We must be in trouble. Donald Trump is a notorious attention grabber. He wants as much publicity as possible, no matter what he does. He inserts himself into every story, from the ground zero mosque to the President’s birth certificate.
Now, he’s apparently running for President. For the last few weeks, he’s gone on every show that would have him: Fox & Friends, Morning Joe, The View, the O’Reilly Factor, etc. Next he’ll be showing up on Shatner’s Raw Nerve.
It was the “Factor” interview that got me thinking, “Wow, this guy is actually making a lot of sense.” The full 35 minutes, uncut interview is available at billoreilly.com. I urge you to watch it.
Recently I’ve taken Trump to task for comments he made about Obama’s birth certificate. He’s even gone so far as to suggest that Obama could be a Muslim. For the purposes of this column, I’m going to ignore Trump’s flirtations with birtherism. Obama was born in Hawaii, and that is an irrefutable fact. I want to look at some of Trump’s other ideas. He actually makes a lot of sense.
First up, healthcare:
I can make a better deal in New Jersey than I can in New York with a better company. Yet, I can’t go. No. 1, anywhere in the United States has to be a strong company. But we should be able to go out and price it privately. I believe in the private. But I don’t want to be stuck with one or two companies in New York. I should be able to go to Wisconsin. I should be able to go to Iowa. If I want to buy health care for my people, as long as it’s a strong company, I should be able to bid it out.
As you can see from the above quote, Mr. Trump is strongly in favor of private solutions to the healthcare problem. Having said that, he believes “we have a moral obligation to help people. I really believe that. I believe that strongly and not everybody does.” On this, too, Trump is correct. He didn’t say this in the interview, but I’m pretty sure Trump would agree with my idea of a health insurance tax credit to help people buy insurance, as opposed to the current system which just gives employers a tax exclusion for money spent to buy insurance.
Next up, regulation of Wall Street and beyond:
You’re making it so tough for our companies and our Wall Street people…to compete with the rest of the world because you have guys in London, guys in Switzerland, guys in Hong Kong that are giving very, very good deals, and they don’t have the kind of regulation that we have here. I’m not a big regulation person.
On this, Mr. Trump is also correct. Regulation never works in instances like these. Regulation just gives people the false assurance that they can depend on the government to make everything alright. Meanwhile, jobs and capital continue to migrate overseas.
What about unions? Trump, as a businessman, must be against the unions, right? Not quite:
I have a great relationship with unions. I understand what’s happening, let’s say in Wisconsin. I understand. I think that he [Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker] is maybe right for his state. I think it doesn’t necessarily apply to all states.
But I think you have to do what’s right for your area. I respect him. He is tough.
Trump can’t exactly slam the unions during his campaign, since he has to deal with them on a day-to-day basis. But clearly he is supportive of efforts to reign in the public sector unions.
What about the border?
Well, you either have a country or you don’t. You either have a line and a boundary or you don’t. Something has to be done.
Well, you put soldiers on that line.
Bravo, Mr. Trump. It’s about time someone is honest with the American people. We really do need to militarize parts of the border. For God’s sake, we have people being murdered within miles of the border on a daily basis. The border isn’t the most secure it has ever been, as (Billie Jean King look-alike) Secretary Janet Napolitano claims.
But what about the illegals who are already here?
I think right now you’re going to have to do something and, you know, it’s hard to generalize. But you’re going to have to look at the individual people. See how they’ve done. See how productive they have been. See what their references are and then make a decision.
Trump is correct here, as well. Trump goes on to talk about the major changes to our legal immigration system that are necessary for America to remain the greatest nation on Earth. He knows many well-educated foreigners who can’t even get a green card, yet they want to be Americans. We need as many of these well-educated foreigners as possible.
What about social issues?
As you know, I’m pro-life.
I used to not be pro-life. I have become pro-life. I have seen friends that had children that they didn’t want. And now they have children and they are the apple of the eye. So I really have changed in my views over the years but I am pro-life.
Trump isn’t sure that he would outlaw abortion, but says “I’m forming a very strong opinion but I’ll let you know in about three or four weeks if I’ve decided to.” When it comes to same-sex marriage, Trump says “I’m against it.”
We have other problems in this country. And I don’t think a president should be elected on gay marriage or not gay marriage because we have some very big problems.
Is there a Muslim problem in the world?
Absolutely. I don’t notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center.
I know many Muslims and they’re fabulous people. They’re smart. They’re industrious. They’re great. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, there is a Muslim problem in the world. And by the way, and you know it and it I know it and some people don’t like saying it because they think it’s not politically correct.
Am I the only one who thinks Trump is making a lot of sense? In another portion of the interview, Trump is asked about China. I like that Trump is tougher on China than Obama, but his suggestion of a 25% tariff on Chinese goods is ridiculous. That would spark a trade war that would hurt both the Chinese and American economies. Plus we need China to buy up our debt. The best way to stop China’s unfair actions against us is to get America’s fiscal house in order so they can’t hold our debt over our heads like a giant piano about to be dropped on us.
But still, Trump’s brand of populism will resonate with many Americans. I know some of them. This will certainly resonate with them:
The mere putting on a tax on China, you’re never going to have to do it because they’re going to come to you, they’re going to call you and I don’t mean where you give them a big party for their president who has been screwing us for years and years at the White House. They’re going to call you and say, what do we have to do because we are rebuilding China. You go to China, they’re building airports, they’re building bridges, they’re building cities, bigger than New York City all with our money, mostly with our money.
I agree with Trump, to a point. What the hell is going on when American infrastructure is crumbling, the schools suck, kids are turning into overweight wimps by the politically correct culture that gives everyone a trophy, and countries like China are taking our money and turning out better infrastructure, smarter education, and tougher kids. Something is messed up.
Trump also wants to simplify the tax code, something many Americans might agree with as April 15th approaches. When it comes to overseas wars, Trump will also appeal to a lot of people:
In the old days when you had wars, you win, right? You win. To the victor belonged the spoils. So when we go to Iraq, we spend $1.4 trillion so far and thousands of lives are lost, right? And not to mention all the poor guys and gals with one arm and no arm and all the facts, right?
You’ve got to stay and keep the oil.
We’ve spent all this money in Iraq, and how do the damn bastards pay us back? By telling us to get out faster! What the hell? These ungrateful bastards ought to have been gassed by Saddam. These sons of bitches owe us at least a trillion dollars of oil. I miss the old days when war was just killing people and not nation building.
You stay and protect the oil and you take the oil and you take whatever is necessary for them and you take what’s necessary for us and we pay our self back $1.5 trillion or more. We take care of Britain, we take care of other countries that helped us and we don’t be so stupid.You know, we’re the only country and if you look at wars over the years and I study wars, OK? My whole life is a war. You look at wars over the years. A country goes in, they conquer and they stay. We go in, we conquer and then we leave. And we hand it to people that we don’t even know. Now, who are the people that are going to be running Iraq? The person that hates the United States the most will be running Iraq. So, in a nutshell, we go in, we take over the second largest oil fields and we stay.
Obviously it is too late to ask Iraq to pay for the war there. Trump also wants us to bill the Arab League for the war in Libya. Although most political insiders think this is a stupid idea, I say why the hell not? It’s about time someone tells the rest of the world to go f*ck themselves for asking America to fix everything.
Anyway, like I said, watch the whole interview. Trump makes a lot of sense. Sure, he’s a media whore who never met a camera and a microphone he didn’t like, but he’s also the kind of guy who will shake up the GOP primary contest and force candidates to actually take firm positions on China, Iran, Islam, and other issues that are often too hot to touch. I’d like to see Obama’s former ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman Jr., get into a fight with Trump about China. Huntsman used to be a good choice for the GOP nomination, until he threw it all away to work for Obama.
Another thing going for Trump? Lefty MSNBC (Maybe Should Not Be a Channel) host Ed Schultz thinks Trump is a “joke.” Schultz asks:
I’d like to know, Mr. Trump, what’s your plan for 15 million Americans unemployed in this country? How about the 50 million uninsured Americans when it comes to health insurance? How about the poor, do you have a plan for them?
Mr. Ed, let me explain this to you. It’s called FREE MARKET ECONOMICS! HOW ABOUT WE LET THE PRIVATE SECTOR GROW, SOMETHING YOU AND YOUR UNION THUG FRIENDS ARE OPPOSED TO. After all, Obama anti-business policies have worked so well, huh?
Anyway, enough about Ed Schultz, who is a fat slob with more cellulite than Kirstie Alley. Others think Trump just wants the attention, and they doubt that he really wants to run. Technically he hasn’t announced an official candidacy yet, so might not even decide to run . According to The Christian Science Monitor:
He’s donated money to Democrats fairly often, and recently. He gave $10,000 to the Democratic Committee of New York State last fall, for instance, according to FEC records. He gave $2,400 to Senate majority leader Harry Reid in 2009, and he’s often donated to New York’s own senior Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer. Now, that’s probably good business for a rich guy who lives in New York, but opponents in GOP primaries will point to it as evidence he’s not a real Republican.
Businesses and their owners give money to Democrats all the time to keep politicians from screwing them over. I forgive Trump for his Democrat-supporting sins.
Donations and birtherism excluded, Donald Trump is making sense. Say what you will about the man, but he would be a better President than Obama. Minus the birther thing, he’s got a platform that could appeal to a vast group of people. Political insiders who dismiss a Trump candidacy are doing so at their own peril.