need to be made politically, won’t have been touched. Why?

Because no prominent political leader world-wide, dares touch them. They are the sacred cows of the modern socialist State: public education, welfare, and an over-blown defence; the things that get politicians elected in their droves. Robert Higgs explained this recently:

People do not oppose corruption in politics and government. They oppose only the corruption that does not steer loot and social domination to them. After all, the entire process of so-called democratic government is nothing but corruption writ large and backed by the threat of violent force.[2]

So Trump represents change, but the bulk of it is superficial. The people want change too, but not too much yet. They like the idea of better representation, while they can continue to milk the system.

The Establishment too has taken a hit, but not too much. It’s nose might be bleeding a little, but it’s essentially in good shape. The bureaucrats still run Washington, regardless of which President or party is in office.

This was what Reagan found, over 30 years ago. He was the last Republican to promote serious reform. He was going to close down the Department of Education, he said. It never happened, and he had eight years, and when he died? Still there, maybe bigger. The Establishment may countenance some change, but it will essentially be superficial.

Why is this?

It is as it was in Biblical times. “The high places were not removed from Israel” (II Chron.15:17). The essential national religious beliefs haven’t changed. Despite all the noise and hoopla, the essential belief in the US (as it is in all of the West), is that the government can do good. That might not agree with the Bible, but people don’t care about that. They want their government goodies to keep on coming, and so they will-for a while.

Not until the cheques bounce will people get the message, that government can’t do it all. In fact, when government tries to do it, the cost is always be a fearful one. Given time, the Messianic State becomes a dead, rotting albatross around a nation’s neck

I expect that the government cheques will bounce at some point under Trump, or soon after. The burden of US debt will simply prove unsustainable, so welfare and warfare (the usual things that have brought down empires since the Romans) will bring the whole house crashing down. Then, people really will start asking the right questions about this monstrosity we in the West have created, called government.

The problem then will not be Trump, though he could get blamed. It will be the people’s expectations of government, which have been nurtured and encouraged by government, especially since Roosevelt.

And this is what the church must prepare for, and it won’t be easy, or cheap. Millions of out of work, needy people, and who will feed and clothe them?

This will be a severe and lasting crisis, and one for the church that will be both a massive test, and a great opportunity. Is it one you and your church will prepare for?

I hope so.

 

 

 

[1] Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “Obama Care is in the Intensive Care Unit,” 10/11/2016

[2] “Political and Governmental Corruption Is a Feature, Not a Bug,” The Independent Institute, 4/11/2016.

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