Peggy Noonan’s article, “In Trump’s Washington, Nothing Feels Stable”.
I love this lady’s writing, always have. She is a Reaganite, she was a speech writer for him. Her job was to not only catch his feelings and emotions and put them into speeches but to help guide those emotions, make sense of them and put them into words and phrases that would resonate with Reagan’s voters. That message was a populist one too but with a more light hearted and folksy delivery than President Trump.
Her latest article I first heard about on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show driving to work. He basically lambasted her for it. Rush did admit that he didn’t read the article but the headline was enough for him. My problem is not his. I can’t afford a subscription to the WSJ so I can’t read her posts as they come out. They only give me a teaser to lure me into buying a subscription.
For her posts I have to wait a couple days until the Patriot Post publishes her articles. Then they are free. I was hoping that Peggy Noonan had made her headline as a teaser and then would in effect say that while things didn’t feel stable, anytime you make big changes to the whole bureaucratic culture things indeed don’t feel stable within that culture, and will not until those changes start to become the norm – that takes a while.
After finally getting and reading her article, I see she didn’t say what I had hoped. In fact she seemed pretty derogatory towards President Trump. Rush nailed it again. Why would I think otherwise?
However I do agree with some of her points.
But first let me say that the people voted for Trump because he promised to get things done and to fight the establishment and their way of doing (or not doing) things. He promised to do things which was different to start with. Peggy Noonan needs to come to grips that Donald Trump isn’t Ronald Reagan. Trump is who he is and if he was to change very much he would soon seem fake and false to his voters. Then he would have his base on top of all the other forces against him.
Secondly, Trump is an outsider and has been in office just a couple of weeks. I think I’ll give him a little time to work the kinks out of his new staff et al.
But I do agree that Trump could do 3 things to help himself out, I think he will and is indeed already starting.
1. Trump needs to help his allies help him, with a little warning and better communication of what he is going to do so they can get their own houses in order. How exactly you do that in the “Leak Fest” that is Washington I do not know.
A. Vice President Pence a former Congressman has taken an office in the Capital building. “He’ll have a place on the first floor of the Capitol, one floor down from Ryan’s and down the hall from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s, an area where lawmakers can easily reach the vice president.” That is a quote from the McClatchy news link below.
It seems Trump is still setting things up. Remember he still doesn’t have his full cabinet through the stubborn Senate.
2. Another quote from Noonan. “But this should be said: The president and his advisers are confusing boldness with aggression.” But even this while on its face seems correct it is misleading. The forces against him and his staff as she says are extensive. “…the Democrats and the press arrayed against them, half their party’s leaders wishing they’d go away…” Robert E. Lee knew the same feeling of being “up against it” and through audacious small surprise strikes he kept the enemy at bay and nearly won the day. What Peggy Noonan doesn’t seem to understand is that Trump NEEDS to keep his enemies unstable. How many times during the primary and campaign have we seen Trump called out for his Machiavellian tactics? How many times did those tactics work for him? Like they say, “the best defense is a good offense. Should he stop now? I think not.
But I’m not stupid, Lee lost the war. These tactics are best used by a smaller force. Again we need to help President Trump when we can however we can.
3. Don’t let the enemy know their own strength. On this Peggy was right.
I quote Noonan in this pearl of wisdom, the like of which she is so great at creating. I mean this literally, it is not satire. “You should never let your enemy know its own strength. They discovered it in the Women’s March, know it more deeply now, and demonstrated it to Democrats on the Hill. It was after the demonstrations that Democratic senators started boycotting the confirmation hearings. They now have their own tea party to push them around.”
This I totally agree with.
I do find it telling that Peggy Noonan thought of the tea party as pushing the Republicans around. They did of course but she seems to see them as an enemy. But back to topic.
When I first saw the candid shots on TV of the Women’s March I was immediately reminded of my being in the first big Tea Party rallies. Everyone showed up, like they were happy they made it to the party, but no one quite knew the reason for being there - what happens now? Everyone just looked around and you got a sense from their smiles that they knew one thing for sure, they were not alone. They felt community in that and their gathering – a sense of their strength. That was a rare thing to see. I saw that same sense from the regular people in the Women’s March – the same smiles and of doing something important but not quite knowing what. The bussed in agitators not so much.
In the case of the Tea Party that spontaneity lasted quite a long time, a year or more before the different groups on the right got better organized and took it over. With the Women’s March, the leftist groups took it over immediately, all the pop stars etc. telling the Women what to think. Then days after all the radical leftists and then the politicians came out in force trying to fly under that Woman’s March flag. That was so obvious that there is already a backlash from the everyday Americans who were in that march especially when they see the rioting and looting and the non-sense going on across the country.
How that backsplash plays out I don’t know.
What I do know is that when Rural/Mid America sees all the “fake” backlash to Trump that these radicals are spouting being put out by the Media, Dems, and the rest of his enemies; they know it for what it is. Propaganda. Big City, Big Government, and Big Media propaganda. The voters proved they knew BS when they saw it and in the only place they have a voice left they used it – in the election of Donald John Trump as President. Then the Media went back to ignoring them. Below is a link to some of the “fake news” that the media is going back to.
President Trump is a Reformer, he didn’t ignore them – he highlighted them. That is the reform Trump is trying to do. That is the social movement he is trying to motivate. That is why he is catching so much hell from so many in power. He is reforming the whole power base of Washington. As another Reformer of the past and guy who started the Democrat party Andrew Jackson said about reforming and the power of the people. “Democracy shows not only its power in reforming governments, but in regenerating a race of men and this is the greatest blessing of free governments.”
The question is are we willing to be regenerated? Do we still have what it takes to follow Jackson’s statement and demand to and fight for becoming self-governing again?
Arthur C. Brooks in his book “The Conservative Heart” in the chapter titled “How to Build a Social Movement” said four things needed to be done.
1. Launch a rebellion.
2. Declare majoritarian values.
3. Claim the moral high ground.
4. Unite the country behind an agenda.
Trump launched his rebellion and he declared majoritarian values hence he won the Primary and Election. He is struggling his hardest at claiming the high ground and uniting the country behind his agenda – he is struggling to get his message out. To do that he needs to follow some of Peggy Noonan’s advice about messaging and better communication – letting people know his agenda and why it is the “higher ground”. I’m willing to give him time to do that yuge task.
The country wants and needs a leader to get us out of this “malaise” of feeling impotent and useless and under the thumb of government. How he does that is what will be the proof in the pudding of the Trump Presidency. Peggy is right people will judge his claim to high ground by how he gets there. Peggy is wrong in that his people are willing to give him plenty of leeway in getting there. They trust him and know him to be honest in his goals. These people still have a voice even when the media drowns it out with their mumbling mania.
Regards, Bob Carr
Live Dangerously, Tell the Truth
PS. I look at Andrew Jackson as the original Reagan Democrat/Blue dog
“The great constitutional corrective in the hands of the people against usurpation of power, or corruption by their agents is the right of suffrage; and this when used with calmness and deliberation will prove strong enough.”