Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. As conservatives rush to hop on the Trump train in hopes that he will be anything better than an authoritarian leftist, I have refused to join them and hope the train doesn’t run me, and more importantly conservatism, over. This is a really tough position because obviously the likely alternative to Trump is Hillary Clinton. Given this dynamic, I believe that it’s only fair that I very clearly explain why I do not support Donald Trump and also explain what he could do to push me in his direction.
1) I would support Donald Trump if…
He had a background in business that gave him an appreciation for the free market and would inspire him to enact pro-business policies that would promote economic growth.
Donald Trump was handed a “small loan of a million dollars” from his wealthy father and has proceeded to bankrupt his companies and use debt restructuring laws to get out of it. Instead of having an appreciation for how the free market can create enormous wealth with hard work, he has an appreciation for “debt,” and he just “loves debt” because “debt is good.” So he has taken the worst aspect of business and has made it a central part of his campaign with paying down the United States’ debt.
Once again, as a successful businessman, Trump should have more than a basic understanding of economics. Instead, Trump has discussed this past week about how we should never have to default on our loans because we can just “print more money.” Instead of making budget cuts to pay down the debt, Trump would use mass inflation. But who could expect a man who has bankrupted several companies to make budget cuts?
In addition, Trump’s experience has, thanks to his father’s generous loan and inheritance, been from the perspective of big business and not small business. As a result, Trump is most familiar with making donations to corrupt politicians to help him make money through crony capitalism. It has not been through competing with other businesses on a fair playing field in the free market. Also, because he doesn’t have a basic understanding of the free market and economics, he supports protectionism and trade barriers instead of deregulation, which is infinitely more effective.
2) I would support Donald Trump if…
He gave me a reason to believe that the liberal views he has held for majority of his life have truly been replaced by conservatism.
Yes, Ronald Reagan was a liberal. No, that is not a valid comparison to Trump. Reagan spent years honing his conservatism by reading the works of great economists like Milton Friedman and then governing successfully as a conservative in California. Trump has had no similar conversion process and no track record as a conservative.
His biggest claim to conservatism is supporting both John McCain and Mitt Romney. Whoop-dee-doo, Trump supported establishment moderates. That’s not enough to make up for his entire adult life as a liberal. Trump is still the same man who criticized the Reagan tax cuts, who supported Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban, who supported partial birth abortion, and who donated in large amounts to Hillary Clinton.
Now, it would be one thing if Trump had run a consistent conservative campaign, and that may have been enough to make up for his past, but he hasn’t. In August, he supported Bernie Sanders style universal health care. Since then, he has said that North Carolina should reverse its transgender bathroom laws, that the federal minimum wage should be increased, and that taxes on the rich should go up. He has also said that there will be no cuts to entitlements. All the while, he has ostracized conservatives, stating that this is the Republican party and not the conservative party and that he doesn’t need conservative support.
3) I would support Donald Trump if…
I could trust him with the nuclear launch codes.
Donald Trump has exhibited zero self control throughout his entire campaign. His behavior in the debates, in his interviews, and in his campaign rallies have shown that he is a loose cannon who says and does whatever he pleases at that moment. Some of you may love that, but that’s not who I want leading the country.
It’s not just his behavior but his unwillingness to follow his own plans. We’ve been told for months that Donald Trump is going to become more presidential, and it has not been demonstrated to me. That campaign manager he hired to make him sound more presidential? Gone, and replaced once again by Corey Lewandowski, who is going to “let Trump be Trump.” How is Trump going to be able to be the leader of the military and its complex operations when he can’t even follow a script?
If Trump had a background in business that gave him a good understanding of free market economics and its benefits, if he was able to clearly demonstrate that he was a conservative, and if I could trust him with the nuclear launch codes, then I would strongly consider supporting him for president. Don’t count on it.