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Donald Trump's gift to America

Donald Trump's presidential campaign did not come out of nowhere, as some pundits suggest. For nearly a decade, wave after wave of Americans have echoed a simple message: The deck is stacked against us!

The message has been widespread and nonpartisan. Prior to Trump, we heard it from Obama's 2008 supporters, the Tea Party, the Occupy Wall Street movement, 2015 supporters of Elizabeth Warren, Ben Carson, and Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter, and Cliven Bundy, to name but a few.

They may not agree on who stacked the deck, whether the stacking involves race, class, gender, religion, education, national origin, orientation, income, wealth, high taxes, low taxes, the government, or restraints on government, but they all know that the game is rigged. The elites write rules that lock themselves in while keeping the masses out. How do they do it? Through the sleight-of-hand known as complexity and confusion.

Audience member Robin Roy (C) reacts as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets her at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts January 4, 2016.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Audience member Robin Roy (C) reacts as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets her at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts January 4, 2016.

As of mid-2015, the elite thought to respond by providing a choice between a second Clinton and a third Bush.

Enter Donald Trump.

Why do the masses love him? It could be his policies — though Tom Tancredo's hard line on immigration never made him a contender, the Democrats are already solidly against free trade, and Trump's tax plan hardly stands out. More likely, Trump fills a visceral need. He is a full-fledged member of the elite who roasts the rest of his class with gleefully detached contempt.

Trump provides the perfect antidote to Nancy Pelosi's "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." The bill in question, of course, was Obamacare, 2,700 pages of legislation calling for thousands more pages of additional regulation — about 12 million words to date — claiming to fix our complicated health-care system by making it more complex.

The United States, founded as "a government of laws, not of men," has become a government of incomprehensible laws. Lawmakers have devised impenetrable regulatory systems rigged to be exploited by those blessed with elite degrees, ample time, and sizable budgets. Pundits, analysts, and academics help them along by ensuring that no issue in the public eye ever makes sense. American citizens, most of whom try to do the right thing most of the time, know that they're being played for suckers.

Forget trying to calculate your tax bill, determine your health-insurance coverage, or understand your investments; we gave up on those things long ago. Try holding three pieces of garbage while staring at four color-coded receptacles. Or wondering whether letting kids play in the park or walk home from school will attract the police or child services. And when it comes to hiring, school admissions, money lending, real estate, contracting, or redistricting, try categorizing people by race and applying different rules to different categories, giving race appropriate but not overwhelming weight to generate outcomes that appear roughly fair — or risk being labeled a racist.

See what you can learn from the media: Universities are no place for free speech or inquiry. God is patriarchal. Gender is fungible. Christians are zealots. The Constitution is a menace. America is racist. Motherhood discriminates against children from motherless homes. Apple pie is poison unless it's organic and gluten free.

The elites who find sense in this mess all agree that a Trump presidency would be absurd. Why? Because Trump says outrageous things. For example:

If the problem is that we can't secure the border, Trump suggests building a wall and monitoring the door.

If the problem is that we can't tell which Muslims seeking to enter the country are peaceful and which are jihadis, Trump suggests keeping them all out until we learn how to tell the difference.

If Hillary Clinton insists that Trump's relationship with women is problematic, Trump suggests comparing his own record to that of her husband.



There are, of course, many valid reasons to question these ideas. They are short on detail, could prove unworkable, and seem likely to offend many people. But they put Americans first and they are hardly absurd; if anything, they are overly simplistic. Yet the attacks that they invite are almost uniformly unhinged. Trump drives the elite crazy with messages containing a simple, consistent subtext: You people are all nuts! Life doesn't have to be this complicated!

That message is Trump's gift to America. It is a message that our next president — whoever that may be — and members of both parties in Congress should take to heart. The country needs a massive, widespread, structural simplification. Americans should understand their nation's laws. Taxes and regulations should make sense. Decent families should not have to worry about government intrusion. Companies should have to spend little on compliance. And we need to show some respect for our own traditions. Even if America's culture is changing, its traditions cannot become toxic overnight.

America needs to make sense. Because otherwise, we are, indeed, just a bunch of losers.

Commentary by Bruce Abramson, Ph.D., J.D. and Jeff Ballabon. Abramson is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, director of policy at the Iron Dome Alliance and a senior expert at Keystone Strategy. Ballabon is CEO of B2 Strategic where he advises and represents corporate and political clients on interacting with the government and media and guides foreign companies entering U.S. markets. He previously headed the communications and public policy departments of major media corporations including CBS News, Primedia and Court TV. Follow them on Twitter @bdabramson and @ballabon.

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