The only effective way to “make America (or anywhere else) great again”

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Now that the dust has settled and Donald Trump is now officially sworn in as president of the United States . . . what does it all really mean? We’ve heard all the angry language on both sides, but it’s time now to make a calm and rational assessment of the situation.

First, even now it’s not entirely clear that even supporters of Donald Trump have come to terms with his surprising election. Up to the last minute the media moguls and political pundits clearly expected Hillary Clinton to win election. Even Clinton’s gracious concession speech has failed to mollify or comfort either her supporters or Trump’s opponents. Reactions and rhetoric were of near-apocalyptic stature. Reports came in that college exams were postponed or even cancelled on some college campuses due to widespread trauma among the student body over the election results.

But, again, what does it really mean? To find out, take the “Christian vote,” limiting the discussion to two groups, Evangelicals and Catholics.
Evangelicals, a group with no central authority, came together and voted overwhelmingly (81%) against Clinton. From the speeches and sermons made about the contest, no one can honestly maintain that, as a body, Evangelicals were for Trump.

The “Catholic vote” is even more revealing. Despite a very centralized authority structure and concerted efforts on the part of American Church leaders, Trump garnered 52% of Catholics who voted, according to the National Catholic Register. This sounds impressive until the realization hits that the 45% who voted for Clinton and the 3% who voted for other candidates results in a 52/48 split, close enough to 50/50 to cancel each other out.

Factoring in voter turnout statistics gives an even less impressive result. According to government reports, the voter turnout for the United States as a whole was 55.6%. Assuming that Catholics voted in the same proportion as the nation as a whole, only 29% of Catholics — less than one-third — voted for Trump. That means 71% of Catholics did not vote for Trump, a more than two-thirds majority.
The bottom line? Trump is not the “Catholic choice.” This is not a “Catholic” or pro-life victory. It is not even a stay of execution, given that Trump has no specific (or workable) plan to fulfill his promise to “Make America great again” except things that have either failed or not worked very well in the past.

There remains a very big problem that needs to be addressed: Without a pro-life economic agenda, one that respects the dignity and sovereignty of the human person and limits the power of the State, a mere social tool, economic — and thus political — power will remain concentrated in the hands of a relatively small economic and political élite. As no nation can be “great” as long as the majority of people are without power, things might as well stay as they were.

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Without a pro-life economic agenda that respects the dignity of the human person and limits the power of the State, economic — and thus political — power will remain concentrated in the hands of a small economic and political élite.

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Even the appointment of more-or-less conservative justices to the United States Supreme Court will do next to nothing to improve the situation. Without a return to true “original intent” as explained by the great constitutional scholar William Winslow Crosskey, the legal philosophy that led to Roe v. Wade, same sex marriage, and other questionable decisions will continue.

No, the only effective and just way to “make America (or anywhere else) great again,” is to return power to people. Not “the people,” that is, the collective, but to actual children, women, and men, everywhere, in every country.

This is because, as American statesman Daniel Webster observed nearly two hundred years ago during the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1820, “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.” Give people power without property, and they will either lose their power, or use it to take property from others. Give people property without power, and they will either lose their property, or use it to take power from others. There is no middle ground.

The question then becomes how to vest people who have neither property nor power with both — and to do so in a way that does not take away the property and power of others.

The Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), a think tank in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A., proposes “Capital Homesteading” to achieve widespread capital ownership without redistribution or changing the definition of what it means to own. In this way power can be returned to actual people — and no one need have any unreasonable fear that “they” (supporters of Trump or opponents of Clinton) will harm or traumatize supporters of Clinton or opponents of Trump.

“They” won’t have the power to do it.

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Michael D. Greaney is Director of Research at the Centre for Economic and Social Justice. He published recently “So Much Generosity” and “Political Animal”.

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