Disclaimer: Donald Trump is a phenomenon in many ways. One simply cannot go a day without hearing something Trump either in the news or social media. My frequent discussion about his campaign is purely an expression of curiosity from the political and social science points of view and is not intended to imply any personal endorsement of any candidate. I am, at the moment, quite undecided. Though I am leaning in a way that implies the necessity of a very long freeze in THE deep hot place before I’d be persuaded to support Trump.
I have some analysis of Trump to get to. But first, my current standing is in the Modern Whig Party where I am inactive aside from participating in social media discussions of issues. I did not have to change my Republican Party affiliation to join the Whigs, and it has been some time since I caucused with Republicans, giving it up after a long Romney campaign packed with elitist vitriol that was as off-putting as it was easily defeated.
Hanging up the shoes was an easy choice because the only thing worse than an obligation to support a political machine with time and effort that is more or less full of judgmental, elitist dirt bags after having been rammed into the nomination by the establishment on electability grounds is the added foreseeable insult of watching it crash and burn in the general. Though it is early in the nominating process for 2016, the larger than life presence of Donald Trump brings to the fore that I had forgotten a valuable lesson from the Great Recession that things can always be much worse. It was hard to imagine a worse candidate than Romney back in 2012 (though Rick Santorum made it a close call). Now, it’s hard to imagine anything worse than Trump in the White House.
I was in the position of needing another car because my son has nothing to drive. So I bought one that I picked up from the dealer this evening. While we were out enjoying the new ride, my husband and I stopped at a McDonald’s that has fancy big flat screen TV’s in the dining area. The central TV was tuned to CNN, and Mr. Trump was giving an interview in which he discussed placing tariffs on foreign cars, among other things like making Carl Ichan the Treasury Secretary. And of course all of this is an entirely new evolution after his interview on Bloomberg not more than a week ago where he stressed that he’s for free and fair trade.
I’ve heard it said by people who know much more about politics than me that Trump is popular because he’s bold and can’t be bought. But really, I do not see much difference between Trump and any other politician saying what they have to say to get elected even if all of the various statements are contradictory between themselves, but also with historical record and in fact. Free trade is not statism while Trump implies he’d play chess with trade.
So a guy who can’t be bought does misguided and harmful things on his own instead of rent seekers utilizing graft in order to have puppet politicians do them. I am not particularly sure how there would be any different net result of much less economic stability and higher prices for just about everything as he applies a level protectionist policies we have not seen in this country since the 1960’s. We can turn into corporatists slowly through graft or fast track it to North Korea with Trump playing chess with trade and the livelihoods of others while accompanied by one of the most notorious corporate looters in the modern era heading up the Treasury.
Think the current monetary regime is bad? This is yet another way the Fed’s brand of IT is a danger to humanity in that it certainly could not stand up to Trump without causing another crisis or string of crises – think Trump-induced supply shocks.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I was going to analyze the only portion of a platform Trump has put forward – Immigration. But I am not going to waste my time wading through the details because planting doubt that it would solve anything is simple. From my upbringing in Southern California, I can attest that undocumented workers have always been everywhere – at least there they are everywhere. We’re talking about since I was a kid and I can remember my mother watching Watergate testimony on TV. That is 40 years, give or take, that illegals have been an “issue.” Reagan implemented an amnesty plan and we prospered nonetheless – we had the roaring 80’s. All of the technical details of Trump’s plan do not matter with a historical record such as that for comparison. I do not know of any economic platform based on mass deportation that has been successful. Perhaps someone could point one out.
If one were to suppose that correlation equals causation, which I generally frown upon but do with some humor here, one might draw the conclusion that amnesty is what we need in order to create the economic atmosphere of the 1980’s. But only people who are not distracted by demagoguery and spend just a little time thinking about history could get far enough down the golden thread of logic to draw such a conclusion. Prone to error as it may be, it’s more likely to be much closer to reality than either Trump’s immigration plan or his rhetoric.
Since I mentioned Reagan and the roaring 80’s, this article about Michael Reagan’s objections to Trump comparing himself to his father is a great one to close with. I agree. No matter what Trump says about himself, he certainly is no Ronald Reagan. I imagine that Obama, though still miles away, is probably much closer in comparison.