Midterm this, midterm that, midterm, midterm, midterm. It’s every other word in the news these days because we’re soon having an election testing whether this nation or any nation can long endure with an uncouth gorilla as president and a radically destructive opposition. We the people must decide which alternative will most likely save us, and I am siding with King Kong.
True, President Donald Trump is not running, but his reputation is out there, climbing tall buildings and thumping its chest while some Senate and all House seats are being contested in its shadow. Even if the Democrats win only the House, which is where most bets reside, we’re going to have two years of impeachment proceedings, attempted wreckage of the Supreme Court and cheers for high taxes that would overturn one of the best economic periods in U.S. history.
Trump of course has a veto, and a Republican Senate could also keep the worst from happening even if a long list of needs go unmet and coercive tricks are played. You might think, well, at least the Democrats will fight back on Trump’s international trade inanities and his coziness with a debt that could swallow all the good he has done, but no. They likely won’t.
Look at China, for instance. It is in many ways a serious threat. But the right way to deal with this second offering of Mao madness is not a bilateral tariff war that whomps Americans as it also whomps China. A better solution would be for America, the European Union and the rest of Asia to surround the Chinese like another great wall, this one inhibiting their aggression and cheating on such matters as stealing our intellectual property.
But even as Trump was easing up in his dislike of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with varied Asian countries, many Democrats were screeching “don’t you dare.” The plan would help the United States diplomatically and economically but would hurt a few businesses with their unions instructing Democrats on how to forfeit hope. On the issue of debt, Democrats have a plan that goes big, moving Niagara Falls to Washington, D.C., or, to put it less dramatically, giving us a spending gush making rescue next to impossible.
I am not a Trump worshipper. The misinformation in a typical speech almost always leaves fact checkers overworked. His tweets are ungrammatical, shallow, nasty and a national embarrassment. Given a choice between what’s petty and what’s important, he goes for the grain of sand. He is deeply in love with himself and ignorant. What’s amazing is that, out of all of this and more, he has given us higher median incomes for families, record small business optimism, wholly unanticipated manufacturing oomph and amazingly low unemployment rates.
Our economic growth is racing ahead like crazy and, in a recent speech, ex-POTUS Barack Obama said he did it. And, yes, he did do some wise stuff before regulating and taxing businesses to the point that vigorous economic growth came to require longer days, weeks, months and years. Sadly, the calendar didn’t budge and neither did his autocracy, his ability to raise racial tensions or his wanting to spend billions on unilaterally declared climate change programs that would, in effect, have amounted to Trump’s grain of sand.
But Obama is not running either, and so we have to step back and ponder the new Democrats who are more and more socialists now, not all that enamored of liberty, hepped up about incivility, forsaking common sense and willing to destroy all the best in us to topple Trump.
Look, I appreciate the poet Carl Sandburg writing that we have to choose between the “clenched fist” and the “asking hand held out and waiting” because we have to “meet by one or the other.” But maybe what comes closest to the asking hand is voting against the clenched fist in the midterms.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at email@example.com.