“An Armchair Quarterback Fumbles the Ball”
by Bill Bonner
SAN MARTIN, ARGENTINA – “The funeral cortège headed straight across the field. The big, green tractor, too old and unreliable for much of the farm work, led the way. It was dragging the body of one of the dead cows. Behind it, their heads low, followed a group of about 20 bovine mourners. “If we had a bell, we should ring it,” said Elizabeth. “This shouldn’t happen.”
No One’s Fault: We could scarcely believe the news delivered by the foreman early in the morning. We went out to look for ourselves. Six more cows died during the night. “Sad,” said the foreman. “Unacceptable,” said our lawyer/administrator in Salta. “Negligent,” said Inez, our housekeeper, under her breath.
“Look, it was a mistake,” the foreman defended himself. “But these things happen. We had the animals penned up yesterday to give them vaccinations against parasites. Then, they went out into the field hungry. And while the alfalfa is dry, it got colder than we expected. The frost last night must have set it off… you know, the fermentation. I don’t know… It’s no one’s fault. These things happen in ranching.”
Armchair Quarterback: Meanwhile… Our dear readers continue to question our sanity and our patriotism. And we preface the rest of today’s commentary by saying: They could be right.
Loren W. (perhaps forgetting her mother’s good advice): “Why don’t you stick to milking cows? At least in that profession, you might do some good. You’re an armchair quarterback sitting in a foreign country, a typical spoiled billionaire living in a bubble of privilege, while real Americans cope with massive threats to their health, prosperity, and liberty. My mother used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Mom’s wisdom applies where yours is conspicuously lacking.
Allan K.: “You cannot relate to the common man on any level. I think you travel to stay away from the USA, which I can understand during these times. But I also don’t see you as much of a patriot either. You seem as boastful as Trump, so don’t say bad things about him.”
Jim M.: “Wow. I think you should just remain in Argentina since you have such disdain for Trump, the Republican party, the Democrat party, and America in general. Turn your dollars into pesos and good luck.”
Big Government: The gist of our observations earlier this week was that neither party was going to defend the U.S. dollar, the Constitution, or the free enterprise system. The Democrats are still the same hustlers and schemers they always were… with the same bad ideas they’ve had since World War II.
But the Republicans have changed. Instead of being the party of ideas and principles – free trade, free markets, small government, sound money, and balanced budgets – they’ve become the party of personality… the Big Man himself… Donald J. Trump.
And DJT is not a small-government guy. He’s a Big Government guy. And he’s not in favor of free trade, or free markets, or sound money, or balanced budgets. During his three and a half years in office, the federal budget has grown faster than ever before… with bigger deficits than ever before. Free trade has been set aside in favor of trade deals managed by the feds. Markets have been systematically distorted by ultra-low interest rates – which Trump insisted upon. And sound money (such as it was) has been undermined by the most aggressive money-printing spree in history.
Big Man: We compared The Donald to former Argentine president Juan Perón, because he is the Big Man leader we know best. But Big Man politics are very familiar all around the world – especially in sh*thole countries. Big Man – President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – not just in public buildings, but in private homes and offices, too. It suggested to us a dangerous lack of political cynicism.
The Big Man is larger than life. Like Kim Il-Sung in North Korea, he represents not just a head of state… but the soul of the nation. He may have personal shortcomings, but when it comes to the nation, he’s believed to have a pure heart. His successes are those of his people. His setbacks are suffered by his people, too. He is them. They are him. And if anything goes wrong, it is thought to be the fault of someone else… never the great leader himself.
Disagreeing with him is not just a difference of opinion… it is a sin… or, sometimes, a crime. Standing in his way is not just a matter of exercising constitutional rights – it is unpatriotic. And calling him a “dangerous moron” is not just a matter of opinion; it shows a “hatred” of the man… and the nation itself.
No Dispute: Is this the whole story? Of course not. Does Big Man politics fully explain or describe the evolution of the Republican Party? Of course not. Is it the Truth? We make no such claim. But does it help us understand what is going on and why the Republican program – in matters that concern money and economics – is so similar to that of the Democrats?
We think so. And our own dear readers think so, too. Amid the barrage of explosive projectiles that landed at the Diary office over the last two days, there was not a single one that disputed our basic insight. Nobody said that Trump or the Republicans really care about the deficits, or the debt, or balanced budgets, or free trade, or the free enterprise system. Nobody even claimed Mr. Trump is a real Republican… or that he has any interest in the traditional Republican principles.
Instead, they say the old ideals are out of date. Things are different now. We have to fight our new enemies… not worry about our old principles:
Here’s Loren W. again: “You criticize the Republican Party based upon absolutes of values, without tempering the expectation of those values based upon current issues (like a pandemic that has destroyed much of the world economy). Mr. Trump’s actions, including not vetoing the borrowing of money (which originates in the House of Representatives, not the Executive Branch), have been in the face of two national emergencies: the pandemic and socialist riots.”
Helen K.: “The GOP is God-fearing and America first!! Your spin is repulsive to us… What cities are burning?? Led by Democrats! What cities are in violent fighting? Democratic run!! What cities are taken over by the BLM…? By the way, they haven’t given one penny to Chicago to help fight the killings!!”
Robert P.: “This is not about Republicans vs. Democrats anymore. It is about Communism vs. whatever else can prevent it and fight it. No one has ever experienced this situation in the U.S. before. […] Who cares what Nixon and Reagan did. That’s part of history now. […] it means nothing compared to what’s coming…”
Irrational Hatred: And what is the solution to these new threats? Not balanced budgets. Not small government. Not the hoary creed of the Old Conservatives. No… It’s the man… the Big Man… DJT. And anyone who dares to criticize him must be driven by an irrational emotion – hate:
Helen K., again: “What man has taken your blasting for three years… only a God-fearing man could stand up to this HATRED!!!”
Ellen S.: “At least President Trump is trying. All you can do is criticize him and demean his character and intelligence! By the way, he takes no salary for all the BS he endures. I think that shows he truly wants to help America. He didn’t have to run for President. He was quite happy in his life before. But he wanted to do something for the country, while you hide out in Argentina.”
Richmond W.: “It is one of the most hateful articles I have read in a long time. Your contempt and hatred for Donald Trump came through loud and clear. […] Why not write on ways that our country can be united, instead of offering hate-filled demagoguery?”
Best We Have: Another line of argument: Ok, he may be a rascal, but he’s the best we have (which may be true, but misses the point – that neither party will head off the catastrophe ahead):
John S.: “Trump is not at all a perfect representation of true Republican ideals, but he is the best we have. I, for one, will never support the Democrat agenda around the broad social issues, which you conveniently avoid in your article. If Trump is Big Government, I shudder to think what it looks like under Biden/Harris.”
David S.: “No one can say they love everything about him. But considering what the alternative was, I believe he has done a good job… I am informing you that I no longer wish to receive Rogue Economics and I am canceling forthwith.”
Kevin L.: “In American politics, we only get two choices for President – one bad and, hopefully, one not so bad. So for now, I will stick with less bad, because in my opinion, the Democratic party has lost their ever-loving mind.”
Hidden Ace: And Trump may have an ace up his sleeve!
Janna H.: “No, Trump didn’t promise to reduce government size […] – but if one is trying to get elected, and making speeches to people who have little understanding of the size or breadth of our government, it would be wasted words. Perhaps after the election, Trump will revise the governmental agencies…”
Jenni R.: “Times have changed, but Deep State tactics have not changed. What is said in the news is definitely a lie. Think opposite. So, Orange Man, good! Our President has to play both poker and 3-D chess to maneuver around the constant False Flag Deep State attacks (which they are more than willing to make against innocent civilians). This changes how he can operate, for sure. How do you defeat an enemy with no conscience? How do you beat someone who thinks nothing of lying, cheating, or hurting innocent people in the process of their quest for power?”
Jenny B.: “I had such respect for you, Bill. But now, I don’t think I like you. Trump is going to go down as the greatest president in history, if he can overcome the evil Democrats…”
Inevitable Catastrophe: In the minds of many of our readers, the deficits/debt/money-printing/bailouts, etc… are not the problem. The problem is the Democrats on the left. And the Old Eisenhower Conservatives, like your editor, on the right! They are trying to tear down the Big Man himself… and America, too…
We have only one choice, say the practically-minded Trumpistas – to fight them. Perhaps they are right in some way. They may defeat the New Left and the Old Right both. The trouble is, even if they succeed… the economic catastrophe will still happen.”