Syria: the President as a Man of Action

I suppose it would be going too far to call President Trump a Man of Steel. But he certainly qualifies as a Man of Action in his quick and decisive response to the use of nerve gas in Syria.

But what does that make Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama?

Perfectly simple. Barack Obama is a Man of Activism. In other words, his whole life is premised on the concept of striking ideological poses. His most notable pose was his 2004 convention speech where he posed as a moderate perfectly balanced on his satin toe-shoes between red states and blue states. Not. There have been other poses since. Some people call it virtue signaling.

Of course, nobody can know the unintended consequences of Trump’s Syria bombing. Will it make the bad actors think twice about badness, or will it just twirl the Middle East deeper into chaos?

That’s the thing about Men of Action. Once you sign on for the ride, you never know if you will be able to get off.

We know that Donald Trump has been a Man of Action all his life. This was the troubled kid that had to be sent off to military school. This was the young scion that went from a nice cozy outer-borough real-estate business to see if he could make it in Manhattan.

And Donald Trump has got through several bankruptcy proceedings. That is one way to divide the men from the boys.

Yes, but what was the point of the Syria bombing? To some analysts it looked just like the usual symbolic response to dying-children-in-the-TV-news. Maybe it was.

Or maybe it was getting out in front of the “Trump did nothing while children died” meme.

Or maybe it was sending Chinese President Xi a message as he waited for Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Or maybe it was sending Putin a message that we are not in Kansas anymore.

Or maybe it was twitting the Democratic Party Trump-Russia collusion meme.

That’s the point of a Man of Action. He likes to keep you guessing. The only way you can tell what the Man of Action is thinking is by analyzing his actions and trying to connect the dots.

But what about the Man of Activism? He is the complete opposite. He is forever telling you what he believes, and describing the arc of history in excruciating detail and descanting about justice and “who we are.” But he doesn’t actually do anything. ObamaCare? Nancy’s baby. Dodd-Frank? Er, something about banksters. Lobotomize the economy with climate change? Leave that to the bureaucrats; they know what to do.

All this is fine, but there is one thing missing. I want a Man of Action President who goes beyond Making America Great Again. I want him to tell a story of America: a narrative that tells us where we have been, where we have gone wrong and what we need to do to set it right.

The liberals are pretty good at this. They have a narrative about how America was born in slavery and in injustice to native Americans and workers and women and minorities. All in all, America is the worst thing to come along since organized religion and its endless religious wars. But there is hope. All we have to do is listen to the chants of principled peaceful protesters and shop for “In This House, We Believe” yard signs. And meanwhile climate scientists will save the planet.

My Man of Action president’s narrative would go something like this: up until about 200 years life on this planet was nasty, brutish and short, even for kings and princes. But the last 200 years have been a Great Enrichment of unimaginable depth and scope, with ordinary people going from $1 income per day to the present $100 per day. This was driven by nobodies with crazy ideas about cheap textiles, oil from the ground, personal transportation, the magic of electricity, the wonders of computers and the internet. Not to mention the crazy idea that government should be limited and the servant of the people. But for the last 150 years there has been a movement to put a stop to all this. Economic Marxism, cultural Marxism, fascism, globalism, feminism, environmentalism, radical Islam: they all look alike and all want to put a stop to the Great Enrichment of ordinary people. But these naysayers are all wrong. My presidency, apart from Making America Great Again, will be nothing but bold, persistent action to put these naysayers back where the sun don’t shine.

Because, you see, what is important is not what I, the president do. What is important is what millions of you ordinary American Men and Women of Action do every day to make America Great Again for yourselves, your families, and your children.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

I suppose it would be going too far to call President Trump a Man of Steel. But he certainly qualifies as a Man of Action in his quick and decisive response to the use of nerve gas in Syria.

But what does that make Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama?

Perfectly simple. Barack Obama is a Man of Activism. In other words, his whole life is premised on the concept of striking ideological poses. His most notable pose was his 2004 convention speech where he posed as a moderate perfectly balanced on his satin toe-shoes between red states and blue states. Not. There have been other poses since. Some people call it virtue signaling.

Of course, nobody can know the unintended consequences of Trump’s Syria bombing. Will it make the bad actors think twice about badness, or will it just twirl the Middle East deeper into chaos?

That’s the thing about Men of Action. Once you sign on for the ride, you never know if you will be able to get off.

We know that Donald Trump has been a Man of Action all his life. This was the troubled kid that had to be sent off to military school. This was the young scion that went from a nice cozy outer-borough real-estate business to see if he could make it in Manhattan.

And Donald Trump has got through several bankruptcy proceedings. That is one way to divide the men from the boys.

Yes, but what was the point of the Syria bombing? To some analysts it looked just like the usual symbolic response to dying-children-in-the-TV-news. Maybe it was.

Or maybe it was getting out in front of the “Trump did nothing while children died” meme.

Or maybe it was sending Chinese President Xi a message as he waited for Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Or maybe it was sending Putin a message that we are not in Kansas anymore.

Or maybe it was twitting the Democratic Party Trump-Russia collusion meme.

That’s the point of a Man of Action. He likes to keep you guessing. The only way you can tell what the Man of Action is thinking is by analyzing his actions and trying to connect the dots.

But what about the Man of Activism? He is the complete opposite. He is forever telling you what he believes, and describing the arc of history in excruciating detail and descanting about justice and “who we are.” But he doesn’t actually do anything. ObamaCare? Nancy’s baby. Dodd-Frank? Er, something about banksters. Lobotomize the economy with climate change? Leave that to the bureaucrats; they know what to do.

All this is fine, but there is one thing missing. I want a Man of Action President who goes beyond Making America Great Again. I want him to tell a story of America: a narrative that tells us where we have been, where we have gone wrong and what we need to do to set it right.

The liberals are pretty good at this. They have a narrative about how America was born in slavery and in injustice to native Americans and workers and women and minorities. All in all, America is the worst thing to come along since organized religion and its endless religious wars. But there is hope. All we have to do is listen to the chants of principled peaceful protesters and shop for “In This House, We Believe” yard signs. And meanwhile climate scientists will save the planet.

My Man of Action president’s narrative would go something like this: up until about 200 years life on this planet was nasty, brutish and short, even for kings and princes. But the last 200 years have been a Great Enrichment of unimaginable depth and scope, with ordinary people going from $1 income per day to the present $100 per day. This was driven by nobodies with crazy ideas about cheap textiles, oil from the ground, personal transportation, the magic of electricity, the wonders of computers and the internet. Not to mention the crazy idea that government should be limited and the servant of the people. But for the last 150 years there has been a movement to put a stop to all this. Economic Marxism, cultural Marxism, fascism, globalism, feminism, environmentalism, radical Islam: they all look alike and all want to put a stop to the Great Enrichment of ordinary people. But these naysayers are all wrong. My presidency, apart from Making America Great Again, will be nothing but bold, persistent action to put these naysayers back where the sun don’t shine.

Because, you see, what is important is not what I, the president do. What is important is what millions of you ordinary American Men and Women of Action do every day to make America Great Again for yourselves, your families, and your children.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

RECENT VIDEOS