Saturday, November 5, 2016

Donald Trump: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Overlooked

This morning the Wall Street Journal editorialized that it had not endorsed a candidate for the presidency since 1928 and would not break precedent for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday it laid out the case for and against Hillary. Today it offers us the good, the bad and the ugly about Donald Trump.

For your edification, it begins with the best hope:

The best hope for a Trump Presidency is that he has aligned himself with enough sound policy impulses that he could liberate the U.S. economy to grow faster again. He would stop the crush of new regulation, restore a freer market for health insurance, unleash U.S. energy production, and reform the tax code. His default priority would be growth, which the U.S. desperately needs after a decade of progressive focus on income redistribution and the worst economic recovery in 70 years.

The Journal qualifies this view by noting that Trump lacks serious policy chops:

Yet while this could be a 1980-like moment of economic renewal, Mr. Trump is no Ronald Reagan. The Gipper came to office with a coherent and firmly held world view formed by decades of reading and experience as a Governor. It isn’t obvious that Mr. Trump reads anything at all. He absorbs what he knows through conversation and watching TV, and he has no consistent philosophy.

Naturally, a newspaper that cares about the business of America is not very happy about the possibility of Trump withdrawing from trade pacts and effectively starting a trade war:

But if he follows through on his vow to withdraw from trade pacts, impose tariffs on imports and punish U.S. companies that invest abroad, he could cause a recession. The main economic battle in a Trump Administration would be between his pro-growth domestic reforms and his anti-growth trade policy.

The paper notes astutely that Obama’s has systematically divided the nation, by governing from the left and by demonizing the right. Naturally, his satraps, like Paul Krugman, believe that everything bad is the fault of Republicans, but, then again, Krugman’s decidedly unsupple mind believes that everything bad is the fault of Republicans. It beats thinking.

The Journal points out that Trump has been just as divisive as Obama. He is an Age of Obama politician:

President Obama’s greatest failure has been to govern in a deliberately polarizing fashion, and Mr. Trump’s response has been to campaign the same way. If the businessman loses a race that Republicans should win this year, one reason will be that his often harsh rhetoric has repelled women, minorities and younger voters. He ignores or twists inconvenient facts, and even when he has a good point his exaggerations make it harder to persuade the public. Yet a President needs the power to persuade.

The risk, the paper continues, lies in the possibility of what it calls “haphazard” governance, accompanied by an economic recession. If the economy goes bad during a Trump administration, Paul Krugman will go into paroxysms of ecstasy and the rest of the country will doubtless follow his lead. It will bring about a great progressive revival:

The more realistic concern, especially for conservatives, is that Mr. Trump would be as haphazard in office as he has been as a candidate and thus fail to change Washington as he has promised. Mr. Trump would start out with more than half the country disliking him, and most of his advisers lack government experience. Too many blunders or an early recession could cause voters to sweep out the GOP Congress in 2018, setting up a return to an all-progressive government in 2020.

On a larger point, Trump would rebuild the military and would be more aggressive against the Islamist terror threat. One notes that it would be difficult to be less aggressive against the terror threat.

The good news is that Mr. Trump wants to rebuild U.S. defenses that have eroded on Mr. Obama’s watch. He would be more candid about, and more aggressive against, the Islamist terror threat.

Yet, Trump’s nativism and his inexperience might very well work against him:

Yet the irony is that Mr. Trump shares Mr. Obama’s desire to have America retreat from world leadership. Beyond “bombing the hell out of ISIS” and “taking the oil,” it isn’t clear the Republican has any idea what to do in the Middle East. As a rookie in world affairs, he would be unusually dependent on his advisers—if he listened to them.

All of this is well and good. Laying out the arguments systematically does serve a useful purpose. We are grateful to the Journal for doing so.

But then, there’s the dog that didn’t bark. Have you noticed, while reading my synopsis that the world's more important conservative editorial page forgot to mention: IMMIGRATION? It has nothing to say about the refugee crisis in Europe, the dangers of increased immigration in America and Trump’s promise to do something serious about it. For her part, Hillary wants to open the doors wider and to bring in more immigrants. She wants to be a leader in the mold of Angela Merkel.

For many voters, and especially for many Republican voters, immigration trumps the other issues. Unfortunately, Trump is not a subtle thinker and is not a master of the art of communication. He has turned the issue of illegal immigration into a nativist invitation to racial prejudice and discrimination.

You know and I know that no matter what he said the Democrats would have accused him of racism and sexism. He should have known better than to serve up heaping platters of material for them to feast on. Trump was not a good enough politician to propose defending America’s borders while not attacking all Hispanics and Muslims. We will see what the voters have to say about it in a few days.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"He has turned the issue of illegal immigration into a nativist invitation to racial prejudice and discrimination."

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

This is why today's college minds -- infected with a non-thinking, blinding view of "tolerance" regardless of cost -- has done to our society. It has created this mindless worldview that we are all the same. It doesn't just stop at men and women. And we know that college campuses are not tolerant of all viewpoints, becoming non-intellectual tolerance zones.

It should be instructive to you that the WSJ Editorial Board is silent on the immigration issue. They are for open borders so labor markets can operate fluidly. But they are seeing the grotesque impact of people immigrating for social benefits, building a generations-long voting bloc, and refugees from dangerous areas of the globe without proper vetting and processing.

We don't know who the hell is coming into our country! We don't know why many of them want to come here or what the intentions are of their stay. We brought in 10,000 Syrian immigrants from a brutal civil war zone, with nary any evaluation of who they are. We have immigration officers telling us there is a flood, with no stopping it. Drug cartels traffic through our southern border at will.

And we have illegal migrants voting, encouraged by the Democrat Party to blatantly violate the law. We have voter fraud everywhere. Massive, pervasive, ubiquitous voter fraud.

Our public schools are a disgrace. We do not educate our young people who are most vulnerable to globalist economics, and meanwhile we allow immigrants into our country at unprecedented rates. So we're not protecting jobs for the American citizens who've been let down. No, no, no... we have bought into anecdotes that say Americans don't want those jobs. We need Mexicans to do them! Really? We think it's good for young American men to sit idle in front of the Glowing Box and not get a job? What kind of society do we live in??? We can't educate all Americans, so we leave our most vulnerable to (a) compete against Chinese workers, or (b) compete against illegal aliens. Great game. How moral! I suppose I'll get a reply encouraging me to look into the "job retraining" racket as the sign we're helping the displaced American worker.

It is enlightening that the WSJ didn't mention immigration. They know that the elites have abandoned their fellow citizens. If elites don't care about America anymore, believing this globalist fantasy, why should we trust them? The Wikileaks emails show graft on an incredible scale.

That, and the Democrat Party is run by George Soros. Read about his Open Society Forum. It's all there.

It's not nativist reactionaries! It's LAWLESSNESS. And it's intentional.

"It's the corruption, stupid."

Trigger Warning said...

The WSJ, like the remainder of the mega-corporate media, should ask forgiveness, not only for what they have done (and the WSJ is less culpable there than most of their peers), but for what they have failed to do.

Aligned with the C of Commerce,they are 100% in the bag for unlimited immigration and trade agreements arbitrated by international bodies that share the worst bureaucratic features of the UN.

If Trump were the erratic, indecisive executive they imply, he could never have built the diverse, global business entity he leads.

On the other hand, it's clear to all but the most ideologically blinkered that the Clintons are racketeers of the first water.

Although I was persuaded to do the right thing and vote for Trump in solidarity with my cultural bedfellows in flyover country, I understand that the election is demonstrably rigged and fully expect Clinton to steal it from the voters.

The Democrats have actually, and cleverly, succeeded in realizing Brecht's ironic suggestion that the government "elect" a new people, not by dissolving the old, but with an imported population.

Henceforth, we can expect pan-American caudillo-style governance with a Peronist twist.

Sam L. said...

I'm with IAC and TW. I await Ares' rebuttal.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

David Brooks is an idiot. He believes Hillary is the bigger change agent in this election.

This is the "conservative" columnist who fancies himself a Teddy Roosevelt Republican.

The New York Times is a laughable rag.

Ares Olympus said...

Surely every serious person sees Trumps anti-immigration rants as unrealistic and ineffective solutions to anything. Maybe that's why the WSJ ignored it? Does anyone believe we're going to build a 3000 mile long wall with Mexico and use trade sanctions to force them to pay for it? Does anyone think we're going to enable the police to go door-to-door searches for illegal immigrants and deporting 12 to 30 million of them?

Of course Obama has deported over a million, so clearly we already are devoting significant resources. And of course most illegals come here by legal means and just overstay, so a wall isn't going to stop them. I imagine it must be tough to try to figure out where someone is from, so you know where to send them back to. I've never really heard how that works, but it must be an inter-governmental program, so we pass people to other governments, but what if those governments reject accepting certain people?

I do have to expect in the future that we WILL have national ID (apparently called REAL ID) to identify people, and maybe that'll solve the problem of voter ID as well as for hiring practices. And visitors or students can have their immigration status and clear expiration dates on their ID, so there'll be no question who they are.

And we recall that the Boston Marathon bomber case was largely solved using public camera systems, and along with automated facial recognition software, perhaps burkas will soon be popular even among nonmuslims. But anyway, clearly high-tech is here, and soon all our public moments will be tracable by law enforcement, under the slightest suspicion. So it's a brave new world of Big Brother, even if a President Donald Trump doesn't have access to this information for the next porn star he wishes to date.

Trigger Warning said...

"Surely every serious person sees Trumps anti-immigration rants..."

Snowflake, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your opening statement is... yes... a fallacy!


So far, you're pitching a perfect game in the Arena of Illogic.

Ares Olympus said...

Trigger Warning said... So far, you're pitching a perfect game in the Arena of Illogic.

So it's either illogical, or I'm insulting your seriousness. Which could it be?

Trigger Warning said...

If you don't know, Snowflake, there's nothing I can do to help.

Trigger Warning said...

Line for Kaine in FL:

Anonymous said...

Didn't he say "Some"; perhaps "Many"?

He surely didn't say "All". Or even "Most".

But that's the Narrative. The Conventional Wisdom. The Big Lie.

I try not to be intemperate. But it's difficult lately. -- Rich Lara

Anonymous said...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I have liberal/learned friends with college degrees and master's degrees and PhD's inviting me to the theater because "The Book of Mormon" is in town.

LDS isn't my thing. But why in the world would I wan to go to the theater and watch people make fun of another's religion? I don't see how that would be fun.

But the Lefties are all in for this sort of thing. They think it's entertaining, cultured... funny. I certainly have a dark sense of humor, but what's so funny or courageous about a popular play that makes fun of another's religion?

We hear our president say "The future does not belong to those who would slander the Prophet of Islam." Fine, we don't have to slander it/him. But we cannot even have a rational discussion about the belief system. Charlie Hebdo people get murdered, and a lot of Lefties are like "Meh, they shouldn't be doing stuff like that..." Really? Your whole civilization is at stake! But someone makes fun of Islam, it's like "Whoa, dude..."

If people want to make fun of religions, that's fine. I think it's low and stupid, and certainly not courageous art, but okay. That said, that's something unique about Western culture. These "brace" poets can pick up a pen, but would they pick up a rifle? Hell, no... that's someone else's job!

That's what political correctness is: sophisticated cowardice. If there's one group that's created a "nativist invitation to racial prejudice and discrimination," it's the reptilian-sized mental capacity of the Left. Their native world is the intellectual realm, where they prattle on about abstractions but won't pick up a rifle and stand for what they believe in. There's a word for that: decadence. I thought the Dallas police chief's invitation to BLM to "stand a post, we have job openings" was one of the great lines of 2016. But they won't, yet they will eagerly invite me to "The Book of Mormon." That's their truth. They're destroyers.

Dennis said...

I am just adapting to the time change and what do I read, but Ares commenting on the Arena of illogic. Thanks, but it took me quite a while to stop laughing. Surely that must be one of the greatest examples of the pot calling the kettle black? Excuse me while I deal with this giggle that keeps arising every time the thought of Ares talking about the Arena of illogic happens. Aah well if there is someone who might be conversant with illogic it has to be Ares. Isn't there some adage that applies??????????