I did not vote for Donald Trump yesterday. In fact, I refused to vote for any Republicans out of disgust for some of Trump’s statements and habits.
But Trump might be an ugly realization of the market opportunity that I have been pointing out for over a decade.
Let me explain.
I first came across the idea of mixing populism with a vision of smaller government when I read None Dare Call it Conspiracy back in high school. The idea was mixed with a bunch of outrageous conspiracy theories that bordered on anti Semitism. I have seen this mix in later years mixed with racism on the paleo conservative web sites, which are now labeled alt-right. The mix can also be seen in the old Reform Party.
When thinking of possible new political party names, I seriously contemplated American Party — and rejected it. I did not want to mix my ideas with racism and conspiracy theories. My hope has been that a clean revival of classical liberal ideals in a successful package could squash such ugliness. (Those long out of power often resort to conspiratorial mindsets.) I may have been preempted.
For American citizens, Donald Trump is economically far to the left of any Republican since Eisenhower. He’s more of a pre-McGovern Democrat than a conservative. He’s Dick Gephart with an attitude. He is arguably to the left of Hillary.
True, he has also revived racism somewhat, which is also an old Democrat trait. But Trump’s racism is not aimed at our black population — which stands to benefit from protectionism and a closing of the borders. Nativism favors the black population because on average Black America has deeper roots here than White America. Most black immigration ended in 1808. And by making U.S. Citizenship harder to get, it increases the value thereof. This constitutes a form of reparations for past injustices for the descendants of slaves who didn’t really get full citizenship until my childhood days.
Socially, The Donald is way more liberal than recent Republicans. He has a very European attitude about sexual mores. While he doesn’t drink himself, he has put his name on a brand of Vodka. And he ran casinos. He has long been in the vice industry. He has a serious potty-mouth.
Trump has flopped around on the issue of marijuana legalization, but overall, I’d say he has promise. (His running mate, not so!)
On gun rights, Trump has gone all in for the Second Amendment on his web site.
Given how Obama has revived the Cold War, and Hillary wants to make taking out a Russian ally her top priority, Trump may well be the peace candidate among the major party choices.
The Downside of Trump
As I wrote at the beginning, I did not vote for Mr. Trump. He has added a very ugly spin to the idea of the Upper Left.
- His rallies had an authoritarian vibe that remind me of the 1930s. (Look up National Recovery Administration parade.)
- He has made incredibly evil statements about bombing and torturing our enemies.
- His tax and spending plans could cause the deficit to balloon. Deficit spending is regressive. This pushes him back towards the Right economically.
- A serious attempt to expel the millions of illegal immigrants will be a civil liberties nightmare: racial profiling for those who look Mexican. The project is impossible with a national ID.
For now, I shall try to hope for the best. Maybe this is a Nixon Go to China thing. Maybe an ugly cover is needed for good ideas.
Or maybe we really, really need that new political party.