As we head into 2017 and the beginning of the Trump era I am reminded of something which Art Laffer, the former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan once told me, “If the economy is strong and people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed then all those political-social issues which tend to divide us become minimized”. I couldn’t agree more.
In fact, it’s how I originally became a conservative. Not long after graduating from college I found myself working as a financial adviser at the Wall Street firm Merrill Lynch. I quickly learned that capitalism discriminates against one color: green. While not perfect name me another system in the world that cares not about your family’s status, your religion, skin color, gender, gender preference, political views, and on and on and on? It doesn’t exist.
All of which gets me back to 2017, President-Elect Trump and today’s political environment. President Obama has said he would have defeated Trump had he been able to run for a third term. Yet all the numbers say otherwise. Since President Obama’s election in 2008 Democrats have lost over 1,000 seats. 1042 to be exact. During his eight years in office democrats have lost 9 U.S. Senate seats, 62 Congressional seats, 12 governorships, and a whopping 958 state legislative seats. They hold state level majorities in only seven states- the lowest since the Civil War!
This despite that President Obama enjoys a high approval rating among Americans. (57% according to a November CNN/ORC poll his highest level in seven years). In other words, Americans approve of the man personally, but not of his record.
And who can blame them? Currently there are a record number 93 million work eligible Americans who are unemployed and not even included in the government’s unemployment figures, health insurance costs are rising under Obamacare and according to a recent Harvard-Princeton University study 95% of all new jobs created the past eights years have been part-time or temporary jobs! Ninety-five per cent!
On the other hand Trump’s record low likeability rating suggests Americans may not approve of the man personally but they are more interested in what kind of job he can do with the U.S. economy.
Somewhere along the line over the past eight years or so we’ve become hyper-polarized. The elite media and the Left have mastered the art of diverting our attention from that which matters- jobs, job growth and individual opportunities regardless of one’s background- and focused our attention on our differences.
Donald Trump has an uphill battle as he enters office. The aforementioned elite media and Left are committed to delegitimizing him. Economic realities may force him to rethink his campaign pledges. But if he can deliver on the economy, create jobs- real jobs not part time or temporary ones- create an environment where all people and small to mid size businesses have a chance at success, then as Art Laffer once told me, our differences will become minimized. And with that Trump will have made good on his campaign promise to make America great again.
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