Friday, December 23, 2016

Can Trump-ism be Called Common Sense or Street-Corner Conservatism?

Hmm this is a very interesting article.
Indeed, Trump was so at variance with the mainstream of the intellectual conservative movement on these issues that he modified his political identity. “I really am a conservative,” he said last February. “But I’m also a commonsense person. I’m a commonsense conservative. We have to be commonsense conservatives. We have to be smart.” Common sense in this understanding is opposed to the theoretical and academic analysis that has led conservatives to nonsensical and unpopular positions because they are beholden to speculative conclusions or to creedal dogma.
I think common sense conservatism would have saved the GOP from shutting the government down in 2013 due to Ted Cruz being a moron. There was no way that they could have de-funded Obamacare, and even if by some miracle they did, Obama would have simply vetoed it. It was pretty much the most non-common sense thing they could have done and that's what they did. In fact every one of those repeal Obamacare votes that failed could be an example of dogmatic conservatism. This is an interesting passage.
When Donald Trump and Mike Pence arranged for Carrier to retain some of the jobs it had previously announced would move to Mexico, adherents to free market ideology roundly criticized the move as cronyism. But, as has so often been the case this year, these thinkers lacked a constituency. They found themselves defending the economic basis of Walmart rather than the livelihoods of the people who shop there. The Carrier deal was popular not only with Carrier employees but also with voters. It was a textbook example of street corner conservatism: deviation from principle in the pursuit of tangible goods. Arguments from theory or economic calculation had no purchase because the street corner conservative thinks not in terms of producers and consumers but in terms of citizens and foreigners.
Yeah it is something I like to call economic nationalism. Other countries practice it all the time and manipulate their currency, labor and capital markets in order to make the most of it. If Mexico really wanted to help their people they would increase their minimum wage by fiat to match ours. They won't because jobs and capital goods would stop flowing their way. An intellectual conservative would say cheap Mexican goods brings prices down everywhere and is good for everyone. But those cheap-assed goods come at the cost of jobs for people living in this country. A street-corner Conservative would want America first and actually do things how Mexico, China, and Japan does. They benefit their citizens first and foremost. It seems Trump might do just that. 

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