Amidst all the strife on the left over the election of Donald Trump as US President comes the assertion, “You’d be similarly saying Hillary Clinton is not your President and plotting ways to thwart her just as you did with Barack Obama.” Well, fair enough. I was against Obama when he was a candidate because I read his website and listened to his speeches which told me he intended to do exactly what he did: raise taxes, over-regulate the economy, and upend our healthcare system to move it toward a single payer system. I wasn’t taken in by the fawning on all sides that he was special and historic beyond the obvious history that he would be the first black President.
When Rush Limbaugh gave his memorable CPAC speech in February 2009 shortly after Obama’s inauguration saying that he wanted Obama to fail, I completely agreed and knew exactly what he meant. My 82 year-old father, on the other hand, was furious! He believed as many did that wishing the President to fail was wishing the country to fail. I tried, to no avail, to explain that we wanted Obama to fail in accomplishing his goals because were he to accomplish them, the country would greatly suffer and indeed, his would be a failed Presidency. Eventually, my father came around and said that we were right, Obama did a lot of damage because he didn’t fail in accomplishing his goals.
So now we have a Trump Presidency looming and just as I wanted Obama to fail, most who opposed Trump in the election want him to fail. Again, fair enough. The difference, of course, is what they want him to fail in accomplishing versus what we wanted Obama to fail in accomplishing. These are not eye of the beholder issues. They are pretty clear-cut except for healthcare where both sides want everyone covered but differ greatly on how. The opposition believes only through mandates can this be done with a single payer system being the ultimate mandate they seek. The right believes in market-based approaches by eliminating many of the pre-Obamacare mandates let alone Obamacare to provide coverage from a number of directions. Same basic goal; vastly different approaches.
Let’s explore two other issues to see what the Trump goals are that the opposition wants him to fail in accomplishing.
Border security. Trump’s signature issue. He wants to build a wall on the southern border, enforce immigration laws, and block refugees from entering the country with little or no vetting. To have him fail means a continued porous southern border allowing in more illegal immigrants, rewarding illegal immigrants already here, and exposing the country to increased terrorism by bringing in unvetted refugees from areas of the world where terrorists are in no short supply and have vowed to be part of the refugee stream. The mayhem and destruction by refugees in Germany alone should be enough to make all see the folly in opening the door wide to anyone simply on the basis of being a refugee.
The economy. Along with reworking existing trade deals, Trump wants to lower individual and corporate taxes, reduce regulation, and utilize all forms of energy. Our economic growth is abysmally low due to taxation and regulation, and our high corporate tax rate makes it pay for companies to leave the United States. Having Trump fail to lower taxes and reduce regulation means continued slow growth, less money in the pockets of everyone who works, and loss of jobs. On the energy front, failure means not tapping our vast reserves of coal and natural gas to power the economy and create new opportunities, products and employment, and it would block us from becoming energy independent.
As January 20, 2017 approaches, the cries against Trump’s policies in some quarters will become shriller as the reality of their enactment comes nearer. At the same time will come scrutiny and discussion of those policies away from the heat of the campaign bringing about a much fairer assessment. From that fairer assessment, many who want him to fail now may well reexamine whether his failure is really to their benefit and conclude otherwise. They may even buy a Make America Great Again hat. Or two because of all the impending prosperity.