Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trumps acceptance speech at the RNC shows he is not a conservative.

This is what I posted o Facebook immediately after Trump's speech on Thursday night:

I was ready to be persuaded to get on board for Trump tonight, but I was not persuaded. I think the Obama-Hillary foreign policy has been a disaster and liked that criticism, but much of the other left me unconvinced or even displeased. Much of it was out of the liberal play book.
I don't want the government in charge of insuring equal pay for equal work. I don't want universal government child care. While I am an enthusiastic supporter of parental choice in education, I don't want the Federal government mandating it. I want a smaller Federal role in education not a larger roll. Education is primarily a state and local issue.
While we have seen police assassinations in the last month, it is not a national crisis. Crime has been constantly declining for about 20 years. We do not have out of control crime in this country. We have seen a recent uptick but crime is primarily a local and state issue, not a federal issue. I am not persuaded we need a massive public works program to build airports, roads, bridges, and railroads. We had a massive failure of public works projects when Obama took office. I don't know that a Republican administration can do public works better than Dems. How are we going to cut the $20+ trillion national debt and have a massive project to rebuild American infrastructure?
I agree we need to punish and deport illegal immigrant criminals. Illegal immigrants committing crime should not be released but I think the problem of criminality among illegals was exaggerated. We need to secure our borders and get control of immigration but I am not convinced that building a massive wall the length of the Southern border is the best approach.
On trade, Republicans have been stronger advocates of reducing trade barriers than Dems. Advancing freer trade is one thing Dems got right. I am not convinced that we have gotten the short end of the stick in trade deals.
How does a free country prohibit American companies from relocating to foreign countries? I favor tax reform so American is more attractive to companies, but Trump said he would stop companies from relocating.
And I do not want the Federal government to assume student debt. Maybe we need student loan reform, so risk is evaluated before loans are made but I did not like his pandering to those with high student loans. Easy student loans is one thing that has made college more expensive.
While I cheered a few times, the overall tone of the speech left me cold. I would prefer Trump appointing Supreme Court judges rather than Hllary and think she is a despicable person, but Trump only looks good when compared to Hillary. I cannot get enthused.
As I reflect on what I wrote Thursday night, I double down.  What amazes me is that people who have been conservative all of their life, the grassroots activist of the party, can cheer such liberal rubbish. The build-the-wall and the tough-on-crime might be though of as conservative positions but but even those are populist-tinged pandering positions, not primary to a conservative ideology.

Trump made a strong case, with which I think few Republicans would disagree, that Hillary Clinton is dishonest and botched handling foreign affairs leaving the world worse than she found it. Other than those positions, he threw a bone to conservative by saying he would repeal and replace Obamacare and that he would appoint conservative judges but most of the speech called for more and more government interference in our lives, consolidation of power in Washington, and an imperial presidency. He did not advocate smaller government.  If you missed the speech, I encourage you to watch it in the video below and this ask yourself, "Does this guy sound like a Republican?'

Prior to Trump taking the stage he was introduced by his daughter Ivanka.  Her speech would have been more fitting introducing a Democrat candidate.

Here is what Ivanka had to say about what her father would do:
He will work for equal pay for equal work ...As president, my father will change the labor laws, ...
The equal pay for equal work argument is mostly bunk anyway.  When other variables are held constant, the difference is pay is negligible. She repeats the same old liberal argument that women only make x% of what men make ignoring career choices and other factors.  Even if the pay gap was real, do conservatives want federal bureaucrats dictating pay rates for individual employees? Do we want a massive bureaucracy that looks over an employer's shoulder to make sure he is paying his employees fairly?  Do we want that additional bureaucratic drag on the economy? This is anathema to what we believe.  This is not free enterprise and smaller, less intrusive government.
He will focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible for all. 
I am not believing I am hearing this at a Republican convention. Are Republican ready to embrace a large new entitlement and government expansion? 

Here is Trump's speech:

The speech is long.  To better reflect on what Trump actually said, I would suggest reading the speech at this link.

Here are highlights that should cause any American pause and some that would have gotten boos if a Democrat would have said them.
I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.
"I alone can fix it." That sounds like the strong man on a white horse. His arrogance  and egotism should cause us concern.
when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order our country
Despite exaggeration and distorting the extend of crime and police assassinations, crime is a state and local issue primarily.  Most laws that criminals violate are state laws. The federal government could beef up the FBI to investigate organized crime and increase prosecution of federal crimes, but other than that there is not much the Federal government can do.  Congress can appropriated money to provide grants to local police forces, but that is something that when done under Clinton, Republicans opposed.  We do not want a national police force.  Do we really want a leader strong enough to "restore law and order?" I don't. I don't want one person to have that much power.
I’m going to make our country rich again. I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great ...
Too much of the "I."  The strong man stuff scares me. A little of "I will propose ...," or "with the help of Congress ..." would be reassuring. We have seen President Obama abuse the office of the president numerous times, from over twenty changes to Obamacare, to changing immigration policy, to making recess appointments when Congress was actually not in session.  I want someone who will be respectful of the constitutional limits on the presidency and the separations of powers.  I want less imperial presidency, not more.
 it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.
Yes, it was Clinton who signed it but the NAFTA negotiations were going on before he ever took office. Clinton had to defy the more liberal elements of his own party to get NAFTA though. Most Republicans supported it and it has been a benefit to the U. S., Canada, and Mexico.
I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.
In a free country, how do you stop a company from relocating? We can change tax policy so they do not want to leave, but are we to build walls to keep people in as well as walls to keep them out? Think about that statement. Is that not scary talk?
She has supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
 The "she" is Hillary Clinton.  While there was some Repubican opposition to TPP also, it had more Republican support than Democrat support.  In the House, 190 Republicans supported fast track authority to advance TPP and only 28 Democrats (link). This trade deal was one of the rare cases in which Obama got more Republican support than Democrat support.
Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, .... We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow.
He says he is going to do this with all of the wealth created by the better trade deals he will negotiate and the wealth created by cutting taxes.  I agree corporate taxes need to be cut. I believe cutting taxes and reducing regulatory reform will revitalized the American economy, but fear his trade policy may impoverish us. In any event, it is way to early to talk about massive new federal public works programs. First, we must bring down the $19 trillion dollar debt.

The Trump speech at the convention was what settled the issue for me. I cannot vote for Donald Trump.  Other statements of his had scared me. Statements he had made indicated he would betray or dismantle NATO and words of praise for Russia's Putin, and he had said time and time again things he would do as president apparently thinking he will have the powers of an emperor. I had also been put off by his remarks demeaning John McCain for being captured, making fun of a disabled person  and disparaging things he had said about certain women.

I was hoping I would be reassured that while he shoots off his mouth without thinking sometimes, he is a sane, reasonable person and basically a good person and a person of conservative views. I was hoping he would reassure me.  I was not reassured.  I now do not even believe he is a real Republican. It strikes me as a liberal statist populist nationalist running as a Republican. I do not think Trump is a conservative; if he is, then I am not that kind of a conservative.

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