Sometimes indirect evidence is more powerful than direct. Something good is happening to the US economy, just below the surface. Easy to miss, it gives the lie to those who believe all is dark, bad and President Trump’s fault. Evidence is mounting that America is in sync with the President – and right to be optimistic. Here is why.
On the surface, America is a mass of crashing waves, bold socialist designs on our individual liberties, defunding police versus rule of law (which requires law enforcement), self-reliance versus dependence, class warfare versus unabashed love of country.
Most immediately, President Trump believes the American economy – which is to say, the American People – can outrun COVID-19. He espouses faith in individuals, families, small businesses, and free markets. He argues less is more when it comes to government – that Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” millions of freely-made individual decisions, not a powerful federal fist, is the way forward.
Unlike his political rival, he refuses to consider trouncing states’ rights, resists subverting the 10th Amendment, and will not push federal mandates. He refuses to urbanize the suburbs, federalize the private sector, or take over healthcare, transportation, energy, or education. In a phrase, he believes.
In what does he believe? Among other things, he believes in you, me, and the power of America’s private sector to overcome adversity, even beset by a noxious, slippery, irritating, enthusiasm-sapping coronavirus, recklessly foisted on the world by Communist China.
In short, Trump is an optimist – grounding his sense of the future in an understanding of America’s powerful, arguably irrepressible past. We do not lie down, get rolled over, give up, default to calling each other racists, promote lawlessness, or irreversibly concentrate power, even to beat a foreign virus.
Instead, he seems to think – with a little help from our friends – we will get through this. More he thinks that the future is defined not by federal control but by private initiative.
As the Democrat Party incomprehensively moves left, pushing fear and loathing over faith and fortitude – blaming Trump for everything to justify federal dependence, Trump pushes back with love of liberty, faith in citizens, common sense, and the lovely “fanfare for the common man.”
You can almost hear Trump summoning Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” or John Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” or Harry Truman, “The reward of suffering is experience.” None of those Democrats would recognize their party.
So, look at data. While Democrats claim COVID-19 is crippling us, requiring we go socialist, that is not what Americans think. America is resolved to rebound, unwilling to be kept down.
Many – if not most – are in lockstep with Trump’s optimism, not Democrat fatalism. We are on track, on target, and getting back to work with enthusiasm, buying, building, and moving, eyes on the far horizon and reason, not that Democrat’s “dark season.”
Even as virus cases rose in July, Americans leaned forward. They refused to be taken down. In a surprise, The Wall Street Journal last week reported “the US economy picked up momentum this month, as companies shook off the effects of the pandemic-induced downturn.” How about that!
Data just released shows: “US firms are seeing demand return as they reopen from lockdowns.” Liberal economists marvel the US economy “managed to weather” July’s rise in cases.
Specifically, the “composite purchasing-managers index, a measure of manufacturing and services activity, rose to 54.7 from 50.3 in July, an 18-month high, with both sectors seeing a big increase.” Note: Over 50 signals expansion. As one economist noted, slightly dumbfounded: “The economy seems to be powering ahead.” In turn, stock indexes are surging. See, e.g. https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-economies-show-signs-of-stuttering-recovery-from-coronavirus-lockdowns-11598001890; https://www.morningstar.com/news/marketwatch/20200821413/dow-buoyant-and-nasdaq-sets-fresh-intraday-record-as-home-sales-report-surges-25-for-july.
Nor is the composite index the only sign America is in sync with Trump’s optimism, not Democrat “doom and gloom.” The National Association of Realtors just reported, “sales of previously-owned homes surged 24.7 percent” in July, “propelled by low interest rates and people’s desire for more space.” People getting out of Democrat-led cities helped the trend along. See, https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-economies-show-signs-of-stuttering-recovery-from-coronavirus-lockdowns-11598001890; see also, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-existing-home-sales-rose-24-7-in-july-from-june-11598018897; https://thehill.com/policy/finance/513096-home-sales-rise-25-percent-in-july-as-housing-market-booms-amid-pandemic.
In any event, the bottom line is this: Below a turbulent surface, behind clashing conventions and senseless noise from talking heads and detractors, Americans are moving ahead.
Yes, we have distance to go – for another round of economic gains in every demographic, but we are on the move. We will need to re-find our mojo, that tempo pace, national e ’spirit de corps. But one thing for sure: Americans are more optimistic than they are hangdog.
As a group, we are can-do. So is Trump. He believes in who we are and what we can do. Like most of us, he sees little need for a cobbled-together collection of sad-sack socialists. History shows that Americans are hard to stop once started – and we have started. Sometimes indirect evidence is more powerful than direct. This is, I dare say, one of those times.