The Revolt

Mickey Shannon Photography
The Heartland of America

Joy Pullman over at The Federalist pulled some excerpts from Salena Zito and pollster Brad Todd’s 2018 book, The Great Revolt. It’s an excellent article based on the best book I’ve read on the Trump Revolt. I want to talk about one of her excerpts, which I think goes to the heart of many things.

8. There’s Unity Among Left and Right Against Big _____

Another part of this ecosystem of distrust is growing unease with large institutions — businesses, government, media. As I learned when reporting my own book about a different topic that touches on this current, growing antipathy towards “Big” is bipartisan among ground-level Americans.

This, I suspect, is part of the surprising fact that a good number of voters were deciding between Trump and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. While to the Right Sanders’ identification as a socialist is horrifying, given socialism’s murderous track record, I think it’s safe to say a significant part of his attraction is that he’s noticed big corporations and big government often seem to collude to screw the little guy. And let’s get real: Republican politicians are more frequently advocates for Big Business subsidies, loopholes, programs, and preferences than they are for fair play, constitutional rights, and an equal economic playing field for all. […]

“The new populism is a movement against bigness,” write Zito and Todd. “It distrusts big government, big corporations, big media conglomerates, and, perhaps more than anything else, big multinational agreements and organizations. Just as the Whole Foods shopper is leery of the pesticide practices of a Mexican agribusiness, the Trumpian populist has no confidence that the Brussels bureaucrat will make economic decisions that consider the well-being of the American blue-collar worker.”

Considering the track record of bureaucrats and corporacrats, and their often symbiotic and even interchangeable relationships, this lack of confidence is extremely sensible.

“The elected leaders of small-government conservatism grew more estranged from their natural corporate allies when they discovered the titans of commerce were summer soldiers in the war on the welfare and regulatory state, often content to cut side deals with the masters of government that protected their narrow lanes of the market – like when drug companies and hospital chains helped ‘underwrite a multi-million dollar television campaign’ pushing Obama’s comprehensive health care takeover into law,” write Zito and Todd.

Is there anyone left in America that doesn’t believe that? I surely do, and you can add almost anything else big.

I didn’t have any trouble deciding between Trump and Bernie. Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment, after all, and Bernie has never progressed beyond bad judgment. But Trump’s career shows the clear proof of the aphorism. Been a long time since he went bankrupt, not likely to happen again.

Most leadership studies say that one can control effectively about five subordinates. It’s pretty clear that the President can’t simultaneously make a good judgment on welfare payments in Anchorage Alaska while he is trying to disarm Iran. Even for Trump, the day only has 24 hours, although he gets more out of them than anyone I’ve ever known.

That’s one of the reasons the founders made the federal government enumerated. It might have a chance to do a few things well, while the states could do a few more and the counties and towns some more, and the rest the people could take care of for themselves.

The more things left to the people, and private associations of the people, the better it works. Perhaps Washington has a role in deciding where highways should go, but there is no particular reason why Washington should pay for them.

Far too many things have migrated to Washington. Nobody in Washington, or Los Angeles, or Des Moines for that matter, knows what an unmarried mother in Callaway, Nebraska needs, but likely somebody in Callaway does. Wouldn’t it be better if he (or she) could simply take care of it, real quick, than filing a report to Washington, and then seeing what that mother needs averaged with what a divorced father in Podunk, Georgia needs? Unlikely to help either one, I’d say.

So it goes across almost everything the government does, it could be done better if it was done (without Washington strings) closer to home. Some things need to be national, defense, perhaps some rules for business, like that, but not much.

And with that change, there is no longer an incentive to make politics a career, it again becomes a way to pay back, to return service to the country, and a good bit of the corruption – and mind, corruption corrupts both the giver and taker – goes away.

The same thing is true in all the various ‘big’ things, Pharma, Business, Labor, Banks, even churches if we are not careful.

Wise folks, those American founders. Even before he said it, they knew their Lord Acton.

The love of power tends to corrupt, and

the love of absolute power corrupts absolutely.

About NEO
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11 Responses to The Revolt

  1. the unit says:

    Trump is making “Yuge” success, but with small hands. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Scoop says:

    Yes, I am getting tired of the mega-this and the mega-that. I am much more content to do my banking in rural SC at Billy Bob’s Bank and Hardware Company than the mega-banks that predominate. I’m sure Billy Bob will treat me much fairer in the end and actually takes responsibility for the welfare of his patrons. After all, if nobody trusts him, he will soon be out of business unlike the large national banks that prevail. Not to mention that Billy Bob has the hard to find bits and pieces you can’t find in the big box hardware stores.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. the unit says:

    Revolt in Portland.
    “Police have deployed “flash bangs” and other devices to try to disperse crowds of right-wing activists and self-described anti-fascist counter-protesters in Portland, Oregon.” (
    Self-described antifas, so maybe not the real ones, huh?
    Check’em out like Biden would…be they ” articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking” antifas? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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