During the 1800s, America’s economy was dominated by so called rich and powerful moguls such as JD Rockefeller, JP Morgan, and Andrew Carnegie. These men, along with many others, were wealthy, powerful businessman who rose to power by exerting control over American natural resources, controlling the railroad systems, influencing high levels of government, paying paltry wages to workers, squashing business competition by buying out competitors, creating monopolies and raising prices, and using deceptive financial schemes to sell stock at inflated prices to unsuspecting investors. These men became so notorious, that the term robber baron was introduced to identify them in the August 1870 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. So, by the late 19th century, the term robber baron was typically applied to these 19th century American businessmen who used exploitative practices to amass their wealth. The term combines the identity of a criminal (robber) with an illegitimate aristocracy (understanding that a baron is of course an illegitimate role in a free republic).
Now, with this idea in mind, I would like to submit a question to ponder: “Is the Republican front-runner, Donald J. Trump, a Robber Baron?”
To ponder the question, perhaps a short bit of history is in order. Let’s go back to the year 2001. On January 20, 2001, George W. Bush was elected as America’s 43rd President. Just like Bill Clinton before him, GW Bush took a hands off approach regarding the American economy and allowed the head of the Fed – Alan Greenspan – along with Big Business capitalists to run the economy. Now, as much as I love and respect Mr. Bush (and I do!), this hands off approach resulted in a disaster. Under Mr. Greenspan and the Fed, monopolies drove out small competition and Big Business ran amok – duping investors and stealing money from the little guys. Remember Enron? Following that debacle, there were no real prosecutions and no serious sanctions put in place to temper Big Business Capitalism (ie. Robber Barons). That happened under Greenspan and Bush. After that, the Fed and the banks began to egregiously approve shoddy loans. Remember the The Great Recession of 2007 – the Fed going bust, insider trading ignored, and the banks going belly up because of crappy loans? That also happened under Greenspan and Bush. Monopolies, Big Business, and guys like Trump took over the American economy – snatching it out of the hands of small business people by taxing them to death and making the American people pay for the injustices of the Fed, Banks, and Big Business. Guys like Trump got us into the mess we’re in, yet they all walked away unscathed.
In January of 2009, Mr. Obama took over the Presidency and took even more money from the middle class by raising taxes on them once again and forcing them to fund Obamacare. Along with that move, Mr. Obama went after the One Percenters to take back the money that Big Business capitalists – like Greenspan and Trump – stole from the middle class before 2007. So, you have Big Government going against Big Business – fighting over money that they stole from middle America.
Now, ironically, middle America is putting their trust in Trump – who represents the Big Business Robber Barons who stole their money in the first place. Yet, because Trump talks tough against Big Government and liberalism, middle class conservatives think he is fighting for them. But here’s the thing… I don’t think Mr. Trump is fighting for conservatives at all. Nor do I think he is fighting for liberals. I don’t think he is fighting for democrats or republicans. I don’t think he is fighting for blacks or whites. No. I think Mr. Trump is fighting for Mr. Trump. In the republican debates and in his many interviews, I do not hear a defender of democracy. He does not seem to me to be a defender of the little guy. In my opinion, Trump’s vision is not crafted toward rebuilding and stimulating a free society. Instead, Mr. Trump’s vision seems to be designed to build an American Big Business Monarchy or Oligarchy.
Ultimately, I do not believe that Mr. Trump is running for President of the United States of America. He is running to be the CEO of America. And I feel that Mr. Trump is doing so in order to protect his world-wide business interests. Again, I believe that this is his primary motive in running for the presidency. Now, it just so happens that, at this point in America’s history, Trump’s financial motives play well to the ears of a fearful and angry America. For example, Mr. Trump talks about building a wall to protect our southern border. But, I don’t believe that he is building a wall to make America more secure. No. Mr. Trump is building a wall to protect Big Business and the Fed against small business and untaxed workers. On radical Islamic terrorism, I feel that Trump isn’t concerned with standing against Islamic Terrorism in order to protect American lives and values. Nope. I believe he’s against radical Islamic terrorism as a means of protecting Big Business interests in the middle east. On China, Trump isn’t against Chinese communism, oppression, or human rights violations. I believe that is a smokescreen. Think about how Mr. Trump’s views on China betray his Big Business capitalism. Trump often says that we give way too many advantages to China and they’re laughing at how easy it is to take financial advantage of the U.S. He thinks that we should tax all imports from China 25%. That would encourage citizens to buy American and balance out the trade deficit. That may be a good policy, but Mr. Trump’s ideas regarding fair trade are not designed to protect American workers, it’s a policy that is driven to protect big business. Trump says, “Human rights are important – if the Chinese are oppressed, then there won’t be much of a market for US goods. We are betraying our principles by allowing them to violate basic rights of their people.” What Mr. Trump really means is, “If the Chinese people were free, they could buy stuff from me and all my Big Business friends.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a conservative. I love a free market. But Trump isn’t about free market capitalism. He is about creating a Big Business, monopolized brand of capitalism that hearkens back to the days of Rockefeller and Vanderbilt. Again, I love capitalism, but I hate monopolies that steal from small businesses and take advantage of American workers – driving them out of business and out of work. That’s what I feel Mr. Trump is up to. I have been a long time viewer of Mr. Trump’s TV show – The Apprentice. As I have observed him, read about him, and listened to him – I am convinced that he is not a “Let freedom ring” candidate. Mr. Trump is a “Let the bell-on-the-stock-market ring” candidate.
Eight years ago, Mr. Obama learned to tap into the angry, poor, black narrative in order to garner support for Big Government socialism.
Today, Mr. Trump has learned to tap into the angry, middle class white narrative in order to garner support for Big Business capitalism.
Yet, I’m convinced that Mr. Obama doesn’t care about poor disadvantaged blacks.
And, I’m convinced that Mr. Trump doesn’t care about overtaxed middle class whites.
And neither one of these men seem to really care about freedom.
How can we be so blind? Are we really about to elect a New American Robber Baron as the next President of the United States of America? May God help us all.