We hear all the time these days that President Trump is “undermining democratic norms.” Well, how about this for a democratic norm? The policies people vote for in an election should be the ones that get implemented after the election.
Oh wait, that would mean we had an actual, functioning republic, wouldn’t it? But we don’t. We have a Swamp, and this week’s public policy shambles in Washington – resulting in a fiscally incontinent and democratically illegitimate $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill – showed that the Swamp is not being drained but steadily refilled.
Let’s take the democratic illegitimacy first.
You may not agree with – in fact you may violently disagree with – President Trump’s pledge to “Build the Wall.” But can there be any voter in America who was unaware of that promise by the time of the 2016 election? Of course not. So it is simply staggering to see the sheer scale of our elected representatives’ arrogance in refusing to do what the American people voted for.
It’s not just that the spending bill fails to fund the construction of a border wall along the lines the president has proposed. Almost unbelievably, it literally prohibits building a concrete wall or other prototypes. Not so much “Build the Wall” as “Ban the Wall.”
And look at what Congress did to President Trump’s promise to increase border security by hiring additional border officers.
The president signed an executive order soon after he took office calling for 10,000 more U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) officers to protect America’s borders. He then scaled that back in his own budget submission to just an extra 2,000 officers. Guess how many are included in the budget Congress approved? The number of additional officers is capped at a mere 65.
Again – you may disagree with the idea of boosting the number of border agents. But surely every American would agree that if people vote for something, they should get it.
This budget’s blatant overturning of central planks of 2016’s winning Republican presidential platform is a calculated insult to American voters. It’s the Swamp saying: “It doesn’t matter who or what you vote for, we’ll do exactly what we want anyway.”
This is yet another example of the failure of our political system to deliver on promises that fueled the rise of anti-establishment candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the first place.
Democrats may think they scored a big political win by blocking so many of the president’s signature promises. But all they are doing is stoking the populist anger and resentment that they claim to despise.
Both Democrats and Republicans claim to take seriously our nation’s growing fiscal crisis. But instead of dealing with it, they’ve added to it. There was no apparent effort made to rein in all sorts of wasteful spending
Finally, and perhaps most depressingly for those on the right, there was the astonishing chutzpah of House Speaker Paul Ryan who, when asked by Ben Shapiro this week to set out the philosophical differences between conservatives and liberals, castigated the progressives’ ideology as being one that ends with “elites in Washington micromanaging our lives.”
Excuse me? What exactly is this monstrosity of a spending bill, other than yet another example of ... elites in Washington micromanaging our lives?
Ryan, of course, knew only too well how appalled people would be by this giant spending bill and so tried to get his defense in early, claiming that the deadline meant it had to be passed despite its flaws. The budgeting process must be reformed for the future, he said.
No! It’s not the budgeting process that needs to be reformed! It’s the entire government. The truth is that year after year, decade after decade, more and more power has flowed from the hands of people, families, neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties, states ... all in one direction: up to the federal government in Washington.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s the executive branch and its sprawling, unaccountable departments and agencies (the real Deep State); the legislative branch with its feckless, corrupt representatives and policy staff in the pockets of donors and lobbyists; or the judicial branch with its rulings over many decades that have allowed the concentration of political and economic power. One way or another, the federal government in Washington has grown bloated and fat at the people’s expense.
None of the current leadership in the two main parties will do anything about this: whatever they say, they love the power and control it brings them. This spending bill is proof of that.
And all the congressional leaders are responsible for this outrage: House Speaker Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, both Republicans; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, both Democrats. We ought to call the legislation they approved the Ryosi-McSchumer spending bill.
There is only one long-term solution: the populist revolution with its demand for people power and decentralization must target Congress next. We need to elect Positive Populists who will go to Washington and give their power back to the people.
We’ll be debating all this on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on “The Next Revolution” on the Fox News Channel. Hope you can join us!