Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ideology of Trump

Donald Trump is new to American politics, and this has left a lot of people very confused on how to understand him, or unwilling. On my blog I really enjoy writing about political theory/philosophy and using those lenses to help understand the underlying intentions of candidates so that we can make better decisions as citizens.

Now, in political science there are several major schools of thought. Liberalism, Marxism, Mercantilism (economics only), Objectivism, and Fascism. These four schools are very easily defined against each other by breaking down policies into their social, economic, and foreign components.

Social Economic Foreign
Liberalism Socially left-wing. Believe in individual liberties, both positive and negative freedoms. (freedom to do things and freedom from harm) Minority rights. Feminism. Economically free market. In favor of regulations as they benefit society. Greatest Good for the greatest number. Believe that trade brings peace. In favor of global trade as a good for society.
Marxism People are divided by class and the Bourgeois need to be torn down in order to build up a Communist utopia. Economic control by the state. Spread the Marxist ideology throughout the world.
Fascism People are divided by race and we need to purify our country from all people who are not like us. Economic control by the state or state-sponsored corporations. Isolate ourselves from foreign goods. Go to war with other nations.
Mercantilism/Realism N/A Economic control by the state or state-sponsored corporations. Isolate ourselves from foreign goods. The gain of another country is our loss.
Objectivism Do not help other people, another person's gain is your loss. Altruism is bad. Free market completely unfettered by government intervention. Isolate ourselves from foreign goods.

Now that we have our definitions which are universally accepted among political economists, where do we place Trump?

Starting with economic policy, Trump is firmly anti-trade, placing him in either Mercantilism or Fascism. Trump proposes a social policy of deporting foreigners, he is anti-feminist and anti-immigrant. He has spoken out against hispanics and Muslims, making his foreign policy clearly in the fascism camp. He is clearly not liberal, and he is obviously not socialist. He is more extreme than Objectivism with his talk of actually deporting people. The full list of Trump's comments on what he would do which fit into this is listed on Reddit and provides enough examples to place him firmly in the fascist camp.

Being politically correct nowadays means to not call people out for what they actually claim. We are used to living in a free civilized country that when someone comes along who wants to destroy everything that makes America great we don't know what to do about it. For those of us who have close family who lived under Fascism, and those of us who are educated in political thought, the connection is obvious. For myself, I am part of a very small number of Americans who 1. Are trained political scientists, 2. Have family who survived the Drittes Reich, 3. are American. I don't know anyone else who fits this particular demographic, but there might be someone else out there. With this background knowledge I have every right to say that my professional diagnosis as a political economist of the thoughts and plans of Donald Trump put him firmly into the Fascist camp. I also believe that with my education it is the duty of my country to call politicians what they are, and the evidence is overwhelming.

I didn't earn a Political Science degree by misusing terms. I wasn't born onto this world in my family to allow history to be repeated. My background with Quaker and German ancestors (plus being a practicing UU) means I am in a very unique position to help people avoid human rights violations and I feel like it is my duty. We, the People of the United States in order to defend our imperfect union need to ensure Donald Trump never becomes President of the United States.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The General Election has begun

So, the Sanders revolution has ended. Clinton has won the nomination, and I am now seeing countless Sanders supporters I know claiming they will "never vote for Clinton" "Vote for Stein" and other rubbish.

For me, I originally wanted a Warren/Feingold dream team ticket. I wrote about this dream way back in 2013. I still wish Warren had run and know that if she had that she would have won the Presidency in a landslide by gathering all of Sanders supporters and a large number of Clinton supporters. However, this did not happen obviously so we have to stick to what is available at the moment.

When it comes to criminal records, Clinton has never been indicted once in her life. Even the Senate committee on Benghazi which is composed of Republicans whose entire purpose is to discredit Clinton and send her to jail to give Republicans the nomination to Donald Trump is unable to get any dirt on Clinton to the point where she can be indicted. When it comes to criminality, no one has ever been able to prove that she has ever committed a crime.

When it comes to policy, Clinton comes out to be about the same as Obama. The political compass for 2008 puts her as slightly more capitalist than Obama and the same level for social issues. In 2016 she has moved more right in both directions than she was in 2008, and Sanders is about the same point when it comes to social policy as she was in 2008. Clinton will probably drift slightly further to the right in the general election because of the median voter theorem, but as president I do not expect any significant social policy changes under her. Economically, she is going to probably whittle away our financial regulation but besides that I do not expect any other major reforms. Trump, on the other hand has talked about significantly eliminating a lot of civil rights laws and incredible discrimination against Muslims and Hispanics. This is what the election comes down to. Economically we are screwed either way, but with Trump there is little doubt we are going to quickly move towards a fascist state, and given the Democrats willingness to vote for the PATRIOT ACT without thinking in 2001 I don't think there will be anyone to stop Trump from truly destroying the United States. This will not happen under a Clinton presidency. She is definitely a hack for corrupt bankers, but she is no fascist. For this reason I prefer Clinton over Trump and will not waste my vote voting for Jill Stein until the minor parties start to run candidates and get elected in local offices.

Clinton is far to the right of President Lyndon Johnson, but she is no Hitler. Trump on the other hand talking about banning Muslims from the US, and policies against Hispanics is racist to the core. I do see Trump as a Fascist in his economic views, social views, and foreign policy and so out of respect to the millions who have died and lived under Fascist governments (including some of my favorite relatives) I will call him what he is. My family lived under Nazi Germany and I have studied the Third Reich as a way to understand my history and understand how to avoid Fascism at all costs. (if you want to understand the Third Reich, read Hannah Arendt) There is no overarching moral issue where I see a divergence between Trump and Hitler (find "Jew", replace "Muslim") so out of respect for those we have lost I call Trump a Fascist. I will write a longer comparative post later.

Also, the majority of African Americans voted for Clinton even after all of the welfare reforms done under the first Clinton Presidency. They know what is best for them ultimately and if they feel that they will be better off under a Clinton Presidency it doesn't matter how long you or I have been involved in organizations fighting racism, it is inappropriate to deny the voices of millions of people.

Please do not waste your vote and vote for Clinton this November. If you want to get real change going, you need to get involved in your local politics, demand ranked voting, and help our country get a better election system.