I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February 2015 – the start of the election cycle. From the frontrunners at the time such as Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, to the ‘dead on inception’ candidates such as Jim Gilmore and Bobby Jindall, every type of campaign was present to make their case for why they deserve to sit in the White House. One popular face who was seen as an unlikely run, was the not-so media shy Donald Trump. I met him in the halls at CPAC, where he greeted me and asked me to vote for him in the straw poll. When I replied “no thank you”, he rolled his eyes and walked off. He didn’t make a huge scene at CPAC, thus it appeared likely to be another joke media blitz of claiming to run, and just getting some hype built up for another season of the Apprentice. That was until I attended an event in Manhattan where I believed Trump would announce he was not running, but then announced that he did intend to run after all. The media said he was serious, he said he was serious, but I remain on the stance he’s a joke.
Before going into detail, let me state exactly what kind of a Republican I am. I am a laissez faire capitalist who enjoys the thought of making a 50%+ federal budget cut and seeing mass deregulation in the FDA, monetary policy, wage policy and occupational licensing. I am socially liberal, being pro-choice, pro-gay, for drug legalization and also in favor of open borders. On defense policy, I’m a pragmatist identifying as relatively pro-Israel, favoring modest defense cuts and seeking diplomacy via free trade, over the Rubio approach of free missiles. I’m a libertarian, but have backed Republican campaigns such as Rob Astorino, Bruce Rauner, Matt Bevin, Scott Brown, Tim Scott and many other campaigns where I find the Republican not perfect, but light-years in comparison to the Democrat alternative. With that said, I’d say Hillary Clinton is unfortunately light-years more preferable than Donald Trump in this particular presidential election.
Let’s ignore the statements and the reckless history of Donald Trump for a moment. Let’s ignore him setting up a false conspiracy of Barack Obama not being born in this country, and spending 2011 running around alleging the President is from Kenya and cheated his way to Columbia. Let’s ignore the arguable racism towards Mexicans and Muslims. Let’s ignore the gross stance against vaccines and modern medicine. Let’s ignore the fact that there’s not a single issue he’s not flip-flopped on in the last five years. Let’s ignore the fact he’d offend POWs with very offensive comments towards John McCain. Let’s ignore the hair!
Let’s just focus on his policies and why in almost every way, Hillary Clinton is the better person for the job compared to Trump.
For myself, trade is perhaps the single most vital issue to bear in mind when considering who to vote for. Thankfully, both parties and intellectuals from most dominant schools of thought have seemed to carry enough common sense to always get behind it, from Milton Friedman to Murray Rothbard to Paul Krugman. Virtually everyone in economics and business has written that it is simply a fact that trade and free trade is good for an economy. The argument holds simple: the idea that an economy can hold more success with a market of seven billion minds and bodies is greater than just 300 million. Bringing it down to a simple comparison, imagine a person being told that for economic benefit, they cannot buy anything which wasn’t made from their town. The outcome to anyone realizing it on that point of scale, is destruction.
Yet despite economic consensus and despite fact; despite Herbert Hoover introducing the Smoot-Hawley tariff and witnessing unemployment surge from 7% to 15% in five months, Trump still wants to be the man to control how America and the global economy functions. The idea that ‘made in China’ is bad is false, but still finds expression with Trump despite in nearly every analysis, trade still holds for better economies, more employment and cheaper goods.
Having the economically-reckless Trump say he’d just sit back and implement massive import taxes in this false hope it can bring economic growth should be the ultimate disqualifier for him. Anyone who considers themselves to be a capitalist, a conservative or a libertarian should just remove him from their list of options at this moment. Sadly the “Murica! Yay!” crowd is still holding strong.
Comparing to Hillary Clinton, I would argue her support for semi-free trade is more than enough for a stroke of support over Donald Trump. Her husband signed NAFTA during his term, and I consider it as the single greatest move in public policy for the decade of the 90s. Hillary also until recently supported the TPP bill which, while more time is needed to fully present a real stance on it, the agreement seems to hold it out as pretty beneficial. Hillary here just wins against Trump.
For Donald Trump, there’s a simple question which I would enjoy having him answer: what is he planning to cut?
He has called to raise defense spending.
He has called to spend 200 billion a year more on immigration and border enforcement.
He has called to expand Medicare and Social Security.
His tax plan leaves a massive hole in the budget which he is been unable to explain.
He has called for more money to be spent on education and road construction.
So, what exactly does he want to cut? And just to put into comparison of how severe this is, if he raised defense, Medicare and Social Security all by just 10% (he’s expressed plans to go higher than that), he would increase the budget by so much that he could eliminate the Departments of Commerce, Education and Labor, to not even meet that new increase. On that note, he has expressed no intention to eliminate those departments, or any other department for that matter.
On the fiscal front, Donald Trump makes no case in favor of him being able to handle the government checkbook. Comparing him to Hillary Clinton is easy, examining how she’s really proposed no major spending or tax increases of any kind. Her plans are visibly bad, but nothing to cause fiscal nausea. It would be incorrect to regard Trump as being fiscally stronger than Clinton. There’s even an argument to be made that Bernie Sanders could be more fiscally conservative than Donald Trump. And that’s just saying Paris Hilton is less responsible with a credit card than Kim Kardashian.
Trump has seemed to rally a base of people who’ve likely never met an actual Hispanic person before. He did this by apparently convincing them that all of America’s problems stem from immigrants. I’d argue the capitalist position: when immigration is well handled and safe, it leads to an economic boom.
With that, just some fun quick facts:
– According to the Cato Institute, immigrants (legal or illegal) will pay more in taxes over what they will consume on benefits.
– The average income for second generation Hispanics is $48,000 a year, and that hold at middle class with just being $1,500 below the average Irish American.
-The Hispanic population consumes 15% of all welfare benefits, but makes up 17% of the population. This should be noted when looking at how African Americans (who are more native to this country over many other ethnic groups) hold over 35% of all welfare benefits despite making up 12% of the population.
– The majority of crimes committed by illegals or legals were believed to stem from a relation to actual immigration laws and not the real desire to commit crime.
– The college graduation rate among Mexican Americans who are above first generation is higher than white Americans in southern states.
– The average Mexican immigrant is more likely to be vaccinated over an upper middle class white person in Southern California (sadly Trump will probably be okay with that).
– Immigrants have been shown likely to save jobs due to their impact on low income labor in the economy that could potentially not exist without them during harvest seasons.
Yet wait, for those still not sold, here’s some more fun facts:
– The total amount of money spent on illegal immigrants in America from social services is only about 20 billion a year with regards to Medicaid, education and welfare.
– 45% of illegal immigrants came legally via the a visa program and either overstayed their time or had some possible violation due to changing jobs or moving. This makes these people unpreventable regardless of how big or beautiful a wall is.
– 50% of illegal immigrants who did cross the border came via ports which are almost impossible to monitor.
– The cost of deportation for twenty million people, which is what Trump has called for, could very well be over a trillion dollars.
– It’d require 50 billion a year, at minimum, to actually properly secure the border for the 20-28% of illegal immigrants who did come via that way.
With all of that in mind, Trump’s plan lacks fiscal logic. It’s not going to benefit America to just forcibly remove one in fifteen people and it’s something no Republican, Democrat or libertarian should ever get behind.
In comparison to Hillary Clinton, she’s just not very good; however, she’s not an actual train wreck like Trump is on this issue.
There are countless other issues where Hillary trumps Trump:
– Healthcare: Donald Trump championed socialized medicine for many years and still won’t give a clear answer on his stance in this regard.
– Global warming: Trump will avoid science in some very sad ways.
– Education: He hasn’t ever shown a real plan for this.
– Regulation: Him and Hillary hold up about the same.
– Foreign policy: Trump talks a better game than Hillary, but it feels unlikely that he knows what he’s doing.
Hillary Clinton for me, as someone who calls himself a capitalist and person who believes in what the Republican Party was built on, just holds better over Trump. She’s still absolutely terrible, but she’s far better than what the Donald represents.
With that said, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The light being Donald Trump holding zero chance of ever becoming President. Regardless of what polls say or what anyone says, America will never elect an anti-vaccine, anti-trade and anti-logic Obama birth conspiracy theorist who just throws meat to the Republican Party which holds a legitimate reason for frustrations with government.
It is sad that Hillary, who I wrote to be the worst person to ever become President while CPAC started in February 2015, she somehow managed to surpass Donald Trump in nearly every way.
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Charles Peralo, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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