I didn’t like the Obama presidency. I never respected the man. I thought he was a tyrant who started a global terrorist campaign to assassinate people who he thought might be guilty of a crime, a warmonger who went along with whatever the neoconservatives the Democratic Party put in his administration wanted, and that he generally didn’t care about the lives of the foreigners he killed. I thought his administration brought the economy more toward the favor of corporations than to an actual laissez-faire system. His healthcare plan was a complete failure which was acknowledged by both parties until the last two weeks. I thought his social policy was terrible. He didn’t fight for gays until it was politically feasible which shows that he is a coward. He did not fight for drug users. He tried to pressure Congress to take people’s gun rights away while not actually addressing the major crime problems of gang violence caused by drug prohibition. He never even addressed the link between SSRI’s and the people who commit mass shootings in our nation.
But I’m done with Obama now. He’s in the past. It is time to look at the man who is taking the presidency.
There are some good things about Trump’s foreign policy, but I am very wary about if he will follow through on them. First is that he wants to stop funding moderate rebels in Syria. He further wants to bomb them which I think is a mistake, but ending their funding will prevent ISIS from getting resources which will free Syria partially. (Saudi Arabia and Israel must follow suit in ending the conflict in Syria, with Turkey setting big precedents by targeting ISIS with Russia). Trump also wants to normalize relations with Russia. Russia is not the USSR, they are not the bogeymen people want to believe they are. There is absolutely no evidence that they sent a phishing email to Podesta’s email despite the CIA and FBI insisting that they have the proof. I don’t believe that, but am willing to change my mind if actual evidence is presented.
The bad parts of Trump’s foreign policy are that he picked a Secretary of State who echoed neoconservative principles in his hearing. Rex Tillerson wants to escalate tensions in the South China Sea and continue to antagonize Russia despite what Trump has said. Trump has also selected a ambassador to Israel who is a radical Zionist. Trump has selected General Mattis as Secretary of Defense who has personal grudges against Iran that make him unfit for the job. If we are going to invade a country in the next four years, in all likelihood it would be Iran which would be a terrible policy and subject the Middle East to the whims of Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Trump foreign policy in my mind is therefore highly suspicious, but at least it seems that he supports an end to trying to overthrow Assad while sacrificing the Syrian people in the process.
On his domestic policy, there has been a lot of fearmongering. Pence believes in gay conversion therapy, but never has advocated that it become a national policy. Trump does not hate minorities, and as far as I can tell is not a bigot in the historical sense. Is he a racist in today’s sense of the term? The Chris Rock sense of the term racism? Maybe, but I don’t see him making a policy that will harm blacks, gays, or women with the explicit purpose of doing so. However, there are extremely bad things that he could do that would harm minority groups. First, Pence has vehemently been against needle exchange programs, saying that they encourage heroin use. He temporarily allowed the policy due to pressure from everyone in his state, but he could easily back track. Of course, all the data from around the world is against this theory Pence has, and Mike Pence’s own policy allowed an AID’s outbreak in Indiana. Another problem with Trump is that he supports the drug war and Sessions looks like he is going to expand on Eric Holder’s policy. This will continue bad race relations, as the police will enforce this drug policy which will inevitably kill even more people and many of those people will be inner city blacks. The media loves hyping up the race war of course, they love to show when four blacks torture a white guy or when a white police officer kills a black man. But they are incredibly bored when it comes to reporting about how people in Chicago are being murdered daily, as well as people in New Orleans, Detroit, or Saint Louis. Unfortunately, it does not look like the casualties in our society will be lowered and instead will increase even more with a Trump administration that cares about obsessively enforcing laws which do not work.
The other major social policy that will harm minorities is Trump’s immigration policy. It is absurd. The US economy currently needs motivated, unskilled laborers from foreign countries to do certain jobs. Unfortunately, Trump wants to build a wall, which won’t work as most illegals come here by plane and let their VISA expire. This will bring xenophobia back at historical highs, as they will partially be blamed for the bad economic performance of the US. The Trump presidency obviously will be terrible for immigrants.
Now we reach the part which I think will have the most impact on American society: Trump’s economic policy.
The mistake of most progressives and conservatives is to call Trump a supporter of free market capitalism. This may work to serve some people’s political agendas in hating on capitalism in general, but it does nothing for an analysis of what will happen in the economy. Let’s look at what is important. 1) Trump wants to lower the corporate tax rate. 2) Trump wants to implement egregious tariffs of around 35%. 3) Trump believes he is the CEO of the American economy, and that his primary job as president is to grow American jobs. I will state this outright, I do not support the tax decrease. Many people will seem shocked, as I am a libertarian, and libertarians must always support tax decreases. Unfortunately, the tax decrease won’t do much in a couple of years when our debt increases even more. It will help us in the short term, and drastically harm us in the long term. Congress has refused to pass a balanced budget, insisting that it needs to continue the American empire. The American economy can no longer handle the huge military we have, and the American consumer and business owner is finally going to pay for American warmongering. The debt will skyrocket as we borrow money to carry out military operations. Unfortunately, soon the American economy will go through a recession. Normally, recessions are good in my opinion because they reallocate resources from malinvestments. But, Trump has proclaimed himself America’s CEO. As soon as the economy tanks, Trump will blame this on corporations leaving the US. So he will get his tariff passed. Of course, the US has a history of implementing large tariffs as a result of economic collapses. Herbert Hoover pushed for the passing of the Smoot-Hawley tariff after the collapse in 1929, which I would argue caused the Great Depression to continue throughout his administration.
The same will be true of Donald Trump, except there will be one important difference. We will need to pay off the huge amount of debt we have accumulated, and since Presidents hate to pay off debt with tax increases, especially in the middle of a recession, Trump will turn to the Federal Reserve. The United States will have a large depression coupled with crippling hyper inflation. Now, I want to be clear that Trump did not cause the upcoming recession. President Obama’s policies have inflated a housing bubble and debt bubble through the QE policies of Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen. But Trump will have the bubble burst in his presidency, and he will respond in all the wrong ways, through protectionism, through stimulus packages, and through other government intervention. Keynesian policy was a failure that kept the US economy in a depression for 16 years from 1929 to 1945. It will be used again so Trump can act as CEO of America. He will be the next Herbert Hoover.
If I want to be optimistic about the Trump presidency two things need to happen. 1) The empire needs to end and all of our military spending must be harshly slashed. 2) Cooler heads in Congress must block Trump’s tariff. If those two conditions are met, then one could expect a harsh, yet swift recession.
Being realistic however, Trump’s Presidency will be a disaster. And what will get the blame for this disaster? Capitalism. Capitalism will be to blame for government interventions in the economy that led to its downfall. Capitalism will be to blame for fascist foreign policy. Capitalism will be to blame for government violence on the poor and minorities. The Socialists are emboldened today, they will do their best to try and seize control from this opportunity. If you think the violence in protests right now is too much, you will be disheartened by what is to come. Or perhaps we will have more of American corporatist-fascism. Either way, if I had to make a bold prediction for the Trump presidency, it is one of chaos, of complete failure, and radicalization of the electorate towards fascism and socialism.
We are headed for a return of the 1930s.