First, let me lay to rest the idea that this was a backhanded slam against Reagan’s legacy. Hardly. I worked for the Gipper. He rebuilt the American economy and caused a quarter century-long boom in wealth creation and prosperity nearly unrivaled in American history. He won the Cold War and vanquished the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union. He belongs on Mount Rushmore.
But this is 2016, not 1986. The world is a different place. The concerns and priorities of the American people are different today than 30 years ago. The voters spoke with a thunder clap. Trump squashed his 16 GOP rivals — a field touted as the most talented field of wannabes in modern history — as if they were bugs crashing into his windshield. GOP voters opted for his new breed of economic populism. Republicans who were Never Trumpers and who insisted with absolute certainly that Trump could never win the primary let alone the general election can pretend that a political sonic boom didn’t happen.
Guess what? It did. A realignment occurred while all the high falutin’ intellectuals and political consultants were napping.
So yes, this means we have awoken to a new party that will be a lot tougher on illegal immigration. A lot more skeptical of lopsided trade deals. A lot more wary of foreign entanglements. More prone to spend money on infrastructure. I don’t approve of all of these shifts, but they are what the voters voted for. Trump was hardly ambiguous about what he intended to do. Trade and immigration are unambiguously good for the country — but it will have to be done in ways that are supported by the American people, not shoved down our throats by the elites. In this way, I am more of a populist. The elites in both parties have never understood Trumpism and often are contemptuous of the intellect and lifestyles of the Trump loyalists.
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