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TRUMP: The Radical Centrist

Jack Shearing (2/28/17)

John F. Kennedy once described himself as “an idealist without illusions.” He was I would argue, our nation’s last Radical Centrist President; before Trump of course. “What do you mean Trump isn’t a conservative?” You might ask, to that I’d like to give my own definition of Radical Centrism- A set of political beliefs that change fluidly upon the discovery of new information. This may appear closer to objectivism than centrism except for one key difference- Radical. Also notice, this definition does not contradict conservative ideals.

Whether Trump is an objectivist or not is up for debate, yet his disregard for convention and tradition definitely puts him in the camp. The media, in response to Trump’s failure to attend the white house correspondents’ dinner, has accidentally reminded me of the Dean character in Ayn Rand’s titular novel The Fountainhead. If you haven’t read the novel, the Dean is a sort of comic relief character that exists represents the absurdity of tradition.

“You don’t care what others think – which might be understandable. But you don’t you don’t care even to make them think as you do?”

“No.” [Roark replies to the dean]

“But that’s… monstrous.”

Trump isn’t attending the dinner because it’s a waste a time. He’s been made of fun, lied about and berated for almost two years by these media big wigs; what’s the point of subjecting himself to it for another night in person?

Trump has, during the campaign and during his first two months in office shunned many traditions while also lauding others in a seemingly random manner that does not follow standard Republican conventions at all. Some pundits say this is indicative of a new “Trumpublican” party, one that is tougher on immigration but much more accepting to liberal social policy’s such as Gay Marriage and giving the states the rights to choose when it comes to abortion and transgender bathroom laws. Is this the beginning of a new center right? Or is Trump two steps ahead of the game? Trump was elected on the back of the societal pendulum swinging fast away from the madness of eight years under Obama. Is he now positioning himself to prepare for another swing to the left?

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