Ferguson on a new Trump world order
Holy Resilience

Order v. Personality

Evan McMullin makes important points in his op-ed in the NYTimes pointing out the ways Trump is acting like an authoritarian already.  

Mr. Trump’s inconsistencies and provocative proposals are a strategy; they are intended to elevate his importance above all else — and to place him beyond democratic norms, beyond even the Constitution.

This is the wake of Larry Summers' op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing the Carrier deal. 

It seems to me what we have just witnessed is an act of ad hoc deal capitalism and, worse yet, its celebration as a model. As with the air traffic controllers, only a negligible sliver of the economy is involved, but there is huge symbolic value. A principle is being established: It is good for the president to try to figure out what people want and lean on companies to give it to them. Predictability and procedure are less important than getting the right result at the right time. Like Hong Kong, as mainland China increasingly imposes its will, we may have taken a first step toward a kind of reverse transition from rule of law capitalism to ad hoc deal-based capitalism.

One article praising the deal does so for the very reason that Summers (and I) are alarmed by it.

It may be a qualified win, but the Carrier deal suggests that Trump’s promises of greater federal intervention in the economy were not just posturing. It could open the door for Trump to take a much more active role in the economy, not simply through fiscal policy but through direct involvement with specific companies.

All point to an erosion of the norms and traditions of our country.  We must work to conserve what is important in our tradition of order.


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