Thursday, August 11, 2016

President Trump

First, for those of you who are into numbers, my last post was my 300th.  Also, a while back  my blog passed 100,000 "hits".  Of course, I know that the most popular blogs get more than that many visits in a single day,  Still, I am happy to have been able to continue sharing my thoughts for the past 6 years, proud that I have stuck with it to have created 300 posts, and appreciative that so many people have visited my blog.

Now, on to President Trump.  Latest polls indicate that he is trailing Hillary Clinton by anywhere from 3 to 10 percentage points.  Additionally, polls in the swing states such as Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, show him behind.  Still, there is almost 3 months to go before the election, and all the debates to watch, for those on the fence, or those who may still be favoring one candidate but still open to switching allegiance.

If, in fact, Trump were to win the day, would everything come crashing to a halt?  Would the economy tank?  Would Trump actually authorize a nuclear strike, or send in our military against the first national leader who insults him?  Would diplomacy be replaced by "I know best"?  Would an actual wall be built separating the United States and Mexico, and if so, who would pay and high tall might it be?  Would anyone with a Muslim sounding name be barred from America, or just from his cabinet and close advisers?  Would the Affordable Care Act be repealed leaving millions of newly insured Americans uninsured, and reversing the act's core principals of capping lifetime co-pays, eliminating the pre-existing condition obstacle to obtaining medical insurance, and allowing children to remain on their parents' policies to age 26?  Would most of his tax cuts ultimately advantage the rich, resulting in more American children living in poverty?  Would his Supreme Court appointee revitalize the other conservative members of the Court and help reverse some of the decisions that have extended the benefits of the Bill of Rights. and the Constitution to those minorities previously outside those protections?  Would abortion be illegal and doctors preforming abortions (along with the mothers having them) be prosecuted?  Would women be viewed with the bias and prejudice of the new president, losing the gains they have made in rising to leadership levels in business and politics?

All these possibilities, and more, have been predicted should Donald Trump be elected in November.

But be at ease, and cut and paste the link below to see the predictions of the far Right should Obama win the election of 2008.  

My point, of course, isn't that we shouldn't worry about a Trump presidency.  I can not emphasize enough my objections to him as president, both as a leader, and as a person.  However, the beauty of our government with its three branches and triad design of responsibility and power, assures us that regardless of his shortcomings, President Trump will not, can not, bring down the United States.  We must all have faith in our system, and each other, to elect a Congress that will check his policy proposals, and a judiciary that will weigh any new laws against the precedents, meaning, and actual wording of our great documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Remember, there have been some pretty bad presidents.  Corrupt, racist, mean spirited and just plain stupid.  Yet here we are, the only real military power, the destination for virtually all those people who seek opportunity and freedom, the strongest economy, and the home of the athletes with the most medals in Rio.  An informed electorate is all we need to counter the effects of a poor president. And, future episodes of Last Week Tonight.

So, that being said, what good could come from Donald Trump occupying the White House?

First, he does not routinely talk about limiting abortion rights, and scaling back recent social progress in the area of marriage equality and LGBT rights.  That being said, he may still sign legislation passed by the House, which makes it all the more critical that the Senate majority be Democratic.  If he does lean towards the right in these issues, I expect it will be as a way to get his economic programs passed.  Of course, Trump is not big on compromise, and frankly, progress on social issues is generally found to enhance business opportunities, so he may take his lead from the business community rather than evangelicals.

Second, his massive tax break proposals will need to be offset by benefit reductions.  Will he borrow some of Paul Ryan's proposals concerning cutting medicare and social security?  If so, some of his popularity among older voters may be lessened.   I assume he will target those with the least, as most GOP proposals do, but some of those changes will hurt the blue collar, middle class white man that is the base of his popularity.  And, who knows, he certainly talks tough, but when he sees the details of the bloated Pentagon budget, perhaps he will carve into it, alienating those who consider "nuking" our enemies a viable strategy.

But the biggest area of conflict might be his promise to bring home jobs from overseas, the very foundation of all multi-national corporations (his included) which do not consider national borders when searching for cheap labor.  Will he penalize those businesses that provide services via off shore call centers?  Or those that manufacture in Southeast Asia and China?  Will he impose tariffs on countries that he views as competing unfairly?  Will he publicly humiliate those businesses who are the worst offenders in using cheap overseas labor, as he does when discussing anyone who disagrees with or criticizes him?  Remember, low or no tariffs, trade pacts, and preferential tax laws for "job creators" is the GOP formula for business success, and it is those concepts that many of Trumps' supporters despise.

In the end, perhaps, should we weather the uncertainty of Trump's next ill-advised tweet, his misogynistic attitude towards women, his belittling of prisoners of war, his arguments with the parents of dead American soldiers, his every fact twisting, name calling, egotistical tirade that he calls press conferences, perhaps the American voter will grow up and realize that democracy is not a spectator sport, that a true leader can move his (or her) programs forward even when there is disagreement, and that the best man is not the richest, loudest, or most boastful, but the person who works to improve the lives of the least among us.        

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