This article is Ancient (archive 2011)

Donald Trump: A Recipe for Hobo Stew

Maybe I’ll have to eat my shoe, but I don’t think that Donald Trump has any chance of winning a general election. I also doubt that he has any chance of winning the primaries (but here’s to hoping). Many things suggest that Donald Trump would make a horrible president: he either doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to get into our relationship with China, but won’t stop talking about how “they’re cheating us;” he’s Machiavellian in the extreme, wants the United States’ ego to be as large as his and doesn’t seem to make a distinction between “feared” and “respected.”

Being a bad choice for preside, unfortunately, does not necessarily mean he couldn’t win; the fact that he doesn’t seem to recognize that his thoughts on foreign and domestic policy epitomize all our worst fears about U.S. politics and government does His common-sense demagoguery might draw him attention and get him ahead in the polls, but it doesn’t—can’t—win elections.

Or so I hope.

After combing the internet for evidence that Donald Trump is a viable candidate, I’ve determined he is not for the following reasons:

  1. Unless he’s an idiot (and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is not), he’s lying about China: According to Donald Trump, China is laughing at us, all the way to the proverbial bank They are taking our jobs, manipulating their currency, stealing our money, and lending it back to us with interest. So, the consummate business man, he wants to play hardball, impose a 25 percent tariff (it’s called a tariff) on Chinese goods. This might weaken China’s economy, but it won’t strengthen the United States’. The trade deficit isn’t about currency manipulation, it’s about labor, and, unless Trump knows of some secret supply of legal U.S. citizens willing to work 10-12 hour shifts six to seven days a week for all of 300 dollars a month, such a tariff will only encourage U.S. businesses to find other foreign laborers to exploit. He’s in business. He knows this. Why isn’t he saying it? A) he doesn’t care. B) he doesn’t think anyone will notice.
  2. He’s an imperialist pig (and I mean this in the best possible way):  This clip doesn’t include the worst line in the Trump toolbox, where he says “in the [presumably good] old days, when you won a war, you won a country,” but this will do. I don’t know how much the U.S. government spends in time, money, and, hell, oil trying to convince the world that this isn’t so and make our war efforts look humanitarian, but I’m willing to say that it’s at least 15 percent of the United States’ GDP. Trump thinks this sort of imperialist plundering should be central to our foreign policy.
  3. As a conservative, he doesn’t mind big business being small government: “The other thing I’d do,” Trump tells Piers Morgan, “is I’d get our best business leaders. I wouldn’t use the diplomats. I’d use the killers on Wall Street of which I know every one of them. I would put this one in charge of negotiating with China. I’d put this one in charge of negotiating with India. We would do very well. We have the greatest business people in the world but we’re not using them.” The citizenry is already suspicious that these people are manipulating the government for their own interest and no one else’s, and, to those already suspicious that these two are “too close for comfort,” this won’t go over well.
  4. He’s a megalomaniac: This may be true for all politicians, but it’s still in poor taste to be as flagrant about it as Trump.
  5. Also, his hair.

According to Trump, Obama and Carter are the two worst presidents in “the history.” According to Trump, “We could use a man like Herbert Hoover again” isn’t supposed to be satire.

Now, there’s still a chance, liklihood, even, of Trump pulling a Sharron Angle and moving left—or center, or however one moves away from the extremes on the political spectrum—as he gets closer to the general election. He can also probably deflect enough attention from his crypto-racism, cryptofascism, and to perpetuate the myth of being a “self-made man,” but these facts should be enough to disqualify him from any serious chance of becoming president.

There’s also still the possibility that this is just an ego-boosting publicity stunt and he has no intention of actually running, but, for the sake of the farthest left president we can expect to get (even if that’s farther right than I’d prefer), I’m hoping this isn’t so. Trump vocalizes many U.S. citizens’ greatest fears about our government as if it’s smart business, and not just liberal and Democratic fears. Maybe the fascist fringe can take this seriously, and it’s easy to forget that most voters are fairly moderate, but he can’t win on a platform of “Blood for Oil.”