Donald Trump, the vehemently outspoken candidate for President of the United States, has the most extravagant appeal of any presidential candidate in recent memory. His staunch criticism of political correctness contrasts sharply with the unsavory atmosphere of the current era, and his promotion of strength on both a personal and national level bind him to the political game as the candidate who is willing to get something, anything, done. Trump successfully turned himself into the main character of the 2016 election drama long before the final cast was selected to play their roles. With only 10 days left until the final scene, the excitement he prides himself on carrying shows no sign of slowing down.
Before the recent presidential campaigns had even been planned, Donald Trump’s appeal was already obvious. He’s a businessman, a billionaire, and an icon. From Riverside South in Manhattan to the Trump Tower of Mumbai, there is scarcely a view worth seeing on the entire planet outside of the visual apparatus of a Trump project, and this success has led to immense influence and clout that cannot be ignored. Trump’s successes and failures as a businessman are modern legends; a Trump presidency would comprise the second act in Trump’s saga.
For a man of such business talent, a political career seems almost beneath him. Trump’s ambition doesn’t extend to business only, and as we’ve seen from his presidential campaign, he is a remarkable politician. Trump’s strategy in remaining consistently outspoken about his wide range of beliefs would be political suicide for any other candidate. Even Trump’s more laid-back comments generated headlines, and he kicked sand in the eyes of the media who otherwise would have spent unfathomable time searching for negative things to dump on him had he been anyone else.
Recent years have felt weird. The emphasis placed on social justice and socialism, and the uncomfortably loud cry of sanctimonious “social justice warriors” seeking protection outside the confines of reality, have become America’s sore thumb. And whether the individuals who contribute to this gala of sadness realize this or not, they have coronated Trump as their opposition by making the issues his supporters choose to talk about worth talking about in the first place. Misplaced social movements cannot go on forever without warranting the fabled equal and opposite reaction from the other side of the field. And the entire concept of social justice, which is something I despise deeply, is a link between myself and the Trump Train.
But there are reservations that stand between myself and the point where I would place Trump’s name in the ballot box. Perhaps this should go without saying, but if this election season has taught me anything, it is that no observation is small enough to omit. At what point did we begin believing the delusion that electing a new president will fix society’s problems? What can a president, or even the entire government, do to free the stunted intellectual growth of the entitlement generation’s most recent representatives?
Donald Trump has spent his entire life using political positions for person gain, often at the expense of taxpayers. Actions speak far louder than words. When Trump used the government to attempt to extort an elderly widow and two small business owners to hand over their properties to him, his real character became known. Had it not been for the nation’s only libertarian law firm, The Institute for Justice, Trump would likely have claimed the stolen estates. To this day, Trump defends his actions as though the meddling libertarians who came to the rescue did something wrong by defending the innocent from his coercion.
It comes as a surprise that Trump is so well liked among conservatives, especially considering the recent hike in health insurance premiums that one might think would teach them a lesson about the monopolization of markets. Trump insists that something is wrong with Obamacare without specifying exactly where his criticism lies. He started by criticizing the website. Now he criticizes the price. But along the way, he has consistently supported government-operated healthcare – the primary mechanism behind the Affordable Care Act.
Trump went on to praise the healthcare system of Scotland again during the first Republican debate. In fact, he’s publicly praised the Scottish National Health Service at least 5 times. Under the current healthcare situation, any number of healthcare insurance providers may operate in each state, yet predictably, the competitive pressures of the market are nowhere near strong enough to ward off the slow process of monopolization that is leading to skyrocketing healthcare prices. Despite this and the suffering it will cause, Trump still supports state-funded healthcare.
Trump’s defiance toward political correctness is no redeeming quality in the face of a socialized healthcare system. That is far too high a price to pay. But that also isn’t the extent of the price, because Trump went on to support increasing the minimum wage. I should not have to explain what is wrong with minimum wage laws in principle, but for the purpose of remaining pragmatic, I’ll just note that the minimum wage does cause inflation and has historically led to increasing youth and minority unemployment.
The decline in ideological appeal that Trump appears unable to avoid continued to get worse when he proposed the federal enforcement of paid maternal leave, forcing businesses small and large alike to subsidize childbearing for their female employees. Again, the problem in principle here is blatant. But due diligence of the pragmatic kind demands that I beg the question: under what circumstances would a business hire a woman if they know that women have a high risk of costing them more than a man? This also poses a problem of encouraging childbearing among those who are not in financially stable situations, removing the natural penalty for making a bad decision and shifting that penalty to an employer who has no choice but to subsidize irresponsibility.
Though it makes little difference to those who don’t understand the concept, Trump’s criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership also comes as a bit of a surprise considering Trump’s intense support for the abolition of free trade. The primary criticism against the TPP is that it installed barriers to free trade through international trade laws and environmental protection pacts. Yet Trump’s vision of a 20% tax on imported goods (with the exception of a 35% tax on goods imported from Mexico and a 45% tax on goods from China) would raise the cost of living in the same way that Obamacare increased the cost of healthcare. Trump seems to have learned something from this – that more competition is needed in the healthcare market. Simultaneously, he asserts that less competition is wanted in the manufacturing market. This double-minded stance on comparable issues is an indication of pure stupidity. It is one thing to know that less competition breeds higher prices without knowing why (and most people are guilty of this), but it’s another matter entirely to witness and criticize such an effect and support it at the same time. Compared to the trade policies of Donald Trump, The TPP is a godsend.
Theft and coercion, government-operated healthcare, and the laws of minimum wage and mandatory financial coverage of maternal leave are the primary deal breakers for me, but they aren’t the totality of the list. Regarding endorsement and support of domestic spying, his financial support of less-than-admirable politicians such as John McCain, Charlie Rangel, Harry Reid, and Hillary Clinton, his frustrating tendency to make up facts and figures rather than actually research the issues he talks about, and his support and usage of eminent domain…well, I summed all of that up in February.
I wish I could vote for Donald Trump. It would be easy. It’s a travesty that the President of the United States wields so much power, but he does. It would be incredible to elect a businessman who could use his podium to raise awareness of our modern societal problems and realize four years later that we made the right decision. We could make the world a slightly better place. If that option is on the ballot, its name isn’t Donald Trump. The president is a representative of America, and we need a voice for the free market. We need someone who understands and knows how to guide the individualistic intentions of humanity into the foundation by which we’ll build a free society and minimize the problem of poverty.
Trump’s motivation to become president was not prompted by such intentions.
The social justice crowd continues to fester in the halls of academia traditionally reserved for learning, and on the streets amidst protests. How much does that cost me? To this day, I haven’t encountered a Black Lives Matter rally, nor have I been ambushed by a gender-fluid anti-capitalist mob. But to those who have, I ask this: will electing Donald Trump fix that problem? Will instituting government-operated healthcare and a higher minimum wage make them go away? And even if the grace of government can fix that problem, is the price worth it? Are you prepared for the economic adjustment of an economy situated in isolation? And most importantly, are you willing to empower the Democrats who support nearly everything Trump supports to close that deal? The only thing standing between the policies of Donald Trump and the whims of confused anti-capitalists who demand their life be made easy and free is a thin wall built along the Rio Grande and paid for by Mexico.
Is there nothing else standing between you and them?
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Nathaniel Owen, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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