Posted on June 30, 2017
“Heart” Trumps Reason
Donald is having Democrat flashbacks
Is Donald Trump having a change of heart? Perhaps not. In fact, one might argue that he hasn’t changed much since almost a decade ago, when he wrote, “I know Hillary and I think she’d make a great president,” and signed onto a letter imploring President Obama to take action on “climate change.”
While congressional Republicans continue to debate their tinkering with Obamacare (no longer “repair and replace”), their efforts have been stymied not only by their natural disunity and timidity in the face of the media, but also by their need to satisfy President Trump. While some GOP senators, like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, are protesting the bill’s lack of free-market reforms, the majority in their party are being pulled to the left by their own party’s president, who, sounding like the lifelong Democrat he’d been, has condemned the House version as “mean.”
Instead, Trump is instructing the legislators from his party to craft “a bill with heart.” What does he mean by that? The only detail he’s shared so far is that he told them, “Add some money to it.” That ought to, but won’t, give pause to the besotted pro-Trump lotus eaters who characterize every one of his mistakes, flip-flops, lies and failures as yet another brilliant maneuver in a game of eleven-dimensional chess. The man they like to portray as Reagan redux is defining “heart” as a willingness to dump more of other people’s money into a failing federal program.
But then, we already knew that, or at least we should have. Trump has a history of praising the government-run (i.e., “single payer”) systems of Canada, Scotland and Australia. As recently as the presidential campaign, he continued to push “universal” health care, telling 60 Minutes that “everybody’s going to be taken care of,” because “the government’s going to pay for it.”
Another area in which Trump has invoked “heart” is immigration, and more specifically, breaking his pledge to repeal Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Upon explaining that those illegals who are subject to DACA “shouldn’t be very worried,” Trump added, “I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody.”
In 2012, Trump called Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney “mean-spirited” for espousing a policy of self-deportation. The way this would work is that Romney vowed to crack down on businesses that hire illegal aliens, thus taking away the economic incentive for them to remain here illegally. Trump referred to this rather low-key approach as “maniacal.” Tom Daschle couldn’t have said it better. Here again, Trump is characterizing a basic conservative principle – in this case respect for law and order – as “mean,” and depicting himself and his big heart as the antidote to that meanness.
As a candidate, one of Trump’s chief selling points was that his business acumen would prove to be an asset in his ability to lead the nation. However, it was while contrasting his roles as businessman and president that he established “heart” as a guiding factor in his administration. “Pretty much everything you do in government involves heart,” he said, “whereas in business most things don’t involve heart. In fact, in business you’re actually better off without it.” So, not only are his policies not primarily informed by his business experience, but he sets up our supposedly big-hearted government as a foil against that mean, heartless entity we all know as free enterprise.
In truth, it is government, and especially big-government liberalism, that is heartless. Arguably, the most significant impact the U.S. government has had on its citizens over the past half-century has been to tear apart the American family through its “war on poverty.” The tragic results have been visible for decades now, and still we never hear so much as a pang of remorse from those responsible. Is it “heart” that has devastated our public schools since federalizing them, and now lashes out at anyone who tries to help poor children escape them? Much of the rest of what big-government politicians do is to inflict economic harm on their constituents, in an effort to dictate those same people’s behavior.
To quote one American president, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” To quote another, “We are going to take care of everybody.” The one of those two men who had a heart was the same one who didn’t feel the need to go around saying so.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press