Provision of health care to Americans under Trump will reverse course, turning away from a government-driven system of mandated enrollments and toward a market-based consumer purchase system with some subsidies for the poor.
Trump’s Gospel of Winning will fight the rhetoric of victimization tooth and nail. According to Trump’s social psychology, negativity only breeds more negativity. Just put your mind to it, his creed advises, and think of yourself as a winner, as the greatest, as the best. Use your will to banish bad thoughts about yourself and your chances. Brand yourself a winner and sell that brand to the world.
Ironically, of course, part of Trump’s electoral success lay in arguing to his base that they are being victimized (by unfair trade, illegal immigration, etc.) in ways they don’t deserve, and that he will raise them up and lead them to a promised land of reasonable prosperity in an America restored to lost greatness.
Trump’s public preaching of the Gospel of Winning likely will continue to play loose with facts and with sad social realities. This is his style of speaking, as he says, in “truthful hyperbole.” Some will continue to denounce such rhetoric as a dishonest con for the impressionable.
Nourished with positive thinking, Trump populism will work hard to create jobs. This goal will be sought through incentives to capital to invest in new and expanded enterprises. Hence Trump’s picks of Wall Street insiders for secretary of the Treasury, his White House economic adviser, and his chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The general Trump economic program will be plain-vanilla laissez-faire: low taxes and fewer regulations. But like Teddy Roosevelt, Trump will also intervene, using the bully pulpit to castigate and deconstruct a company’s social license to operate if it does not provide jobs for Americans.
On education, Gospel of Winning populism will seek to transform public education from a top-down delivery system organized around teachers to a bottoms-up system of work and achievement organized around students and parents.
Following his mentor Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Trump will insist that each of us can will his or her way to success. If we see ourselves as winners, we will be winners in time, no matter our race, gender, or ethnic background.
This will give Trump’s administration a radical new approach to race relations. Trump’s stand is that no one is a victim by necessity; all can be successful, even legal immigrants.
During a campaign stop in Cleveland, Trump spoke in a charter school in a “tough” neighborhood. He spoke about “the ladder to success,” saying “I define that as a great education and a great job,” adding, “You cannot have prosperity without safety.”
His vision for inner cities is of communities of positive-thinking people working to better their individual conditions. Thus, Ben Carson — a kind of Prosperity Gospel preacher himself — is chosen to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
In foreign affairs, Trump’s Gospel of Winning will be more tribal than internationalist. His underlying Calvinist orientation predisposes him to faith in American exceptionalism — America as God’s chosen “winner” among nations. That will translate into policies that will keep us aloof from messy entanglements with “losers” around the world.
It will also focus Trump on seeking the most self-interested terms — “winning” terms — for the United States in all negotiations. “Winning” in foreign affairs means rejecting reliance on free markets. Nations avoid “losing” to one another economically by erecting trade barriers, manipulating their currencies and favoring domestic producers.
“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said in his inaugural address. “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.”