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Friday, July 22, 2016

Trump's Speech: Red Flags and Green Flags

After watching Donald Trump's speech last night, I am struck by a few contrasting feelings. I suppose I should jot them all down and see if anyone else feels the same. This will be by no means a comprehensive list, but simply some areas of hope and some areas of concern for me personally. If you have any to add, please do so in the comments section.

1. Donald Trump shouted every line. Okay, so the presentation should count for less than the message, but watching him gesticulate, yell, and pause for dramatic effect seems a bit too similar to a totalitarian dictator for my tastes. Did someone reincarnate Juan PerĂ³n and teach him the virtues of capitalism?

2. The man asks for our trust a lot. "Trust me." "You gotta' believe me." It may be just a personal quirk, but Trump needs to learn to limit his asking for trust to once per speech. It sounds too needy.

3. Again, considering the venue I have to be forgiving here as well, but Trump seems to think of the office of president as having a great deal more autonomy than the Constitution grants it. "I will..." statements were constant and huge promises were made of actions that the president can't authorize on his own. That seems a little too Obamish for me. The Constitution properly limits the executive power to, well, executing the law. If he meant that he will finally enforce and execute all of the laws passed by Congress that Obama has flaunted or nullified, he has my vote. If he meant that he will do them with or without Congressional approval, we have a problem.

4. Donald Trump is a protectionist. I love this! Going on about the special interests, including crony capitalists, who have bought the Clinton campaign was a great idea. We export jobs because some in the business sector want to buy labor at an abusively-low cost and sell finished goods at high cost to American consumers. This makes perfect business sense, but it's bad for the country.

5. Lowering taxes will increase cash flow, which will increase revenue. You can find a crap-ton of articles online right now by liberals who are apoplectic over Trump's proposals to lower taxes and have money to rebuild the military and our infrastructure. These liberals haven't the foggiest comprehension of simple market economics. People react in predictable ways to incentives. When you increase the costs of offshore labor for our market (tariffs) and decrease the cost of relocating that labor to the United States (tax cuts), you create a huge incentive to bring jobs here. Combine that with controlling and enforcing immigration laws and you have a huge benefit to low-to-medium wage laborers. You won't need to pass new minimum wage legislation; wages will rise as the natural result of more jobs and fairer competition for them.

6. Donald Trump doesn't get education policy any more than current Democrats or Republicans do. He wants to enable all kids' parents to send their children to safe schools. Step back and think for a moment-who precisely is making schools unsafe? Are the teachers and administrators running around shooting and stabbing the student body? Of course not. His goal is laudable but impossible and based on a false premise. Schools aren't failing students; too many students are failing schools. The system is allowing this to happen without consequences for the student. Until this is addressed, the ownership of schools, whether public or private, will not change a thing. Mike Pence should be able to address this considering the number of charter schools closed due to failure to increase their students' test scores in Indiana. A lengthy but comprehensive plan to fix this problem is already on this blog. (Click here.)

Don't take it personally-I'm only angry because this is a public school!

7. After all is said and done, and considering I'm not the biggest Trump fan on Earth, the speech left me feeling hopeful. It was quite optimistic, but realistically so. "Yeah, things suck right now, but we're Americans. We can fix this because we can do anything we set our minds to." I don't understand how the media is portraying this as a pessimistic speech or convention, except that it's been honest about the problems we face as a nation.

Well, like I said, this is but a short list of my impressions from last night. Feel free to add your own; I'd love to see what others think about the speech, provided you actually watched the whole thing and aren't just reacting to what you've read about it as relayed by others.

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