What is the MAGA agenda? There isn’t much of one. There’s been no real plan for the opioid crisis or the revival of declining regions, no credible promise of great new infrastructure projects. Beyond a few easily reversed executive orders Trump has done nothing to make our immigration system sensible or serve the interests of lower-wage Americans. There’s been a lot of empty gesturing meant to look like substantive action — a phony trade war with China that ended in Trump begging for a few extra soybean purchases from swing states, a few hundred miles of border fencing funded out of the Pentagon’s coffers, rather than Mexico’s. Insofar as Trump has an agenda of any substance, it is a pre-existing one that he didn’t invent or modify: A massive tax cut for corporations paired with the partial elimination of a tax break for affluent blue-staters and the confirmation of lots of judges approved by the conservative legal establishment.
What is the Black Lives Matter agenda? The official BLM organization, the one that’s been in receipt of millions of dollars from the titans of global capitalism, has a statement of belief. The statement begins with racism and policing issues, which do rank in almost every survey as vitally important if not the most important issues among black voters. But what comes next? Do a search for words like “education” or “housing.” Nothing. Do a search for the most important institution in black life, the church. Nothing. A significant majority of blacks list “health-care” as one of the major issues that determines their vote. It’s not even referenced.
Instead, what do you find? The vapid cultural politics of academia talking to itself in the mirror.