by Jeffery Rendall
If we’ve learned anything about Donald Trump in the three years he’s been a full-time politician it’s he’s concerned with restoring and bolstering the American “brand.” It goes without saying that the reputation of the red, white and blue took a beating during Barack Obama’s eight years behind the president’s desk.
Obama famously ordered the White House lit up with rainbow-colored lights but refused to wear an American flag pin. What a disgrace.
Not so with Trump. Whether it’s a state visit to Europe to persuade Europeans to pay their committed share of GDP for their own defense or simply insisting that the United States government bring back the words “Merry Christmas” every December, Trump exudes the implication that under his stewardship American exceptionalism is back and we’re no longer afraid to show it.
Now comes word Trump would like Air Force One to be repainted to show a little more outwardly American distinctiveness. Katelyn Caralle of the Washington Examiner reported, “President Trump is looking to give Air Force One a new paint job to give it a ‘more American’ look.
“Instead of keeping up with the 55-year-old tradition of white and robin’s-egg blue, the president wants it to be red, white, and blue, Axios reported.
“Trump sat down with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg in the Oval Office in February to personally work out the $4 billion deal for the new 747s. Besides just a redesign of the planes, Trump also wants to make the presidential bed larger and more comfortable.”
Democrats will likely have a field day with this one – and I’m not talking about the bed part. They’ll probably claim Trump just seeks to make the official president’s plane into a bigger and grander version of the Trump campaign plane for his 2020 run. They’ll likely even accuse him of wanting the plane to look different so he can plate it with gold and paint “TRUMP” on the side.
There’s only one problem – the plane won’t be ready until 2021 at the earliest. It’s possible Trump might not even get the chance to take advantage of the newer, flashier editions of Air Force One. But here’s thinking he will, for obvious reasons.
Is Trump really out of line by suggesting Air Force One should look more the American part? Caralle additionally reported the plane’s current look was approved by John F. Kennedy in the early sixties. And what’s the deal with “robin’s egg blue?” What’s next, will someone suggest making Old Glory’s star field “robin’s egg blue,” too?
Whether Trump’s repaint the aircraft idea ever comes to fruition is a topic for another day. What’s important now is the reaffirmation of the notion Trump ponders every detail regarding image and presentation. The perfectionist in him means everything he does is by design – so much for those who claim he’s unpredictable and volatile and says things he doesn’t mean. Trump occasionally takes back something he’s said, but it doesn’t happen often.
It’s also refreshing to have a president so concerned with keeping promises. Trump may not always accomplish what he’d set out to do but that doesn’t stop him from giving it his best effort.
Of course one of Trump’s long-stated goals was to put Americans back to work after nearly a decade of economic stagnation. All signs indicate he’s making headway here too. Joseph Lawler reported in the Washington Examiner, “New applications for unemployment insurance benefits dropped 18,000 to 214,000 in the first week of July, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.
“Forecasters had expected around 225,000 new jobless claims. Instead, they fell more than expected to the lowest since May, when claims were plumbing the lowest levels since the 1970s.
“Low claims are a good sign. They suggest that layoffs are rare and that job creation is high.”
Another month, another positive sign the economy is doing well. Lawler’s article also indicated the number of individuals receiving unemployment insurance (which can be taken up to 26 weeks) is at the lowest rate since 1973. This means not only are fewer people finding themselves in the unemployment line, the ones who do are finding a new job quicker. Newly liberated from the destructive regulatory shackles of leftist ideology-driven Democrat administrations businesses are adding new positions and hiring more people to man them.
Most reassuring is the notion that the American work ethic is back too. Under a president who cares deeply about the American image and “brand,” it’s now in vogue for the productive class to work hard and better oneself without relying on the government to serve as a safety net — or a motivator. Democrats and liberals claim Trump’s immigration policies are cruel and unhuman, for example, but they’re really a signal to working folks that the government’s doing everything in its power to ensure Americans get first dibs at jobs and opportunities.
The attitude is pervasive. True, Trump’s pro-business policies and leadership provide the foundation for companies to expand and hire but his “Make America Great Again” can-do outlook is changing people from the inside. In the eighties it was often said Ronald Reagan restored Americans’ pride in our country after the “malaise” years of feckless dolt Jimmy Carter. Well, Trump’s doing similar attitude-reconstruction on the heels of the divisive negative downer that was the Obama presidency.
For far too long Americans understood the system was stacked against them and they had no say when government took over huge chunks of their lives. Democrats forced Obamacare down our throats in 2010 and voters kicked them out of the majority in Congress (in 2010 and 2014) because of it. Obama then overstepped his constitutional bounds to grant amnesty to illegal aliens in 2014; the people remembered and Trump did the impossible in 2016 – defeat the Washington establishment to recapture the presidency for the GOP.
Largely due to Trump’s example grassroots groups are feeling empowered once again to fight back against the ruling class. Out in Oregon citizens fought hard to put an initiative on the ballot this November to ban sanctuary cities. Valerie Richardson reported in the Washington Times, “There’s virtually no chance that the uber-progressive Oregon legislature would ever repeal the state’s oldest-in-the-nation sanctuary law, which is why locals worried about illegal immigration have turned to the voters.
“The Stop Oregon Sanctuaries campaign submitted roughly 110,000 signatures last week to qualify an anti-sanctuary measure for the November ballot, more than the 88,000 required, stunning liberal activists and laying the groundwork for a landmark ballot battle.
“’This has national ramifications and our opponents know that,’ said Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which led the petition drive. ‘The thing that people don’t realize is that very seldom do citizens get to vote on immigration issues. They’re always legislated upon us. And that’s particularly the case in Oregon. We never get a say.’”
Isn’t it funny how many times in the “Land of the Free” we hear from citizens complaining they aren’t being heard by the powerful elites?
Meanwhile Democrats waste time carping about lack of proportional representation in Congress (despite winning more raw votes in nationwide elections) but don’t give a hoot about liberal state and local assemblies ignoring the will of their constituents to pass “sanctuary” laws the people obviously don’t approve of. The effort in Oregon was a true grassroots undertaking to show the Democrat dominated Beaver State legislature who’s boss.
It’s the same type of anti-establishment fervor that propelled Trump to victory two years ago. Richardson’s article indicated big money is already being dedicated to defeating the initiative, but the people have their own ideas about what’s right. “I think there’s going to be more of a movement as people realize that enforcement of our laws is good because it protects the community,” said Shari Rendall, state and local director for FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform). “I think people are very tired of our laws not being enforced.”
Yes, Americans are indeed weary of their wishes being trounced by elites who think they know better than average people about what’s reasonable and proper. The concept of government by the few was rejected by the American colonists during the revolution and their fighting spirit is still very much evident today with grassroots uprisings like the one in Oregon. Older Americans remember the days when politicians paid mind to the will of the voters and favored their interests over people who technically possess no rights (because they’re here illegally).
Democrats attempt to turn the sanctuary issue into a humanitarian question. These people are only coming here for a better life, right? If that’s the case then why don’t they wait in line like hopefuls from everywhere else in the world?
Perhaps even worse is being lectured on the subject by the Europeans, who have severe immigrant-related problems of their own creation. Michael Brendan Dougherty of National Review wrote, “It is time for Europe to grow up. Many of the criticisms their publics,[sic] their press, and their politicians throw at Trump and America have some merit. It’s true that Trump is undiplomatic and he can be obnoxious to allies. Many Europeans are currently advertising their revulsion at Trump’s family-separation and detention policies at the border. Those policies deserve criticism.
“But, Europe is the continent whose migration policies have turned Libya into a smuggler’s paradise. It was European migration policies that tolerated the sordid Calais jungle. It was Europe who recently cut a deal with the petty tyrant Erdogan to keep migrants out. And it is Europe that is preparing to set up encampments outside its borders to deal with migrants. What do you think those will look like? …
“Sometimes friendships turn toxic. And like anyone who has been enabled and enfeebled by a relationship, Europe is lashing out as it is discovering the truth about what the U.S. really thinks of it. Let it lash out for a bit. This is a partnership based on deep ties of history, civilization, and mutual interests, and one side of it really does have to grow up and make decisions like an adult.”
It’s not that Europeans are being childish as much as they’re utterly unrealistic and selfish. The modern-day notion of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” being healthy for ancient societies has been debunked by experience over and over again. The “salad bowl” mentality has replaced the old-fashioned but time-tested melting pot and the world is not better off because of it.
Largely unvetted Muslim immigration transformed old Europe with the emergence of no-entry migrant enclaves now dominating swaths of formerly sovereign soil. These zones are populated by souls who neither wish to assimilate nor will be compelled to do so. This can’t end well. The terrorist attacks we’ve witnessed in the past few years are likely just the tip of the iceberg. The powder keg is lit; when will it blow?
As a realist, Donald Trump recognizes it and isn’t shy about saying so. It’s all part of the “rebranding” of America that’s so evident under his leadership. People who grew up in the 80’s (such as myself) understand this truth very well.
Scott McKay wrote at The American Spectator, “[F]or now, Trump is doing just fine with the 40-somethings. And if he continues to deliver the economic results the country has enjoyed so far, he’ll do even better.
“What’s more, his success will likely deliver a bumper crop of Gen X’er leaders into the system, unafraid of the media-entertainment establishment’s enforced political correctness and willing to be brash about forcing government out of the hands of the elite.
“And after two decades of Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas, and the palpable societal decline attendant in their ineffectual leadership, that’s a breath of fresh air — no matter how unexpected it might be.”
Anyone who’s beheld the changes in America for the past couple decades understands why Trump is making such a huge splash in our country today. Trump didn’t start the fire but he’s supplying plenty of fuel and oxygen to keep it burning bright – and those who loved (and continue to revere) the old America understand why he’s so admired by his supporters.
It’s no secret Donald Trump will never be accepted as a member of the DC ruling class, but his backers don’t care and he himself is far from bothered by it. Trump will succeed in his drive to improve the American brand – whether the media or political elites ride along is irrelevant.