Driving home from work, the thought immediately struck me:
President Donald Trump will be the national equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Frankly I don’t know how the comparison isn’t made more frequently. I could only find one article from Vanity Fair and one other from the Washington Post on the how their campaigns are vaguely similar.
However there is a deeper comparison to be made. If Donald Trump is elected, he will become Arnold Schwarzenegger. He will pull something close to a 180 in how he governs, especially after contact with structural and political opposition. Don’t believe me? Let’s go through some California history then.
The Austrian Trump
One of the main criticisms of Donald Trump from the right is that he is disingenuous. He isn’t a conservative, he’s simply a careerist who plays one in real life. A con artist. Some have even hinted he is really a Clinton plant.
But supporters respond that Trump, “tells it like it is,” and he isn’t “afraid to speak his mind.” Why would such a guy take flak for his controversial political opinions and then abandon them once in power? Easy. That’s exactly what the Governator did.
In 2003, California was in the state of political meltdown. The governor, Gray Davis,appeared totally incompetent due to the California electricity crisis. Not only did he look useless but his political ties to the electrical and utilities companies made him look corrupt. Sound familiar? Leaders who can’t govern, who make our state/country a laughingstock and who are too corrupt/bought to be efficient. We needed a change. We needed an outsider.
On Jay Leno’s show, Arnold announced he was running as a Republican candidate in the 2003 recall election. Even at 13, I remember watching him brag about how, “Nobody owns me. I have plenty of money.” He made the California establishment look weak and incompetent, labeling them “girlie men.” Even though he had difficulties connecting to women voters due to past personal scandals plaguing his campaign, he remained popular. His campaign was consulted by immigration hawks. In short he ran the proto-Trump campaign.
Initially, he sought to govern like he campaigned. He took on serious entitlement reform issues earning an “A” from the Cato Institute. He met with immigration hawks commenting,
Close the borders in California and all across Mexico and in the United States. Because I think it is just unfair to have all those people coming across, have the borders open the way it is, and have this kind of lax situation.
Finally we had our conservative, tough talking, virile doer who wasn’t afraid of taking on the tough issues.
In the special statewide election called for by Arnold, Californians would have a chance to vote on the entitlement reforms he was elected on and championed. He got blown out, losing every single proposition.
Did the tough talker fight? Galvanize “the people” with his populist no-nonsense talk? Did he go to the mats, calling attention to his union opponents’ blatantly illegal fundraising practices? No. He caved. Immediately.
He received a “D” from the Cato Institute for reversing his support for entitlement reform. He immediately apologized for his past hawkishness on immigration.
[On his defeat]: “People make mistakes sometimes, and I think that we learn. These are very clear messages that we must work together, and so I am looking forward to that.”
Arnold’s 180 was surprising even to his past political enemies like Gavin Newsom;
“[H]e’s becoming a Democrat…[H]e’s running back, not even to the center. I would say center-left.”
Don’t think it will happen to The Donald? It almost certainly will.
[Benedict] Arnold In The Making
Trump’s political bread and butter are two simple issues: immigration and trade. To him and his supporters, the alleged fecklessness of the government on these two issues shows they are stupid, they’re easily gulled and the country needs a real man who can handle the situation. Never mind his past and/or current liberalism on gun rights, abortion, the constitution, the Clintons, healthcare and etc… Trump’s right on this, and he’s not budging.
Or will he?
Trump supporters and those who sympathize are tired of an establishment that allegedly sells them up the river. It’s somewhat odd to see the credulity they extend to Trump. They maintain he would never betray them because they will propel him to political power, despite loudly maintaining that this is exactly what their elected leaders have done to them for decades. Like The Who, this time they won’t get fooled again.
Or won’t they?
We’re often told that “the Establishment” is all words, no deeds. Too true. So let’s look at Trump’s deeds on immigration and trade.
On trade he acts like the supposedly vicious and unpatriotic multinational corporations he decries. He has millions invested overseas. And before you try to make a distinction, Dr. Donald J. Boudreaux of George Mason University points out there isn’t a difference:
“Mr. Trump is either inexcusably hypocritical or inexcusably ignorant of economics. There is zero economic difference between, say, a U.S. car company’s investments abroad in factories and Mr. Trump’s own investments abroad in hotels: both are meant to improve the bottom line of companies headquartered in the U.S. by taking advantage of profitable economic opportunities outside of the U.S.”
Trump has threatened automakers like Ford with a 35% punitive tax for outsourcing, meanwhile making (fairly shoddy, in my own estimation) clothes for his clothing line in factories in Mexico and China. I can guarantee you that if Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio had personally invested in a company that did such things, it would be all over Trump’s twitter feed.
He’s no more faithful on immigration. Notwithstanding his own past views on the issue, his deeds and words contradict his public persona.
Not only did he use (and abuse) Eastern European migrants to build the Trump Tower, but continues to use illegal labor in his hotels today. Let me repeat that. The guy who says our leaders are stupid to let this continue happening, who says your wages, and your livelihoods are on the line due to low skill immigration is enriching himself by exploiting illegal labor. No legal loopholes. No bankruptcy laws. No litigation or Chapter 11. By breaking the very laws he lauds so much and wants to professionally enforce.
You don’t even have to look at his deeds. You can quite literally take his word for it.
I would get people out and then have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal…. A lot of these people are helping us … and sometimes it’s jobs a citizen of the United States doesn’t want to do. I want to move ’em out, and we’re going to move ’em back in and let them be legal.
Don’t believe me still? His own son agrees with that assessment. If any other candidate had this kind of record, you’d lose it.
If Ted, Marco, Kasich or Carson (who contrary to popular belief seems to be still running) had ever employed one illegal immigrant in their home, on their staff or in the past, you’d hear about it. Lou Dobbs would drop dead from a self induced drowning from the rage-induced foam at the corners of his mouth. You’d never forgive them. You’d hear Trump rant about the poor construction workers, the poor maids, the poor clerks who remain unemployed or living at sub-par wages due to this monstrous injustice. You’d hear about how our leaders are so stupid for thinking they could deport all 11 million and then parse who can come back.
What do you do? You support him. You praise Lord Jesus above for his imminent presidency. You tell me, like my FDR Democrat grandmother, he’s a truthful person who cares about the little guy.
You. Are. Being. Conned.
Do you honest to goodness believe that a guy like that, a guy who steals homes from old ladies, who tries to litigate middle class people to death so they move out of the way of his golf courses for the rich, a guy who is a serial adulterer, who changes his political opinion more times than most people change clothes, will really care about you once he gets power? That he won’t ditch you the second Congress fights him on immigration? Upon realizing how utterly difficult it is to repeal every single major trade agreement we’ve signed since the Eisenhower era? Once his popularity takes a dive? Once he has a bad midterm election?
Before you answer that question, ask the average California Republican what they think of Governor Schwarzenegger.
If you don’t see Trump as the con man, then you’re the mark.
Normally there are various & sundry sources that I draw from, but really the anti-Trump literature is ubiquitous. But if you don’t trust the media to be fair, here are attacks on Trump from the right and on the issue of honesty.
- The Case Against Trump by Kevin D. Williamson
- The myriad of articles on the same, by the same.
- John Oliver* on his ill begotten reputation for business success.
*I can see the criticism now. “Get a load of this cuckservative using liberal media to take down a rightist. Do you think they respect you now?” No. I don’t. That isn’t the point in this one. Look up the business records. The litigation. The depositions. Oliver just put it all in one place. It’s amazing how my alt-right/NRx/traditionalist/paleoconservative friends distrust the moneyed elites and trade so much and yet will take Donald at his word when it comes to his business. Come on guys. Put the pipe down.
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