Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why Hillary would have done less damage than Trump will

During the campaign, I often was confronted by Trump supporters with the dubious argument that by supporting Evan McMullin I was really supporting Hillary Clinton. I never understood why declining to take strychnine in order to prevent death by arsenic meant that I was really taking arsenic, but my Trump-supporting friends seemed convinced that choosing between two utterly unthinkable candidates was somehow a moral duty.

They also seemed to assume that if my vote had not gone to McMullin it would have gone to Trump. It would not, in fact, have gone to anyone. Had McMullin (or someone like him) not run, I would not have voted at all. There would have been no point.

But if I had, it would have been for Hillary. Yes, I know. She's radically pro-abortion. Her social views, in general, are crazy Left. She would probably have put the Constitution beyond saving by appointing a series of Supreme Court justices who would have continued indefinitely the pattern of the Court acting not so much as interpreters of the law as a standing and unelected Constitutional convention, effectively changing that document to reflect its own personal preferences with minimal influence by the actual text. All those things are the reasons why I would not, in actual fact, have voted for the woman. But they are less compelling than the facts which led me to the conclusion that, on balance, Donald Trump would be even worse.

One reason was economic. Donald Trump's radically Leftist trade (Hillary's was well to the Right of it) will, in the opinion of many economists, put us right back into recession. "Bad!," as Trump might tweet.

A second is political. That recession, together with the other blunders I anticipated from an utterly ignorant and psychologically unstable president unlikely to surround himself with sound advisors, would probably ensure that the price of four years of Donald Trump as president would be that no other Republican (and thus no conservative) would be elected president for a generation. For the Republican party to recover politically from the recession of 2008 is one thing; the second recession in as many Republican administrations would likely make the party go the way of the Whigs. And that's not even taking into account the impact on voters' perception of the Republican party of having an incompetent conspiracy theorist  as president for four years, surrounded by even more delusional and "out there" advisors.

But perhaps the most serious danger we face from the incoming administration (and one Trump clearly warned us again and again that we would face if he was elected) is in the area of foreign policy- and thus,  of our national security. Hillary would have met the world on a basis much more similar to a conventional contemporary Republican than Trump will. Trump's isolationism is a replay of an approach to the world which, frankly, caused World War II. It, to be fair, also has a Republican pedigree, but a thoroughly discredited one.

Today it's even more irresponsible than it was in the '30's. We live in an age when any point on Earth can be reached by jet in a matter of hours. Any point on Earth can be reached by an ICBM in minutes. The world's economy is so heavily interdependent that not only would Trump's trade policies be a disaster, but their assumptions would be carried over into the realm of diplomacy and security..Donald Trump fundamental misunderstands  of the world of the late 20th Century and even more of the early 21st. Going it alone  might have worked in a previous age; today, is simply not an option. It Abandoning NATO and our other alliances, as Trump has suggested, would effectively hand the world over to Russia, China and Iran. Without America leading them, NATO, and the West are simply not strong enough to withstand the bad guys or prevent them from dominating our very interdependent modern world. Absent American involvement, appeasement will be the only responses Europe and our other friends in the world will have to Russia and Iran and even more to China consistent with their own survival. For us, the price of isolationism is isolation- and in the modern world, that's just not a viable option.

I regularly hear people telling me to give Trump a chance. My reply is that I'm simply taking at face value what he has clearly and plainly been telling us he would do throughout the campaign. What I can't understand is why they don't. Denial, as Senator Franken used to tell us, isn't just a river in Egypt!

Here is an article by Joschka Fischer, former German foreign minister and vice-chancellor, on the most fundamental reason why the election of Donald Trump is a disaster for the world even greater than Hillary's might have been domestically.
 It likely means the death of the West as a significant force in world affairs. From now on, the world's destiny will be decided in Moscow and Bejing and Tehran.

I'm glad that we seem at least likely now to have originalist judges and maybe even an originalist court. I'm glad that the erosion of the Constitution by judicial fiat will likely be at least slowed. But I must say that I am not pleased by the election of a president whose own contempt for the Constitution is exceeded only by his ignorance about it- and about just about everything else he'll have to deal with, emphatically including foreign policy.

We are going to pay a fearful price for saving the Court. And I am not glad about that.

You shouldn't be, either.

HT: Real Clear World

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