It's the Economy, Stupid

Trump's Decision to Cause a Government Shutdown Has Little to Do with Border Security

One has to hand it to Donald Trump, the man truly is a magician at the dark art of media manipulation. After losing control of the House of Representatives, it appeared to Democrats as if Trump was finally on the backfoot with the American people. The White House occupant's poll numbers continue to tumble into historic lows, and yet, Trump remains anything but enfeebled in the eyes of his base. That could finally change as the true picture of our economy emerges.

First, let's talk about the Fed. After a decade of seemingly unending easy credit for corporations and large-scale investors, the Federal Reserve's board of governors has begun a scale back through raising interest rates for a fourth time in a row this year. Separately, the stock market's wild gains have fallen off as concerns that real growth is sluggish and that the Fed will continue to draw to a close its willingness to lend for the sake lending.

Moreover, the CPI in July was reported to be the highest a decade at 2.9 percent, levelling wage growth in real terms to just 1% --- not as impressive as the previous claims of being the best salary growth in ages by Trump and his gaggle of talk show allies. For good measure, let's mix-in large-scale desertions from blue collar employers like General Motors which is firing 14,000 employees and closing 7 U.S. factories just as their union labor contract comes up for re-negotiation. What we're left with is an economic picture that hurts an already struggling, largely white blue collar base that Trump has come to depend on as the underpinning for his administration's hold on power.

That is, unless Trump can flip the script on the Democrats and find a way to blame them for everything wrong in America today. Which he can, by refocusing his base on their pre-existing ire for immigrants who they see as a threat to White Predominance in America & of course, their jobs. By refusing to sign any Continuing Resolutions that don't allocate money for the Donald's Wall, Trump is essentially recasting himself as the defender of White America against Democrats' and immigrants' designs for a non-white takeover of the country. Smart politics for a self-described "nationalist" seeking to distract weary voters from economic woes.

It is also a time-tested approach. Plenty of inept monarchs and petty dictators in other parts of the world have held on to power through the employing of nationalism. The Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Pakistan's Z.A. Bhutto, and Indonesia's Suharto being some prime examples in recent time. However, all of those populist leaders were eventually toppled when economic and civil rights issues eventually intersected. The Donald might have bought himself some breathing room, but it is anyone's guess how long he'll actually be able to hold on to power.