When President Donald J Trump first stepped into the political swamp, he immediately found himself up to his, ahem, waist, in alligators. All of his enemies, and seemingly many of his supposed friends, immediately went on the attack, one which knows no boundaries of decency, honesty, or honor. They mean to get him. Will they?

Trump would do well to study the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was not quite the outsider that Trump is, but for his day, he was as much an outsider as it gets. Not even his eight years as governor of California prepared him for the immediate onslaught that assailed him.

As is Trump, Reagan was hated not only by the defeated Democrats, but also by the so-called blue-blood Republicans, who were the establishment. They derided him as a former B-list movie actor, and ridiculed him as having co-starred with a chimp. Yet, despite all that, he was president. Something had to be done, and done soon, to cut him down to size, to delegitimize him among his supporters, and to disempower his presidency. That would teach him, by golly.

Suddenly springing to the ambush, in Reagan’s first year in office, was PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, a labor union. In 1981, it went on strike, and moreover, an illegal strike.

On the surface, the strike was for higher wages and better benefits for the men and women who, working from airport control towers, do the very difficult and stressful job of talking to airline pilots while in flight, making sure that they do not collide with each other in crowded air spaces.

That was on the surface. Had that been the real motive of PATCO, the entire matter might have been settled through negotiation. Remember that President Reagan, a former union president, had been a longtime friend of labor unions, including PATCO. He was sympathetic to them, as he was to the American taxpayer.

But there was an underlying motive, the one which has already been stated, that Reagan had to be delegitimized as president. The illegal PATCO strike was to be only the first step in ruining Reagan. If it were to succeed, then that would not be the end of it. Every union representing government workers was lined up to strike, in turn, for benefit increases that would hold the federal government hostage to their ever-increasing demands.

The rest is history. Reagan ordered the controllers to return to work or be fired, permanently. The union called his bluff, and continued to strike. But Reagan was not bluffing. He fired all the striking workers, refused to rehire them, and PATCO eventually went broke.

Reagan did not gloat over this, but it was an historic victory, the benefits of which went vastly farther than reining in runaway labor unions. Illegal strikes declined sharply, but more importantly, that other union, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia), suddenly understood that they could no longer push the United States around. Reagan’s stance was the prelude to “Art of the Deal,” when he walked away from the negotiating table when the Russians made unreasonable demands that would have endangered our national security. The liberal left went on a hissy fit, screaming that Reagan was starting a nuclear war.

But then, the Russians backed down, and a treaty favorable to the U.S. was successfully negotiated and signed. It was, indeed, “Morning in America.” The end result was that eventually, the Russians lost the Cold War. Nuclear war had been averted.

The effects of Reagan’s example were long-lasting. In 2011, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, trying to save his state from fiscal ruin, faced a dramatic and massive illegal strike by the labor union representing the state’s teachers. No holds were barred. The capitol building itself, in Madison, was literally overrun by throngs of pro-union protesters, in an attempt to paralyze the government. Walker was vilified in the press, and there were threats of physical violence against his supporters, not to mention Walker himself.

No doubt inspired by Reagan, Walker won, or should we say, Wisconsin won, as did the nation. Walker’s stand was so courageous and determined that he was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. We could do worse.

Now, it’s President Trump’s turn. So far, he seems to have the right stuff, but the real battle has hardly begun. With turncoats surrounding him, the challenges he faces are different from those which Reagan and Walker overcame, but every bit as daunting, if not more so. Both Russia and China, plus North Korea and Iran, are watching closely.

As Trump likes to say, “We’ll see.”

When President Donald J Trump first stepped into the political swamp, he immediately found himself up to his, ahem, waist, in alligators. All of his enemies, and seemingly many of his supposed friends, immediately went on the attack, one which knows no boundaries of decency, honesty, or honor. They mean to get him. Will they?

Trump would do well to study the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was not quite the outsider that Trump is, but for his day, he was as much an outsider as it gets. Not even his eight years as governor of California prepared him for the immediate onslaught that assailed him.

As is Trump, Reagan was hated not only by the defeated Democrats, but also by the so-called blue-blood Republicans, who were the establishment. They derided him as a former B-list movie actor, and ridiculed him as having co-starred with a chimp. Yet, despite all that, he was president. Something had to be done, and done soon, to cut him down to size, to delegitimize him among his supporters, and to disempower his presidency. That would teach him, by golly.

Suddenly springing to the ambush, in Reagan’s first year in office, was PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, a labor union. In 1981, it went on strike, and moreover, an illegal strike.

On the surface, the strike was for higher wages and better benefits for the men and women who, working from airport control towers, do the very difficult and stressful job of talking to airline pilots while in flight, making sure that they do not collide with each other in crowded air spaces.

That was on the surface. Had that been the real motive of PATCO, the entire matter might have been settled through negotiation. Remember that President Reagan, a former union president, had been a longtime friend of labor unions, including PATCO. He was sympathetic to them, as he was to the American taxpayer.

But there was an underlying motive, the one which has already been stated, that Reagan had to be delegitimized as president. The illegal PATCO strike was to be only the first step in ruining Reagan. If it were to succeed, then that would not be the end of it. Every union representing government workers was lined up to strike, in turn, for benefit increases that would hold the federal government hostage to their ever-increasing demands.

The rest is history. Reagan ordered the controllers to return to work or be fired, permanently. The union called his bluff, and continued to strike. But Reagan was not bluffing. He fired all the striking workers, refused to rehire them, and PATCO eventually went broke.

Reagan did not gloat over this, but it was an historic victory, the benefits of which went vastly farther than reining in runaway labor unions. Illegal strikes declined sharply, but more importantly, that other union, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia), suddenly understood that they could no longer push the United States around. Reagan’s stance was the prelude to “Art of the Deal,” when he walked away from the negotiating table when the Russians made unreasonable demands that would have endangered our national security. The liberal left went on a hissy fit, screaming that Reagan was starting a nuclear war.

But then, the Russians backed down, and a treaty favorable to the U.S. was successfully negotiated and signed. It was, indeed, “Morning in America.” The end result was that eventually, the Russians lost the Cold War. Nuclear war had been averted.

The effects of Reagan’s example were long-lasting. In 2011, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, trying to save his state from fiscal ruin, faced a dramatic and massive illegal strike by the labor union representing the state’s teachers. No holds were barred. The capitol building itself, in Madison, was literally overrun by throngs of pro-union protesters, in an attempt to paralyze the government. Walker was vilified in the press, and there were threats of physical violence against his supporters, not to mention Walker himself.

No doubt inspired by Reagan, Walker won, or should we say, Wisconsin won, as did the nation. Walker’s stand was so courageous and determined that he was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. We could do worse.

Now, it’s President Trump’s turn. So far, he seems to have the right stuff, but the real battle has hardly begun. With turncoats surrounding him, the challenges he faces are different from those which Reagan and Walker overcame, but every bit as daunting, if not more so. Both Russia and China, plus North Korea and Iran, are watching closely.

As Trump likes to say, “We’ll see.”



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