How Trump Saved this Union

By and | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 February 2, 2017|
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Trump, like Grant, is a man of action. He is one who, like most Americans, understands America’s principles in his bones and acts to defend them.

Like many couples, Suzanne and I had political differences when we married. While I never thought of Obama as an agent for positive political change, Suzanne determined to vote for him in the hope that our country might soon turn a corner on the matter of race by electing a man with black heritage. Once he was elected, however, I chose to cling alongside her to that one minor hope—only to see it dashed by the divisiveness of the Obama Administration.

As the Obama mask slipped, however, the clarity drove us closer together politically and made us reassess the foundations of the Republican Party that, it seemed, had abandoned us both.

We discovered that we did not have much disagreement over McCain and Romney. Both were statists in many ways and slavish to the Davos status quo. Even if they had been elected, one could expect from them many of the same policies Bush advocated and advanced, and these policies have led to our diminished patriotic spiritedness, and a weakened military.

So while we may have diverged on the importance of Obama—at least initially—we agreed that what we both wanted was a United States still rooted in the American Founding and in the natural equality of all human beings. Further, we wanted a firm acknowledgment that the equal status of all Americans as citizens was the source of their sovereignty.

So as we awakened on Inauguration Day 2017, we were both quite happy—even giddy—to turn the corner on the fecklessness of the last eight years. It was a stark reminder too, that we have much to dig out from underneath after so many years of poor management, poor political choices, oligarchic trends, and the soft despotism of an ever growing administrative state.

Moreover the Trumps looked like adults returning us to a certain kind of manner and style. They seemed to have ushered in a sense of class in demeanor and dress that we have not seen in decades. During the inaugural, Trump looked like he meant business. As he spoke, it became clear he would not say things just to please unnamed elites in government or in the press who would like him to conform to their understanding of how things ought to be. In the battle between them and ordinary Americans, he throws in with the latter, even though there seems to be nothing ordinary (apart, perhaps, from a crude sense of humor) about him.

In that, Trump has more in common with Ulysses S. Grant than any president since the 19th century.

Like Grant, Trump is not an ideologue.

Like Grant, Trump is not an ideologue. He seems to have an innate sense that ideas matter, and that America’s idea is worthy of defense. But he is a doer. He acts. He defends himself, but he is much less self-referential in his speeches than was Obama; a man who seemed to thrive on surpassing all reasonable expectations about the number of “I”s a president could use in any given speech. Grant, like Trump, is a man who is little understood. Most scholars find it difficult to reconcile the various disparities in Grant’s thought and career.

Like Trump, Grant was also at one time a Democrat. But the changes in the country and in the Democratic Party’s failure to offer a platform to save the Union pushed Grant into the arms of the Republican Party and closer to Lincoln, whom Grant admired deeply. He was a fastidious believer in the equality of all human beings. This was the prime motivating factor for Grant in acting to move the country toward the political and social equality of the races.

Grant believed in equal justice for all Americans. In a famous exchange with Otto von Bismark after Grant retired from public service, Bismark observed that Grant had to fight to save the Union. Grant countered: “Not only save the Union, but destroy slavery.” This is the kind of resolve we saw in Trump on January 20: He is the same man as president as he was in his campaign. How refreshing.

In his inaugural speech, Trump flayed over 100 years of progressive thought by remembering the forgotten man. This was the real forgotten man, not the convenient creation served up by FDR to justify his welfare state and paper over his European style progressivism in American fashions. FDR’s forgotten man was degraded not only by the patronizing control of many of FDR’s policies, but even more by the flagrant violation of his consent that those policies assured. The forgotten of the 1930s were expected to pay for the largess of their betters as Amity Shlaes aptly points out. Progressives believe in taking power from the people, but Trump believes in its return: “[T]oday we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another,” said Trump, “or from one party to another—but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.”

Trump reiterated in a few short paragraphs that the business of America is business, meaning, that the government should provide a free space to live and work without faceless unelected bureaucrats imposing s soft despotism on its citizenry. This cold heart of the administrative state has had the effect of driving business from our shores through regulation, and it has allowed crime and the education politburo to infect our cities.

In response, Trump sounded the return to an ancient faith of respect for the enlightened consent of the people: “Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.” Trump speaks to all Americans in a language that seeks understanding from citizens rather than accolades from the literati. He does this because he respects public opinion and seeks to address it where it actually is. He does not criticize them or try to elevate himself above them with words they may regard as polished but meaningless.  America saw enough of that in the the constant barrage of sermons emanating from the Obama White House and the Democrat Party under him. Trump actually likes Americans as they are, while Obama and the Democrat Party have made it abundantly clear (using words like “deplorable” to describe us) that they do not. Instead, they think Americans are only “potentially” worthy of admiration and respect—worthy only by becoming more like progressives in our habits and opinions. Suzanne and I concluded more than a year ago that we could not vote for someone who despises us or our country, and why should we?

Trump believes in this country, and he spoke to our love of it when he said,

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.

We have always believed there was something special about this country in spite of its blemishes and faults. The difference between this country and others is the standard by which we judge governments and personal action. The natural rights of mankind are unchangeable and no government that does not seek to secure them for its people is legitimate or worthy of its people’s respect. This idea, which Trump wholeheartedly endorses, is the antithesis of despotism. He invoked liberty and equality when he uttered these now famous words: “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” In this sentence, he reflected on the goodness that is the American Idea. It is not patriotism per se that Trump is saying is good, it is the fact that America is rooted in good that makes American patriotism good. Believing in America’s goodness and in its ideas as expressed in our Declaration of Independence, eradicates prejudice. Being a good American makes you a better person.

As we watched the inaugural and marveled at his speech, we were struck by his rejection of the progressive ideals that so infect both parties. Trump claimed that America should pursue its interests. For too long, we have watched America pursue the interests of other nations while forgoing our own. This policy has made a hash of our budgets and our military. Circumspection now is the standard, not a reflexive militarily interventionism along with a one sided sellout of our economy in the name of supposed free markets, which are really not free.

Donald Trump helped us both to rediscover the almost forgotten, but forever worthy and admirable, Republican party after Lincoln and before Hoover. After Lincoln we had Grant, and in between Grant and Reagan, we had McKinley and Coolidge—these men were anti-progressive and adapted the American Idea to their times.

Trump is no different. Trump is a clarifier and a uniter—so much so that he politically united our family.

When we met, Suzanne informed me that her family was related to Ulysses S. Grant. She thought I was joking when I proposed immediately, but I was quite serious. Now she knows why.

 

About the Author: and

Erik Root

Erik Root, Ph.D is a writer living in North Carolina.

  • jack dobson

    ” soft despotism of an ever growing administrative state.”

    The Deep State despotism isn’t soft at all. Apparently its janissaries enrolled in civil disobedience schools recently, per news accounts today. The education isn’t needed by the 900 State Department employees who protested Trump’s sane and America First refugee order. Maybe they can be re-educated prior to being forced out but don’t depend on it.

    ” Progressives believe in taking power from the people, but Trump believes in its return”

    Absolutely. Therein lies the fear of the autocrats who run the Deep State.

    ” Suzanne and I concluded more than a year ago that we could not vote for someone who despises us or our country, and why should we?”

    “Vote for us, we hate you” was a pretty bad slogan. It took a long time to destroy the Democrats and the left-wing because there is a lot of rot in rot.

    “Trump claimed that America should pursue its interests. For too long, we have watched America pursue the interests of other nations while forgoing our own. This policy has made a hash of our budgets and our military. Circumspection now is the standard, not a reflexive militarily interventionism along with a one sided sellout of our economy in the name of supposed free markets, which are really not free.”

    Trump would do well to adopt a policy of American glasnost and declassify enough material so that the people can see the depth of the betrayal.

    Beautiful, insightful essay as tends to be the case here. Thanks.

  • QET

    I am inclined to the same hope, but Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before having done a thing solely because he was Obama. Let’s not make the same mistake with Trump. His election certainly demonstrated the intellectual and moral depravity of the Left and that is a good thing no matter what happens. But I propose waiting to see what Trump actually does over a meaningful stretch of time (perhaps 2 years?) before awarding him the American Greatness Medal of Freedom.

    • AEJ

      We do need to hold all the feet to the fire. If any of the Pols, DJT included, act in ways to block the return of control of gov’t to We the People, we need to speak out. That is what we expect and that is what the Pols need to do in response to their being elected to represent us. So far, looking good. But we can’t get lazy; Conservative Inc II can always be right around the corner.

    • Fred Freud

      More accurately, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize solely because he was the First Black President. A fact that made him the subject of many unearned accolades.

      Like the writer of this essay, my wife and I are both Republicans and were duped into voting for Obama in 2008 also thinking he would bring, among other positives, reconciliation between the races. He brought about the opposite.

  • AEJ

    Excellent article, Erik Root.
    And you chose well and are very lucky she said “yes”. Congrats!

  • CaptSmith415

    I totally see it:

    Grant: A war hero

    Trump: A hero in his fight against VD

    Grant: A drunk

    Trump: Doesn’t drink, but acts like a drunk

    Grant: Wanted to annex Santo Domingo

    Trump: Wants to steal Iraqi oil

    Grant: Oblivious to corruption in his cabinet

    Trump: Oblivious to corruption in his business dealings

    Grant: Promoted martial law in the South

    Trump: Promotes martial law in the inner cities

    Grant: Waged war against the uncivilized Indians

    Trump: Waging war against the undocumented immigrant

    • AEJ
      • MrLynn

        You’re looking at the wrong end of that donkey. It’s the other one you’re following.

        • AEJ

          I’m thinking he’s the horse.
          “I totally see it”, the horse claims.

    • QET

      Trump: Wants to steal Iraqi oil.

      Bush, Cheney and Halliburton already stole it all, you dolt. Don’t you remember? If not, go to the basement and get out the photos of yourself holding “No War for Oil” signs in front of the White House in 2004. Now do you remember?

      • CaptSmith415

        If the oil was stolen by GWB, then why did the Great Donald say he regretted not stealing it after the war?
        Would you rather me mention that the Great Donald now wants to go to war with Mexico and Iran?

        • Fred Freud

          None of your assertions is supportable by facts. You are simply another anti-Trump troll, come to stir up childish trouble while adults are having civilized discourse. Begone!

  • MrLynn

    Some of us knew Obambi was bad news as soon as we learned his history: Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayres, ‘Reverend’ Wright, et al. After his disasterous eight years, I thought the time was ripe for a conservative revolt, a return to traditional American values. But I must admit I thought Donald Trump was a joke. It took me a while to realize that not only does “The guy at the end of the bar” (as I called him) not drink, he was possessed of more common sense than all of the rest of the cattle-show Republicans standing on the ‘debate’ stages with him, put together. We desperately needed someone who could laugh at liberal cant and call out the the Left and the timorous Republican establishment for their self-righteous hypocrisy. It was August of last year before I came round, after watching a video of The Trump (as I came to call him) testifying before a Senate committee in 2005:

    https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/trumped-by-the-trump/

    I began to realize that here was a man of uncommon ability and ‘street smarts’, who despite living a life of vast riches, could roll up his shirt sleeves and get down in the sub-basement with the guys cleaning up the flood, and enjoy it. And in the process, he would say exactly what you were thinking. This is an uncommon ability, and I think it will carry him far in the estimation of the American public, even those turned off by his penchant for the impolitic. Just today, he said (to paraphrase), “Don’t pay attention to what they’re telling you about those phone calls to foreign leaders. Sometimes you have to be a little rough.”

    And you know what? Sometimes you do.

    /Mr Lynn

    • Fred Freud

      For the first time since I began voting in 1976, I planned to sit-out the 2016 election. After ping-ponging between the two parties until, by 2000 voting 3rd party as protest statements (other than an unfortunate vote for Mr. Obama in 2008). I thought Donald Trump’s candidacy was a publicity stunt that would end in a month or so. I had never seen his tv program and paid little attention to him. Frankly, I always thought he seemed complete ass and didn’t even bother to listen to his campaign.
      But after what he was saying started seeping through my obliviousness, I was surprised by the directness in addressing issues and viewpoints always ignored by every candidate during my lifetime. I became so sold, as did my wife, that we volunteered to work for his campaign in our state. Is he perfect? Of course not; who is? But he is smart, tough, and compared to most all Washington politicians, honest. The swamp must be drained or our free nation will not survive. If he cannot do it, then no one can.

  • C.F. Horizon

    Interesting article, Erik. Your optimism is inspiring:

    “… a United States still rooted in the American Founding and in the natural equality of all human beings”

    Some people say that the founding of the U.S. wasn’t about the “equality of all human beings.” They choose to focus on the unequal parts like slavery and all that happened to the natives. But I like you Erik, you focus on the positive! It’s the idea that “all Men are created equal” that really matters, not the bad things that happened to only some people. It’s like you say:

    “Believing in America’s goodness and in its ideas as expressed in our Declaration of Independence, eradicates prejudice.”

    If you believe in ideas that are good, and I mean really really believe in the really really good ideas, then the bad things (like prejudice!) will actually just be gone. Eradicated!

    But it’s your optimism about our new president that really makes me happy:

    “Trump is a clarifier and a uniter”

    I’m with you on this, Erik! Some people are saying that Trump is not uniting this country but I don’t listen to them. Some people are protesting right now, but they will come around once they just believe, like we do, that Trump is actually a uniter. He is uniting everyone right now, they just don’t all know it yet!

    • Jmaharry

      Trump is a liar. He lies daily. He lies about little things and big things. He lies like other folks breathe — frequently, regularly, and without really thinking about it. When his lies are revealed and repudiate, he just keeps repeating the same lies. He’s a pig and a coward — the good news is that he’s so deeply corrupt that he certainly won’t live out his term.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/27/president-trumps-first-seven-days-of-false-claims-inaccurate-statements-and-exaggerations/?utm_term=.74676887b29e

      • Fred Freud

        Little reported by the Washington Post any longer has credibility. They have been blinded by their anti-Trump fervor and, therefore, continually mis-lead their readers. Your assertions are likewise contaminated.

        • Jmaharry

          Please, provide a credible source for your assertion that the Washington Post lacks credibility. Then point to a series of lies or distortions of which the paper’s been guilty.
          Trump is a grotesque. A clown. Worse, a coward. And, of course resolutely and deeply a liar. It’s hilarious to see millions of Christianists prove their utter hypocrisy — or, is it gullibility — as they embrace a proven liar.

          As you try to find one falsehood perpetrated by the Post — which isn’t infallible, of course — take a gander of Trump’s lies. In his first week in office:

          “Here’s an accounting of his public statements in the first seven days as president, not counting his error-plagued inauguration speech (which had eight problematic claims).

          – ‘‘I remember hearing [when I was young] from one of my instructors, ‘The United States has never lost a war.’ And then, after that, it’s like we haven’t won anything. We don’t win anymore.’’ – Jan. 21, remarks at the CIA.

          This is debatable. At the very least, one might count the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the end of the Cold War as victories for the United States.

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          – ‘‘I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community.’’ – Jan. 21, remarks at the CIA.

          On Dec. 9, when The Washington Post reported that intelligence officials had concluded that Russia had sought to undermine Hillary Clinton in the election, the Trump team issued a statement: ‘‘These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.’’ After information leaked that Trump had been briefed that an unverified dossier alleged Russia had embarrassing information about him, Trump lashed out at the intelligence agencies and asked: ‘‘Are we living in Nazi Germany?’’ The media simply reported what Trump said about the intelligence community.

          – ‘‘I looked out, the field was – it looked like a million, million and a half people. … The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.’’ – Jan. 21, remarks at the CIA

          Speaking to employees at the CIA, Trump complained about news coverage showing his inauguration crowd was smaller than Barack Obama’s crowd in 2009. Trump’s crowd did not go all the way to the Washington Monument. No matter how you calculate it, Trump’s crowd was significantly smaller than Obama’s crowd – and the Women’s March on Washington the next day.

          – ‘‘We have the all-time record in the history of Time Magazine. … I’ve been on it for 15 times this year.’’ – Jan. 21, remarks at the CIA.

          Trump has been on the cover of Time magazine a total of 11 times. Richard Nixon holds the record – 55. Depending on whether you count small photographs or not, Hillary Clinton has been on the cover between 22 and 31 times.

          – ‘‘Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!’’ – Jan. 22, tweet.

          Trump appeared to be responding to criticism of his heavily political speech in front of the CIA’s fabled memorial wall. He claimed to have received standing ovations, but he never invited the employees to take a seat. So they remained standing the whole time. (Trump later in the week repeated that he got ‘‘a standing ovation.”)

          – ‘‘Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the Inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!’’ – Jan. 22, tweet.

          Actually, Obama’s ratings in 2009 were 7 million people higher than Trump’s numbers. Second-term inaugurals tend to get lower ratings, so Trump is cherry-picking the comparison.

          – ‘‘I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment. I have received awards on the environment.’’ – Jan. 23, remarks during a meeting with business leaders.

          There is little evidence that Trump received awards for the environment. The White House pointed us to a self-published book by Trump’s former environmental consultant. The only award mentioned in that book was from New Jersey Audubon – but the group denied it ever gave an award to Trump, the Trump National club in Bedminster or any of its employees.

          – ‘‘We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent. Maybe more.’’ – Jan. 23, meeting with business executives.

          This is clearly a made-up figure. As of the end of 2015, there were nearly 180,000 pages in the code of federal regulations. So, in theory, that means getting it down to 45,000 pages. There were 71,000 pages back in 1975. Even under Ronald Reagan, the number of pages climbed almost 20 percent.

          – ‘‘Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.’’ – Jan. 23, remarks to congressional leaders.

          This is a fantasy. Trump is obsessed with how he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, and so he keeps making this claim even though there is no evidence to support it.

          – ‘‘This is on the Keystone pipeline. … A lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs. Great construction jobs.’’ – Jan. 24, remarks on signing executive memorandum.

          In contrast to Obama, who always played down the number of jobs that would be created by the Keystone XL pipeline, Trump inflated the numbers. The project would create part-year work in four states for 10,400 workers, the State Department determined. That added up to a total of 3,900 annual construction jobs. About 12,000 other annual jobs would stem from direct spending on the project. So that adds up to 16,000, most of which are not construction jobs.

          – ‘‘I just signed two executive orders that will save thousands of lives, millions of jobs, and billions and billions of dollars.’’ – Jan. 25, remarks at the Department of Homeland Security.

          Trump lauded two executive actions regarding immigration and border security, including building a wall along the border of Mexico. Again, the numbers appear to have little basis in reality. Just building the wall is estimated to cost as much as $25 billion – before annual maintenance costs.

          – ‘‘Before we go any further, I want to recognize the ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and border patrol officers in this room today and to honor their service and not just because they unanimously endorsed me for president.’’ – Jan. 25, remarks at the Department of Homeland Security.

          The unions for ICE agents and border patrol officers did endorse Trump in 2016 campaign. But they did not do so unanimously. Hillary Clinton received 5 percent of the vote of the ICE membership, according to a statement by the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council. The National Border Patrol Council endorsement, meanwhile, was based just on the vote of 11 union leaders, which sparked controversy among union members. Agents in El Paso, in a 14-13 vote, narrowly failed to have the local union disavow the endorsement.

          – ‘‘We ended up winning by a massive amount, 306. I needed 270. We got 306.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          Trump’s electoral college margin was relatively narrow by historical standards. He ranks 46th out 58 elections. A switch of about 40,000 votes in three states would have swung the election to Clinton.

          – ‘‘Then he’s groveling again. You know I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they want to write something that you want to hear but not necessarily millions of people want to hear or have to hear.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          Trump attacked the author of a 2012 Pew Center on the States report for saying his report did not back up Trump’s claims of voter fraud. Trump suggested the researcher had changed his tune, but when the report was issued the author repeatedly explained it did not reflect voter fraud.

          – ‘‘Of those [allegedly illegal] votes cast, none of ‘em come to me. None of ‘em come to me. They would all be for the other side. . . . They all voted for Hillary.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          Not only is there no evidence of massive voter fraud, but there is no way Trump could possibly know this.

          – ‘‘They say I had the biggest crowd in the history of inaugural speeches. . . . We had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          Crowd estimates are difficult, but attendance for Trump’s speech appears to be at least 80 percent smaller than Obama’s 2009 swearing-in, 70 percent smaller than Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration and 60 percent smaller than Obama’s second inauguration in 2013. In terms of TV viewership, Trump ranks fifth, far behind Ronald Reagan. Even online estimates don’t boost him to ‘‘biggest audience.’’

          – ‘‘When President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          No one was shot and killed in Chicago on Jan. 10, 2017, the day Obama gave his farewell speech, according to the Chicago Police Department.

          – ‘‘We should’ve taken the oil. And if we took the oil you wouldn’t have ISIS. And we would have had wealth.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          Trump, in the interview, said experts who said this would violate international law were ‘‘fools.’’ But there are practical problems, too. In 2015, Iraq produced about 4 million barrels a day, enough crude oil to fill more than 700 Trump Towers. Securing all of the oil, including in the northern Iraq where the Islamic State exists, would require a military force larger than the one that invaded Iraq in 2003.

          – ‘‘We have spent as of one month ago $6 trillion in the Middle East.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          Trump is lumping together the wars in Iraq (in the Middle East) and Afghanistan (in South Asia), which together cost about $1.6 trillion from 2001 to 2014. He is also adding in estimates of future spending, such as interest on the debt and veterans care for the next three decades.

          – ‘‘You had millions of people that now aren’t insured anymore.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          In attacking the Affordable Care Act, Trump repeats a whopper. Some 20 million people have gained health coverage because of the law. About 2 million people were told their old plans no longer qualified under the law, but after an uproar, most received waivers that kept the plans going until the end of 2017. In any case, anyone whose plan was terminated could buy new insurance.

          – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) said Obamacare ‘‘is no longer affordable’’ and Bill Clinton said ‘‘Obamacare is crazy.’’ – Jan. 25, interview with ABC News.

          Trump takes both comments out of context and twists their meaning. Dayton faulted Republicans for refusing to adjust the law, which he said made insurance ‘‘no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people.’’ Bill Clinton’s remark about a ‘‘crazy system’’ referred to the fact that people who did not qualify for insurance subsidies did not have a way to buy into Medicare or Medicaid.

          – ‘‘NAFTA has been a terrible deal, a total disaster for the United States from its inception, costing us as much as $60 billion a year with Mexico alone in trade deficits.’’ – Jan. 26, remarks to congressional Republicans.

          The trade-deficit number is close to correct, but Trump apparently does not understand the meaning of ‘‘trade deficit.’’ He often suggests this money could be used to pay for his planned wall along the southern border. But that’s nonsensical. A trade deficit only means that people in one country are buying more goods from another country than people in the second country are buying from the first country. No money passes from government to government.

          – ‘‘We want to get our people off of welfare and back to work. So important. It’s out of control. It’s out of control.’’ – Jan. 26, remarks to congressional Republicans.

          ‘‘Welfare’’ is a broad term and can apply to people who are working but receiving some government assistance. If someone is receiving means-tested assistance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not working.

          Not all people eligible for welfare collect benefits. When they do, many of the benefits are contingent on the recipients working or actively searching for jobs, as a result of an overhaul of welfare signed into law by Clinton in 1996. And even low-income families receive some level of public assistance.

          Trump is apparently unaware that participation has declined in means-tested programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

          Caseloads in the TANF program have declined over the past 15 years, from about 2.4 million families to 1.6 million families. After its post-Great Recession peak in 2013, the number of people receiving food stamps has declined. In October 2016, there were 43.2 million people participating in the program, compared with 47.4 million in October 2013.

          – ‘‘Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady – I mean just terribly increasing.’’ – Jan. 26, remarks to congressional Republicans.

          This is wrong. Murders have declined significantly in Philadelphia over the past decade, from 397 in 2007 to 277 in 2016; the number has been below 300 for four straight years in a city that neared 500 in 1990. Not only that, but police records reviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer showed that in 2016, ‘‘there were fewer violent crimes than in any other year since 1979, the fewest number of property crimes since 1971, and the fewest number of robberies since 1969.’’

  • Jmaharry

    Trump’s tax cuts will drive an added $10 trillion in the next decade. He’s already in violation of the constitution, and is inviting unheard of levels of corruption in the executive branch by appointing charlatans, bigots, self-interested billionaire and ignoramuses. His refusal to reveal his taxes shields the public from the billions he owes the Chinese and Germans, inviting even further corruption. His campaign traitorously colluded with the Russians, and he coddles the murderous thug Putin while offending allies like Australia and Mexico. He’s insulted African Americans, the CIA and Muslims by incessantly bragging about his victory, which in fact was razor thing. He’s an unabashed liar, a fabulist — the millions of illegal voters, his inauguration crowds were bigger than Obama’s, etc etc — bent on distorting reality to his benefit. He’s an utter scumbag and deluded narcissist, a tool of the white nationalist Bannon, defiling our country, destroying our reputation across the world. Two weeks in office, and already he’s getting ready to grab America by the pussy — and shake hard. Yet, you like how he dresses. And, of course, “America first.” No surprise you’d like a phrase drawn directly from an avowed Nazi, racist and anti-semite like Lindbergh.

    • Severn

      This is you a few months back.

      the Orange one is about to get blown into cheap, made-in-China pieces by the HRC electoral juggernaut.

      Intelligent people, when proven wrong over and over again, rethink their premises. And then, there’s you and the rest of the psychotic Left …

      • jack dobson

        Their PR is quite effective, though. The brave efforts at Berkeley and demands to allow unimpeded travel of terrorists are among reasons Democrats are sure to regain the House and Senate in 2018 and reclaim the Oval Office in 2020. Unless National Review beats them to the punch and publishes an essay on “The Conservative Case for Animal Abuse,” the Left also may start stomping to death kittens and puppies to attract voters.
        Sorry. Any attempt at parodying these types is bound to fall short.

        • Jmaharry

          Name a Democrat who advocates for the unimpeded travel of terrorists. The truth is you can’t. And the truth is, lies and smears like this come so, so easily to wing nuts.

      • Jmaharry

        That was a nicely written piece of prose, if I do say so myself. I was wrong, yes, in that HRC only beat him by 3 million votes, but lost a critical slice of the rust belt to a lying charlatan. I was terribly wrong in that I under-estimated the very large number of rubes, racists and ignoramuses who would prove to be easy marks for this ridiculous buffoon. I was sorely in error because I never realized how many millions of good Christianists who embrace torture, repudiate charity, and who both fear and despise their fellow human beings. Note, of course, that you fail to take issue with a single one of the facts I used in my tear-down of the human shit-bag. Perhaps if you had any compelling facts to the contrary I’d reconsider my assessment of Trump. But I’ve had no reason to question my earlier assessment of our predator-in-chief. #IsurvivedtheBowlingGreenMassacre