By Vincent J. Truglia
I have not written a blog about the election because I would have just kept repeating myself. However, I have been regularly commenting on the election in my role as what I call a “Permanent Guest” on Reuters Global Markets Forum (GMF). My views of Trump clearly evolved over the last year.
I knew who Trump was (anyone living in the New York City area would). However, I must admit, I have never seen a single episode of “The Apprentice.”
After watching an interview with Donald Trump and Andrew Cuomo on CNN, I realized Trump was serious and could win. I also remember an important comment by his wife Melania. She said to him, and I am paraphrasing, “Donald, you do know that if you run, you will win. Are you prepared for that?” That is a remarkable comment coming from someone who knows the man so well. This was again during a time period when most commentators believed he had no chance.
A Friend’s Insight
A good friend and former colleague and reader of my blogs pointed out that many of my views regarding international affairs over the years were actually similar to Trump’s. That began my journey to supporting Trump’s candidacy.
In this blog, my long-term readers know that I supported Brexit. I argued Russia’s interventions in Crimea and Syria were/are justified. I said that NATO needed to be reformed, or the US should leave. I wrote that Europe’s migrant crisis was going to end badly. I have written that Islam is not just a religion but also an ideology, especially when it comes to Hijra (a roadmap to conquest).
Securing Our Border
In the 1990s, President Clinton pledged to secure the Mexican border and stop illegal immigration. Donald Trump simply said the same thing, but in his now famous hyperbolic manner, and was condemned by most pundits. The use of hyperbole is quite familiar to any successful preacher. Repetition and stark phrasing get people’s attention.
We need to secure the southern border, not simply because of illegal immigration, but also because the border is so porous that massive amounts of heroin are entering the US from Mexico. The heroin epidemic is devastating both suburban and rural areas. The drug inflow must be stopped. Heroin is not some recreational drug; it’s a killer. Heroin overdoses are rampant across the country. In a recent BBC report, it was revealed that children as young as eight were being used as “mules” to bring heroin across the border.
Regarding illegal aliens or the undocumented, I find it hard to understand how anyone would not support deporting any of them with criminal records, especially regarding violence, drugs or major theft.
What will happen to hard-working illegal aliens, many of whom have lived here most of their life? I assume something will be done eventually to regularize most of them. Trump seems to indicate a somewhat similar approach may be followed, but only after the criminals are deported.
We should keep in mind that about two-thirds of illegal aliens have simply over-stayed their visas. In fact, a majority of this group is estimated to come from Asia, not Mexico. More Mexicans are returning to Mexico than are entering the US.
The US should be welcoming to new immigrants, but to those who follow our laws in coming here.
The refugee fiasco is tearing Europe apart. People seem to forget that once refugees reach a safe haven, other countries are no longer required to harbor them. In the case of Syrian refugees, they are out of danger once they reach Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon. They become economic migrants once they try to leave these sanctuaries.
If the US does decide to take in more Syrian refugees, I would argue that the US should first take Christian and Jewish refugees living in the Middle East. We used a religious test to allow the successful immigration of large numbers of Russian Jews in the 1980s and 1990s. Christians and Jews are not only discriminated against in Syria, but elsewhere in the Middle East. These two groups of refugees would be easily assimilated into the US.
Trump argued that there should be a temporary ban on all Muslim immigrants until they can be vetted. This doesn’t seem like an unreasonable idea. Some argue that this is Un-American. However, the First Amendment only guarantees freedom of religion to those living in the US. There is no such right for foreigners seeking entry into the US. The President has broad powers to restrict immigration based on security, national defense or national self-interest.
Trump is accused of being anti-free trade. The reality is that he understands free trade better than most. As an international economist, I can tell you that in a world of perfect competition, free trade benefits the overall society. Once we have left the world of perfect competition, we have entered the land of the “second best,” which basically means that any outcome is possible, depending on circumstances.
I was against NAFTA from the start. I knew it would hurt working people. Free trade between Canada and the US has worked so well over the decades because the economies are at similar levels of economic development. Free trade with Mexico has devastated the upper Midwest. It has also devastated poor Mexican farmers by allowing the free import of food from the US, driving many of them across the border to the US. Why? In both cases, although there are many winners from free trade, there is no mechanism in place to redistribute the gains made by some to those who lose out from the negative consequences of free trade. Trump said he would revise NAFTA and other trade deals. Another plus!
Trump has said he will “drain the swamp” in Washington. The relationship between former government officials and politicians has become symbiotic. It reminds me of the European elites, where power and money go hand in hand, with little concern for the average person. The Clintons are a perfect example. Neither Bill Clinton nor Hillary Clinton own a business, yet in about 15 years, they went from being nearly bankrupt to being worth about $200 million. How? Peddling influence on a grand scale.
Another important reason I voted for Trump is that I saw Hillary Clinton as a very bad candidate for the Presidency. Not only do I believe she is the most corrupt candidate for the Presidency since the 1860s, I think her only real equals are found in 19th century Tammany Hall.
I disagreed with her regarding open borders and her approach to illegal immigration.
I disagreed with her regarding free trade.
Although I traditionally believe women need to decide when abortion is required, but decided as a group, not simply as an individual (men can’t understand what that choice means for women). However, I draw a red line at partial-birth abortion, which I find reprehensible. I believe it should be banned no matter the circumstances. Hillary would not limit abortion under any circumstances.
Most of all I found her statement about the Deplorables to have been the final straw.
I voted for Trump because he spoke to many of my long-held beliefs. He didn’t need to convince me regarding his policies. I could have written many of them. In his second term, I found Obama condescending and out of touch with the world we all live in. Although I voted for him twice, I felt a real change in leadership was required.
As always, Clear and Candid.