2016 Presidential Election
by Jim Braswell
I write this piece without reservation. It may not be popular among the elite class. Hell, it may rub some of my friends the wrong way, but I feel it needs to be written.
Know that I supported Scott Walker. In my mind, his successful union busting agenda combined with restrained spending offered a blueprint to turn around this country. Alas, I didn’t have my way and carried on with supporting other candidates. I’ve watched from the sideline as the field dwindled to three; one of the remaining is Donald Trump.
The Donald has caused quite the controversy within GOP intra-politics. Some say he’s the devil, calling him and his followers Hitler, Mussolini, fascist, and Nazis. Some think he’s the opposite. I’m not particularly fond of Trump’s style, but I’m not convinced he is Lucifer reincarnated.
The purpose of this article is to address the former claim and not the latter, particularly in light of Trump’s likely nomination. There’s enough anti-Trump propaganda on the Internet to read, just look at Twitter.
I want to expose the hypocrisy of those attacking Trump, especially those who have something to lose. That’s what it comes down to: those who oppose have something to lose.
You have the likes of GOP quasi-elites like Erick Erickson, Matt Walsh, Ben Shapiro, <insert another pundit’s name who has never accomplished a damned thing in his or her life besides write articles and condemn those who don’t agree with their opinions> who are forming a #NeverTrump coalition with a keyboard as their weapon of choice. Along the way, they’ve managed to insult Trump voters, implying that “Trumpkins” are stupid, racist, blah, blah, blah. You know, the same tactic the Left uses against the GOP: labeling people.
Then you have the GOP elites. These names include elected officials like newcomer Ben Sasse, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney; professional pundits like Karl Rove, Stephen Hayes, and Bill Kristol; and money people like Paul Singer and the Ricketts family, lobbyists who want to make sure the president’s door is always open…to their interests.
This combined brain trust of pundits and elites, all of whom are completely ignorant to why the GOP base is angry, are holding secret tinfoil hat meetings in an effort to further their #NeverTrump campaign. Rather than allow the plebian GOP voters have their say, the GOP bourgeoisie are mounting a preemptive strike, hoping to install someone they prefer, because they’re apparently smarter than those racist, bigoted, low-information, confederate flag-waving, fascist, Nazi Trump voters.
A side note: Most of the Trump voters I know are successful businessmen who don’t view politics as a hobby or a career. They’re all common sense people who are tired of politics as usual. I don’t expect the Beltway crowd to understand them. The likes of Erickson and Sasse have never put their tails on the line by signing a commercial lease or loan, had to make payroll, you know, run a damned business. But according to Erickson & Co., my friends are low-information morons.
I’m certain that the same GOP quasi-elites and GOP bourgeoisie would absolutely refuse to support the likes of Romney and McCain with the same veracity. We won’t talk about how Romney supported government-mandated healthcare, was pro-abortion, including donating to Planned Parenthood, and supported bans on firearms. Nor will I mention how McCain is pro-mass immigration/amnesty, called Christians “agents of intolerance,” supported the disastrous NAFTA, claimed that overturning Roe vs. Wade would lead to more illegal abortions, and voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
I’m also certain that the above deadenders would organize a similar #NeverTrump campaign to stop the likes of Bush. You know, they were the same family who expanded entitlements (hello, Medicare prescriptions), raised taxes, instituted the federally mandated No Child Left Behind, thereby expanded the Department of Education’s power, added economic-stifling regulations to the tune of $100 million a year, and inflated the federal budget by over $800 billion. They also gave us Justice Breyer and Chief Justice Roberts. That’s important.
There’s more…a lot more.
I don’t intend to praise Trump. As I said, I have my reservations about the man. I agree with some of his policies, others not so much. I also consider some of his actions morally reprehensible. Then again, people like Franklin, JFK, Obama, Cleveland, Nixon, Hoover, the list goes on and on, were influential in this country. Washington isn’t a place where saints thrive. But who the hell am I to judge? Even Saul had his good days.
No, I intend to proffer a reason to vote for Trump this November. My only hope is the reader keeps an open mind.
First, let’s look at logic.
I want to stop Hillary Clinton above else. An individual who has abused her office, causing the loss of American lives, and was involved with something called the Whitewater Scandal doesn’t deserve to represent the Red, White, and Blue. Hell no. The memory of those bare-footed, near-hypothermic bastards who crossed the Delaware River in the thick of winter deserve better.
The GOP quasi-elite and GOP bourgeoisie would have you think otherwise. Those pasty-skinned theorists who sit behind a desk all day would rather you fall on the sword this November by voting for the unicorn third-party candidate than help elect Trump. Their reasoning? Hillary would somehow be better because Trump’s policies are terrible.
Let’s talk about the real result of a magical third-party candidate. Hillary will win.
What does a Hillary win mean for us? First, it most certainly cements a pro-abortion, anti-2A, pro-entitlement, pro-affirmative action SCOTUS for the near future. How does this compare to a Trump victory?
The arguments I hear are that Trump will nominate a liberal justice. Why? How? Is there any concrete proof of this? Rather than take a chance on Trump, the anti-Trumpkin is vehemently against this idea. To put it bluntly, the anti-Trumpkins definitely want Trump to lose rather than take a chance. They want to admit defeat even when there’s a chance for victory. It’s like that kid in little league who refused to swing at strike three. They simply don’t want to try. It’s an asinine and backwards way of thinking. It also leads to my greater point about Trump.
How or why doesn’t this super awesome brain trust think outside the box? It’s so obvious it’s apparent. If our GOP leaders in Congress are the tactical geniuses they claim to be, how come they’re incapable of thinking like strategists?
Play to Trump’s ego. It at least gives us a fighting chance. The man’s head is as big as Everest. You play to him, make him think he’s making the good decision.
Let’s take SCOTUS for example. We’re all worried about that.
Rather than let Trump zigzag his way through the selection process, you preemptively strike a deal with him. You say, “President Trump, to really chisel out your legacy for years to come, we think you should nominate this judge/intellectual.” It’s not rocket science. You can take a page out of Trump’s playbook and own the man’s ego like he claims to own the banks.
I understand the argument my good friend Brian Griffiths makes about down ticket issues, but this should be the job of the local and state GOP operatives. If you’re a good enough representative, you’ll be reelected. That’s how Republicans manage to win elections in heavily Democrat districts. It happens.
Should we talk about Hillary’s other possible paths of destruction? How about raising the minimum wage? How about raising taxes? How about more business-crushing regulations? Raising short-term capital gains? “Free” college? How about further expansion of Obamacare? Another housing crisis because she wants to allow Fannie and Freddie to insure jumbo loans? The list goes on and on.
With no sign of Republican-controlled Congress stopping any of Obama’s initiatives, why would they stop Hillary’s?
This is all apparently a-ok with Erickson, Sasse, and friends.
Let’s move onto Trump’s main policy points, at least the more controversial. I’ll attempt to be succinct on each, as it would take me hours to describe every policy in detail. You’ll get the point.
I’ll start with the two most controversial.
Immigration: This is the genesis of the useful idiots labeling Trump as a racist. Why? He dared mention the idea of temporarily restricting Muslim immigration. You’d think he was the first candidate/elected official to advocate such a measure. You’d also be wrong.
Both parties have adopted restrictive immigration policies in the past. There’s a difference though. Trump’s policy is based on a culture, not race.
One of the most important jobs of the president is national security. There’s no doubt something is wrong in Islamic community overseas. ISIS and the Syrian crisis is an example. Allowing mass Syrian immigration into the country will increase the chances of an ISIS-led attack. Even the experts agree. It’s common sense to curtail this, and a conservative position.
Also, look at the mass-immigration of able-bodied Muslim men into Europe. It won’t take long for you to find stories about children and women being raped. Why are there politically correct “cultural understanding” classes?
I don’t want to get into the weeds of a policy debate as this article is about the demonizing of Trump rhetoric, but I would point to the recent Pew Survey about Islam and Sharia. Again, this is about culture.
Pew Research conducted a poll three years ago about this very fact. Among those countries in the Middle East-North Africa corridor, anywhere between 29% (Lebanon) to 91% (Iraq) claimed Sharia Law should be the law of the land. South Asia was even more startling, with 82% of respondents in Bangladesh, 84% in Pakistan, and 89% in Afghanistan agreeing.
This isn’t across the board, though. Look at areas with much more exposure to Western Legal Tradition and culture. Much, much lower agreement on Sharia. See for yourself.
More importantly, anywhere between 29% (Morocco) and 74% (Egypt) claim that Sharia Law should apply to Muslims and Non-Muslims.
Now, what does Sharia Law entail? In the Middle East and North Africa, anywhere between 44% (Tunsia) to 76% (Palestine territory) of Muslims who claim that Sharia should be the law support cutting off the hands of thieves and robbers.
How about stoning as a punishment for adultery? Again, the highest support comes from the Middle-East North Africa region and South Asia. It ranges anywhere from 44% (Tunsia) to 85% of Sharia-loving Afghanis. Even better, support for taking the life of someone who abandons Islam is upwards of 88% in Egypt and 79% in Afghanistan.
Think about this: In a country like Afghanistan, 89% said Sharia should be law of the land. Among that 89% (9 in 10) 61% state that Sharia should apply to both Muslims and Non-Muslims. That’s about 5 in 10 Afghanis – 50% of the total population. Of that 50% of the population, 81% believe in chopping of arms of thieves, 85% claim that adulterers should be stoned to death, and 79% claim you should die if you convert. That’s 4 in 10 Muslims who want Non-Muslims to suffer these draconian sentences. That’s insane! Sorry if I don’t want my daughter exposed to that barbaric nonsense.
Unlike natural-born American Muslims who appreciate life outside of Sharia, those from certain areas of this world don’t think like us. Allowing unfettered mass-immigration will have grave consequences. I would guide the reader to Theodore Dalrymple’s book Our Culture, What’s Left of It about how Muslim immigrants cannot divorce their ideology from the government. Look at the Islamic communities in Paris. Closer to home, look no further than Somali gangs in Minnesota. That’s just a microcosm of what can happen in this country.
If temporarily Muslim immigration from hot spots is a racist platform, then Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Kasich, hell, the majority of the field are racists as well. Do I need to remind you that it’s not about race, but a culture?
In a broader sense, how about Trump’s “build that wall” proposal? This is where Sasse, Erickson & Co. and the rest of the deadenders start using a tactic of the Left. They’re claiming a few knucklehead “alt-right racists,” or whatever they’re called, hate “Mexicans.” Once again, this argument is about culture, not race.
There’s a multitude of reasons for real immigration reform and strong borders. This ranges from the control of diseases we have contained in this country to curtailing gangs and the transport of heroin (illegal immigrants account for 90% of heroin trafficking in America).
The average illegal immigrant has a 10th grade education. An individual with less than a high school degree heads half of unlawful immigrant households. That’s not good. They’re a burden on an already bloated budget. The average illegal immigrant receives about $25K in benefits…while only paying about 10K in taxes. That’s a net loss of 15K! If you aggregate those numbers together among all illegal immigrants, they create a deficit of $54.5 billion dollars.
Finally, since certain cultures think it’s perfectly fine to have sex with twelve year olds, why not address the absurd amount of child rape around the border. More than 2,000 sex offenders are deported every year in Texas alone. Illegal immigrants sexually assaulted nearly a thousand Texas children over a course of three years. Since when did building the wall become a racist policy? It’s mind numbing that we would rather refrain from offending someone than protecting our own children. Yet, Trump is racist and a bigot, along with all of his followers.
Trump wants to bring the best and the brightest back. I would equate this to a point system akin to Australia and New Zealand. The pro-immigration crowd claims this is racist. At least we’re in good company with down under.
Sorry, the deadenders lose me on this. I don’t see how this is racist. I don’t see how looking out for the security and the economic stability of the country has anything to do with it. Horrible that many on the Right don’t see this.
Let’s move on to trade policy: I love economics.
Trump is being attacked for his proposed 45% tariff on Chinese goods. Some websites who have a clear bias against Trump claim that this would devastate the economy, send us into a recession, and that a trade deficit is actually good for the economy.
Free trade is wonderful if it’s balanced. It becomes an issue when one country manipulates free trade agreements by purposefully devaluing their currency, thereby making it more beneficial for one country to import the cheaper goods. This is what China, along with other emerging markets, are doing. The reason they’re employment this practice is because of a history of borrowing currency in an attempt to catch up with the modern world. They are essentially selling of their goods at a discount in order to increase exports and keep unemployment low in order to pay of their debt.
What does this practice cause to the US?
According to University of Maryland Professor Peter Morici, the trade deficit with China grew $25 billion in 2015, killing 200,000 American jobs. US manufacturing employment growth is particularly hit hard, and has slowed by 30%.
Professor Morici also uses another example: the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Since 2012, imports from Korea have risen more than exports, increasing the trade deficit by $16 billion and destroying 130,000 American jobs.
As a whole, the US trade deficit is about $500 billion a year and costs 4 million jobs. Staggering. There is nothing liberal about protecting American jobs, particularly those in manufacturing.
Thus, Donald Trump threatens a 45% tariff on Chinese goods. What happens? The powers that be gasp and claim the US economy will fall apart.
You wonder if any of them ever heard of the Overton Window? Trump opened it just enough for Cruz, Kasich, and Rubio to start talking about unbalanced trade. Hell, Cruz even backed down from TPP (a whole different debate about sovereignty and the right of Congress to approve treaties). Oh, and TPP will most certainly open the door for more currency manipulation – fun for those not in the manufacturing sector.
Does Donald Trump really think a 45% tariff will work? Doubt it. Does he think a threat will work? If he studied President Reagan, I think he’d conclude that it would.
This will make some “conservatives” head spin.
For those of you who claim to be Reagan experts but never really studied his policies, you might be surprised to know that Ronald Reagan praised free trade but was really a protectionist. Take for example in 1981 when Ronald Reagan imposed a 45% tariff on Japanese motorcycles. It helped Harley and almost killed Honda.
I’ll let that number sink in for a moment.
That’s not the end. Reagan also raised tariffs on Canadian lumber and cedar shingles, imposed a 100% tariff on $300 million worth of Japanese electronics, and threatened and forced Japan to voluntary accept restraints on auto exports after threatening a veto. There’s more. There’s so much more.
You get my point. If you’re attacking Trump’s trade rhetoric, you can’t praise Reagan. You’d be a hypocrite.
Before we move on, I’d encourage the reader to think about other aspects of trade. What else could it mean for the country?
I mentioned a little earlier about one of the president’s most important jobs being national security. In their book Balanced Trade, Richman, Richman, and Richman found a statistically significant correlation between balance of trade and national power. Those countries with balanced trade had an increase in national material capabilities, while those with an unfavorable balance saw a decrease in national power.
We need to make stuff. Plain and simple.
Protecting our country is a conservative value.
I’d also like to point out the first two policies – protective tariffs and restrictive immigration – were adopted by one of the greatest conservative presidents ever to grace the Oval Office: Calvin Coolidge. Those policies, along with his cost-cutting measures, led to one of the greatest economic decades of this country.
How about a quick look at other objections the #NeverTrump crowd has:
“He’s going to kill children”: There’s something called Kool-Aid; you should drink it if you think he’s going to kill children. Again, he’s opening the Overton Window? Ridiculous to even take this idea seriously.
Abortion: If you’re not going to vote for Trump because he’s pro-abort, then you should’ve never voted for McCain or Romney. Period. It’s hypocritical to have given Romney, a former pro-choicer, a pass on this issue and not Donald Trump. “But he’s going to fund Planned Parenthood.” He’s using this tactic to appeal to single women – a group we need to start winning back. He also clarified that he won’t fund Planned Parenthood if they perform abortions.
Look, I’m about as pro-life as you can get, but I’m also willing to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt and not demonize his past statements. I did the same for McCain. I did the same for Romney. I’ll do it for Trump. I also look at the alternative and what she will do for abortion “rights.”
He’s donated to Democrats: This is a complete joke. The only people who care about who an individual donates to are those inside the political bubble. Period. Most businesspersons I know have donated to both parties. Why? Access. They’re not political ideologues, and they don’t follow every vote of a politician. Trump might be different if he’s an ideologue –
someone like a George Soros who donates exclusively to Democrats (sans Kasich) – but he’s not. He’s actually supported Republican presidents in the past, including George H. and Reagan. I don’t buy this argument. I look at it as a talking point for the vehemently ant-Trump crowd. If you’re so against Trump donating to Democrats, then maybe you should stop using Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Wants government to run health care akin to Canada/England: This is the most laughable criticism. Critics claim that Trump’s past statements about England’s health care system show he’s pro-big government. These same critics ignore Romney’s past actions, particularly his installment of Romneycare in Massachusetts. If we’re being totally fair, and this might but a few people, but government mandated healthcare was the child of the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation. What about Bush expanding Medicare with his prescription drug program? That isn’t discussed.
Trump doesn’t want government run healthcare. He wants competition. I know the idea is hard to swallow for some, but he’s made it clear several times. Again, we gave a pass to Romney and Bush, but we’re demonizing Trump.
I could make the same comparisons between several other areas the #NeverTrump deadenders make and past GOP candidates, including eminent domain, taxes, weapons ban, etc. You can easily research and find that Trump is very similar to those the #NeverTrump crowd have supported in the past.
This brings me to my final issue. It revolves around this whole idea that Trump is vulgar and racist. Look, I don’t fault someone for choosing to vote for someone else in the primary. That’s fine. That’s not what this piece is about. If you’re not voting for Trump because he’s both vulgar and supposedly a racist (he’s not), then you’re letting your emotions get to you, and more importantly, allowing the media to control the narrative.
On to vulgarity: I simply don’t care. As I stated earlier in this piece, show me a white knight in Washington, and I’ll show you a unicorn. Yes, Trump is vulgar at times, and he’s extremely non-PC. I’m ok with the non-PC stuff. I simply don’t care. As far as vulgarity? That argument is a joke. There isn’t news cycle that goes by without a politician being indicted or bought out by special interests. Yet, the #NeverTrump crowd would remain silent on these people, maybe even supporting some.
The list includes Representative Grimm in New York, Former Speak of the House John Boehner, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Senator Marco Rubio, the list goes on and on. There’s so much corruption in Washington on both sides of the aisle that it’s hard to take seriously any Trump criticism about him being vulgar. Why didn’t I include the aforementioned activities? It adds more shock value when you find out for yourself what happened.
At least with Trump it’s the devil I know.
On the racist/violent rhetoric of his supporters: Trump’s violent rhetoric is overblown. The media will point to him not disavowing David Duke. He disavowed him several times before that Sunday interview. That’s not an honest criticism.
As far as his supporters? They’re angry. They’ve been forgotten thanks to Washington. Democrats pander to the #BlackLivesMatter, immigrant, minority, government babies crowd. Republicans seem to care only about big businesses and investment bankers. Who is forgotten? The demonized working class, the same people who lose manufacturing jobs in order to “stimulate our economy.”
Sorry, this is MY family. Though I hate to use labels, I’ll play by the rules. The working class has watched their jobs evaporate. It’s easy for the #NeverTrump crowd to look down upon these people while they punch away at their keyboards, thinking that manual laborers are ignorant and backwards, that they don’t have a right to be upset, that Trump – who speaks to their anger – is an imbecile and therefore they’re imbeciles as well.
Let me remind the reader that those imbeciles make up a majority of our military. They are the sons and daughters, the fathers and mothers who end up feeding our armed forces. While the #NeverTrump warriors mash away and continue to write articles, they don’t see how broken the middle class is, their wages having been reduced by $4,000 since 2000. You don’t think they have a right to be angry? Sorry, they damn well do, and if you think they’re racist because they believe in something most have long since forgotten, go pound sand. Really. Pound sand. They’ve made more sacrifices in a week than policy wonks will ever make in a lifetime.
Trump is their outlet. I take no issue with this.
Instead, the #NeverTrump crowd would rather facilitate a Hillary Clinton election, the same person who:
- Terminated for unethical behavior while investigating Watergate.
- Involved with the Whitewater Scandal and Travelgate as First Lady.
- Was Secretary of State during Benghazi
- Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from terrorist countries in exchange for political favors.
- Kept classified information in a private server,
- The list can go on and on
So, my #NeverTrump friends, please go mount your donkey and attack some windmills. Go ahead and talk about how you’ll start a third party or you’ll never vote for him in the general. Fall on that sword and put the rest of us at peril. I don’t buy it.
This #NeverTrump nonsense is just that: Nonsense. Look at the policy differences between the last several GOP candidates and Trump. Not many differences. Trump is actually more conservative in some areas. The only real difference between Trump and those before him? The elites can’t control him.
That might be a good thing.