Between Clinton and Trump, I supported Trump. There are some things I love about Trump, especially his trade policies. But while I shower praise on Trump for getting us out of TPP, and hopefully will for more excellent trade policies to follow, I want to go on record for where I think he is wrong.
- “Make Mexico Pay for it!” We are a sovereign nation, we have borders, and we have a right to enforce those borders. But I don’t support antagonizing our neighbor Mexico in the process or trying to make a poor country pay for a $14 billion wall. Furthermore, attempting to do so with tariffs is misplaced, not that I’m against tariffs. But you aren’t making the Mexican government, or even necessarily Mexico pay for it with tariffs. Tariffs are paid by exporters from Mexico to the US, some of whom are American, and others of varying nationality.
- Iran The truth is that Iran has been fighting ISIS more effectively than our own government. We should be competing with Iran to fight terrorists even more effectively, rather than antagonizing them just because they are an Islamic Republic. That’s also the problem with this whole “radical Islam” thing. Muslims can be “radical”, without being terrorists. What has Iran actually done to US since 1979 other than words?
- Torture Trump made an excellent choice of Gen. Mattis for Sec. of Defense, and I wish he’d take his advice on this. Torture via “waterboarding” was used throughout much of the Bush administration and there is no evidence that any useful information was gathered that way. It isn’t even a question of whether or not terrorists deserve it, it’s just ineffective. The information gathered this way is very unreliable and can send us on a wild goose chase! Fortunately, Trump is at least going to let Mattis use his methods while he is Sec. of Defense, so there is unlikely to be any torture for the time being.
- Restricting Scientists from revealing their research EPA Scientists funded by the government will have to have their research approved by Trump’s bureaucrats before it can be published, and the USDA is facing similar hurdles. This is a horrible affront to academic freedom! As an academic myself, I highly value and know the importance of academic freedom in promoting new ideas and studies that can change the way we think of the world. I will agree that academic freedom is already impeded by much of the political left, and they are clearly pushing an alarmist agenda on “global warming theory”, but they should be countered with legitimate research to the contrary, not suppression. (For the record, I myself am agnostic on the extent of global warming caused by human activity.)
- Trump’s disregard for racial injustice in the criminal justice system I saved the most important for last. Trump has a very long history of always, without question, siding with the police. I respect our many good police officers who put their lives on the line for our safety, but justice should be color blind, to black and blue alike. There is significant evidence of racial injustice that needs to be addressed. It’s a difficult balancing act, because it is also unjust for certain crime ridden black communities to be neglected by police. Sadly, you try to fix one problem and you can create another. Reforming our criminal justice system in a way that addresses systemic racism while simultaneously ensuring that the police can effectively do their jobs is going to require the kind of nuance and thoughtfulness for which Trump is severely lacking. I just hope that Trump makes some very wise appointments to address this issue and leaves it in their hands.
So there you have it! Just because I love certain things about Trump doesn’t mean that I am a blind follower of his cult of personality. I have mixed opinions of the temporary moratorium on refugees by the way, but don’t necessarily oppose it. But in practice, I find myself constantly defending Trump on social media because of the cacophony of vicious attacks from the hypocritical center-left who seem to think their shit don’t stink…that shit being their last nominee for President. You tried to shove Hillary Clinton down our throats when Bernie Sanders was right there! Now, you have to deal with Trump!