His position on economics, more than anything related to social policy, is why I consider neither Donald Trump nor his supporters to be “conservatives.” His positions (cheered by his supporters) seem to be some sort of hybrid of Keynesian economic theory fused with Marxian command and control with an overlay of late night infomercials.
Powerline points to this blog post by Francis Menton titled “Trump Voters And The Magical Belief In Government Action“, it begins with this:
“After violent protests forced the cancellation of a Trump rally in Chicago on Friday night, I listened for about half an hour to Trump being interviewed on the subject by Sean Hannity. Much of the discussion was about the illiberality of the “liberal” left, but some considerable percentage of the time was also devoted, after a fashion, to issues of economic policy. I say “after a fashion” because, as usual with Trump, there were no specifics. Instead, given the opportunity, with all the time in the world, to lay out anything he wanted about economic policy, what Trump did was repeat, over and over, the same line: “We’re going to bring the jobs home.” By my count, he uttered that line at least half a dozen times in the half hour, and that was the beginning and the end of what he had to say about economic policy.
Well, what does that even mean? What is the thing that supposedly Trump is going to do that will “bring the jobs home”? Certainly, he did not mention anything in this interview. In previous interviews, I have heard him go as far as to say that we are “losing” in international trade to countries including China and Mexico, and that he can fix that by doing better “deals” than our current incumbents. But the better “deal” consists of what, exactly?”
If you listen closely to Mr. Trump, you will hear him say over and over things like “I will be” this and that and “It will be great.” People must realize that in every case when a president says “I”, they aren’t speaking at a personal level, they mean the power of the federal government – so when Trump supporters cheer the great “deals” he will win or how he will “bring jobs home”, they are actually cheering for the government to do more and control more. They are cheering for even more government intervention in the economy and subsequently, in American society.
That is not a conservative position.
Melton sums it up:
“What could actually help our economy take off? How about stopping the suppression of cheap energy? How about recognizing our financial sector as the crown jewel of our economy and ending the demonization of it? In a simple summary, how about basic encouragement of productive economic activity instead of intentional demonization and suppression? But instead we have Trump proposing better “trade deals” with China and Mexico. Meaning what? Tariffs? Quotas? How are things like that going to help?”
I seems clear that with his anti-China tirades, Trump is going all North Korea on the American economy. We all know how the Norks have a penchant for blaming the West for all the internal problems created by their own oppressive government and its totalitarian policies. Trump is doing the same thing by blaming China, Mexico, Japan and just about every other trade partner the US has – and there is some validity to his charges but solving these issues alone will not cure a sickly domestic economic engine. The issue is that these countries have no responsibility for problems that have been created by our own government interference in the markets, the over-taxation of businesses and individuals and overweening regulation of the economy. Trump has said nothing about how these issues will be resolved under a Trump administration, like Kim Jong-un, he prefers to keep the eyes of his supporters sharply focused on the boogie men abroad.