Paul GleiserWho will finish the job?


Approximately 35 years ago, Washington, D.C. got hijacked by an elite, wealthy, mostly Ivy-educated, mostly northeast, mostly liberal and utterly condescending ruling class.

Bush the elder was president then. With his New England Brahmin pedigree and his liberal-tinged brand of Republicanism, it might be argued that he was the eminence grise of the ruling class ascendancy.

The consolidation of once proudly pro-American, staunchly capitalist American household-name companies into monstrously huge multinational conglomerates – conglomerates whose C-suite executives are decidedly left of center and who work hand-in-glove with the ruling class toward mutual enrichment– began in earnest.

What we now call the legacy media was becoming more open in their partisan coverage of politics. The liberal takeover of Hollywood and academia that began in the tumultuous 1960s was nearing completion

In the years since Daddy Bush’s presidency, the elite members of the ruling class – from both political parties – have become enormously wealthy. At the same time, most of the people in the heartland – the decent, patriotic American men and women who get up each morning to go make the country work – have gotten poorer.

During that time the corporate side and the political side of the ruling class decided that cheap labor is worth the societal costs attendant to mass illegal immigration. For related reasons, they decided that exporting the manufacture of critical goods to geopolitical adversary countries was worth the attendant negative impact on national security and the American middle class.

At the same time, the ruling class allowed – indeed often encouraged – a relatively small cabal of leftist environmental activists to go unchallenged as they pursued a relentless campaign against the economy-fueling hydrocarbon energy that lies in abundance beneath our very feet.

All the while endless and ultimately pointless wars were being fought by our sons and daughters while being paid for by American children yet unborn.

Those decent, patriotic heartland Americans – busy as they were trying to simply hold their own – went along and didn’t say much even as they were becoming incrementally less prosperous and less financially secure.

And then Donald Trump came along.

Donald Trump said things that crystalized what had hitherto been vague, nagging feelings. All at once, the curtain got pulled back on the elite inner sancta and ordinary Americans abruptly realized how badly they were being screwed.

All at once, nominal Republican voters couldn’t imagine how they ever supported a candidate like Mitt Romney. With newly opened eyes, those same voters saw Bush the younger in a new light.

Trump is loathed by the ruling class not because of his sometimes-boorish behavior or his mean tweets. He is loathed because he opened the doors, turned on the lights and threw up the window shades. What that light revealed can’t be unseen.

I remain unsure that Trump should run in 2024. I continue to be wary of his personal excesses. But I’ll admit that as of right now, I don’t see anyone (with the possible exception of Ron DeSantis) with the will and the capacity to finish what he started.

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