The most interesting aspect of the widespread animus against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is that none of it is substantive. It’s all personal. It has nothing to do with Trump’s political or economic philosophy. That’s because Trump stands for the same philosophy and the same programs that his critics believe in.
Consider, for example, this article in yesterday’s New York Times about conservative radio talk-show hosts in Wisconsin, most of whom despise Trump. I carefully read the article to see which of Trump’s positions they disagreed with. I couldn’t find any. It’s just personal. They don’t like the guy.
Or consider this letter to the editor in the same issue by Robert Dallek, the noted historian. He says that both Trump and Ted Cruz are “two of the least qualified men in the last hundred years to run for president, but they are also fundamentally at odds with our democratic traditions.”
Well, I thought, that’s an interesting statement. Now, finally, I’m going to read an attack on Trump’s philosophy or positions.
Alas, my expectations were dashed again. Like so many other Trump critics, Dallek settled for going after Trump on a nebulous, personal basis: “Mr. Trump is the consummate opportunist whose self-aggrandizement outruns any interest in how our most successful presidents have used the office to advance the national interest.”
So, why don’t they ever attack Trump on his substantive issues? Because what they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge is that Trump is one of them. He is cut out of the same philosophical, economic, and moral cloth as they are. And they all know it. The fact is that Donald Trump is the ultimate, evolutionary outcome of the liberal-conservative movement, a movement of people who look on the state as a god, who embrace socialism, interventionism, mercantilism, fascism, and imperialism, and who support, on an ad hoc basis, a wide array of government programs that reflect their beliefs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies, a managed economy, economic regulations, trade controls, immigration laws, the drug war, the national-security establishment, foreign interventionism, and, of course, the U.S. death machine in the Middle East.
The reason they don’t like Donald Trump is because when they see him, they know that they’re looking in a mirror. They know that that’s what they look like, at least from the inside.
Consider one big example: Trump’s immigration proposals. He wants to build a high wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to keep out Mexican illegal immigrants. He is also committed to forcibly deporting all 10 million or so illegal immigrants who are living here in the United States.
Why does he want to do this? Because, he says, most of Mexican illegal immigrants are not good people — they’re rapists, criminals, drug dealers, and people with “lots of problems.”
Trump’s critics express outrage. How could he say such things? How could he support such things?
The answer is very easy: Because he supports the concept of immigration controls, which is precisely what his critics also support. His wall is, in principle, no different from any other immigration enforcement measures, all of which his critics have supported. Hey, weren’t Trump’s critics big supporters of the Berlin Fence that was constructed along the border a few years ago? Didn’t they say that that would finally resolve America’s immigration “crisis”? Didn’t they support the eminent domain actions that entailed legally stealing people’s property along the border to build the fence? Didn’t they show indifference to the ecological damage that the fence would cause?
Well, obviously their fence didn’t do the job, just as U.S. immigration highway checkpoints, warrantless searches of ranches and farms along the border, raids on private businesses, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, and even sending the military to control the border haven’t done the job for the past several decades. Trump’s Wall is the the next step in the ever-increasing inane and destructive enforcement measures that accompany immigration controls.
Trump obviously doesn’t like Mexican illegal immigrants. They consist of the extreme poor or what the inscription on the Statue of Liberty calls the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores … the homeless, tempest-tost.” It’s clear that Trump considers them to be lower-class, inferior type of people — dregs on society — people that no self-respecting nation should ever want.
But let’s face it: That’s also the underlying mindset of many of Trump’s critics. It’s just that he’s honest about his beliefs and they’re not. They’ll couch their immigration-control arguments in all sorts of niceties, such as “Illegal immigrants don’t assimilate” or “We have population problem here in the United States” or “They’ll go on welfare.”
They just can’t be honest and blunt, like Trump is. They can’t bring themselves to say: Mexican illegal immigrants are unsavory people who are going to pollute America.
Unlike his critics, who suffer from a deeply seated case of hypocrisy and dishonesty, Trump is blunt and honest. He says it like it is. And that’s a big reason he getting lots of support.
Hillary Clinton attacks Trump for wanting to deport all the illegal immigrants in America. She says she’ll let many of them stay. Really? For one thing, her former boss, President Obama, has now become America’s Deporter-in-Chief. He’s on track to become the president who has deported more illegal immigrants than any other president. Has Clinton attacked Obama for this? After all, as a liberal, doesn’t she profess to love the “poor, needy, and disadvantaged”? Isn’t that why she says she supports public housing, food stamps, Medicaid, and the rest of the welfare state?
Nope, Clinton isn’t about to criticize Obama’s mass deportation policy. That shouldn’t surprise anyone given that for decades liberals have waged the same war against these particular “poor, needy, and disadvantaged” that conservatives have.
At least Trump is consistent. It’s against the law to enter the United States illegally. It’s a law that Trump supports. It’s also a law that Clinton and American liberals support. So, Trump says: If you’re here illegally, it’s adios to you. Pandering for votes, Clinton says: Oh no, I love you. I want you to stay. I just want to jail and deport all the others like you who still want to come.
Of course, as every libertarian knows, the war on immigrants, just like the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on wealth, the war on terrorism, and all the rest of the wars that the liberal-conservative movement wages is based on nothing but an immoral, crooked, corrupt, hypocritical foundation, one that is taking our country down.
But there’s no denying that lots of people are voting for the candidate who at least is honest about his statist beliefs. They’ve come to despise the deceitful, two-faced, hypocritical politicians who shares the same beliefs but who are scared to be truthful and honest about why.