This just in:  Trump had a pep rally last night in Phoenix and I found it disappointing.  Trump didn’t disappoint.  He is who he is.  I was disappointed that there are so many people ANYWHERE, let alone in just Phoenix, that will applaud wildly at the nonsense he puts out.

As always, my struggle it to try and understand how and why people can see things so differently than myself. So, I decided to try and list what I like about Trump”s platform.  Forget Russia.  Forget the lying.  Forget his behavior.  What were his promises?  That’s what I’m after.

Let’s start with the idea of Populism.  This is basically telling the ordinary man that his problems are the result of some elite entity.  “You are not to blame…someone else is.”

I get this.  I’m constantly blaming the billionaire class for bribing Congress to act on behalf of Big Oil or some other “elite entity”.  So I suppose I am captured by the grand net of “populism”.

But what about other Trump Platforms?  I’m not talking about his behavior.  I’m talking about what he actually said he would do if elected.  Can I support those ideas?

Turns out, the answer is often Yes!

Let’s look at his 4 big issues:

Healthcare:

The promise is that we will all have better healthcare at a much lower cost.  Who would be against this?  Not me.  I’m all for better healthcare and lower costs.

What we got was a modern day version of The King Has No Clothes.  The Republican Party based its entire existence on their secret plan to Repeal and Replace Obamacare.  Turns out they were bluffing.  There is no plan and there never was a plan.  As for Trump, he just wanted a victory.  He didn’t care what was passed just so long as something passed.  He openly supported a plan that made things much worse.  He did this in “the blind”. I have yet to find any article that states Trump actually understands Obamacare or any of the alternatives put forth by the Republican Party.

Infrastructure:

The promise was $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure spending.  I loved this idea.  Not only do we need it but the timing is perfect.  We need well paying jobs and construction will provide those.  Interest rates are extremely low so we would be borrowing money for free.  The return on this sort of investment is generally considered to be substantial.  Conversely, doing nothing is going to cost us far more in the long run.  This is the one issue that has bipartisan support.

What we got is…nothing.  Trump has offered to let billionaires build roads that they would then own and be able to charge tolls on to recoup their money but that is about it.

Tax Reform:

The promise is that taxes will go down substantially and this will spur record economic growth.  Who wouldn’t like this.  There was also a hint that taxes would be simplified.  Love it!  Also, loopholes would go away.  About time!

What we got was a 1-page tax plan copied from an article in Forbes magazine.  Trump apparently read it and told his people “Get me something like this.”  Everything coming out of the White House tends to vastly reduce the tax rates of the very wealthy and does virtually nothing for the other 98% to 99% of us.  The only specific thing I have heard is that the tax cuts will spur economic growth up to between 3% and 6%.  These are big numbers.  The problem is that there is no specific plan and there is ZERO history of any tax cuts creating economic growth that lasts beyond the first few weeks after the cuts are put into place.

Immigration Reform:

The promise is that we will deport the criminals and protect our jobs.  Also included in this is protecting us from terrorists coming over with refugees.

What we got was a racist policy of protectionism.  Families are being torn apart in an attempt to show how tough we have become.  We are deporting tens of thousands of workers without a plan to fill the jobs left behind.  People of non-Christian faith are suddenly no longer welcome in our country.  Instead of protecting our borders, we became a nation of hate, racism and intolerance.

Other policies that I never agreed with right out of the gates:

Rebuilding our military:  This was just fear-mongering as Trump clearly has no understanding of our current military capabilities.

Stepping away from the Paris Climate Agreement:  This is nothing more than a nod to the largest donors to the Republican Party.

Stepping away from NAFTA and the TPP:  I never understood why; even when Bernie wanted to do the same thing.  No one has ever pointed out the downsides and the upsides to these two agreements, side-by-side.  All I know is protectionism and nationalism will cause our economy to wither on the vine.

So, I like some of it and I don’t like some of it.

I uniformly oppose the way Trump has handled all of it.

Which brings me back to my original dilemma: How can others see Trump so differently than I do?

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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