kenfreed1

 


Opinions: Why I Support Trump

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July 23, 2016


Hi Jim,

Thanks for your well thought out "Trump – My Thoughts" piece. For my part, I have to say that I found Trump’s acceptance speech at the RNC cathartic. It was a good sum-up of the best of what he had said on the campaign trail (with more polish in places).

I won’t reiterate the numerous individual issues, but I think that there are four very big root causes that have been ignored in the public discourse:

– Click on Any Accordion Bar –

1) (Non Military) American Manufacturing has been Trashed

"Free trade"? Leaving aside labor costs: the playing field for international trade is still NOT level - from protectionism to different accountancy rules. From pollution - to taxes - to micro managing federal regulations: foreign competitors operate in more favorable environments.

Because of this, CEOs who move operations overseas can expect big leaps in the stock price - which translates into lots of bonus money for themselves. It would not be in their interests to have Trump messing with this.

  • I have walked the huge empty factory floors of Endicott Johnson in New York State, and I have driven past the aging towns of that beautiful region, each surrounding a major factory that now stands idle. During the campaign Trump has repeatedly cited statistics on our manufacturing getting clobbered - and why it has happened.
    • Bernie Sanders is the only other major candidate who emphasizes the issue.
  • When I browsed the consumer electronics section of a department store in Germany back in the 1980's I noticed that the Japanese products (e.g. Toshiba) cost EXACTLY the same as their German counterparts (e.g. Grundig) - while back here Japanese products were much cheaper than ours. Why was that?
  • I used to work at Cypress Semiconductor Texas, which was shut down in 2008. The problem was that the Chinese government bought equipment for their fabs outright, while we had to depreciate our equipment costs against our product sales. Owing to different accountancy rules - we all could have worked for free and still not have competed with those Chinese fabs.
  • When I was in Japan in 1985, Japanese colleagues pointed out that they love Harley Davidson motorcycles, but the Japanese import duty on them was high. They'd also like to eat more American beef (the Japanese meat diet is mostly fish), but the farmers lobby kept it out of the country. I later found out that "Japanese Middlemen" kept a lot of potential imports out of the Japanese marketplace. Clearly, the global trade playing field has not been level.
    • And I have heard Trump echo my own personal experiences and go beyond them by explaining what corporate inversion is, and point out our multi year trade deficits: $500 billion/yr with China, $80 billion/yr with Japan, $50 billion with Mexico,...

 

2) The Victim's Revolution Has Turned Deadly.

The Victim's Revolution has turned deadly. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter in the face of black social statistics, large scale Muslim immigration in the face of Europe’s experience, or cross border gangs, drugs and crime - our media and academics seem to be dominated by a set of ideologues which dismiss legitimate concerns with "racist", "authoritarian personality" or even a "Nazi" labels ("political correctness" means avoiding these reproaches) - on people not wealthy enough to move out of neighborhoods that are going downhill.

Trump's base of white working class voters believe in law and order and, because of economic circumstances, they are often on the frontline when crime goes unchecked. For a long time they have felt that no one defends their interests. Trump does.

  • A broadly defined "racism" is often mongered by the media in their simple minded explanations of Trump's support. I remember the racism of the 1960s. What exists today is a tiny remnant of that time - being hyped for all it's worth. On the other hand, these days there are few ideas more politically potent than the victimhood notion that "many of your problems are caused by other people in their unfairness to you". A book describing the real life dystopia resulting from the rationalizations of the liberal elites combined with the excuses of the underclass (which takes place in white England, but also applies to America) can be found here.
  • The opposite of Hitler's (alles in ordnung) National Socialism, marching in full, well organized lockstep over a cliff - is not Mother Teresa.
    The opposite of (utopian control freak) Hitler - is a societal breakdown resembling Hogarth's London, or today's Hobbesian third world equivalent.

3) Questioning Military Spending is WAY Overdue (and has been for years).

The cold war ended in the 1990s. Questioning military spending is WAY overdue (and has been for years).

Minus Social Security (which pays for itself at the moment), our 600 billion dollar military budget   makes up 20% of federal spending and dwarfs everyone else’s.

  • China is next at $216 billion, followed by Russia at $84 billion.

And for what? Nato against the Russian threat? Trip wire alliances with countries like Estonia ?

  • Setting up and supplying Nato airbases is great for business. That's why Bill Clinton pushed Nato right up to Russia's border. How would we feel if they did the same to us with Mexico?
  • Please read Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations”.
    • Those countries (including east vs. west Ukraine) are lining up along their cultural boundaries.

Needless to say – with Trump's questioning of Nato's role, military contractors aren’t likely to be contributing to the Republican party this election cycle either.

  • It would not be in their interests to have Trump messing with this.

4) The Weapons of Mass Destruction Were Not There.

Jim, we both were equally frustrated when Bush betrayed the post 9/11 unity of our country and attacked Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that were not there – blowing Valerie Plame’s cover when she called him on it well before the fact, and ignoring the Saudis who were responsible. 

Bush and Cheney pushing that war (and letting Bin Laden get away in the process) was a cross between Benedict Arnold and a Nuremberg war crime.  It trashed America’s post 1900  “honest broker” role in the world (starting with Teddy Roosevelt getting the Nobel Prize for facilitating an end to the Russo-Japanese War).

  • His opposition to that bs did more to get Obama elected than anything else.
    • and I was an Obama supporter until Ferguson.  Among other things – he got Osama Bin Laden.

I hope that any politician who did not hold Bush accountable for that war (at the least, he should have been impeached) and tries to “brass it out” while hoping that the public’s memory is short – never gets elected to anything.

  • In the February 13th debate, Trump called the basis for the Iraq War "a big fat lie”.  On that frank statement alone (and all other things being equal), he’d have my vote.

 

What I Still Do Not Understand

I do not understand why we are bombing them (in the Mideast) over there (they want to reestablish the caliphate which was abolished by Ataturk in 1924) and letting them in over here.

  • At least Trump has this half right (i.e., don’t let them in over here - or at least heavily vet them before admission).
    • It is naive to assume that would be Muslim immigrants accept (as a matter of course): American pluralism, equality before the law and the idea of a state NOT governed by religious law. America was NOT founded by large numbers of immigrants holding basic ideas so entirely opposite to our own. By all means we should definitely accept those (Salman Rushdie type) reformers who DO accept these principles - since they are in mortal danger in Muslim countries and stand a good chance of successful assimilation into ours.
    • A good basic litmus test for admittance would be the question: "Do you believe in peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic society?"
      • Please realize that this is a trick question. Islam is a totalitarian political philosophy as much as it is a religion. Wherever Islam has control there are three options for the relations of Muslims with non-Muslims: (1) for non believers to convert to Islam, or (2) for some non believers to be permitted subordination and tribute payments (Jizya) to Muslims (e.g. as in a welfare entitlement) in exchange for "protection" ( Dhimmitude ), or (3) death.
    • Some useful terms & concepts:
      • Islam: means "subjugation".
      • Peace: means subjugation to Islam. Non-muslims who obstruct the Islamization of their lands are considered aggressors against Islam.
      • Jihad: means striving or struggling to advance Islam - whether personally or internationally.
      • Taqiyya: is a doctrine of deception. It is formally condoned lying to non believers to advance Islam.
      • Waif: is territory belonging to Allah and promised to the Muslim community that will bring it under the reign of Islam. For Islam, the whole earth is waif.
      • The Koran has many reasonable things in the beginning - which are abrogated (over written) by later statements (after the prophet went to Medina).

I do not understand how military action can defeat ISIS (like being tough is all it will take), and I think Trump falls short on this one.

  • To a large extent ISIS, Al Qaida, The Taliban (I loose track of them all) have to be popular movements. And lord knows - we have had sooo much success suppressing popular movements in the past.
    • According to both my Muslim and military contacts - America's direct military presence/involvement in Muslim lands is a FAR bigger contributor to anti American sentiment than religious or cultural considerations.
    • Similar to Pat Buchanan, I do not think we should be nation building and spreading democracy any more than I thought the Soviets should be spreading communism (or anyone should be forcibly spreading anything, no matter how noble and universal it might seem to them). Trump has echoed these sentiments.

I do not understand how a country that spends 600 billion dollars a year (20% of the non-Social Security federal budget) could even think of increasing military spending.

  • Some situations are threats. Some situations are potential threats. Some situations are potential, potential threats (and so on). No country can afford to address them all (although Napoleon tried).
    • but at least Trump is questioning the weapons system that the politicians vs. the generals want, and the cost of defending the trip wire alliances we have all over the world.

 

What I Do Not Care About
  • Immigrants taking my job or undercutting my wages
    • Dollar for dollar, I feel confident competing with anyone from anywhere in my field.
  • A loss of white privilege.
    • The press harps on this one all the time. I don't empathize nor really understand - what they are talking about? Is it what they blame when they are at a loss for insight?
      • e.g. the March 24th "The New York Review of Books" article "The Dangerous Election" by Michael Tomasky.
    • Funny thing about all that white privilege: The hard working studious Chinese seem to have a lot of it too.
  • Abortion. This has divided us for too long.
    • Is it murder?, or is it a government infringement upon a woman's right to her control her own body?
      • I do not know when human cognition starts. But I do know that no one else knows either.
    • Personally, I try to treat others as I would like to be treated. And I would not want to be born to a mother who would have aborted me.
  • Global Warming.
    • I believe that global warming is real. I do not know whether it is man made, or due to one of the earth's periodic warming-cooling cycles.
      • Most climate scientists work for Nasa where denying that global warming is man made threatens funding - and is therefore career limiting. For this reason many climate scientists have to stay neutral on whether global warming is man made.
    • Rising ppm CO2 emissions have been advanced as the cause of man made global warming. The crux of the man made global warning argument rests with the effect of CO2 (which is not a significant greenhouse gas) has on water vapor precipitation (water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas). Even roughly predicting that effect has been EXTREMELY difficult.
    • I believe there is nothing (short of Stalinist repression) that we can do about CO2 levels. CO2 (along with water) result from the burning, decay, or catabolism of organic material. This process is just too common.
      • You are emitting CO2 right now.
      • Carbon credits? Please - like no one will be able to get away with cheating on that one.
  • Making America Great Again.
    • It's just a slogan, and part of Trump's bluster that I dismiss as irrelevant.
      • Personally, I'd prefer: "Make America Sane Again."

 

Separating Bluster from Substance

When Trump says things like: “no one’s going to be better on women’s health issues than me” I know he is full of it (i.e., he doesn't know any more about it than I do).
On many, many things Trump tends towards this type of hyperbole.

  • Unlike the press – I think I can recognize (and dismiss) meaningless showmanship and hyperbole when I hear it.
  • I watch Trump’s speeches on YouTube rather than rely on press reporting.
    • CNN, the New York Times and just about everything out of western Europe (BBC, Stern, Spiegel) are especially awful.
    • Every time I checkout the source of the original "Trump sacrifices kittens on church steps in Belgium" headline by going to YouTube, the reporting turned out to be either highly distorted or an outright lie.
      • e.g. Trump is NOT a bigot!, e.g. He LOVES the Mexicans, and has gone out of his way over and over to say so. But they have to come in legally...

    I think I can separate out the chaff from the wheat. And that’s why I support Trump.

    • Here are some typical excerpts from the press:
      • "Think of Donald Trumpís personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics."
      • "There are a number of people who claim that Mr. Trump is a con man, a fake. There is indeed evidence of that."
      • "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. Heís playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat. His domestic policies will lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America could cease to be a shining city on a hill."
    • These matters of style and bluster do not matter to me. There are important, difficult issues which Trump addresses head on - that others gloss over at best.
      • Trump seems a cross between Fiorello La Guardia and Give 'em Hell Harry (Truman).
      • Over the past 30 years I've worked at companies large and small. If you've ever known a successful high level executive you'll recognize that most of them are just like Trump in many ways - as are most of the people I've worked for or known who have successfully built their own businesses while dealing with the physical reality of the blue collar trades.
        • Overlay physical reality requirements within a budget on top of any task - and it gets a LOT harder to remain polished and smooth if you're going to be successful.
        • More than rhetorical smoothness, I respect the words: "Under budget and ahead of schedule." I don't think I've heard any other politician ever say them. Trump has.

    Nitpicking about (non teleprompter polished) extemporaneous inconsistencies are cheap shots.

    • Listen to our wives who call us out on them. We all utter inconsistencies from time to time. Now scale that up to national scrutiny - and you get an ( ultra anti-Trump Huffington Post) video cataloging Trump's inconsistencies (going back years) which can be found here. Despite propaganda like this (e.g. as in the difference between learning and flip flopping), on the campaign trail over the past 8 months Trump has been remarkably consistent on core issues.
      • I prefer off the cuff speeches to teleprompter packaging - because it more genuinely exposes underlying assumptions to criticism.
      • Hillary has not given a press interview in about a year, whereas Trump holds as many interviews as he can get (because they are free - and he has to compete with Hillary's well funded ad imagery). As a result, Trump has become the most vetted candidate of my lifetime - who has quickly learned and occasionally revised his views.

    When it comes to at least defining the issues that I think are important, I do not think anyone even comes close to Donald Trump.

Regards, - Ken