I wrote this before Trump delivered his inaugural address. His address confirmed what I say here. I wrote my assessment of his speech within an hour after he delivered it. Read my assessment here.
Bobby Fischer at the age of 14 became the youngest U.S. chess champion in history.
A reporter asked him what he liked most about the game. His answer was classic: "I love to see them squirm."
I love to see the establishment squirm. Never in my lifetime have I seen all of them squirm like this.
I did not vote for Donald Trump. I voted for Gary Johnson. Johnson vetoed 739 bills when he was governor of New Mexico. No governor of New Mexico had ever vetoed that many bills, and most of them were sustained. His opponents in the legislature could not get enough votes to override his vetoes. He really made them squirm. That had impressed me for many years, and I figured I might as well say thank you in the only way that matters for a politician: my vote. Also, when asked his opinions on Aleppo, he answered "What is Aleppo?" Somebody who had never heard of Aleppo probably would not get the United States involved more deeply than it already is in Syria. America would be a lot better off if Barack Obama had never heard of Aleppo.
Anyway, back to Trump. He is the victim of the most systematic campaign of media vitriol that I have ever seen. They didn't like Barry Goldwater, but they did nothing like this. They didn't like Ronald Reagan, but they did nothing like this. They will not give Trump any slack at all.
He is being tried by a court that has the guilty verdict in its pocket. Even more delightfully, this court has proven itself to be politically impotent. And in the outlook of this court, there is nothing worse than political impotence. Political impotence means being cast into the outer darkness. As Trump's parade begins, they sit on the sidelines shouting, "This just isn't fair." Yes, it is. It is also delightful.
I call your attention to the most vicious piece of slander against Trump that I have seen so far. It was written by somebody in Australia. Now, the fact that anybody in Australia gives a rat's patootie about Donald Trump is amazing. But to write something like this is really astounding. I'm not going to quote from it. I want you to read it. As you read it, think this: this bonehead Aussie has no political skin in the game. This is in his country. It is in his political system. He is down under. But he is utterly apoplectic about Donald Trump. You can read his screed here. It appeared in the most internationally influential of Australia's newspapers, the Sydney Morning News.
What impressed me most about his article is its tone. It is not moral outrage. It is whining. This is crybaby journalism. We do not see it often because they win so often. Snide comments, yes. Contempt, yes. But not whining. When you see a journalist whine, you know he is beaten. He is not rallying the troops for one last stand at the barricades. He is like a three-year-old lying on his back, kicking his legs wildly, and screaming: "I want it! I want it! I want it!" Someone ought to dump a glass of ice water on the guy.
This is happening all over the West. The columnists really have lost their minds. They have lost all sense of perspective.
Republicans were upset twice when Obama defeated Republican candidates for President. But before he came into power in 2009, they pretty much held their peace. I'm not talking about screwballs on the fringe. I'm talking about conservatives in newspapers, magazines, and on websites that had Alexa ratings higher than 500,000. I am talking about the equivalent of the Sydney Morning News.
Trump has really gotten under their skins. I am grudgingly becoming a fan of Trump's. Anyone who can cause this much pain among the liberal establishment, including the liberal Republican establishment, can't be all bad.
We are told that he has low public opinion ratings. First, this is not true. Over half the public is favorable. Second, he ran against a woman who had the lowest public opinion ratings of any Democratic candidate for President over the last century. Never has a Democratic candidate for President been so widely regarded as untrustworthy. Now, let me say that I don't think there's anything wrong with electing somebody to office who you think is untrustworthy. If you elect anyone to office, and you don't assume that this person is untrustworthy, you are living in a fantasy world. But Hillary Clinton set the record for public skepticism. Yet the liberal media had a lovefest with her. They seemed astounded when this nagging, shrill, legendary thrower of plates lost the election. Hillary Clinton was the Bobby Knight of American politics. Her loss is not the end of the liberals' world. But liberals think it may be. Liberals who think this are dumb.
The media have not been able to come to grips with his victory. They think the voters in Midwestern states have betrayed American democracy. They think that what's good for California and New York is good for the nation. A lot of us don't think so. I moved out of both of those states a long time ago. I have never longingly looked back at either of them. I paid my unfair share of confiscatory state taxes in both of them. That was 40 years ago, before they both went even more politically insane than they were then. New York is a state represented in this century in the Senate by Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton. California elected Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Need I say more?
The media will be in continual apoplexy for at least the next four years. And in each of these years, the media will lose market share. In each of these years, newspaper reporters will be fired unceremoniously. These people are typing furiously on the Titanic. The public is paying less and less attention to them, as Trump proved on November 8. One of my favorite websites is www.NewspaperDeathWatch.com. The latest report on falling ad revenue for the print version of The New York Times is here. I also enjoyed learning of the rout at Reuters.
Also, in each of these years, employees in network television, as well as MSNBC and CNN, will get their well-deserved pink slips.
The more the media grouse about every aspect of Trump's administration, the more that Trump's voters will conclude that they did the right thing on November 8.
By the way, where's Hillary? Talk about a disappearing act! She went from queen of the media to Greta Garbo in 48 hours. "I vant to be alone!"
It is going to be business as usual in Washington. It was business as usual for eight years under Obama. Actually, it was much reduced business in Washington. Obama got less legislation through Congress than any modern President of the United States. He was heavy on agenda but light on implementation. Fortunately.
I think Trump's great contribution has already been made. He utterly humiliated the liberal media. He humiliated the entire bipartisan establishment. He trounced his Republican opponents, and then he beat Hillary Clinton when it counted. He is the only person in American political history with zero background in any area of government who has been elected President. That is going to get him into the history textbooks.
WHAT REALLY COUNTS
The decisions that make a difference are the decisions made by the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve System. The rest of everything that goes on in Washington is background noise. When it comes to the votes of the FOMC, it is not a Punch and Judy show. It is the real deal.
Unless there is some unexpected scandal that hits Trump, his administration will be made or broken by the effects of the votes of the FOMC, beginning in late 2008 and extending to 2020. I would have said the same thing about Hillary Clinton. Much as I am cheered by the fact that she was not elected, I was never convinced that it would make a serious difference. Most of the groups that she was ready to sell favors to are the same ones that have been buying Presidential favors for at least a century. The fact that she was on the take was neither here nor there as far as I was concerned. It was only a question of which special-interest groups were going to get the lion's share of the favors she would have been in a position to bestow.
Those of us who are really convinced conspiracy historians don't think the action is on Capitol Hill or in the White House. The action in Washington is in the Eccles building. The other action that really matters is in New York City: 33 Liberty St. and Pratt House.
Politics in the United States, and especially presidential politics, is a Punch and Judy show that is presented to the voters as an exercise in messianic deliverance. The deliverance never comes. Politics is Charlie Brown and Lucy.
Yes, Hillary Clinton was Lucy. What cheered me was that the voters elected Charlie Brown. Maybe he really will kick a few footballs through the goal posts. I hope he does with ObamaCare and NAFTA. This will enrage the media. But don't count on a victory at the end of the game. In the politics of the welfare state, there is only federal bankruptcy ahead of us. That really will be the end of the game. Deliverance!
Sensible politics, to coin an oxymoron, is about revenge. It is about inflicting pain on your political opponents. Any time that the voters think of politics as anything more uplifting than this, they are playing the role of Charlie Brown. They should be playing Lucy's role. The correct goal is to pull away the football at exactly the time that your opponent swings his foot high into the air. The goal is to see your opponent flat on his back. Then, four years later, you do it again.
That's politics according to Bobby Fischer. That's the kind of politics I appreciate.
Politics is not about saving the nation or the world. Politics is about making your opponents squirm. If you expect anything more than this out of politics, especially national politics, you're ready to kick a football through the goalposts in the last three seconds of the championship game. Here; I'll hold it for you.