Anyone driving through rural New England knows this part of America is not open for business. Take a drive up route 16N in New Hampshire up to North Conway and you’ll see what I mean. And yet upon visiting Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C., it’s hard to miss the cranes dotting the skyscape.
These cities and others are the islands of opportunity out of sight to much of America.
The America that I grew up in is gone. Gone are towns like mine where my dad was a realtor and my mom was a teacher and my sister and I had dinner with them at night and we believed in the American dream.
As Becky and I approach the college years for our children, it feels like it’s perhaps a waste of money and that we’re at a distinct disadvantage for raising an unbroken family.
When the ruling class has their way with business, the stock market, education, entertainment and politics, there’s no air in the room for the common man. And this is the argument at the root of Tucker Carlson’s monologue heard around the world. And the backlash has been severe from the right and left because elites control both sides of the aisle.
America’s small business owners are responding to the rise of Democrats to power in Congress. When it became clear that Democrats would take the House, small business confidence began to fall rapidly. After the election confirmed those fears, confidence began falling even faster.
Julie Kelly explains at American Greatness that the invisible hand is at work against you and me and our small towns. And unfortunately they will never understand our plight for the working American family. She writes:
Ben Shapiro, editor of The Daily Wire, took issue with Carlson’s comment that families are being crushed by market forces. While Shapiro correctly stated that capitalism has nothing to do with the decline of American families, he does have to accept the central point of Carlson’s commentary, which is how “governmental incentives [have] skewed incentives.”
Shapiro also presented an unrealistic if not fantastical depiction of the U.S. version of capitalism, objecting to Carlson’s use of the word “tool” to describe the economic system. “It is not a tool. It is a reality of free and voluntary interactions among human beings. It is an outgrowth of the unique value of each individual, and of each individual’s right to use his labor as he sees fit, and to alienate that labor in exchange for the labor of someone else. And markets don’t exist to ‘serve us.’ They exist to allow us to act in liberty.”
Ah, if only that were true. But any business owner, from a home-based hair stylist to a corporate CEO, knows that it is not true. Every consumer knows it is not true.
Free-Market Fantasy vs. Managed Reality
It’s not capitalism or free markets, per se, that have contributed to the decay in our inner cities and rural communities—it is the inexorable, government-sanctioned abandonmentof capitalism that has resulted in shuttered plants, abandoned strip malls, crumbling infrastructure, failing public schools, and an influx of deadly drugs from China and Mexico. But here’s the rub: an up-from-your-bootstraps approach to life in Morristown will do little to overcome that treachery.
Do French, DeSanctis, Shapiro or anyone else on the Right truly think that this country now functions under a free-wheeling market-based economy? Or is it, rather, a managed one? And if the answer is that it is a managed one, who are the managers and who are the subordinates?
Who makes the rules and who lives with the consequences? Have the choices made at every level of government, from the Environmental Protection Agency down to the local school board, really had no impact on the economic choices made by millions of Americans? To believe so is either ignorance or arrogance.
We are not living in the America of conservative hopes and dreams. We are living in an adulterated version of America after more than a century of Progressive assaults on the original design.
Trump’s appeal to the folks injured by this isn’t rooted in promises of new welfare handouts or shiny new schools or government jobs. It’s not true that Trump doesn’t believe in capitalism—far from it. But Trump is a realist. He knows that there is no such thing as a free market anymore, just as he knows there’s no such thing as free trade. However wonderful it sounds in theory, it’s not our reality.
His appeal is rooted in his pledge to rollback the very policies that have wreaked havoc on rural communities across the land and to confront the ongoing political indifference to those woes. It’s worthwhile to note that few, if any, of the anti-Trump influencers on the Right have offered sound alternatives to Trump’s policy prescriptions for rural America.
So yes, as Friedman warned, there is an invisible political hand at work in America. Trump and Carlson know this. Just because anti-Trumpers on the Right refuse to see it—or, in many ways, are part of that hand and so refuse to admit it—doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Read more about Tucker’s fight for America here:
- Tucker Explains: Two Visions for America
- Tucker Explains: America’s Goal is Maximum Happiness
- Tucker: Leaders Acting Like Day Traders
- Calls to Boycott Tucker Carlson are Absurd
- Tucker Carlson: Unity is America’s Strength
- Tucker Carlson on the Money: “This is a bad joke, this whole thing”
- Tucker Carlson’s Interview with President Trump on Russia
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