OPINION – Last week’s election results were a fascinating mishmash of surprises. Some good, many not so good.
In recognition of the ongoing tsunami of tears and cheers since last Tuesday, I’ll first confess that I did not support either major party candidate. Therefore, I will not be accepting guilt or other angst from those who might label me a sore winner for offering some thoughts on the outcome.
Donald Trump was able to pull off a victory thanks to the electoral votes representing the muted voice of millions of voters who don’t reside in a handful of blue state population centers. Given the nonstop drumbeat of negative press for Trump and shameless media advocacy for Hillary Clinton, this upset clearly took a lot of people by surprise.
A question that remains is whether the votes that carried Trump to the presidency were cast in support of him or cast instead as a raised middle finger against Clinton and her establishment backers.
Let’s look at the silver lining first.
The single most important takeaway from this year’s general election is that the ruling elite is losing the consent of the governed. Close on its heels is the reality that our mass media has become shipwrecked on the hard rocks of reality that they are little more than cheerleaders for the ruling elite.
Members of the political class have perverted the most basic purpose of government – to secure the natural rights of the governed – and turned the rule of law into a system that benefits them and their cronies at the expense of our individual liberties and earnings.
Average Americans have been slowly awakening to the predatory policies of the political class, their corporate cronies, certain members of the press and academia and all their associated bureaucratic functionaries.
The corrupt, self-serving insiders who have gained control of our financial, educational, health care, national defense and media systems have milked the citizenry without mercy. Families who have seen their real wages stagnate at 1989 levels and are facing destructive cost increases in the health insurance they are forced to buy are getting restless.
Likewise, students who rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt to secure a college education that increasingly provides no clear pathway to gainful employment are also feeling the heat.
Common folks who have never harmed a soul are sick and tired of being scolded by media and social justice activists that everything we’ve known about right and wrong must be discarded in favor of the latest progressive dogma. They’re tired of being told they must abide by constantly changing rules imposed by petty tyrants who are determined to control what they think and say.
Are we supposed to believe this type of institutionalized abuse was the promise upon which our nation was founded? This, more so than any hysterical claims of racism, sexism, etc., is why a shocking number of voters chose Trump over his establishment-approved opponent.
To those not blinded by their own hubris, there can be no doubt Trump successfully tapped into a throbbing vein of populist frustration with the status quo.
Even for those of us who were not Trump supporters, there was a certain satisfaction in watching members of Hollywood, the media and their progressive ideologues have their first genuine close encounter with reality in a long time. They simply couldn’t believe their supposed credibility was shot.
They perfectly illustrated the danger in surrounding yourself with sycophants and reducing people they’ve never met to simplistic group identity caricatures. Kudos to the ones who’ve found the courage to say, “Mea culpa.”
The downside of the resounding rejection of the past few years of business-as-usual is that now Trump’s true believers are lining up with wish lists of what they’d like him to do for them.
They are eager to lay claim to the same government power that was being used by progressives to punish them. This perfectly illustrates why politics is such a toxic waste of time.
It all comes down to a power struggle over who will have authority to do what to whom. This mindset is what ensures that the power struggle will eventually come to blows at some point.
Virtually no one is asking whether it’s appropriate for government to be exercising so much power in the first place. The sobbing losers and the jeering winners are both operating under the premise that progress must take place under the external regulation of others.
Both of them are dead wrong.
Social progress that requires compulsion cannot be regarded as authentic, any more than the money taken by a robber at gunpoint can be thought of as a real donation.
People must be free to examine and choose for themselves what brings them genuine happiness. This is best accomplished individually and not collectively.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator, radio host and opinion columnist in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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