In the 1970s, the “Dirty Harry” movies presaged the death of politically correct liberalism and the rise of Reagan Republicanism. “Dirty Harry” was a San Francisco cop played by Clint Eastwood, who was legendary for apprehending killers, rapists and thieves. His secret was that he broke politically correct police force rules with reckless abandon, as audiences cheered.
The current movie blockbuster “Captain America” symbolizes the populist nationalism of American audiences today fatigued with the serial failures of Obama/Clinton Democrats, and their politically correct scapegoats. In this movie, Captain America heads a posse of superheroes known as the Avengers, with enhanced, superhuman capabilities.
They regularly save the world from terrorist mass murderers, but they can’t always stop terrorist assaults from harming innocent bystanders. The Avengers consequently take the rap for not caring about “collateral damage.” In the opening scenes, the Avengers foil a vicious band of terrorists threatening the world with a stolen biological weapon in Lagos, Nigeria. But as they fought, one terrorist explosive rebounds to kill nearby humanitarian volunteers from the Wakandan tribe.
The Wakandan King laments the carelessness of the Avengers for not saving the volunteers. He calls for a global treaty among 117 nations requiring the Avengers to be accountable to the United Nations, or else be arrested as international outlaws. But Captain America refuses to be bound by such politically correct nostrums, insisting on his own freedom to determine true justice. That creates a split among the Avengers, some of whom want to sign onto the treaty for global accountability.
But as the Wakandan King addresses representatives of the 117 nations in celebration of their new global accountability treaty, the terrorists blow up the UN building in which they are meeting, apparently killing them all.
The movie speaks to the nationalist mood of America to be freed of the politically correct rhetoric of Obama/Clinton Democrats, in which America and the traditional values of the American people are always in the wrong.
Donald Trump is the political beneficiary today of the surge of American nationalism, in which the American people yearn for someone to speak up for the USA. If Trump can just accomplish a few simple, obvious things as president, he can carry this mantle of Captain America.
First, he needs to ignite finally a long overdue recovery of booming economic growth from the last recession, which supposedly ended 7 long years ago. The American historical record is the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery, as the American economy catches up to its long term economic growth trendline. By this metric, America should now be in the seventh year of a booming recovery. But to this very day, 7 years later, that still has not happened.
Trump has already shown he knows what needs to be done, proposing tax reform with lower tax rates than even Reagan accomplished. Lower marginal tax rates, the rate on the next dollar of income produced, provide incentives for job creating investment, whether starting new businesses or expanding existing ones. The resulting increased demand for labor drives up wages.
Equally urgent is to liberate American energy producers to lead the world in production of reliable, low cost energy. America has the resources today to be the world’s number producer of oil, number one producer of natural gas, and number one producer of coal. But the policy of Obama/Clinton Democrats flying under the flag of so-called “progressivism” today is leave it in the ground!
Reliable low cost energy would be the foundation for the renaissance of world leading American manufacturing, which would mean the revival of America’s world leading middle class. These policies would be enough to unleash a booming, world leading economic recovery, which still lurks within this economy, yearning to break out.
Trump would further be a hero to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which also would boost the economy. Paul Ryan’s House Republican health reform task force is developing a very good replacement plan, and Senator Cassidy and Congressman Sessions have just introduced a good, thorough replacement plan as well.
If Trump can then just rebuild America’s national defenses, and appoint a new generation of Constitutional conservative Supreme Court Justices, which he has recently shown he knows how to do, these achievements alone would be enough for him to go down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever.
Peter Ferrara is a Senior Fellow for the Heartland Institute, and a Senior Policy Adviser for Budget and Entitlement Reform Policy for the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush. He is the author of "Power to the People: The New Road to Freedom and Prosperity for the Poor, Seniors and Those Most In Need of the World’s Best Health Care" (The Heartland Institute, June 15, 2015).