All the "smart people" told us it wouldn’t. They are expecting something else. Something big. Something about a big blue wave.
Yet 2018 cannot be measured between the parties of Democrat vs Republican, Conservative vs. Liberal, or any other traditional political construct of left vs right.
Never-Trump right of center pundits and lobbyists have aligned themselves with Trump-hating leftists. Traditionally moderate blue-collar Democrats find themselves benefitting from the policies—and even tariffs—from a Republican White House. The economic boom has been unleashed, our enemies have sudden new-found respect for our word, and we may have a President who might actually qualify for a Nobel peace prize before summer arrives.
On Twitter this week a former republican pundit/lobbyist who claims Trump has "ruined her career" thought making a run at repeating conspiracy theories about who funds conservative opinion websites might loft her back into enough good graces that some network might pick her back up. I found myself briefly caught up in the debate because she is attacking a vital source of information that is helping all of us see things a bit more clearly in these confusing days.
People that painted themselves into inescapable corners during the 2016 campaign on both the left and right are suffering a derangement syndrome far worse than the critics of Obama or Bush ever represented.
And yet with the new alliances and misalignment of the traditional “what has been” where do we find ourselves at this point in the year 2018?
Here’s just a few things worth noting:
1. An economy that is continuing to aggressively grow, even though difficult realities exist. Considering that no one believed that 2017 would be a bull market for stocks, gold, jobs, and small business expansion for the entire year—and yet it was—even lower hopes persist for 2018. Yet having realized that the markets are relatively healthy, jobs continue to be created, small business continues to launch and expand, and investments are gaining in value. The Federal Reserve is trying to unload treasuries at a record amount each month, and while this is causing a monthly hiccup for a day or so, this in-essence reversal of quantitative easing is one of the most needed things for our currency to return to full health. Even though China is aggressively attempting to position themselves as the go-to currency with both oil and gold backing their notes, America is doing the needed work to make our currency stronger. More needs to be done, interest rates are going to rise, but the health of the hot economy is the cushion needed for some of these corrections to be implemented.
2. A serious message to the global community that we are no longer a doormat. Recent administrations have typically walked two compete narratives to the world stage. “Leading from behind”—sadly a phrase I wish had never been invented—really was expressed merely as a way to say we bow to the whims of what the majority of the United Nations has to say on any given issue. That was preceded of course by an administration that necessarily responded with abject strength in the aftermath of 9/11 but ended up devolving into arguments about “unilateral actions” and “going it alone” and eventually accusations of “nation building.” To be in favor of the “Oministration” one had to reject “Bush Strategery.” The new reality is one that has instructed NATO to pay their fair share. But it has also been one of thoughtful response militarily to a dictator who has gassed his own people—all the while not placing a single additional American military boot on the ground.
3. Things are working, that aren’t supposed to. When President Trump campaigned on the idea of making better deals with our international agreements like NAFTA and TPP many people rolled their eyes. Everybody knows that republicans are reflexively free-trade even if it means Americans workers have to deal with the fallout. Americans like “cheap stuff” and free trade is supposedly the only way to accomplish it. Factory and industrial workers had given up any hope of production returning to American shores. Our military meanwhile runs the risk of having broken down hardware, and eventually possibly not even the option of producing the raw materials we need to keep it strong. The President announced tariffs and those to his right in the free-trade-at-all-cost crowd began fainting, while union workers (many of whom had voted for Trump) sat up and wondered if this would actually make a difference. Before any of them even had the chance to go into effect, the main target of the tariffs—China—within weeks bellowed responses of tougher taxes on American goods. Eventually however they capitulated with reductions on imports, and a new conversation about what America gets and for what price was entered into. In his announcement of the tariffs the President made it clear that no nation will ever be forced to pay them. All they must do is make their policies towards trade with America more fair, and deal with us in a more even manner. Dozens of nations are now taking him up on the offer.
4. Serious national security success. With many issues still up in the air and yet to be decided this year, America is already in a definitively better place on multiple national security fronts. From his first international trip that took him to the middle east where he laid out that the region must take initial and primary responsibility for curbing the growth of terrorism within their borders, to his condemnation of NATO members’ bad behavior on paying their tab, to standing resolutely with Israel his earliest days demonstrated a seriousness not seen in a decade. The complete near annihilation of ISIS, his willingness to drop missiles on Damascus and his very serious consideration of complete incineration of the Iran deal is communicating to the bad guys that we notice their bad behavior and the season of tolerance for it is over. He’s sanctioned Russia—multiple times—and made it clear that anymore attempts by Putin to push him on major matters will be met with swift attention. And then there’s North Korea. A never-before-dreamed-of scenario where “the rocket man” begins Trump’s term firing rockets to within inches of one of our major allies (Japan), and within one year’s time, Kim Jong Un practically begging South Korea to help negotiate a sit-down where they begin voluntarily turning off their missile and nuke tests and systems still one month out from a time or place being settled upon.
In each of these areas and dozens more the administration is taking a serious and sober approach at disrupting the norm. They are attempting—and in many cases succeeding in ways and with methods that have been roundly condemned by the elites in the establishment swamp.
The administration has gained so much for its first 15 months in office it has literally reduced the opposing party to discussions of hookers, affairs, ten year old accusations, special counsel investigations, disgraced FBI directors, imaginary collusion, and even a literal conspiracy lawsuit for the election loss of 2016.
The resistance is literally turning into a self-fulfilling caricature. They are bankrupt. They have no priorities on how to make America’s standing in the world stronger, or the lives of Americans any better. And the amateur hour that is running the show for them is losing ground on the supposed groundswell that they will take back Congress with this fall.
Divorcing personalities from the equation, and just evaluating the success of the two sides — Disruption is killing the Resistance.
The question becomes “How long will this trend continue?"
The answer is likely “As long as it does… America wins!”