Trump’s Glorious First Year

Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, declared Trump’s first year “a historic success.”

— Conor Friedersdorf, ‘Never Trump’ Will Be the Only Faction Still Standing When He’s Gone, The Atlantic, December 27, 2017.

Breathtaking, no? Ms. McDaniel’s declaration underlines the gulf between what the leadership of the Republican Party actually wants for America and what the rest of us want, including a fair percentage of the Trump nation. We are not, as a nation, neoliberals. The tax bill doesn’t exhilarate us. We do not regard an apotheosis of the market as the single most effective guarantor of freedom in the republic. On the contrary, we generally understand as a people that our freedom would be diminished more and more over time in a society radically committed to enforcing market outcomes. Freedom to the sky for the Koch brothers emphatically does not translate to enhanced freedom for you and me. Our freedom is maximized in a mixed economy undergirded by constitutional limitations on government. Social security maximizes overall freedom by relieving want among the elderly and others. So, too, medicaid and aid to education and many other programs. Neoliberalism is a false god, suspiciously co-extensive with greed, and it is the god the RNC worships on behalf of its well-heeled donor class.