Within a week after moving out of the White House, Donald Trump announced the creation of the “Office of the Former President.” According to an official statement dated January 25, “The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism.”
Near the end of his term in office, Trump broached the idea of starting a new political party called the “Patriot Party,” but later expressed his intention to instead help Republicans win back control of the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm election.
Since then, several groups have claimed to start new “Patriot” parties, most notably the San Antonio-based MAGA Patriot Party, which filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The designated agent for the new party, James Davis, remarked, “We’re not much different to the Republican Party. Except we’re going to hold true to the platform Trump ran on and what people supported.”
The question about this new party, then, is simply this: What is the agenda of the Trump administration and the platform of Donald Trump? The answer would seem to give us in a nutshell the Patriot Party platform and can be gleaned quite easily from a variety of sources: public statements of Trump while he was president, Trump’s budget’s submitted to Congress, Trump’s health-care plan (called “An America-First Healthcare Plan”), and the set of “core priorities” for a second-term agenda released by Trump’s reelection campaign under the banner “Fighting for You!”
Here are twelve planks, based on those releases, that would certainly have to be included in a Patriot Party platform:
- Enact “fair trade” deals
- Demonize China
- Impose protective tariffs
- Focus on reducing the trade deficit
- Health Care
- Protect patients with pre-existing conditions
- Protect and improve Medicare and Medicaid
- Cut prescription drug prices
- End surprise medical billing
- Repackage Obamacare as “An America-First Healthcare Plan”
- Family Leave
- Mandate twelve weeks’ paid family leave for federal employees
- Mandate paid family leave for all Americans through the unemployment-insurance system
- Family-leave mandates to businesses
- Foreign Policy
- Maintain foreign aid
- Continue membership in NATO
- Continue intervention in the affairs of other countries
- Continue the food stamp program
- Continue agricultural subsidies
- Continue the TANF program
- Continue the WIC program
- Expand refundable tax credits
- Social Security
- Save Social Security for future generations
- Protect Social Security from benefit cuts
- Maintain Social Security COLAs
- Provide school choice to every child in America
- Expand eligibility for Pell Grants
- Continue the National School Lunch Program
- Increase funding for child care and early learning
- Space Exploration
- Increase funding for NASA
- Establish a space force
- Establish a permanent manned presence on the Moon
- Land the first woman on the Moon
- Send the first manned mission to Mars
- Drug War
- Increase funding for the DEA
- Continue federal programs to combat opioid dependency and abuse
- Fight the war on drugs in other countries
- Continue the federal war on marijuana even as more states legalize it
- The Military
- Increase the budget of the Department of Defense
- Continue to station U.S. troops all over the world
- Maintain hundreds of overseas military bases
- Continue drone strikes and bombing of the same countries as Bush and Obama
- The Police State
- Install domestic immigration checkpoints miles from the border
- Continue domestic spying on Americans by the NSA
- Keep the TSA in charge of airline security
- Continue to restrict travel to Cuba
- The Federal Budget
- Raise the debt ceiling
- Run huge budget deficits
- Increase total federal spending every year
- Increase the national debt
Throw in a little verbiage about the Constitution, traditional values, federalism, limited government, fiscal conservatism, free enterprise, less regulation, tax reform, property rights, and balancing the budget in ten years; put an American flag on the cover; and the Patriot Party platform doesn’t look much different from a Republican Party platform. It would basically be just a Trump-friendly GOP platform.
But how does the Patriot Party platform compare with a libertarian platform?
Trade: The United States should institute real free trade. That requires no trade organizations, agreements, or treaties. Free trade simply means that trade is conducted without being hindered by tariffs, quotas, barriers, regulations, restrictions, or dumping rules.
Health care: Health care and health insurance should be completely separated from the state. Medicare and Medicaid should not exist. Obamacare should be repealed in its entirety, not reformed or replaced. No American should be forced to pay for the heath care of any other American.
Family leave: Whether an employer offers family-leave benefits, how the benefits are paid for, and what those benefits include is a matter that is entirely between employers and employees. The government should have no interest in the matter whatsoever.
Foreign policy: All foreign aid should be ended immediately. The United States should stay clear of entangling alliances, not interfere in other countries, and maintain strict neutrality.
Welfare: All welfare programs should be eliminated. No tax credits should be refundable.
And all charity should be private and voluntary.
Social Security: Social Security is an intergenerational income transfer plan. Social Security is welfare because the Social Security taxes collected have no relation to the benefits provided. The government should have nothing to do with anyone’s retirement or preventing poverty among the elderly, the disabled, or survivors.
Education: Education should be completely separated from the state. Government shouldn’t own schools; operate schools; fund anyone’s education, directly or through vouchers, grants, or loans; or regulate education in any way.
Space exploration: All space exploration should be privately managed, operated, and funded.
The drug war: The war on drugs is a war on freedom. There should be no laws at any level of government for any reason regarding any drug. It is not the proper role of government to prohibit, regulate, restrict, or otherwise control what a man desires to eat, drink, smoke, inject, absorb, snort, sniff, inhale, swallow, or otherwise ingest into his mouth, nose, veins, or lungs. Therefore, the war on drugs should be ended immediately.
The military: The military should be used only for defensive purposes. All overseas military bases should be closed and all U.S. troops brought home. The military budget should be cut accordingly.
The police state: Airlines and airports should provide their own security. No American should be spied on by his government, arrested for any victimless crimes, or restricted from traveling anywhere.
The federal budget: Federal spending should be slashed to the bone and limited to only that which is authorized by the Constitution. The income tax should be eliminated, and government should be financed by donations, fees, lotteries, and land sales.
It looks as though the Patriot Party platform is about as far from libertarianism as the Republican Party platform is.