I noticed headlines that Biden still leads. Behind titles like that, one can sense a fear that in the last weeks before the election day, recovered from COVID-19, Trump again will pull some magic and win. In reference to the famous Access Hollywood tapes released in October 2016, a few weeks before the previous presidential election, I call it the October surprise syndrome. For a reasonable person, it was obvious to expect that it was the end of the political career of Donald J. Trump. How a vulgar man bragging about groping women, what is disgusting, immoral, and illegal, could be ever elected president? A few days later, Trump supporters did not want to talk about this matter.
Since that, a gallery of people who worked with Trump came out with testimonies confirming what everyone can conclude from what Trump tweets or says publicly; that he is incompetent as president and despicable as a person. Despite that, Trump received unquestionable support from GOP and is just a few points behind Joe Biden in opinion polls. What is Trump’s sorcery that makes him immune to faults that would destroy any other politician a long time ago?
We can find it out by listening to Trump’s opponents. For example, Mollie Gray decided to separate from her Trump supporting family. She sees them “as ignorant, selfish, racist, and bigoted deplorables,” despite that they have faces she “loved all her life.” It disgusts her that they ignore all her moral arguments against Trump. She feels that their dismissal her moral assertions is about the economy. Meaningfully, she mentions with disapproval that her family was highly critical about President Obama. Ms. Gray, was not curious to find out why decent people “she loved” considered Obama a worse president than Trump.
The question in front of us is if a person of questionable morals could be a good president? Bill Clinton got away with his womanizing. After all, we elect a leader, not a saint.
Immigration, Trump’s Achilles heel
From day one, Trump has been against immigration. Immigrants made America great, but from the very beginnings of the republic, many of them, as soon as they got in, advocated for shutting the gate behind them so that no more immigrants would be arriving. That nativistic trend always attracted the worst in human nature: racism, religious biases, and xenophobia. About one hundred years ago, that orientation prevailed, resulting in the Immigration Act of 1924. With modifications, the key provisions of that Act are still the core of our immigration policy. It is un-American in its concept, it is harmful to our economy, and it is disrespectful for those foreigners who aspire to become Americans. For these reasons, our immigration law is unenforceable, and we have millions of illegal immigrants.
To prosper, the United States needs more immigrants than its immigration law allows. Presently, about 45 million Americans are foreign-born, which is about 14% of the population. That number is estimated because about one-quarter of them are undocumented ones, and there are disagreements on how many of them are in the United States. In Canada, legal immigrants are about 22% of the population; they are almost 30% in Australia. To match Canada’s immigration level, the United States would need to admit an additional 22 million new immigrants and legalize all of the presently undocumented ones. There is no politician in the United States brave enough to tell his or her voters the truth, that we need many more immigrants.
The failed immigration reform in 2006 proposed to increase immigration limits mildly. Nativists opposed it vividly. But the support from a few pro-union Democratic senators, including Barack Obama, killed that humble attempt to make our immigration policy more realistic.
For more than a century, Americans have been brainwashed how great our immigration policy is. They do not know that our immigration rules are a bunch of nonsense, but they are frustrated that the law is not enforced. Trump’s ornery claims about immigration resonated with these frustrations. The family members of Mollie Gray, like most Americans, are frustrated with our immigration mess. Trump told them that the white gloves method used by the previous administrations is the problem. He took a gloves-off approach, which appeals to people who get their hands dirty at work.
The current administration uses brut force to impose our immigration law, allowing us to see clearly how inhumane and silly it is. This makes Trump vulnerable as supporting nonsense. For Ms. Gray, it could be an opportunity to explain to her father that Trump is wrong on economic grounds.
Ms. Gray fails to see that her family members are not the only ones deceived by a century of systematic disinformation. On immigration, revered by her, Barack Obama is deluded as well. So are left-leaning Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. In their immigration policy proposals, there were no mentions about increasing immigration. They are for using white gloves again in the implementation of our faulty immigration policy.
Trump won the election as the leader of the deceived. Troubleshooting immigration from a business point of view tells us that Trump’s immigration policy follows the master of deception’s demagogy. His flagship project of building the border wall is as realistic as that politicians can make 2+2=5. I bring the links to my previous writings on the subject to underline that our immigration policy’s critique is as old as the policy itself. I did not invent anything there; I reported publicly known facts and arguments.
However, Ms. Gray could not find this kind of reasoning in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, by listening to NPR or watching CNN. Medium did not promote articles with these kinds of ideas, either. Trump won his presidency, mostly due to his ruthless immigration policy. He has a real chance to get four more years because, to satisfy their political agenda, his opponents have not scrutinized our immigration policy’s very concepts and did not prepare any better alternative.
Obamacare, the revenge
It is another example of Trump playing the failures of his opponents.
The fundamental rule of a democratic system is in accepting that a given political formation can be ruling today but could be in opposition after the next election. It means that any significant legislation needs to have meaningful support of the opposition to withstand future challenges.
It was not the case of the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans were unanimously against it, and some Democrats were as well. Despite that, the Democrats managed to pass it with a razor-thin majority. The family members of Ms. Gray most likely had in mind that single act of betrayal of democratic traditions when condemning Obama. They probably did not read the Federalist Papers, but they felt in their bones that something was not right. In this sense, Democrats lost the previous presidential election due to Barack Obama, not Hilary Clinton.
Despite that Obamacare did not fulfill its promises, politicians did not sit down together to find a workable solution acceptable to both sides. They continue their ego fights when Americans are suffering due to inferior healthcare. Had they agreed on better healthcare policy, they could have a presidential candidate who could win with Trump. That candidate could be a Republican or a Democrat, but for sure better for America than Trump.
Now the family of Ms. Gray, as well as all Americans, have a tough choice. Should they stay with Trump, who opposes Obamacare, or should they risk going with the Democrats who might care about democratic traditions as much as Obama did? Ms. Gray did not notice that this dilemma is real.
In the old times, when we had clocks with pointers, people used to say that even a broken clock shows time correctly twice a day. Almost everything Trump says, tweets, or does makes little sense, except his action on climate change. In general, he is correct on this matter.
In major media, the dominant mantra is that we face a collapse of our civilization if we do not spend in short order all the money we have and all the money we can borrow to fight the human-caused climate change. It got my attention because that massive spending would affect my quality of life. After looking closer at the science and money in the climate change debate, I concluded that it is not about climate and it is not change. It is more like going with a hoe against the Sun because it is the biggest swindle of the century.
I bring links to my writing on the subject, but in them, I only report what I found reasonable and convincing in the public domain. Again, Ms. Gray could not find these kinds of arguments in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, by listening to NPR or watching CNN. Medium does not promote articles with these kinds of ideas, either. A few Medium members blocked me when I tried to engage them in a debate. I guess that the family members of Ms. Gray are among about those half of Americans who at least have an ear for the voice of skeptics. These people did not devote all their leisure time to study our political dilemmas as I did. But, intuitively, they sense that something is wrong with that climate change alarming when they see silencing scientists opposing the majority’s views.
The logical conclusion is that Trump is on something when claiming the elites try to screw up the masses by media manipulation. Ms. Gray does not see this connection; she blames her family. And about half of Americans.
It is a joke of the century when president Trump claims that he will protect us from socialism. For starters, our current immigration policy is a purely socialistic concept. By defending it and brutally enforcing, he is the socialist in charge. However, Trump is not a socialist from the camp of Bernie Sanders. He is one of those socialists like Benito Mussolini or Juan Perón. Narrow-minded nationalism is his agenda; populism is the venue.
With the political chaos and economic stagnation in the United States, many young Americans see socialism as a valid alternative. Other Americans fear socialism as the end of their freedoms. For someone who lived in a socialistic country, studied socialism, and fought it, the whole American affair with socialism is a tragicomedy. With generally low education on political matters, both supporters and opponents of socialism in America have one thing in common; they have a vague knowledge of what socialism is.
For Trump, it is a perfect condition to convince about half of Americans fearing socialism that he can protect them from the other half of Americans who look at socialism more favorably. Again, his opponents, especially those from under the banners of Bernice Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, can not call him a socialist because this would mean acknowledging that socialism is evil.
Had the media conducted open public debates about the potential benefits and risks of socialism, a better-educated society would not fall for either side’s demagogy. Instead of discussions, we have political fights. Trump knows how to win by ramming the juggernaut of his demagogy throughout our messy politics.
Family members of Ms. Gray and many other Americans may buy it not because they found Trump convincing or likable. They may calculate that with his incompetence, he is not effective in implementing his ridiculous policies. Courts block his rulings left and right. But, in the long term perspective, Trump’s incompetence might be less damaging to the nation than governing by, generally better educated, Democrats. Now strongly influenced by pro-socialistic factions, if getting presidency, Democrats can manage to impose on the country more pro-socialistic solutions, which could be as ineffective, costly, and hard to reverse as Obamacare.
Ms. Gray did not think about this possibility when cutting her tights with her family. She would not find this suggestion in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, by listening to NPR or watching CNN. Now, she can find it on Medium.
The above speculations have little use in the upcoming election. With so many leading politicians at the advanced age, with COVID-19 roaming around, we cannot exclude possibilities of unexpected turns before the inauguration of the newly elected Congress and president. Regardless, who it will be, the problems before us will be the same. Unless we do not address them heads on, we will start a new enchanted circle of political nonsense with new actors and different music.
Originally published at https://www.datadriveninvestor.com on October 7, 2020.