The radical isolationism of Donald Trump


#1

To understand Trump the isolationist, you have to first understand what he’s not. He isn’t a liberal, for sure. But his Republican rivals are also correct when they grumble that he’s no conservative either. Trump is, after all, an erstwhile supporter of a Canadian-style single-payer health care system. He has no discernible commitment to limiting the size or scope of government. In fact, his campaign rhetoric is remarkably free from obligatory jeremiads against a lumbering federal bureaucracy crushing the animal spirits of American entrepreneurs. He pays lip service to the evils of crony capitalism because he instinctively understands its populist appeal, yet he simultaneously boasts about exploiting it. (“If you can’t get rich dealing with politicians, there’s something wrong with you,” heharumphs.) Meanwhile, Trump issues blasphemous defenses of eminent domain — maintaining, incredibly, that rank-and-file conservatives oppose government seizures of poor people’s private property on behalf of rich developers like himself only because no one has explained to them the public benefits of such grabs.

Trump is similarly not a fiscal conservative worried that America’s ballooning entitlement state will bankrupt the country — a concern that has preoccupied serious Republicans for decades. The hapless Jeb Bush is promising to slash 10 percent of the federal workforce. Paul Ryan, the new speaker of the House, has staked his career on reforming old-age entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare and offering serious proposals to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Trump just yawns at all of this.
Trump is not a cultural conservative either; he wouldn’t know “family values” if they hit him in the face. A twice-divorced Manhattan playboy, he once actually said if Ivanka Trump weren’t his daughter, he’d date her because she has a “very nice figure.” More to the point, he has no serious religious convictions, was never against gay marriage, and actually supported abortion rights for women.

None of this bothers Trump’s conservative supporters. Why? Because they are preoccupied with the threat a fast-changing external world poses to them far more than the depredations of their own government. Hence, Trump’s radically isolationist ideology — seeing the world not as a place full of opportunities waiting to be harnessed but a giant rip-off — resonates with them. His vow to “Make America Great Again” by nixing America’s overseas commitments, slashing trade, and ejecting welfare-mooching foreigners makes perfect sense to many conservatives. Ann Coulter, perhaps Trump’s biggest fan, has declared that she wouldn’t care if he conducted abortions in the White House so long as he mass deported immigrants as he’s promised.

In a fundamental sense, Trump is the anti-Reagan — and not only because his dour belligerence contrasts sharply with Reagan’s sunny optimism. Reagan saw endless opportunities for mutual advancement in the world — and some threats. To guard against the threats, he wanted to build an impenetrable (if pie-in-the-sky) defensive shield around America. Other than that he wanted the country to stay open to foreign workers and foreign businesses — and he wanted the world to do the same. His exhortation to Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall was based on Reagan’s desire to open the Soviet Union to the outside world.

Trump’s military would be used as leverage to strong arm the world into doing America’s bidding — whether that means forcing Mexico to build a wall on the Rio Grande, forcibly taking Iraqi oil as payment for getting rid of Saddam Hussein, imposing massive tariffs on companies that shift operations abroad, stopping China from “manipulating” its currency, or forcing South Korea and Europe to pay for America’s security guarantee. In his universe, there is no win-win. It is either exploit or be exploited.
Everything on that wish list is bonkers, with the possible exception of the last item. But what’s genuinely unhinged about it is that Trump is convinced that such policies can painlessly restore the American middle class. “All the Republicans are talking about, ‘We’re gonna cut, we’re gonna raise the age, we’re gonna do this, your Medicare, your Medicaid, your Social Security,’” he thunders. “I can bring wealth in so that we can save your Social Security without cuts.”

In short, Americans don’t have to compete for jobs or endure cuts to old-age entitlement programs; they just have to keep thuggish foreigners from bilking their wealth or taking advantage of them. This might be a comforting vision — but it is also cartoonish and dangerous.

The last time America tried Trump-style protectionism and imposed the1930 Smoot-Hawley tariffs, it triggered a global trade war that turned an economic downturn into the Great Depression. His plans to shake down Mexico to pay for a wall would incense all of Latin America. And his proposal to forcibly take away Iraqi oil would breed even more anti-American hatred around the world — not to mention terrorism.

If Trump’s challengers want to prevent his loopy ideas from permanently poisoning the policy conversation, they’ll have to stop pussyfooting around — and start exposing Trump for the snake-oil salesman he is.

http://theweek.com/articles/585423/radical-isolationism-donald-trump?google_editors_picks=true

Ann Coulter is one sick puppy.


#2

[quote=“Skeptic, post:1, topic:47636”]

Ann Coulter is one sick puppy.
[/quote]The article is a hit piece. Trump is not an isolationist. Trump wants to to reduce the rules and requirements which make working so expensive which would have a side effect to make americans more prosperous. We are tied down with odorous requirements.

RET has been making a case about this and telling us the same thing. We need to cut the red tape and the financial burden businesses have to go through to comply to the wishes of those in government.

I saw the tweet by Coulter and I have to think there is more to it rather than accept a thing without knowing the context.


#3

Coulter’s as amoral as Trump is. They deserve each other.


#4

Ann Coulter is pro-life. She was making her point in her usual inflammatory outrageous style (it sells books). Her point was directed towards people concerned with Trump’s flip-flop on abortion and his position on other social issues. The point was should you support someone who totally agrees with you on issues over which they have little or no control as president or someone who will accomplish something even though his conservative credentials are not A1.


#5

That is putting it mildly.


#6

OK, Skeptic. You and Jazz hate Trump with a purple passion. We GET it, and we GET that you have no patience for anyone who LIKES him. Enough, already.


#7

Sorry, Dave - you’re not shutting me up. Nor am I trying to shut reason10 up. I just wish that he’d consider supporting Cruz - a fighting conservative right up his alley, but with the principles that Trump so sorely lacks. I sure as hell don’t want to have to vote for Hillary Clinton. So, yeah, I’m being selfish here. If Trump’s the nominee, I’ll be forced to do something particularly distasteful to me, and I’d sure like to avoid that.


#8

China owns the world’s largest bank. That bank is a tenant in a Trump building.

Trump does business with Japan, with China, with Mexico, and most major countries in the world.

Where is this low information moron from THE WEEK getting this crap about isolationism?


#9

[quote=“Pappadave, post:6, topic:47636”]
OK, Skeptic. You and Jazz hate Trump with a purple passion. We GET it, and we GET that you have no patience for anyone who LIKES him. Enough, already.
[/quote] No one is forcinf you to read these topics . I enjoy bashing Trump (who fully deserves it).


#10

Where did I tell you to “shut up?” Try to be a bit less of a dork, Jazz. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) is trying to force you to do ANYTHING–especially anything you find “distasteful.” If you find yourself doing something “distasteful” it will be because you CHOOSE to do so. (Try to remember that word.)


#11

I see the Jazz method of changing the subject.
As for Skeptic, back up and take a breath. I don’t care if you want to bash Trump, but at least get the true facts straight, and in Trumps case the ‘facts’ may be clouded by personal likes and dislikes.


#12

[quote=“njc17, post:11, topic:47636”]
I see the Jazz method of changing the subject.As for Skeptic, back up and take a breath. I don’t care if you want to bash Trump, but at least get the true facts straight, and in Trumps case the ‘facts’ may be clouded by personal likes and dislikes.
[/quote]The article is full of Trump’s foolish positions. “Facts” I call them. I’d say Trump is an an isolationist or neo-isolationist and in fact when it comes to military policy it is the one thing I like about him. I think it is clear we need to re-think what we do in the world with our military.


#13

Actually from what I note trump has few called positions and a lot of bluster. He is like a shaft of wheat blowing in the wind and as it blows where do the various grains fall?
All Trump does is magnify the voices of the disenfranchised and the middle American conservative who seem to be blowing into a vacuum. I am not necessarily an Trump fan But if he is the nominee I would not hesitate to vote for him. He does have a history in getting things done regardless of the cost. He does know how to negotiate.


#14

But he is a protectionist, and is running with protectionist policies listed on his website. Raising tariffs, and a 20% tax on businesses who have operations overseas.

He’s also an avowed cronyist, reiterating on the campaign that he saw nothing wrong with eminent domain abuse.


#15

I’m really sorry I have to do this, but everything you have just said is a LIE.

You’re probably a very nice person, a good family provider. Maybe even a churchgoer. This is nothing personal. But you are not going to get away with making crap up, especially when the source says otherwise.

There NOTHING on his website that talks about a 20 percent tax on businesses who have operations overseas. That’s not even a smart LIE.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform

As far as raising tariffs, there is NOTHING in the Trump plan that comes anywhere NEAR that.

We get it. You hate Trump. Fine. But that doesn’t give you the right to LIE about what he is proposing.

He is going to put Carl Ichan in charge of China. Carl has already agreed to do it. And Carl has agreed to do it for free. And Carl is probably the best business mind on the planet.

By the way, since we’re on the subject of China, you probably didn’t know this. Some of the most despicable socialists and class warfare mongers created a REALLY ignorant term at the beginning of the 20th Century. The term was ROBBER BARONS. Apparently, the biggest businesses and the richest men (Like J.P. Morgan, who actually loaned a few million to the United STates Treasury at one time) were called Robber Barons. Small minded fools actually believed people like Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller ROBBED people to make those millions.

Imagine that. ROBBED. Who did they rob? Nobody is naming names.

If there were EVER a group of people who deserved that title, it would be CHINA. This is a despicable LYING thieving group of crooks who represent everything that America hates in a government. All the LIES about the original American industrialists have actually come true in China. This is a government that MURDERED MILLIONS OF ITS OWN PEOPLE. This government encourages sweatshops. This government clamps down on individual rights and freedoms. This government presides over the largest group of paupers and illiterates in the world. People in China are STARVING.

This government uses tariffs, manipulates its currency, and basically ROBS the world. This government has taken away the good manufacturing jobs for the uneducated American worker.

Now slapping a 20% tariff on this country is something a MORON like Bernie Sanders would think of. Bernie shouldn’t be allowed to manage a lemonade stand in America.

DONALD TRUMP does business with China. This man knows every in and out of business. He is not going to do anything that will harm this country (except maybe get out of the race.)

We know you HATE him. But TELL THE TRUTH about him. Quit making up LIES.


#16

Tariffs are protectionism. That’s a fact.

I can quote definition after definition to prove this, you can’t quote a single one to the contrary. Because tariffs are again, the classical example of trade barriers. It’s the first thing economists think of when it comes to protectionism.

The definition was here before you were, so you are in no position to re-define it.

There NOTHING on his website that talks about a 20 percent tax on businesses

You’re right, that was his 2011 plan.

His current plan boasts a 15% rate. He’ll leave it at 10% for one year, then go back to 15% but he’ll apply it everywhere regardless of the rate, and of whether your operations are fully in the U.S. or not. This inherently punishes any company overseas who has to pay the taxes of the country they are in. It compiles their Tax expense.

That’s not even a smart LIE.
Indeed it’s not, doesn’t matter how low the corporate tax rate is, if you’re punishing companies for doing business overseas.

As far as raising tariffs, there is NOTHING in the Trump plan that comes anywhere NEAR that.

Debunked:

"Massive tariffs on China and Mexico. Trump’s big claim is that he will bring back American jobs – “from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places.

If you listen closely, Trump has proposed doing this two ways: slapping tariffs on foreign goods and negotiating better trade deals.** In his campaign announcement speech**, he threatened a 35% tax on Ford (F) vehicles made in Mexico that are brought back to the U.S. to be sold, and in 2011, he has made headlines for suggesting a 25% tariff on goods coming from China to the U.S.

At face value, what Trump has proposed would start an immediate trade war that would likely hurt American jobs and exports. "

So what exactly is Donald Trump’s economic policy? - Jul. 28, 2015

We get it. You hate Trump. Fine.

And it seems you’re either lying yourself, or you didn’t know Trump’s positions that well. You tell me which it is.

By the way, since we’re on the subject of China, you probably didn’t know this.

The Robber Barrons are a historical truism everyone who gives a damn knows about.

Amazon.com: The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America (9780963020314): Burton W. Folsom, Forrest McDonald: Books

This book explains far better anything that that you’d try to tell me about them. So quit it with the deflection.

If there were EVER a group of people who deserved that title, it would be CHINA. This is a despicable LYING thieving group of crooks who represent everything that America hates in a government. All the LIES about the original American industrialists have actually come true in China. This is a government that MURDERED MILLIONS OF ITS OWN PEOPLE.

And as we look across the world, bad government treating their people terribly is the norm.

But thanks to trade, and what is called the Free Country Effect, there is a 300 million member middle class in China that simply did not exist 20 years ago. The poverty rate was cut in half, thanks to foreign development & investment. And now, China is facing it’s own industrial inversion, where companies are looking to go to Vietnam or India, or further into the West where people are poorer than they are on the coast.

[Apple manufacturer Foxconn to build 12 factories, employ 1M in India](http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/14/apple-manufacturer-foxconn-to-build-12-factories-employ-1m-in-india.html)

The cycles continues, and trade makes people better off & more free over time. China is no where near free of issues, but it is now a significantly better place than it was. And it’s thanks to us.

This government encourages sweatshops.

Free market economists encourage sweatshops. Sweatshops =/ slavery. It’s usually the least bad choice among a poverty stricken person’s few options.


#17

Ann Coulter is a liar and an Establishment GOP hack, she is consistently on the wrong side of history in who she condemns and who she backs regarding American leaders; Coulter will ALWAYS support and defend the most Statist candidates and try to help systematically eliminate all the candidates that won’t play nice with the Statist’s.

Having Coulter come out as your opposition is a badge of honor, Coulter only backs losers.


#18

I can neither agree nor disagree with this, as I am not that familiar with her works, but I must say I don’t get her popularity: she’s out to sell books, period. She cares nothing whether one agrees or disagrees with her, so long as the controversy she generates sells books… IMNSHO

EDIT: If I were so inclined, I could write a book whose target audience was ultra-liberal democrats that would sell a million copies and be hailed on the MSM as the greatest work of literature of the 21st century. I wouldn’t believe a word of my own bullshit, but I could write it it. I daresay RET could as well. Telling people what they want to hear in the way they want to hear it is** dead easy, **no matter what it is they wish to hear, so long as one knows what it is they wish to hear. “Speak to us of smooth things” (Is. 30:10)`


#19

I used to read Coulter and when I became aware that she supported the GOP over the needs of the people I stopped reading or listening to her. We do not need another RINO who will lose like the last two presidential elections or will follow the democrat plans to the letter. This nation is teetering on the brink with a president who is working to destroy the nation as a leader and world power to a third world hell hole.


#20

[quote=“samspade, post:19, topic:47636”]
I used to read Coulter and when I became aware that she supported the GOP over the needs of the people I stopped reading or listening to her. We do not need another RINO who will lose like the last two presidential elections or will follow the democrat plans to the letter. This nation is teetering on the brink with a president who is working to destroy the nation as a leader and world power to a third world hell hole.
[/quote]Well Coulter is about the number one supporter of Donald Trump. Personally I think she is a grifter like Donald.