All year, I beat my head against my desk looking for the words to explain Trump’s unorthodox mode of “Trumping”. Time and again, those who disagreed with his goals said that his methods would fail. It would be easy, but in sufficient, to chalk it up to “wishful thinking” on their part. Over Christmas, it all came to me in a word: gadfly. That’s what Trump does.
The gadfly bites horses and makes them jump. Socially, the figurative “gadfly” prods and pokes at the comfortable status quo, stirs unrest, and splashes ice-cold water on the slumber party—all to provoke thought and change…
…Ah, change… Change is annoying and difficult. That’s the thing about it. We love to talk about change in results, but we rarely want to take the annoying and even painful steps to get those results. We tell ourselves that we want the results, but all to often we would rather live in the comfort of compromise and unreceived gifts.
…But, not this Christmas. This year, both Republicans and Democrats received the greatest gift possible in democracy: The nation was roused. Some object, some bask, but everyone is finally waking up.
As for the particulars and ideologies, the results are hard to argue with. Unemployment is truly down—not just a change in calculation methods to make things seem better than they are. The stock market is up. Companies are investing in America’s economy, creating jobs, and dumping bonuses like dirty dishwater thrown off the porch. More businesses and employees existing—and therefore actually paying taxes—more companies reporting profit instead of burying profits under the proverbial tax shelter “mattress”—a little is a lot more than zero; 21% of something is infinitely larger than 35% of nothing; Federal revenue can’t not go up.
Trump got that done—he made a real change—because he made people feel uncomfortable enough to get off the couch. One could even say that he took all the controversial backlash so that Congress didn’t need to worry about it. The results will convert many people into Conservative thinkers over the next year, whether they use the “Conservative” label or not.
The elephant left in the living room is “net neutrality”. Is it right for Verizon, let’s say, to decide what websites you can visit and how fast? Let’s wait and see what happens in the market and in Congress if they actually try.