It is not rare that a top politician wants the good people to believe that a time of disaster preceded his rising to power and immediately followed his descent from the throne. How could the politician or his accomplices not see that this is a lie? Former president Donald Trump is not the only one to live in a lie, but he has special talents in that department: elect me and I’ll make America great and stop foreign collectivities from “taking advantage” of us collectively?
In New Hampshire on January 28, he gave other examples (“‘I’m More Angry Now’: Trump Returns to Campaign Trail for 2024 Race,” Financial Times, January 28, 2023):
We handed Biden a great economy, the fastest economic recovery ever recorded . . . but now families are being crushed.
My 2020 Regulation review of that great economy provides an antidote.
Trump also declared (“Trump Kicks Off 2024 Campaign Travel With New Hampshire, South Carolina Visits,” Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2023):
The 2024 election is our one shot to save our country and we need a leader who is ready to do that on day one.
What is perhaps more troubling is how many of the governed seem to believe in the political thaumaturge, whether it be Trump or somebody else. It is true that a politician can do a lot of damage in four years. But he can only do only limited good in that time frame. If he does much good, it is likely to be only for a few people to the detriment of others.
Feb 6 2023 at 1:04pm
Doesn’t that apply to Biden? Saying he inherited inflation when it was 1.4 when he arrived? And gas was an average of $2+? And pre-covid, the employment rate was about the same 3 point something as now though he claims a new “historic low”? And even then the base of those looking for work is distorted by those now not bothering to look? What about his fantasy success in the Afghan withdrawal? Or his claim that the border is now under control though he “inherited a mess” when the stats scream otherwise? I get that you hate Trump (not too fond of him myself) but why does that seemingly blind you to failure and dishonesty of this administration?
Feb 6 2023 at 1:51pm
Walt: I don’t hate Trump as such; but I do dislike in-your-face lies, hot air, and Judas kiss to liberty. And please note that I don’t refrain from criticizing Biden (“Trump 2.0”): see, for example, my Regulation article “Biden’s Protectionism: Trumpism with a Human Face.” You will find other examples if you ask Google “”pierre lemieux” “Joe Biden”.” Another quick remark: the head of the US government has no power on gasoline prices–except to coerce them up or subsidize them down–which further illustrates my claim above.
Feb 8 2023 at 8:16pm
I don’t know what unilateral power the President has to coerce prices up or subsidize them down. But I think the President gets to authorize sales and purchases regarding the strategic petroleum reserve–and, thus, may be able to exercise some (small) power over gas prices using good ol’ supply and demand.
Feb 8 2023 at 8:47pm
Nobody: I hadn’t thought of the strategic petroleum reserve. My guess is that it would be, as you suggest, a small influence on down-prices, but compensated by up-prices when he wants to replenish it. It’s size is about one-third of American consumption during a year.
Feb 9 2023 at 10:57am
On the margin, the SPR will affect prices, but only very minorly. If I recall correctly, with the last release from the SPR, the Biden Administration released about 10 days supply of oil, spread out over 180 days (The US uses approximately 18 million barrels of oil per day and he released 1 million barrels per day for 180 days).
Feb 6 2023 at 3:36pm
Certainly, Trump doesn’t have the monopoly on the “make America great again” slogan. It was used previously by Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton (at least) in their presidential campaigns.
But the frequent use of this slogan (by “socialist of both parties”), is just a corollary of the politicians’ thaumaturgic tendencies pointed out by Pierre.
[Although I do believe that Trump is a master, wayyy better than his predecessors when it comes to “thaumaturgic abilities”. After all if you don’t need to fake your manichaean view of the world, you are going to be much more efficient in communicating this kind of view to your “so ready to buy it” constituency]
Feb 6 2023 at 6:36pm
José: Interesting hypothesis! If your are a good guy playing the bad guy (for partisan purposes), your goodness may show (your underskirt may show below your skirt). If you are a bad guy through and through, you need not be concerned by that risk!
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