It Doesn’t Matter that Trump’s Policy Proposals are Untenable if Most Americans Don’t Understand Them

Donald Trump Policies

Facts about Donald Trump’s policies… The math behind his economic plan points to catastrophic collapse. His “deportation force” is impossible to achieve. His foreign policy ideas are more liberal than Hillary Clinton’s. These and other facts do not stop many Republicans from supporting him because they’re not willing to do the research to find out how ludicrous they really are.

It’s easy for an armchair quarterback to say that Tom Brady shouldn’t have thrown a particular interception. They might even make a silly claim that they could have made a better throw if they were quarterback at the time. Unless they’re faced with four down linemen and a pair of linebackers trying to kill them while five other players cover the receivers in a complex coverage pattern, the armchair quarterbacks cannot know how they’ll react in the 4-9 seconds it takes to analyze the blitz, read the coverage, and make a throw that the vast majority of humans on earth could never make.

Donald Trump is an armchair politician. He criticizes, but he’s never been there. Some people say this is a good thing. These are the same people who might believe that an athlete like Lebron James could step onto a football field and be a winning quarterback.

It would be different if Trump were studying up and using his time to learn the ins and outs of the political process, the intricacies of foreign policy, and the feasibility of his ideas. He’s not. He doesn’t have to. His supporters won’t. The fact that he wasn’t aware that China wasn’t a part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is irrelevant to them because they have no idea what the TPP even is. The idea that he couldn’t answer the same question from the same person on two separate occasions about the nuclear triad doesn’t bother his supporters because they have no idea what the nuclear triad is, either. The backwards nature of his economic plan that has even the most friendly economists scratching their head under analysis is complete gibberish to his supporters.

Donald Trump is their idol. He’s King Kong. He says “believe me” a lot so they believe him. They dismiss the facts because those pesky things run contrary to the narrative that he’s a rich guy that says what he feels and demands people to be nice to him. In essence, they believe in him because he’s as ignorant as the rest of us.

Let’s look at some of the untenable policies he’s proposing:

Trump on China

Every time Trump speaks to a crowd, he brings up China. He talks as if they’re eating our lunch and he’s the right guy to stop them because he’s had some business dealings with Chinese companies in the past. What he doesn’t want you to know is that his ideas about China are actually backwards.

Our issues with China go back decades and there is absolutely no way for Trump or anyone to correct that course without destroying our own economy in the process. It’s not that it can’t be done. It’s that it will take a fundamental change in manufacturing in America and trade agreements with dozens of countries, two things that will require at the bare minimum four Presidential terms. The TPP, for example, wasn’t an Obama initiative. It started with George W. Bush and will not be completed until after Obama leaves office if it gets completed at all.

Unfortunately, for Trump’s economic policy to work, he will have to defy the laws of physics and reverse the trade deficit within months of taking office. If he can’t, the rest of his economic plan crumbles in ways that will make the 2007-2009 recession seem like positive economic growth. This leads us to the next Trump fallacy:

Trump on the Economy

Let’s disregard the fact that Trump has always been rich from the moment he was conceived. It pains me to hear his supporters point to his billions with admiration and his talk tracks of making the country rich again when in reality he has done a poor job with his own resources. In fact, he would be worth $10 billion more today if he had made zero decisions and just invested in index stocks in 1982, but we won’t hold his horrific business decisions against him for now.

The focus should be on a liberal tax plan that tries to hide cuts for the poor as well as the rich by relying on something that cannot happen. That’s the saddest part about his supporters: they don’t realize that for his tax plan to work, he would need to instantly do what no President has ever been able to do. He would literally have to get dozens of countries to change their policy regarding trade with the United States in a way that will help us and hurt them. More importantly, he would have to get them to sign these agreements in 2017. Even more important than that is the fact that failure of any of the pieces of his economic policy to come through will make the entire thing collapse.

To take it all back to a football analogy, he’s basically saying that his plan is to remove the defense altogether so that the offense has more time on the field. His economic plan is reliant on the opposing team’s offense deciding not to score when he takes the defense off the field, then he plans on having such a strong offense that they’ll score every time. If you think that analogy is overblown, you don’t understand how geopolitical economics really works. Just as he says, “believe me,” with every crazy idea, he’s basically saying that he’ll make it harmful for US companies to build abroad without being able to give them enough incentive to build here. I’m getting frustrated even writing this because it’s really so simple to see if you look at all of the pieces, but for some reason only economists and a handful of journalists are even taking a look.

Since most Americans have a hard time with their own finances, it’s understandable that they won’t dig into the complex nature of the American economy. Unfortunately, those who can and should speak out about what Trump’s plans would do happen to be the only ones who can benefit from it. Coincidence?

Trump on Foreign Policy

It’s funny that Rand Paul is called an isolationist compared to Trump. It’s even funnier when Jeb Bush is called weak on foreign policy by Trump. The funniest is when Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio are somehow considered to be novices compared to Trump when it comes to foreign policy.

Donald Trump has been conspicuously weak when it comes to foreign policy. He uses the occasional catchphrase like “I’d bomb the $h14 out of them,” but otherwise he’s the most isolationist, weakest, and least understanding of the dynamics involved with foreign policy.

The saddest part is that if you take the things that Trump is saying about foreign policy and mix them in with what President Obama is doing about foreign policy, his supporters probably couldn’t tell the difference or attribute them accurately.

We all get it. He loves Vladimir Putin. His plan to fight the Islamic State is more obscure than President Obama’s non-strategy. He’s already alienating himself and the country from most other nations, Muslim or not. Of all of the catastrophes that will surround his ideas, his lack of understanding of foreign policy is probably the most dangerous.

Anyone can have good ideas and Donald Trump has many. Unfortunately, he’ll grow very frustrated quickly if he makes it to the White House when he learns how impossible his ideas really are.

A lack of discernment by the American people gave us Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. A lack of discernment by Republican primary voters could do even more damage than those two disastrous Presidencies if people are unwilling to actually look at what Donald Trump proposes outside of “build a wall” and “make America great again.”

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