by Andrew Brons
President Donald Trump was not the favourite of the media or the Political Class during the campaign and his treatment has not improved since the election. He has not simply been demonised; he has been derided as an economically and politically illiterate oaf.
Yet the liberal and globalist Independent newspaper came unexpectedly to redeem his reputation. Whilst it made it clear that it disagreed with Mr. Trump’s ideas, it said that it was untrue to say that he did not have a coherent thought system. There is a tendency for the liberal elite to deride its critics as unintelligent, ill-informed and unsophisticated. They believe so much in the rationality of their ideas that they believe that they have a monopoly of reason.
I know nothing of Mr. Trump’s educational or intellectual background but I suspect that his critics know no more. It is possible that he thinks just in terms of concrete policies and not of the factual and value roots of those policies. However, we must not assume that to be the case. In any event, philosophical and ideological roots exist whether or not the speaker is aware of them.
Trump made clear his determination to scrap some trade agreements especially with low wage economies. This flies in the face of globalist assumptions about the desirability, indeed the necessity, of ‘progressing’ towards a goal of global free trade in which goods, services, capital and people can cross frontiers without impediment. – even assuming that frontiers would exist in their globalist utopia.
If you challenge globalists about this assumption they will quote the Theory of International Trade, in which they say that free trade leads to the world as a whole becoming richer. Does this mean that every country becomes richer? No that depends on the terms of trade – relative prices and rates of exchange. Does it mean that all of the populations of winner countries will be richer? No. There will be losers even in winner countries. Does it mean that there are no risks entailed in international free trade? No. There are risks of a lack of essential goods in time of war and risks of poverty if demand for the goods in which a country specialises falls unexpectedly.
It is therefore perfectly rational for the government of a country to pick and choose which trade agreements should be agreed or maintained, with which countries and, in respect of which goods and services.
There is an additional reason in the case of the United States. American manufacturing corporations have closed down their manufacturing plants in the United States and re-opened them in low-wage economies and then exported their products to the United States. Donald Trump has said that he would impose a 35% tariff on those products entering the United States. That would, he believes, provide an incentive for those corporation to move back to the United States and be a disincentive to any corporation thinking of moving its manufacturing abroad. Who is to say that he is wrong?
Mr. Trump’s promise to build a wall along the entire US-Mexico border might have involved a little poetic exaggeration, at least in the short-term, but the need to step up border protection against illegal immigrants crossing that border is undeniable. Why? If large numbers of immigrants come from an ethnically, and therefore culturally, distinct population they do not undergo an ethnic and cultural transformation when they step over the border and breath United States air. They turn parts of the United States into the country from which they came. That has happened in Europe as much as the United States.
Mr. Trump was heavily criticised for suggesting that Mexican illegal immigrants were disproportionately rapists and drug dealers and I am not sure that he used the word disproportionately (a must in such discussions). I am not acquainted with the question of whether or not there are any correlations between illegal Mexican immigrants and the commission of particular crimes, so I shall make no comment on the particulars in his statement. However, it is not true to say that generalisations cannot be made about ethnicities and commission of particular crimes. What cannot be done or should not be done is to apply those generalisations to all or even most members of an ethnicity. That would be untrue and grossly unfair.
One of the most bizarre criticisms of Mr. Trump has been criticism of his promise to normalise relations with Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated to levels remembered from the Cold War and there is always a danger that Cold Wars can develop into real conflict. Surely any improvement in relations between the United States and Russia are for the best.
However, critics of Mr. Putin would portray him as the aggressor and would say that Mr. Trump’s overtures would (perhaps unwittingly) serve to encourage his aggression. However, has Mr. Putin been the aggressor? The President of Ukraine was Viktor Yanukovych, who was a leftover from the soviet era and a natural ally of Russia and Mr. Putin. He resolved to cancel a trade agreement with the EU and replace it with one with Russia. The European Union financed and supported violent demonstrations in Kiev that led to a coup and to the Parliament purporting to depose the President. I say purporting to depose him, because the only way in which he could have been deposed legally, would have been by the lengthy process of impeachment. There was no attempt to follow the impeachment procedure specified in Article 111 of the Constitution. He was simply deposed in a single afternoon.
It is true that Russia annexed the Crimea but only after a referendum that showed that the annexation had the support of the overwhelming majority of the Crimean population.
NATO, led by the United States, has resolved to recruit to its ranks former Soviet Republics, bordering Russia, such as Ukraine, whilst expressly rejecting any suggestion that Russia might be invited to join. There is an uncanny parallel with the Cuban missile crisis in 1961, in which the United States objected to Soviet missiles being stationed almost on the borders of the United States. Should Russia feel any differently to the United States building up a hostile alliance on Russia’s borders? Mr. Trump has suggested that he would reduce financial support for NATO and its members, which might lead to a reduction of NATO forces on Russia’s borders.
We do not know what President-Elect Trump’s attitude towards the Middle East, as a whole, will be but his default position seems to be isolationism – that the United States should not involve itself in any conflict that does not affect its interests. It would seem likely that he will cease the support that the United States has been giving to the terrorists fighting against the legitimate government of Syria. He has also indicated that he would co-operate with Russia in destroying ISIL in Syria.
Mr. Trump’s team has indicated that it will implement a campaign promise to stimulate economic growth through a trillion* dollar fiscal stimulus and a cut in corporate taxes. This move away from laissez-faire economics will be welcomed by Nationalists.
It would be financed by historically low interest rates and a public-private partnership. The reference to interest rates would suggest conventional borrowing of money created by the banks rather than by credit creation by the government, which would be a Nationalist approach.
Some arch-Zionists in Israel have expressed the hope that President Trump will expressly end the US’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Palestinian question. However, that would provoke a rapid backlash from Arab states as well as from Palestinians. I am confident that Russia would work to dissuade him from such a course.
He has threatened to tear up the agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons but the United States in fighting ISIL would find itself in alliance with Iran and would not want to jeopardise that alliance.
We do not know how much power will be delegated to Donald Trump’s team.
* No, I do not know which definition of trillion this will be.
Editor: This article was written several weeks ago and some details may have been overtaken by events, nevertheless, it is topical especially as President Trump is now implementing many of the promises he made to the American people during his election campaign.