Trump did the impossible.
2016 just doesn’t stop. After taking David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Pat Summit, and a gorilla we didn’t even know we missed until it was too late; after seeing numerous firsts, including my own first winning season in the sixth year of a long-term fantasy football league (this is a big deal); after bearing witness to the greatest circus the American political arena has ever put on, the year had one more surprise up its nigh comically long sleeve. (President-Elect) Donald J. Trump defeated the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in what most would consider one of the greatest upsets in Vegas history. Trump won’t take power until January 20, 2017, so we have some time before anything becomes truly report worthy. However, reflection is always necessary and appropriate.
There has not been a time, this election, that I’ve been terribly quiet about my personal disdain for big government, and government in general. More than once, I openly stated I would not vote for either candidate, and I held firm in that assertion. My vote was cast for Gary Johnson, albeit not excitedly. One can only ignore reality to a certain degree without being committed for Schizophrenia, though. In the end, it was always going to be either Trump or Hillary.
A Best Guess Glimpse
A conservative could make a case for either candidate, oddly enough. Which should only go to show the concern Conservatives had/have over a Trump candidacy. Ben Shapiro made the point numerous times that Trump, in and of himself, was never really the issue. The issue was the level to which Republican voters were willing to change their positions on Conservatism in order to fit the Trumptarian message.
Aside from the general bastardization of the Conservative platform, there is the likelihood of a recession during the next four years. Regardless of what policies, if any, it can be blamed on, the blame would almost certainly fall on the figurehead that is the President of the United States. A Trump failure would all but guarantee Democratic control in 2020, if not sooner.
Aside from security, trade, and immigration, we don’t really know what Trump’s stances are. He seems to be a nationalist, which brings with it its own pros and cons, but there’s just not a lot of information to go on. The argument has been made that Trump was a Democrat until recently. That said, it seems likely that his party alliance was bent more toward whom he could pay, than toward economic freedom. He has historically fallen on the side of social liberalism, as well.
Ironically, that uncertainty may have been a positive for Trump. With Clinton, everyone knew exactly what we would get. Clinton’s fight for “liberty” would accomplish precisely the opposite. There is no debate as to the stance of the Left regarding how big government should be: bigger. The liberties Clinton promised to fight for could only be gained by trampling on the back of the liberties of others. Clinton was also the most hawkish candidate the Democrats had run, possibly ever.
Voters knew that Clinton negligently and purposefully stored classified emails and documents on a private server; voters knew that Clinton was funded by a number of abhorrent regimes, Saudi Arabia not the least of which; voters knew that Clinton was a political insider, a Wall Street shill, and a compulsive liar. Voters knew Trump said mean things.
While not terribly presidential, Trump will be the president. What does that mean? It’s hard to tell, as already stated. That won’t stop us from making inferences, though.
It’s asinine to suggest that Trump, or any politician, is the next “Hitler.” Let’s start there, and get that out of the way. 11 million people will not be deported. The LGBT community will not have their rights stripped from them. Jim Crow laws will not make a return. Women will not be relegated to the kitchen. The dramatics are unwarranted, but are certainly a favorite tactic of the Left.
Trump’s points on trade could have easily been the turning point for him in the Rust Belt, an area that was decimated by free-trade deals such as NAFTA. To be clear, NAFTA is not free trade, despite its name. Such agreements are created and executed by Government, rather than individuals. Someone gets left out to dry, and not due to market forces. Protectionist tariffs sound great. They protect a certain market, and protect the workers in that market. They also raise prices, which ends up forcing a company to either pass on the cost to the consumer, or lay off workers. Tariffs are bad.
Corporate taxes and regulations are worse. This is one of the areas I think Trump stands a chance to do well. The reason companies leave the United States is not greed, but economics. By bringing the corporate tax rate down from 35% to 15% allows companies to stay here, keeping jobs within the states. By cutting regulation on businesses, small businesses are placed in a position where they can afford to start up, and can offer competition to the major corporations. I’ve railed on it before, but major corporation love regulation. Such laws keep out the competition.
Speaking of competition, Trump can fix Obamacare through two very simple steps: 1) eliminate Obamacare, and 2) open competition for insurance companies across state lines. Economics is relatively simple in the sense that competition forces prices down, drives quality up, or some combination of the two. Regardless, people have more options.
Mr. Trump has stated that he would not touch either Social Security or Medicare, and would actually raise handouts for certain groups. This one is a problem. This is not a retraction of government intervention, and is a patently Left standpoint.
Immigration and security are the most interesting aspects of Trump’s message, in my opinion, though economics is more important. “Build the wall!” could be heard throughout the Trump campaign. I have no idea whether or not there will actually be a wall. I do know that he better do something, or face the wrath of millions of voters throwing their sense of betrayal onto his new front lawn.
Insofar as security goes, it would be hard to have missed Trump’s goals, here. Essentially, stymie the influx of immigration from countries with known terrorist presence, and “bomb the s*** out of ISIS.” Frankly, it would be nice to just see our military used in a defensive nature, rather than offensive. If ISIS is the only enemy we make over the next four years, fine. That’s not too bad. It’s certainly better than going into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and messing with the politics of countless other countries including Iran and Egypt. America is not the world police, no matter how much our politicians would like us to be. Remember, war make money.
There was a lot of speculation as to Trump’s ties with Russia and Putin. There is likely some truth to the claims, but, as always, the truth is probably in the middle. Having a positive working relationship with any country strikes me as a positive, barring collusion to the point of detriment to the American people.
I do not see Trump being a small government vanguard, by any means. The federal government will probably retain a lot of its power. However, Trump’s version of power is less distressing than Hillary’s. I’d be thrilled to see him prove me wrong, and walk back the size of the federal government, and would happily admit my ineptitude for predictions. After all, I was already preparing to rage against the Clinton dynasty for at least the next four years.
If most of this reads as speculation, it is. Speculation is all we have, at the moment. The only thing I’m certain of is that the next two years are crucial. The GOP will have total control of all three branches of Government. To quote everyone’s favorite arachnid-human hybrid’s uncle, “With great power comes great responsibility.” We won’t be able to play the Obama blame game if things go south. Responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the Republican party, and it’s either sink or swim, at this point.
In all, the only thing we can do, and must do, is to push for the conservative values of small government and states’ rights. We got the revolt vote we wanted, but now we have to make good on those promises. The future is nothing if not wide open, and anything can happen. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity. If we don’t it will have been our own fault.