It’s down to these three. Here is what each has promised, so far:
I’ve been writing for months now, in my commentary here and in the New York Times, that Trump would emerge as the victor in the GOP primary. His victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina signal that he’s well on his way.
Trump, whose speeches I usually make a point not to watch, gave supporters quite a vivid tour of what a presidency of The Donald’s would be like in his victory speech in South Carolina:
I highly recommend watching, but if you’re short on time or just too squeamish, here are my takeaways:
On immigration and Mexico:
This is a red meat item for Trump and his supporters now even participate in a game of Trump putting his hand up to his ear and letting his audience finish sentences for him. You will see that in the above video, when he talks about building a wall at our Mexico border to keep Mexicans from entering the country. Trump used Mexican president Fox’s statement that his nation would not pay for such a wall to double down and say that if they refuse he’d make the wall ten feet taller.
Trump uses his usual schtick of saying that China, Japan, Mexico, and, now, Vietnam are killing us with trade deficits. But, this time, he added something that places him squarely on the side of the oligarchs, maybe as an overture to them, since he wasn’t their candidate to begin with:
Trump’s tack is a very effective one. As he calls the Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans and Vietnamese thieves, he calls America’s leaders (President Obama) for doing a terrible job at negotiating, all the while not saying one word about the corporations that urged
bribed Congress in order to force deals like NAFTA, CAFTA, and the TPP. So, how does he hint at fixing what he perceives as having been done wrong? Well, Trump begins with a self-congratulatory mention of endorsements from business leaders, particularly that of Carl C. Icahn and others he does not name. Hover over Icahn’s name to see a pop-up with highlights of his “achievements”.
Trump’s voters are known to be low-education, low-information voters who equate Trump’s wealth as a measure of effectiveness to gauge his national leadership skills. But, what does this mention of Icahn and who Trump intends on putting in charge of economic and trade policy tell us? Whose interests does Icahn, the corporate raider, look after, once given the keys to what’s left of America’s economy? You can bet your bottom dollar that he won’t be looking out for the middle class, working class, or the new precariat class! If even the Wall Street Journal has this to say about Icahn, you know he’s the worst possible choice for public office:
“…the shareholder activists that corporate boards fear most today are hedge funds like Mr. Icahn’s: unregulated pools of wealthy investors who take large positions in a few select companies, use their ownership position to pressure boards into strategies they claim unlock “shareholder value,” and then dump their stock as soon as the price rises.”
If Trump is a snake oil salesman, and I believe he is, then Icahn is the cobra.
Trump repeats the Congressional GOP’s mantra of repeal and replace and promises “something good,” and like the members of the GOP, doesn’t provide any details.
The obligatory mention of the “cherished 2nd Amendment” comes in at about mid-speech. Trump doesn’t specify what protecting it translates into… He just throws in the buzzwords for good measure here.
Trump promises to get rid of Common Core; something that has been under heavy criticism both on the right and left. Trump vowed a return of local control over education. This is especially toxic stuff, as anyone who understands education and how it is provided in America knows. The very nature of what is taught are, differ from state to state, thanks to the States’ Rights that enable state legislatures to change the national curriculum at will, resulting in uneven standards. Trump uses stats on US spending per pupil, in comparison with European spending and achievement, to assign blame for the failure of the education system.
Military and Police-Industrial Complex
Here too, Trump, serves those oligarchs who control the military-industrial complex, with promises of equipping the biggest military ever, not with what Congress has approved, but “the things they actually need.” If doesn’t take a military analyst to decode this promise… Instead of $5,000 hammers, expect to pay 500,000. Most of all, expect Trump’s America to feed into its xenophobia and turn into an extreme, belligerent version of itself. What is striking about Trump’s ideas about the military is that he ties them together by discussing the military and the police in the same breath.
Trump called for the boycott of Apple on Twitter, in deference to the national security apparatus and the surveillance our nation is now under. Ironically, he tweeted from… his iPhone:
— Hakin9 (@Hakin9) February 21, 2016
This South Carolina victory speech gives us more than a glimpse of Trump’s dystopian vision. It is an amalgamation of Robocop, Big Brother and Terminator all rolled into one.
When thinking of how different the other side is, one must take special care to look at how Sanders and Clinton frame their policies. Here are a couple of clips that truly demonstrate the differences in approach:
In his answer on reparations, Sanders said this:
“The real issue is when we look at the poverty rate among the African American community, when we look at the high unemployment rate within the African American community, we have a lot of work to do.
So I think what we should be talking about is making massive investments in rebuilding our cities, in creating millions of decent paying jobs, in making public colleges and universities tuition-free, basically targeting our federal resources to the areas where it is needed the most and where it is needed the most is in impoverished communities, often African American and Latino.”
Sanders’ answer to an audience member in the Nevada forum on raising the Federal minimum wage:
In stark contrast, Hillary Clinton’s answers reveal a strong support of the very States’ Rights that are keeping millions of Americans from a minimum wage that is close to a living wage, and 29 million Americans from attaining what most Americans now have access to: healthcare.
Many a pundit has written about the weakening of unions under President Bill Clinton two terms, as well as Hillary’s involvement, publicly advocating for his policies at the time. This questioner asked a question about unions.
The questioner’s follow-up question was cut off in this MSNBC clip. Here it is, using the full forum video, but starting with that question. Please watch for approximately a minute.
Clinton is not a proponent of a a $15 an hour living wage and would leave it up to the states to exceed a federal minimum. This is the same approach she touts on healthcare, even though she talks about preserving Obamacare and “tweaking it.”
Jose Diaz-Ballart asked Sanders how his political revolution differs from what Latino immigrants know from their countries of origin:
Senator Sanders was asked about childcare:
Whenever I assess policy proposals that affect Americans at the most personal of levels, proposals that are designed to improve upon what we think of as the “greater good,” I immediately look at Federal vs. state. That is always the first indication whether the proposal is one that promotes equality. If the funding is directly from the Federal government, then we are assured that it will be evenly meted out. If the states are in charge, then we are talking about block grants and we *know* it means another tool for discrimination against women, minorities and children is about to be born. Neoliberalism is what begat Obamacare and a lower minimum wage. President Obama originally wanted the public option. Nancy Pelosi and her band of neoliberals pushed for private Big Insurance for all. While it has extended care to millions more, it has also kept 29 million people on the outside looking in. Healthcare is a human right. The minimum wage, at $7.25 an hour is not a subsistence wage. Trump is against raising it. Sanders is for raising it to $15, and Clinton wants to leave it up to the states. What will your state legislature opt for?
Choose your candidates wisely! Look for those buzzwords that give the con away!
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