After seeing the results of the New Hampshire primary and Nevada caucus with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both winning stunning victories, I continue to be dismayed by the popularity of both men. As I wrote recently, I think that electing Bernie Sanders would be an unmitigated disaster. At the same time, a possible Trump candidacy concerns me a great deal, but for different reasons.
In any event, both men are surprising all the pundits and professionals by the strength of their candidacies, and both are tapping into a deep well of anger among grassroots supporters on both sides of the political spectrum. Bernie is clearly energizing the young, the politically ignorant and the progressives; and The Donald is clearly energizing the angry Right – the social conservatives, the immigration hawks, the people who think that a businessman would make a good president, and angry middle class voters who feel that America is on the wrong track.
That Pesky Constitution
Much of Donald Trump’s agenda would be dead on arrival after his election, just the same as with Bernie Sanders. While some may think America is a “democracy” – where two wolves and a sheep get together and decide what’s for dinner – America was designed as and is still a constitutional republic. That means the majority doesn’t get its way by simply being a majority. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule.
If Trump is elected, he would have a nominally friendly Congress (assuming it stays Republican, and I believe it will to begin with). It’s possible that some of his more extreme agenda items might get through a Republican Congress, but I seriously doubt that even the most rabid immigration hawk would support a law that would deport millions of people. The visuals of armed troops forcibly breaking families apart and deporting children at gunpoint would mean the end of the Republican Party. I can’t see Congress passing single payer healthcare – which Bernie openly supports and Trump used to support. I don’t see anybody in Congress going home to face the voters after passing legislation to end birthright citizenship.
Trump, like his buddy Obama before him, might try to resort to rule by executive order, just as a President Sanders would. The facts remain the same – under our system of government, the president does not have the authority to make law, raise taxes, or implement his agenda through executive orders. While some on the wacky Right may wish to give Trump dictatorial powers (just as those on the wacky Left may wish to give Bernie the same), it’s not going to happen.
A Former Democrat and Democratic Enabler
Trump is running as a Republican candidate, but he is not a lifelong Republican. In the past, he has self-identified as a Democrat and has embraced many Democratic positions. He supported the 2008 stimulus package, the auto industry and bank bailouts. He has cynically “bought” politicians who would support his business goals. While his political donations lean to the Republican side, he has given millions of dollars to politicians of both parties. Not only that, he spent years courting the favor of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, including generous donations to her foundation. Trump has changed parties at least five times, jumping back and forth between the two major parties.
Now, calling himself a “Republican” and pretending to embrace the conservative movement, Trump is showing himself to be a blatant opportunist whose leap of change is almost as large as his ego. It has been my view all along that Donald Trump is a bored rich guy with an oversized ego who has decided to run for president for “the hell of it”. He’s not a statesman and he doesn’t have the depth to run the executive branch and manage foreign policy. His narcissism and bullying style – not dissimilar to Barack Obama – is not suitable for the office he seeks.
Enabling the Worst of the Right
Another reason to oppose the candidacy of Donald Trump is that he would enable the worst ideas that lurk on the extreme right. While the immigration situation in our country has been broken for decades – a bipartisan problem for which both parties are to blame – mass deportations are probably not the answers to these issues. His views on foreign policy are belligerent and incoherent. His views on China are unrealistic. His views on eminent domain deny the constitutional protections for private property. He is a crony capitalist and a “deal maker”. Guess who would benefit the most from a Trump presidency? Wall Street and big business. (Of course, Wall Street is in the bag for Hillary too.)
Electing Donald Trump president would result in a one-term presidency and loss of the White House and Congress to the Democrats for several election cycles. We would see a progressive majority take over the Supreme Court. These events would be catastrophic for our country and the cause of Liberty.
Donald Trump, if elected, would tarnish or destroy the Republican brand for years or decades to come. I think he has the potential to damage our country even more than Bernie or Hillary, simply because a new Democratic president will still be kept in check by a Republican Congress.
Misogyny and Racism
In a GOP debate in August 2015, Trump mixed it up with Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly saying she had “blood coming out of her wherever…”. His bullying and misogynistic attitude toward her and his subsequent cowardice in refusing to appear in another Fox News hosted debate speak volumes. Trump is well known for his disparaging comments toward women in public life and in business. His serial adultery and three marriages suggest that he views women as fungible objects, not as persons worthy of respect. Such attitudes have no place in a modern Western society where women comprise over half the population and contribute incalculable value to our lives and culture.
Trump’s comments about the immigration and Islamic terrorism problems also illustrate a stunning disregard for our common humanity. Yes – immigration is a problem. It is a complex problem that defies easy or fast solutions. I personally favor more strict border enforcement, paths to citizenship, deportation of undocumented aliens arrested for crimes as well as a cultural bias back toward assimilation instead of multiculturalism. Yes, Islamic terrorism is an existential threat. We should be careful about who we let into our country, and we should make every effort to keep potential terrorists out and defend American laws and values.
He Loses to Both Sanders and Clinton
In recent Real Clear Politics polls, the results show that both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio can beat both Clinton (The Crook) and Sanders (The Socialist). The very same polls show Donald Trump losing to both. That should be enough of an argument for anybody who wants our next President to be a Republican.
I know many people who say they will “hold their noses” and vote for Trump if he is the Republican nominee. They all cite what a disaster a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders presidency would be – and I agree – but here’s the simple fact: If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, we’ve already lost the election! While I like and respect many people who hold this view, I must respectfully disagree.
The Conundrum – Whom to Vote For?
For years I voted for Libertarian candidates on my biannual ballots. They never won, but it made me feel good that I was voting for candidates who supported my principles. Then, in 2010 I came to the realization that by voting Libertarian, I might as well have been voting for Democrats, because they often win when Libertarians split votes from the Republicans.
In thinking about possible outcomes for the 2016 presidential election, I have been hoping that Trump would implode or flame out and drop out of the race. After the Nevada caucuses, it is becoming an increasing threat that he will become the Republican nominee. The question I and many of my friends and allies are facing is: Would I vote for Donald Trump?
After much thought and soul searching, I have concluded that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, I will vote for the Libertarian candidate on the ballot. I don’t think that Trump could beat Hillary or Bernie (he never tops out at more than 45% of the vote) and he would be as easy a target for the Left as Hillary is for the Right. It would be impossible for me to defend or support him and his record – something Hillary supporters apparently have no problem with.
As I said earlier, if Trump is elected the Republican brand is finished, and having a Republican strongman in office would be just as bad as having a socialist or corrupt 1%er in office. Any of the three would constitute a dire threat to liberty and constitutional government.
If Trump runs and loses to Bernie or Hillary, he is done in politics, and that would be a great thing.
At this point in the game, I fervently hope that either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio ends up as the Republican nominee because I believe either one could beat Hillary or Bernie. Neither is perfect and both have their critics on important issues among conservatives and libertarians, but both are infinitely better than The Donald, The Crook or The Socialist.
I unconditionally oppose the candidacy of Donald Trump. There is no circumstance under which I would sacrifice my principles and vote for him. He is not a true conservative, respecter of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution; nor is he a liberty loving candidate.
By Richard D. Turnquist
February 27, 2016
Below are links to other articles opposing the candidacy and election of Donald Trump
National Review: Against Trump
David Harsanyi: Why President Trump Would Be A Bigger Disaster Than Hillary
Ross Kaminsky: Person Trumps Party (Note: I was also present at the Leadership Program of the Rockies event he mentioned)
John Hawkins: 40 Reasons Not To Vote For Donald Trump
Steve Chapman: Donald Trump’s Orgy of Irresponsibility
And finally, Rick Wilson: With God As My Witness, I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump