A Choice Not an Echo . . . Please

 | 

I would be surprised if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton became the nominees of the two major parties in 2016. Not shocked, mind you, but surprised. We’ve seen stranger things. Consider Jesse Ventura.

But the prospect of a “Trump v. Clinton” ballot makes me uneasy — in part, because they both seem so ideologically ambiguous. While I know they must differ ideologically, I’m not quite sure how.

It seems Trump prefers markets where he can put his thumb on the scales. Level playing fields are apparently for stupid people.

Mr. Trump, after all, has yet to release a lucid statement of his political and philosophical views. In all likelihood, he never will. We are left to infer them from his well-documented actions and inchoate utterances. Here are a few such inferences.

We know he doesn’t believe in free markets because he boasts of buying favors from politicians. It seems he prefers markets where he can put his thumb on the scales. Level playing fields are apparently for stupid people. Or perhaps to him, buying influence from politicians is simply part of a truly free market.

We know he isn’t for free trade because he brags that he will use every weapon at his disposal, including tariffs, to force America’s trading partners to their knees. While this proposal may have a certain appeal, it has the appearance of ignoring the lessons of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. (Anyone? Anyone?) Do we really want an international trade war?

So, if Mitt Romney is a free-market capitalist who supports free trade, what is Donald Trump?

Let’s just say that it’s not so easy figuring out which school of philosophy is Mr. Trump’s alma mater.

On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton was a Goldwater Girl in high school, campaigning for the Republican presidential candidate. By the time she finished at Wellesley, she had converted to radical activism, enamored of Saul Alinsky’s grassroots Marxism. Since then, she has written and spoken many, many words about her political and philosophical beliefs, all of which assure us that she is a woman of the progressive left. But what about her actions?

To my knowledge, she is the only progressive leftist to have served on the board of the Walmart Corporation. She did so for seven years. This line of her résumé is unappreciated by many on the Left.

Without a doubt, Clinton is the only progressive leftist to have raised tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street donors in the first three months of her presidential campaign.

It is probable that she is the only progressive leftist to have turned a $1,000 stake into almost $100,000 by trading cattle futures. At the time, she was supplementing her husband’s meager $35,000 salary as governor of Arkansas. It was her version of clipping grocery coupons.

Without a doubt, she is the only progressive leftist to have raised tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street donors in the first three months of her presidential campaign. It could be that no one has told them she is a progressive leftist.

I could go on, but just ask yourself this: if Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist, what the heck is Hillary Clinton?

Let’s face facts. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both acolytes of the same philosophical school. They are opportunists. They crave money, fame, and power. If either of them became president, the only thing we know for sure is this: the office would be used to seize more power.

They would view the system of checks and balances that limits the abuse of power as nothing more than an annoying restraint on the authority of the president. These safeguards would be seen as mere obstacles, narrowing the range of means available for achieving the noble ends of “making America great again” and “moving the country forward.”

How in the world would you choose between them?

On one side we have a rich, fat, old, white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, candidate with an unpleasant voice, an arrogant manner, and an authoritarian personality. On the other side we have Donald Trump. Apart from sex, they’re like two megalomaniacal peas in a pod.

What is a voter to do? Imagine a ballot with Benito Mussolini and Eva Perón. Choose one. Go ahead.

On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton was a Goldwater Girl in high school, campaigning for the Republican presidential candidate. By the time she finished at Wellesley, she had converted to radical activism, enamored of Saul Alinsky




Share This

Comments

Charles Barr

Donald Trump actually has produced "a lucid statement of his political and philosophical views," in his 2011 book "Time to Get Tough." Personal style aside, Trump's views (as presented in this book) are predominantly mainstream conservative with a slight Tea Party flavor. Hillary's views are predominantly mainstream liberal. While neither candidate fully practices what he or she preaches, and neither is a libertarian, there are clear and obvious differences in their political and philosophical viewpoints.

S.H.Chambers

You are, of course, right. Underscoring their similarities was a failed attempt at contrarian humor. Still, given the choice, which of the two would you vote for? The pause that follows that question is the nasty little point.

Fred Mangels

The author seems to assume there will only be two choices on the ballot. You can vote for one of the others or not vote at all.

Fred Mora

There are not the only choices on the ballot, but the elected prez will be the candidate of either the Dems or the GOP. Sad but realistic.

Fred Mora

Silicon Valley has tons of Leftist server administrators that would gladly take a salary cut to work for Hillary. But due to her incompetence and bad choice of advisors, she never had a knowledgeable system administrator in her IT team. Instead, her attempts to avoid FOIAs resulted in her spreading classified emails across the Internet, thus violating several laws.

Therefore, she is at the mercy of Obama, who can decide to have the FBI throw the book at her at any time. As soon as Joe Biden or some other gormless Democrat is deemed somewhat electable, Obama will throw the Clintonista under the bus.

As for the other side, I entertain some hope that the Republicans will nominate Dr Carson. I'd like to read your take about this candidate and his positions. He's very smart but I am not sure he's pro-freedom.

Johnimo

I'd rather stay home and watch re-runs of "The Young and the Restless" than go to the polls to vote for either of these two. Me, I'm sticking with Carly Fiorina. I'll take a voice, not an echo.

© Copyright 2017 Liberty Foundation. All rights reserved.



Opinions expressed in Liberty are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Liberty Foundation.

All letters to the editor are assumed to be for publication unless otherwise indicated.