In response to Sammy McLarty’s Sept. 4 pro-Trump column in the Tribune-Herald, I also start with a quote:
“In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.” — Mark Twain
Behold how many areas of agreement McLarty and I have (with minor exceptions noted):
• Like the Founding Fathers, Trump will be independent of “the Establishment — the ruling class” (except the Founding Fathers feared mob rule as much as a king and, on the downside, excluded over half the population from voting).
• Trump “will not be bound by shady alliances/allegiances or beholden to special interests” (except for his ties to the most dangerous of our totalitarian enemies, Vladimir Putin, and his support from American nationalists who wish to overthrow our system of civil rights and due process for all). Trump surely will disregard the interests of big business (other than those of himself, his family and his cronies).
• Trump speaks “plainly, no matter whose sacred cow or favored groups are offended” (and only in one out of two speeches does he show disdain for women, “the blacks,” “the Mexicans” or some combination thereof).
• He will deal with “uncontrolled immigration” (by doing the same things President Obama is now doing: stopping entry at the border, prioritizing deportation of immigrants who commit crimes, increasing spending on the U.S. Border Patrol and keeping the net immigration of Mexican nationals at zero or lower).
• He will stop “unfair trade causing billions in trade imbalance” and “globalization at the expense of working Americans” (by devoting less time to his businesses that have relied on illegal immigrants, imports of cheap clothing from China and cheating small businesses out of the money he owes them that they would use to make payroll).
• He will stand up to big news media (except he embraced as a campaign adviser Roger Ailes, who headed the hugest U.S. news network — Fox — and was deposed over blocking career advancement of females not returning his sexual advances).
• Trump will end “juvenile” collegiate angst about “safe spaces, safe speech and safe thought” (except he wants to change the First Amendment to make it easier to sue journalists who criticize him; a couple of his followers have the habit of whining to the Trib when one of my columns ribbing Trump invades their safe space).
• Trump honors his supporters’ “madder’n hell” view of the world (except that their griping is odd given they live in the wealthiest nation in human history and claim to be oppressed whenever it is suggested others might be given the opportunities they were).
• The alternative is a return of “Bill and Hillary back in the White House” (and who among us could bear the economically prosperous, pre-9/11 world of the 1990s?).
• “Someone so opposed by so many must be doing something right” (except that opposition by those who traditionally support the GOP nominee could be a sign that Trump truly is a danger).
• In short, Trump will bring a political revolution, an earthquake of change in Washington (though the middle class tends to get screwed in revolutions and earthquakes create great destruction).
Frustration over the lack of “trickle down” to the middle class of the prosperity experienced by the 1 percent is understandable. We merely disagree over whether a huckster, influence-buying, small-business-busting billionaire is the solution.
This column originally appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald on Friday, September 9, 2016.