By Cesar Fernando Lumba
I never dreamed that I would ever agree with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The man is just plain extreme in his views. He is a boor, a narcissist and a bigot.
At the gut level, however, many Americans – still a growing number – do agree with him.
I particularly like his pugnacity when pointing out that the Chinese have stolen from us not only our technology, they have stolen the lifeblood of our economy, which is our manufacturing base. When I read and hear his comments about why we must get our manufacturing back, I can’t help but wonder if he or his advisers are regular readers of my blog posts. Trump has never mentioned how exactly he is going to take some of our manufacturing back from China but if he ever mentions my 51% solution, or its variant, in his speeches, it becomes unmistakably clear that he or his advisers have been reading my posts here in us-consumer.com.
I like his idea of taxing the rich more. When the top tax rate in America was 91%, the country was the strongest country in the world, the strongest and richest in history. There was nothing we could not do when we put our mind to it. Kennedy reduced the top rate to 70%, a huge reduction, but the country remained strong, strong enough to take on Russia and demolish it.
When Reagan reduced the top tax rate to 35%, he unwittingly sent the country spiraling downward. Suddenly the country could no longer afford the huge ambitious projects that would have allowed us to keep pace with Japan and other countries that were modernizing. Suddenly, our sovereign debts ballooned and everyone was talking of how to make government smaller, less robust, less powerful because we could no longer afford to be an even greater country that in the 20th century we felt we were destined to become.
Because of much lower taxes, the rich and super rich get to keep more and more of their earnings. They keep getting fantastically richer by the minute. The rest of the country? The 98% of Americans? The rest of the country has stood still. Many have slipped backwards and are now part of the huge poverty-stricken underclass.
Trump, who is one of the super-rich individuals, wants to tax himself and others in that super-rich class a whole lot more. He wants a strong America and he knows America cannot regain her former glory unless there is money to spend on infrastructure repair and the creation of a 21st century infrastructure. Bullet trains. A nationwide network of filling stations for electric cars. New carport-airports for cars that fly. New space exploration projects. New innovative ways to desalinate water. Super WiFi and broadband. The Internet of Everything. Artificial Intelligence.
The government needs money to do all these things, and it won’t have money unless the super-rich who have amassed fantastic fortunes because of the low tax rates movement in this country start to pay more in taxes.
And then there’s the single-payer health care system. Trump is in favor of Medicare for All. Like most progressives in this country, I dream of an America that takes care of every citizen from cradle to grave. We Americans will continue to work hard, we will fight for our country and offer our lives, our limbs, our eyesight, but in return, I want our country to take care of us and our children. That’s the Grand Bargain.
I want an America that makes it its number one priority to make sure that our young people have good jobs and a good secure future. I want an America that is great again, with its people achieving greatness not only in the field of battles in foreign countries, but also in the fields of science, math, literature, the arts.
Trump seems to share this vision. He hasn’t actually articulated it the same way, but the underlying philosophy of his new vision for America seems to be congruent with mine and with that of most Americans who love this country.
Unfortunately, Trump is also Mr. Hyde. He wants to round up 15 million undocumented aliens in this country and ship them all back to their home countries. It’s an impossible task, bordering on the cuckoo. He wants to build a wall to extend from Texas to California – all paid for by the Mexican government. That’s definitely cuckoo. Never going to happen.
He says most undocumented Mexican immigrants who cross the border are criminals and rapists. Shades of Hitler blaming the Jews for everything going wrong in Europe.
I will never vote for Trump because of his extreme views. But if he backtracks on his extreme comments about undocumented aliens, if he admits that he is wrong to adopt the position that all undocumented aliens must be rounded up and deported back to their home countries, if he becomes more rational on the issue of border enforcement of U.S. laws, if he apologizes to all the women he has insulted, then I might consider supporting him. Despite the fact that he is a Republican while I’m an unabashed liberal and Democrat.
I would prefer that the Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton starts sounding like Donald Trump because I, after all, am a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party. I like the ideas of Bernie Sanders, but I can’t support him because I think in the general election he will spontaneously combust and what will be left of him is a small heap of dust and a distant memory.
I’ve been blogging about the need to bring manufacturing back to America since 2012. I would be foolish not to support someone who shares my views, especially someone who passionately shares my views. There’s a strong chance that Trump will come to adopt my 51% solution if he becomes personally aware of that solution. He is for single-payer health insurance. He wants to tax the rich to solve the budget shortfall problems in this country. He hasn’t actually come around to supporting the idea of asking the rich to pay more into the Social Security system to further bolster it; in fact, he like most Republicans tends to think that the solution is to delay Social Security entitlement for most Americans. This “solution” is a bummer because, as Paul Krugman has time and again pointed out, a lot of Americans are tired and sickly (diabetes, heart disease, cancer) because of the high obesity rates in America and because manual labor really exacts a heavy toll on people’s bodies by the time they hit 65.
But the basic thrust of Trump’s candidacy is positive news for most Americans, especially those who feel that they’ve long been getting the short end of the stick in this country.
(The writer may be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)