What we have to fear from Trump is his ignorance, his bad manners, and worst of all chaos.
I don´t know about you, but I suspect you, any reader of this, would prefer stability over chaos.
But President Trump prefers chaos. In some ways it is a tactic. I don’t suppose that he is actually ignorant, that is to say lacking in brain power, although his advancing age may have addled him a bit, but he knows that saying one thing one day and the opposite thing the next (or actually almost one minute to the next) keeps his adversaries and even his supposed allies off balance. And he figures if they don’t know how to react because of this imbalance, that gives him the power. He can appease the gun control crowd one day by berating his own party, chiding lawmakers for being “afraid of the NRA”. But just as they, the slaves to the NRA, think all is lost, he comes back the next day and says — whoa! I didn’t mean I was for gun control. The NRA is my friend.
I imagine because Trump started out life with privilege, that gave him some cushion, and he found he could just bully his way through and hire lawyers to get him out of the tough spots. And he was too busy being a bully in business and cavorting with women, some off ill repute, to be interested in history, the substance of politics, or world issues. And manners were never found the be necessary — although I understand he can be quite gentlemanly for short periods of time.
I’m always surprised by his lack of vocabulary. Words are supposed to have meaning but since they mean little to him — I guess why bother. He seldom means what he says anyway.
The one glimmer of hope he offers at times is the fact that he seems to be aligned with no one. You would think he has the power to cut through the gridlock between the entrenched political forces on both sides of the aisle in congress and between the ultra left and ultra right. But he has taken only small steps in that regard. He could do so much more. He should not even be in the office he occupies but since he is there and since we cannot seem to do anything about it, we could only hope that he might use his unique position to do something positive.
And now I will jump to his latest chaos move — slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the U.S.. I think most in the business-aligned Republican Party are both mystified and horrified. Sure it will help our domestic steel and aluminum producers and their employees somewhat for a while, but it will hurt other industries which employ far more workers and contribute far more to our economy and eventually our own steel and aluminum producers will price themselves out of the market. I get that from what little common sense I have, backed up by the Wall Street Journal and other sources.
Now I know that it is felt that many other nations around the world cheat in these international trade agreements and subsidize their industries and dump goods on us that are priced below real market value. Sometimes they route their products through other nations on their way to us, to hide the fact, it is said.
Meanwhile, China is accusing us (the U.S.) of dumping grain sorghum on domestic market.
Whatever, a trade war is what we do not need. History (something Trump has no interest in) tells us that an international trade war led us into the Great Depression.
Now I myself have wondered why we cannot protect our own industries, such as steel. I was dismayed to read years ago that the new span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge was built with Chinese steel. We used to produce steel a few miles down the road in San Jose (not sure we still do).
But I also know we depend upon foreign trade. There are mechanisms in these trade agreements through which disagreements can be worked out in a more calm and deliberate fashion away from pure politics. Meanwhile the best defense for our own industries is doing what they can to stay competitive. And our best defense as a nation is to do what we do do well so that we are competitive.
And finally, as I drove through California’s Central Valley during the last presidential campaign I saw all those signs put up by agricultural producers calling for the election of Donald Trump. California agriculture depends upon exports. An example, California is the largest producer of almonds in the world. Most of that product is shipped overseas.
To retaliate for the steel and aluminum sanctions, several nations are already threatening to slap tariffs on an array of our goods in retaliation, if they have not already done so.
How’s that Trump working out for you down on the farm?