From Saginasty to Saginawesome

“If you’ve got rats, you call the guy to come in.”

I picked up this little gem of political analysis from this morning’s news-cruise on the Internet. It was on the Beeb website, of all unlikely places. Their correspondent was visiting Saginaw, Michigan, which he correctly identified as a proper noun in the lyrics of a pop song from fifty-two years ago. (BBC like to remind us how hip they are.)

Perhaps gentle reader already understands this analysis, uttered by a retired nurse, who was not the only Saginawian who helped deliver the “blue wall” state of Michigan to Mr Trump, two Novembers ago.

“You don’t care if his crack is showing, you don’t care if he swears, you don’t care if he got tobacco-stain teeth. You want the rats took out.”

I’m quoting from memory, I hope I’ve got it right.

The oddest thing about this story, which wanders off the Beeb’s anti-Trump narrative for a few paragraphs before returning to it, is that it tells us exactly why Mr Trump now has the Republican Party in his wee hands, and is beloved in “Middle America” — including Saginaw, a failed rustbelt town, once heavily unionized and in the fief of the Democratic Party. Under their management, the population of Saginaw shrank to about half.

But it don’t belong to them any more; and what is worse (if you’re a Democrat), it is coming back to life.

This is a mystery, to the media, although not to me. Even a prominent local patch of graffiti has been altered from “Saginasty” to “Saginawesome” — and little businesses are springing through the asphalt splits, including boutique shops, boutique breweries, boutique housebuilding, and boutique industrial workshops.

Let me explain the mystery. A very large part of human enterprise is founded on morale. One might call it a confidence game; but some of these games are better than others. The parties of managed decline, and political correctness, in America and across Europe, cannot understand this. To them, an economy is based on economic factors, and the government’s job is to control them. But morale is not an economic factor. It is a spiritual factor. Winning does not start with getting the right assistance; it starts with wanting to win.

And it depends on the most inscrutable enthusiasms, such as that for putting the rats out.

As their correspondent discovered, in Tony’s Original Restaurant, the town contains many “anti-abortion, low-tax” people — black as well as white. These are the sort of “deplorables” upon whom progressive Democrats (and Liberals and Labourites and Social Democrats) heap their anathemas and slurs. What he perhaps missed is that pro-life extends beyond unborn babies, to all kinds of deplorable activities, such as earning a living and supporting a family and building a community. It is very likely to include involvement in a church.

Mr Trump is rather vulgar, as I have previously noted, but I have myself migrated from the “never Trump” to something like the “MAGA” position. (Though I’d prefer, “Make America Christian Again,” with its more aggressive trigger term.) I did not watch his presidential address last night, because I didn’t have to. I still find his boastfulness and tweetersnipes rather taxing. I still won’t invite Donald up to the High Doganate (and it would be scandalous to invite Melania alone).

But he has fixed the morale button his predecessors busted — the one that is wired to the mysterious siren that drives the rats crazy.