The unprecedented and well-organized effort by Democrats, their interest group allies, and much of the mainstream media to remove Donald J. Trump as President of the United States finds surprising resonance with the average person who did not vote for Trump. It is surprising because people vote for losing candidates all the time but don’t wake up the following day and resolve to drive the winner out of office. Instead they accept the results, do what they can, including nothing, in opposition to the person and go on with their lives.
The 2016 presidential election, though, has been very different. The average person has not gone on with life, but, instead, is all wound up and has been pretty much since election night. For sure, part of it is due to the issue of Mrs. Clinton winning the popular vote and President Trump winning the electoral vote. Maybe one of these days we are going to get everybody understanding the hows and the whys of the electoral college and what makes it such a good thing, but that is for another day. The matter at hand is the question of why the 2016 presidential election is so different for the average person.
It is an intriguing question. We have lots of elections in this country every year in which, frankly, judging by voter participation rates, the average person does not seem all that interested. Certainly not being interested on the front end of voting, there is little interest on the back end of the person actually serving in office. In other words, people do not care all that much. The counter to that observation is this is not the local council member or state senator or even governor, but the President of the United States, the highest office in the land and the most powerful man in the world. Is it not a good thing that people are interested to such a large degree?
The answer is a qualified yes. It is good to see people interested more in politics than the Kardashians or fantasy football. The more that people are involved, the more the political class has to be on its toes and cannot get away with doing what it wants because no one is watching. The qualification, though, comes from people not being more interested in politics, but rather seeming to be more interested in the removal of a President. Which brings it back to why so interested? Why are people, again average people who are not in the political class, why are they so interested in having Donald Trump removed as President not even two months into his first term?
The answer on the surface would appear to be policies because there is no question that Donald Trump’s policies are pretty much the opposite of Barack Hussein Obama’s policies. More than just differing, President Trump has wasted no time undoing as many of the Obama policies as he can with more undoing on the way. However, while some people are sincerely interested in not seeing say, the CAFE standards relaxed, or the US abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it does not explain the depth of the animus toward Trump and the insistence on his removal. After all, Presidents of the opposite party generally move in different directions than their predecessors.
Turns out the answer actually is policies, but not the policies themselves, per se, but rather that the change in policies has so many direct effects on the everyday lives of average people. The reason why is simple: Government is too big and when government is too big, it means, among other things, that it is too involved in our lives. Too many things are dependent on what the government is doing and what policies are in place at a given moment. We are not talking about macro policies, but micro policies.
A macro policy like trade has a lot of different effects, some of them immediate, but mostly the effects take some time to work, whether good or bad. A micro policy is all about immediate effects. We are talking about rules made by federal agencies such as the one that governs mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans. The Obama administration, literally on the way out the door on January 9, put in place a rule to lower the premiums as of January 27, and actually on the way in the door on January 20, the Trump administration suspended the rule before it could take effect. Understandably, the people directly affected—home buyers and sellers, realtors, title agencies and so forth—were not thrilled and any of them already opposed to President Trump got another reason to oppose him.
However, the real problem is that government should not be in the mortgage business. Or in a thousand other businesses. It is in all of them, of course, because it is too big. We have had too many years of too many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle plus Presidents on both sides of the aisle who see no bounds to what government should be involved with. The equation is elementary: the more things government is involved with, the more often its policies directly and immediately affect us, the average person. When it you look at it that way, you can see why the average person who voted against President Trump would be so invested in seeing him go. In fact, going deeper, they do not just want him to go, but rather go and take his entire administration with him because they will just continue doing a lot of what he is doing and intends to do.
We need to get back to what the Framers had in mind: a populace too busy with its own affairs of running businesses, working, and generally living their lives to demand things from government. They believed, rightly so, that the fewer demands on government, the easier to keep it small. We are obviously not going to be able to turn the clock back to a major extent, but this serves as yet another warning that we are seriously on the wrong track and need to reduce the size of government to reduce its involvement in our lives. It is something that everyone, no matter the political persuasion, should want. Otherwise every time we change parties in government, we are going to have massive upheavals and that is not good for sustaining this republic.