Why the Donald is a (slightly) Better Choice than Hillary By Jonathan Vegamora | 1 November 2016
I know what you are thinking. You’re triggered, aren’t you? How dare I choose a white, misogynistic, greedy, cheating, crony capitalist pig over a careless, corrupt, pathologically lying, rape-enabling, sick trapo. Indeed, they are horrible choices but they are actually the best the Republican and Democratic parties can churn out for the American presidency - the same presidency that has command over all American bases around the world with access to the nuclear launch codes and you’re going to entrust the most complex military arsenal to one of these two political misfits? Misfit is an understatement. Barbarians would be the more appropriate term.
I think we would all prefer another four years of Barack Obama in the White House instead of these two. There’s a certain charisma, gentleness and calm firmness about him when he presents himself to the public eye. He’s not as provocative and controversial as them but he’s almost just as tainted, not personally but politically. What makes him the most politically tainted is his current foreign policy which has wrought havoc on the Middle East to the point that U.S.-supplied White Phosphorus, acquired by the Saudis, is being dropped on the Yemeni Civil War and munitions are being distributed to various rebel groups in Syria. Why is Washington funding these terrorists, Riyadh included?
But that is a critical piece for another day. Anyways, so why is Donald Trump a slightly better choice than Hillary Clinton? Well, taking into consideration the scandalous characteristic of both candidates over the past campaign season – their almost equal potential to practice barbarism from involvement in racist and sexist commentary to the encouragement of violence; it’s mainly due to policy. If you check their campaign websites and read their very detailed political platforms, measures and policies; then you will be able to critique each of them while also taking into account their scandalous behaviors from “grab her by the p***y” to “can’t we just drone [strike] this guy [Assange]”.
I will compare the platforms of these two evils on immigration, the economy, national defense and foreign policy since these areas of concern not only play a crucial role in the survival and prosperity of the United States of America but also because they affect the perception of foreign countries (especially the ones in the Middle East, the most affected region of American imperialism) toward America.
So let’s begin first with the Trump plan. Besides seriously building the Great Wall, Donald Trump has other complementary measures for immigration and it’s very, how should I say it? “America First.” Sure, the plan involves legal immigration reform but Trump proposes further measures to “ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.” He’s also very picky about the immigrants to be naturalized to the point that they should be scrutinized if they “support America’s values, institutions and people”, not to mention he plans to suspend immigration from “regions that export terrorism and where safe vetting cannot presently be ensured.” And let’s not forget the deportation spree of illegal immigrants, regardless if criminal or not, that will come about in his presidential term even if illegal immigrants prop up a considerable portion of the American agriculture sector.
Now when it comes to the economy, Donald Trump is just as passionate. He wants America to win all over the place: foreign and domestic. He expects a booming economy under his oversight to churn out 25 million new jobs that will come about from his presidential initiatives of mass economic deregulation and tax reformation for both individuals and corporations. But before you label him as a neoliberal, he’s actually a protectionist. He wants to “negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit” or in brutally honest economic talk: he wants to raise tariffs and quotas on imports to keep the prices of goods and services of American businesses high which will hurt American consumers while also obsessing over exports. It’s really a trade war with China.
Besides waging an economic war, Donald Trump also plans to prepare for a military one. He plans to muster over half a million additional soldiers for the US Army, to have at least 350 fighting ships for the U.S. Navy, to increase the number of U.S. Marine Corps battalions to 36 and to provide the U.S. Air Force with 1,200 fighter aircraft. In addition, he intends to invest in missile defense systems, cyber-defense and cyberwarfare. It obviously screams of militarism.
Lastly but not the least of importance is Trump’s foreign policy of “peace through strength.” He believes that American military strength can actually promote global stability and peace even if his famous exclamation of “I’ll bomb the s**t out of them [terrorists]” suggests otherwise. Donald Trump intends to work with America’s allies in the Middle East to combat ISIS with “aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS” together with intelligence sharing, cyberwarfare and sabotage operations against terrorist logistics. Indeed, it sounds like the past, specifically, the Bush administration’s policy against Hussein’s Iraq but that is where the similarity ends. Trump also wants to scrap the “current strategy of nation-building and regime change” that presidents Bush and Obama have been undertaking (explicitly by outright invasion or implicitly by airdrops of lethal aid for rebels) which has actually destabilized the Muslim world if you can remember the video shots of Arab rebels desert-fighting government forces with NATO air support in Libya and then there’s the currently ongoing Syrian Civil War.
So what about Hillary Clinton? If there is one thing I would comment about her presidential platform, then it might just be more paternalistic than Donald Trump’s. Her immigration policy is almost that of complete leniency. She intends to implement a “comprehensive immigration reform” that will pave the way to “full and equal citizenship” to illegal immigrants within the United States. It actually highlights the protection of illegal immigrants more than the detainment and deportation of immigrant criminals. The package comes with documentation into the formal economy, clemency for sympathetic immigrant cases, immigrant integration and naturalization, the closure of private immigrant detention centers and even affordable health insurance. Clinton also plans to ensure asylum for refugees given the 2015 Migrant Crisis brought about by the Syrian Civil War. Although, given the consequences the European Union is currently facing from accepting a huge number of Syrian refugees and free-riding economic migrants in a short period of time manifest in rampant sexual harassment, ghetto proliferation and even acts of terrorism; assimilation and naturalization will actually be distant goals that can only be achieved through the application of effective immigration measures.
When it comes to the economy though, Clinton’s platform for the American economy might just be the most comprehensive economic revival plan implying that prosperity is not possible without government intervention. The economic plan comprises of three measures: subsidies, taxation, (de)regulation. “Investments” will be implemented across the board towards infrastructure, research and development, clean energy, basic and college education, job training, healthcare, childcare, social security, housing, manufacturing, agriculture and small businesses. It’s basically Keynesian expansionary fiscal policy on steroids. And where will the money come from? Taxes from corporations that outsource labor and from Wall Street in the form of risk fees, tax loophole closures and taxes on high-frequency trading given the tax cuts and benefits small businesses will receive. Lastly, and what I’m far from being fond of, regulation. Under Clinton’s executive authority, a federal minimum wage will be ratified, labor collective bargaining rights will be upheld, small businesses will experience deregulation compared to their larger capitalist colleagues that will undergo witch hunts for shipping jobs and incomes overseas. And to top it all off, Clinton’s approach towards trade, specifically the TPP, is just as protectionist as Trump’s.
However, when it comes to her plan for national defense, it is not as comprehensive as the economy plan. It is mostly aimed at budgetary reforms and the addition of a relatively new military doctrine. The plan involves ending budget cuts for the military while also cracking down on unnecessary costs that waste taxpayer funds. There is also the adoption of a new military doctrine known as “net-centric warfare” which requires that information be used as a competitive advantage in eliminating asymmetric threats.
It’s not as “strongman” as Trump’s proposals but Clinton’s foreign policy is actually more aggressive than Trump’s. Indeed, just like Trump, she intends to ravage ISIS from the air as “local Arab and Kurdish forces” ruin them on the ground. Intelligence services in Europe and America will also continue to play a crucial role in the War on Terror by identifying, tracking and arresting terrorists while also dismantling global terror logistics. But this is where their similarities end and the imperialism escalates with its crosshairs on Iran, Russia and China. Clinton intends to continue blocking Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon while also countering China’s dominance in cyberspace, currency, trade and in the South China Sea. The most ambitious of all her foreign measures is the one aimed at Putin’s Russia for it involves strengthening military cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in fortifying Eastern Europe while further imposing economic sanctions on the Motherland, threatening an already agitated nuclear Red Bear.
So how will America and its reputation fare with a Clinton presidency? Like what I stated earlier, her economic plan is very Keynesian. Saturating a currently restrained national economy with public money will not necessarily create jobs and wealth automatically for Americans since that would also require entrepreneurship. However, given these subsidies of a guaranteed nature, firms receiving them would not be incentivized a bit to use them all in an efficient manner creating room for dead-weight losses and economic rents. Her added taxes and regulations on medium-to-large corporations and Wall Street might actually discourage their economic activity in America to the point that some of them will be compelled to move their operations elsewhere. Also, this same proposal can actually benefit a select few who can bear the costs and enjoy the reduction in competition they’ll have to face. Indeed, small businesses will gain but it will take the long run for them to compensate for the migration of large, existing corporate wealth out of the country. And lastly, her protectionist, export-driven trade goals would only invite at least equal retribution from foreign countries. In summary, the American economy might actually undergo even slower growth and maybe even stagnation in the long run even if there was a short run government-sponsored spending spree.
Clinton’s immigration plan is just as paternal as her economy plan, maybe just too paternal. This might actually incentivize even more foreigners with heart-wrenching stories to migrate to America, increasing migration to a country that really has a migration digestion limit, like all countries. Actually, America is a nation of immigrants but what has kept it stable and one is that necessary and crucial process of naturalization and assimilation that comes from civil involvement in the larger American society. Take the processes away and you actually have social and cultural clashes. It’s actually relatively easier for Hispanic, Asian and European migrants with a globalized and quite secular background to immerse themselves in the American way of life but not for the migrants whose belief and value systems are so different, even contrary, from it. This is the brutal challenge that Clinton will need to address when it comes to receiving Syrian refugees and some freeriding economic migrants; besides housing, jobs and livelihood, it is also migrant assimilation. If effective assimilation conditions and measures are not applied properly then America might experience Europe’s fate.
Clinton’s foreign policy is honestly the most endangering to America and possibly the world because of its pre-meditated measures; political, economic and military, against Putin’s Russia. Honestly, if she proceeds with this unwelcoming attitude and approach towards the Read Bear then this either will only serve as an invitation for a pre-emptive strike from Moscow or as a preparation for a pre-emptive strike against Moscow possibly starting the Third World War. Seriously, tensions have been rising ever since Russia intervened in the Syrian conflict to the point that Russia’s holding massive civil defense evacuation drills for nuclear war while Washington explicitly and publicly considers a cyberattack against Moscow for supposed attempts to sabotage the coming election with embarrassing, eye-opening leaks of corruption. And let’s not forget the clash of interests in the Syrian conflict and the militarization of Eastern Europe. Given these aggressive measures toward the China-Russia-Iran trio, foreign countries will sadly still perceive of America as that bully in the room that will never stop picking for a fight. Is America globally insecure or just really hooked on war?
America will barely survive somewhat given Clinton’s economic and immigration plans or not if Putin would be so kind as to engage Clinton in a conventional or thermonuclear war due to her aggression and interventions in the geopolitical stage. But wouldn’t a Trump presidency lead America to the disaster described and not Clinton? Actually, not in the exact same manner.
Trump’s economic plan is really meant to reinvigorate the American economy with free market policies such as deregulation and tax reform however the strategy is not entirely inspired by the free market because it also involves protectionism. In the short run, there will be economic prosperity but it would be of greater magnitude if foreign countries would not exact their vengeance against American protectionism with their own. In the long run though, the days of American economic prosperity will be numbered. Given that the tax cut spree will only spur the national debt to skyrocket unless Trump would be willing to severely cut down on federal government spending which is sadly highly unlikely given that it has many entrenched dependents and special interests.
When it comes to the matter of immigration though, Trump’s policies are the exact opposite of Clinton’s: utterly heartless. The issues of assimilation and social and cultural clash will no longer exist given that the policy involves the rejection of the settlement of Syrian refugees on American soil. America may be saved from potential societal and cultural conflicts but at the cost of forgone economic opportunities and innocent lives. And let’s not forget all the current illegal immigrants who will be deported back to their countries of origin regardless if they are criminal or not and if they contribute to the economy or not. The prioritization of the assimilation of desirable immigrants who share American values and institutions will not be able to hide the national tragedy of mass deportation as heartbreak and racism prevails.
Compared to Clinton’s explicit aggression against not just global terror but also Russia, Trump prioritizes furious hostility against ISIS to the point that he considers cooperating with Russia in the fight against global terrorism. With bilateral relations between America and Russia abysmally low at the moment, a Trump-Putin alliance against terrorism will actually stop the world from progressing towards possible nuclear war. Trump also emphasizes that he will no longer follow the past policies of nation-building and regime change which has wasted billions of dollars in military hardware for sketchy rebels and human lives in the Middle East. In short, the Middle East will no longer have to worry about rebels sponsored by the CIA and the Pentagon and the foreign states fond of American paternalism will now finally have to accept full responsibility to build their own respective nations. Closer to home, given Duterte’s rhetoric with China against America, Trump might actually withdraw American forces from the Philippines: demilitarizing and deescalating tension in the region.
So will America survive under a Trump administration? Economically it will become the next Greece in the long run but at least it will not take down other countries with its clandestine and outright foreign destabilization operations which is what currently infuriates many people of the Middle East. They’ve honestly had enough of American imperialism in the region and Trump’s platform will actually lessen it after the elimination of ISIS.
Between a world war and Greece 2.0, an economic collapse would be more preferable since a collapsed American economy can bounce back easily given economy-friendly measures of a free market but how would progress fare for the rest of us in a post-apocalyptic new Malthusian world? Not so much. This is why Donald Trump is a slightly better choice than Hillary Clinton.
I know, they both belong, using Clinton’s own words, in a “basket of deplorables” but what would you rather have if you only have these two barbarians who totally insult the intelligence and moral foundation of not just the American people but every living human being? America destroying the world (or parts of it, most likely including itself) or America destroying itself only? And this is why I said Trump is better than Clinton and not the best because, in my opinion, that belongs to the Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
Yes, it’s not just the Democratic and Republican parties that are involved in American politics however biased media coverage, overwhelming financial contributions and even preferential election treatment have left outsiders barred from power. Although, public outrage against the establishment’s candidates has left many Americans either giving up on political involvement or searching for alternatives like Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party.
Gary Johnson’s immigration plan is welcoming yet prudent. Johnson recognizes the fact that most immigrants, legal and illegal, come to America for work and a better life but there are some immigrants who are not so “well-intentioned.” There will be no border wall however there will be background checks for incoming immigrants. Those illegal immigrants who currently contribute to the American economy will be free from the fear of eviction given Johnson’s intention to grant temporary work visas to those with proof of employment. Lastly, Johnson gives importance to assimilation and asserts that foreign citizens working in America should be incentivized to pay taxes.
Speaking of taxes, Johnson intends to pursue the most radical federal tax reformation ever by scrapping “all income and payroll taxes with a single [federal] consumption tax” in order to incentivize Americans to invest in businesses and spend in consumption given their larger post-reform disposable income to jumpstart the American economy. The drastic decrease in tax revenue will also come with an equivalent reduction in federal spending even if it means abolishing some executive federal departments! Lastly, the economic plan also involves deregulation to spur investment, innovation, job growth and wealth creation. Johnson argues that regulation is originally meant to safeguard people from “bad actors and the harm they might do to health, safety, and property,” externalities really, and he intends to repeal the regulations that are “used to manipulate the economy, to manage private lives and businesses, or to place unnecessary burdens on those who make our economy work.”
Finally, when it comes to the affairs of the military and foreign policy, Johnson plans to “build a strong military” strictly for defensive purposes and not to cater to America’s imperialist tendencies. He intends to shut down all overseas military bases and transfer those military units to the homeland to serve as a sufficient defense against attack and invasion, not to destabilize entire regions like the Middle East in order to expand domination which has actually made America less safe. The goal of his foreign policy is to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the long-time era of American imperialism (and terrorism) is over and that diplomacy and trade, not war, will be the means America will use to achieve a peaceful and prosperous world.
Will America survive and prosper with Johnson’s plan? If spending cuts will be equal to tax cuts, then absolutely: the national debt will actually stop increasing and become a constant figure instead of an estimation that changes every second on a billboard. In addition, the deregulation will complement the tax cuts in freeing the economy from its hindrances and restrictions; further speeding the economic recovery America needs right now. Lastly, Johnson’s immigration restructuring and background checks will actually also serve to stimulate the economy given an influx of migrants willing to work, consume and pay taxes in America. Imagine a multiplier effect that comes with new people partaking in a given market: new consumers, new jobs, new sources of tax revenue, new varieties etc. Filipinos who wish to work in America will really stand to benefit from these measures.
And because of the execution of the Johnson plan, America will actually be respected for the first time overseas in a very long time. With the reforms mentioned previously, foreign countries will see America for what it should be originally: that country people everywhere look up to for its prosperity given its liberty and human diversity and its respect for the sovereignty and reputation of other countries. Currently, people see in America an unstable bully with an interest in funding terrorists (sadists), an obsession for world domination and a fetish for domestic and foreign human suffering and that perception and reality needs to change as quickly as possible. Every four years, America comes to a crossroads, a critical juncture: to choose which path its federal government should take. The eighth of November 2016 will make a difference for not just Americans everywhere but for every foreigner with a love, hate or love-hate relationship with the United States of America. And we can only hope that our former colonial master will not continue to remain as the imperialist, western superpower that we all hate yet somehow revere.