2016 Election - Weird x3
Author: Erick, Patriot Fire founder (U.S.), January, 2017
It's been a while since I've posted anything...here goes.
The 2016 Presidential election:
This was a bizarre election; but I assume as countries and societies begin to crumble, most elections – and political matters in general – become more and more bizarre.
Why was the Trump versus Hillary campaign, followed by Trump's victory, so weird to me (and many other principled libertarians and conservatives)?
First off, while Hillary's nomination was not surprising, Trump's GOP nomination was incredibly surprising since there were several other Republican candidates with far better ideas and actual political experience. Several had the popular support and even the cash flow, yet, Mr. Trump succeeded. I'm not suggesting an evil conspiracy where men in suits sat in a dark room smoking cigars and conjuring up diabolical plans, but, political backdoor dealings do occur. Another possibility, and a bit more reasonable, is that Donald Trump simply schmoozed and bamboozled the public (and political establishment) far better than his Republican opponents. Of course money helps and he had plenty of that, which isn't a bad thing. Unfortunately, it's very easy to swindle the masses when they're angry – just say provocative statements at the very things people are angry about. Voila! No need for actual substance, critical thought or actual solutions; just say what the crowd wants to hear. Tyrants learned this ages ago – that's one way they kept power regardless of oppressing their own people. (Before Trump loyalists call for my head, I'm NOT comparing Trump to a tyrant, I'm simply laying out the method of gaining popularity – so please no hate mail!)
Secondly, the fact that Trump has been a life-long Democrat voter, financial donor, and overall supporter to progressive causes. His loyalty towards the Democrat Party is far more extensive than to the Republicans, and yet, he won the GOP nomination in the end. To be fair, during the last several years, Donald seemed to switch gears by supporting and donating more to the Republican Party compared to his longer history of endorsing the Democrats; but is the “switch” genuine? Did he truly change his former progressive views? Or is he simply buying support to gain the Republican nomination because he knew the likelihood of a Democrat winning the Presidency wasn't very good? It's hard to tell since either one is very possible.
Third, even if he did “convert” to conservatism and the Republican Party, he continued to make very liberal statements during his campaign. This reason alone caused many, including myself, great concern. For example, he doesn't want to abolish government healthcare and leave it for dead: he wants to replace and/or reform the unconstitutional monstrosity. “Repeal and replace Obamacare,” his own words. So, he might remove Obamacare somehow (he'll need Congress to do this!), but we'll be stuck with a replacement. In other words, government is still in charge! Trumpcare anyone?
Does it really matter if a Republican is President if we still have a terrible, inefficient, expensive healthcare system?? Despite our newly elected President assuring us he'll make it great and affordable, I remember another politician promising the same thing. What was his name? Oh yeah, Obama! Economics and history do not leave a good hallmark when it comes to government control over private matters.
Other worrisome beliefs by 'the Donald': eminent domain (government theft of private property) is a “great thing”; progressive taxation is “necessary”; using his new power to keep companies/corporations from moving out of the U.S. (while I strongly dislike companies moving out of the U.S., I dislike politicians abusing their power even more); his record of supporting anti-Secondment Amendment legislation (i.e. assault weapons ban); and his comment that the Republican Party was “too crazy right” several years ago. Digging deeper, one can find even more questionable ideas and public statements which paint him as a progressive instead of a “conservative”.
One can argue that maybe Trump really has changed some of his views recently, especially since he confessed to this very thing; but regardless, no one can seriously call him a conservative. At best, he's an odd mishmash of (mostly) progressive and (some) conservative ideals that forge his own, unique philosophy. Unfortunately, the way Trump plans to carry out his ideas are through the heavy-hand of government – something the progressive left does, not the conservative or libertarian right.
Summing this article up:
The entire campaign and election cycle veered off the cliff into the abyss of weird and strange. Hillary, with a notorious history of corruption, scandal and flip-flopping, won the Democrat nomination by beating an outright (and at least honest) socialist, Bernie Sanders. A long-time progressive, possibly conservative convert, Donald Trump, won the support of conservatives in the Republican Party. Among the Libertarian Party, we had a weird combination of liberal and libertarian ideas with Gary Johnson, and his very liberal VP choice, William Weld. What in the world is going on? Have we lost all our senses and are simply choosing a “team” to rally behind like a football game?
I understand the sentiment Donald Trump captured among the people. He “stuck it to the elites/establishment”. I get it. We've all been longing to do this, but many people throughout history shoved the noses of the elites into a big humble pie and the country's fate wasn't any better with the new regime. The people heard and rejoiced in the anger, but forgot principles and morals along the way.
America, we have some very deep soul-searching to do. How far down the rabbit-hole do we have to go before we wake up and realize what's important? Sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way...I just hope we don't hit bottom.
Before I leave this as a negative hit-piece against our new Commander-in-Chief Trump, I will say some very positive things. I truly believe Trump loves America, unlike Obama and Hillary. Donald is genuinely supportive of our military and police. They embrace him and rightfully so. The last 8 years of both Obama and Hillary literally abandoning them at times (i.e. Benghazi and the false police accusations) have left a terrible scar. Reducing regulations and jump-starting our economy seems to be a priority – fantastic, we need it! I truly wish you well in this regard Mr. Trump!
I sincerely hope President Trump proves me wrong again and again. We don't need another President (or Congress!) to cause more damage - we're barely holding on by a thread and we don't have time, or money, to waste on another round of failure. Regardless, we as a society and individuals need to get back to solid, proven principles and morals – then and only then will we improve and truly be great again.