In 1992 I was a young pup still in college but already very politically inclined. While I enjoyed listening to Ross Perot’s ideas, unfortunately at the time I was still wedded to the idea that the Republican party was a better gamble than an independent run for the presidency. We can go into all sorts of arguments around the idea that Ross Perot took votes from George Herbert Walker Bush (GHWB) and gave the election to the Clintons, but in hindsight and armed with the knowledge of the damage that the “elites” in both the Democratic and Republican parties have wrought on this country, I do not think that the results of a GHWB victory back then would have led to much of a difference today.
No need to beat around the bushes (pun intended) here, the bottom line is that the Demoblicans and Republicrats would have no doubt passed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) no matter who the president was at the time. As a libertarian at the time I was all for free trade – who could argue that tariffs were a good thing? I was young and wanted to make some money – all this fuss about long term consequences seemed like a lot of worry over nothing. The markets would make things right, right?
Now look back at what H. Ross Perot was saying in those days:
We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It’s pretty simple: If you’re paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor, … have no health care—that’s the most expensive single element in making a car— have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement, and you don’t care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking sound going south.
… when [Mexico’s] jobs come up from a dollar an hour to six dollars an hour, and ours go down to six dollars an hour, and then it’s leveled again. But in the meantime, you’ve wrecked the country with these kinds of deals.
DOH. Faceplant! What has happened in the 27 years since? We got cheaper products, and a good number of politicians, Wall Street players, and CEOs were made into billionaires. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, jobs were outsourced, and the once proud middle class was decimated.
If you happen to be a bubble inhabitant (elitist insider) things look pretty grand. You are now rich, and the masses are too absorbed by their shiny new cellphones and wall-sized TVs to notice what lies behind the curtain – that they have been shafted out of decent jobs and pension plans, and the country’s mineral resources have been sold to the highest bidder. Oh never mind…just give them opiates when the reality hits.
Thank God that Trump came along and pointed out what the elitists still cannot see: the country is hurting. “Free” trade was never actually free because the countries which have been sending us the cheap goods have brutal workplace conditions.
Had only more people listened to the clear wisdom of Perot instead of writing him off… I mean, with quotes like these it should have been a slam-dunk win:
If you see a snake, just kill it – don’t appoint a committee on snakes.
Don’t run your life by what’s legal or illegal. Run your life based on what’s right or wrong.
One final one to leave off this post…
One voice is tiny, and alone it cannot be heard above the din of politics as usual. The peoples voice, when it cries as one, is a great roar.
…I hope the roar recurs in 2020 and we get 4 more years of relief from the elitists.