The election is over and I think it’s time we all reflect on what has brought us to this profound moment in American political history, writes New York entrepreneur and humanitarian Harry Dubin
This is our “Brexit moment” and it demands introspection. As a business man, a writer, and a human of conscience and action, I am watching and experiencing the impact of the election and what shall ensue is anyone’s guess. However, what is now highlighted in klieg lights is the power of social media to transform in ways never before imagined, for good or bad.
How did we arrive here?
Trump was my last choice among the Primary candidates but the one thing I felt sure of was that he was a bona-fide outsider. Despite his well documented penchant for narcissistic behavior and a gold plated ego, Donald was ready to bulldoze the status quo, without “fundamentally changing America”. With regard to the latter, the jury is still out.
Since 1988, our national politicians, as well as the CEOs of some of our largest US Companies have reminded me of the simple message I took away from reading The Great Gatsby in High School. The resounding take away is that the rich and powerful can have a party and leave a huge mess behind for others to clean up.
My view on the origins of the Trump win is that Big Politics and Big Government got married in the late 1980’s and left the “silent majority” of US citizens to deal with the mess . Who can genuinely argue that this dubious marriage has taken the US horribly off the course originally set by Adam Smith, later guided by Hayek and then Milton Friedman.
The most recent guardian of our Laissez-Faire system was Greenspan and it may be surmised that he was never shown the deceptive marriage deed. I believed Greenspan when he testified on the Sub-Prime crisis that he could not imagine Big Business would make self-destructive market decisions. At that time in history he did not know, see or believe that the Big Government spouse would ever let the over-leveraged spouse with a gambling problem avoid the consequences of their actions by bailing them out (e.g. Investment Banks, Insurance, Fannie / Freddie)
In short, we had capitalism on the way up and socialism on the down – it should not have been the taxpayers responsibility to fund $700B in TARP, and having done so, see less lending coming out of banks. I perceive that big business has managed to cheat within the sacred Laissez-faire capitalist system. Further, in the most ingenious way, it seems they have morphed into massive bureaucracies, using the model that Communism created at the State level, because the goals look the same.
For the last 28 years there has existed an arranged marriage between Big Business and Big Government Central Planning Statists, yet over the last eight years of Obama and Hilary, there has been rocket fuel poured into this paradigm manifesting in an exploding Government / Business behemoth unaccountable to the people while being solely accountable to its political gate keepers and elite business insiders for the purpose of taking more of “our” money.
While the very term “elite” has come under great scrutiny, those whom fall into that category have become even more powerful under a Hilary Clinton administration. The angst of the average voter has reared it’s head over the last 18 months as they have come to realize that.
I see Donald Trump as a Disrupter blowing up that status quo to give power back to the people while getting our economy growing by supporting small businesses. Who that will work in practice is still a mystery.
I am seeing parallels; Russia’s Lenin wrote: “Literature must become Party literature. Down with unpartisan literature. Down with the supermen of literature! Literature must become a part of the general cause of the proletariat ‘a small cog and small screw’ in the social-democratic mechanism, one and indivisible, a mechanism set in motion by the entire conscious vanguard of the whole working class. Literature must become an integral part of the organized, methodical, and unified labors of the social democratic Party”. In retrospect, the same may be said of The Bible.
Max Webber commented in the late 1800’s:”Modern society, overly organized and structured, renders irrelevant the possibility of greatness”.
Just as Communism sees individualism as a threat, I see a parallel in that big business keeps middle management overwhelmed with work, and pays just enough to keep them enslaved such that they find it very hard to break out of the system. That system is feeding fat-cat CEO’s making 600x the amount of wage as middle management employees. Those very same CEOs claim they did not have “responsibility” for the subprime crisis, placing the blame squarely upon the shoulders of others below them for making the mistakes. See a pattern here ?
The parallels may also be seen in the overworked peasant classes that exist in Russia and China. Their Hobbean existence is comparable to the struggling middle and lower financial classes in America that strive to embrace unattainable Lockean dreams.
In both systems the goal of those in power is to keep the people down so power can remain in the hands of the few. Make no mistake, mortgages, credit cards, pay day advances and the trillions in student debt, are the shackles that bind and asphyxiate.
Big Government is protecting Big Business and Big Business keeps Big Government in power.
In 1997 I had a private, substantive business meeting with Donald Trump and found him to be quite charismatic. He had that “it” factor…you could just feel it. However, one would be hard pressed to argue that he has been terribly crass, boorish and undisciplined during this presidential campaign. The same could easily be said for his last 45 years in NYC.
His comments to Howard Stern, his childish self-promotion, and the list of unimpressive behavior goes on and on, yet I also think that he feels he can do a better job of running this country than dilettante elitist politicians who stay in power by catering to their special interests.
I think that Donald Trump, despite all his financial success, has never been “invited” into the polite company of the rich and powerful and in turn has wrapped himself for 45 years in a gaudy “here I am, I am as rich as you and you are no better than me” attitude.
What I am seeing is a man that has conquered his slice of NYC business and become very wealthy. He no longer wants to hob-nob with Big Business and Big Politics and wants to become a champion for the people. He wants to do it with his children by his side, being that he probably has trusted so few because of his singular pursuit of monetary success.
He is crass and maybe at times low class but I think this election will humble him; he knows he has the love and faith of ordinary folks who have placed upon him an awesome responsibility.
An exploding Big Government combined with Corporate Fascism is destroying this country. The Islamic terrorists along with home grown anarchists are helping all of them along at fast pace.
We needed a disruptive election and we got one
Jefferson stated that the People should never fear their government, rather Government should always fear the People.
Trump has scared the political power structure that appears to be the modern day norm in America. Julius Caesar may have went directly to the people but it seems clear to me that Donald is not thinking dictatorship here.
We must now hold our breath as things unfold. Let us hope that his desire to give back the American Dream to the middle class, the burgeoning society of “Have Nots” and the less fortunate become a vision that translates to a barely achievable reality.
I see him wanting to create the conditions for the disconnected to achieve on their own without Big Government and Big Business keeping them down or watching Washington decide who the winners and losers shall be. The problem here is that I truly believe he has no clue how to do so.
I see Trump using his fighting spirit to change the course of United States to restore a Constitutional Republic devoted to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Yet, we all see how that has turned out so far when attempted by those on either side of the aisle and by those far smarter than he.
My reflections on Hilary and the Media
It is with the greatest respect that I offer my sincere condolences to Secretary Clinton. She is a woman of extraordinary character that, despite all media content to the contrary, I believe, has done her very best to help the world.
In a world fraught with dissension, it now becomes the ubiquitous responsibility of all of us to ensure that enlightened thought and practices are the glue with which we must bond and communicate as a nation. We are the torch that lights the world aglow with humanity and reason.
It is equally incumbent upon us, as a young nation, regardless of party, geography or proclivity, to offer solutions, give hope and dissuade the forces of malevolence from derailing the primary forces of democracy.
The Founders of our country would, no doubt, have found great mirth in where we are at today. Indeed, they were a prescient bunch. Their wisdom, fortitude and follies formed the very basis of our forward looking and forgiving nature as a civilization that was devoid of such things until 1776, legally speaking, of course.
Let us not be fooled by the media antics and political repartee that are the bread and butter of any advanced and financially savvy society. The only things that separate us from the horrors of the inquisition and the mid-evil practices still in use today in some parts of the world, are our willingness and ability to look, listen, process and change in a peaceful fashion.
As a utopian concept and as a practical matter, democracy, be it of the socialist type, the capitalist type or the more strident variations of either, are in bed with one another, like it or not.
Please allow me to digress. As many of you know, I personally prefer the capitalist model. This is due to my belief that more good may be done by sophisticated, well meaning individuals with the chutzpa and market know-how to actualize and activate those of like mind and intent than by whistling Dixie.
Here comes the Sun
While writing this polemic, I was listening to the Beatles Station on Pandora, and just as I was coming to the end, one of my favorite songs came across; “Here comes the Sun” and I thought this is time to stop writing and close out my thoughts for tonight, given I will have much to say each week.
All of us must appreciate that regardless of this election’s outcome, including the Republican’s maintaining control of Congress, that the Sun will rise tomorrow.
Our politics is never as impactful as how we live our lives.
Each day of your life is a day that you are free to pursue your dreams, to love whomever you choose to love, to practice your faith, to practice your art or sport, to open any book on any topic, to travel to any State, to eat in any restaurant…in short, to live as a citizen of America and within the “free world”.
For many, you have already begun to pick up the fight for 2020, and for sure, please do but do so with good cheer and with one solemn pause.
Put aside any partisanship on Inauguration Day for this is the one day that both sides must celebrate our 230 years of peaceful transition of power that is the central hallmark of the experiment called America.