May 11, 2016

Liberty, We Hardly Knew Ye

From National Reviews's Jim Geraghty:
Even if a President Trump moved American policy generally rightward -- far from a sure bet -- it would probably come at great cost in liberty. Brad Thor, bestselling author and friend of the Morning Jolt, offers his thoughts on the choice before us:
My greatest concern about Donald Trump, though, isn’t a trait he lacks, but a dangerous one he poses -- in spades. Authoritarianism.

Confident people do not bully and demean others. That is the realm of the weak and insecure. Confident people also do not threaten others, especially not their fellow citizens.

Donald Trump has told us to just wait and see what he does to Jeff Bezos once he gets into the White House. He has told us the American military will do whatever he tells them to do no matter what their reservations. He has promised to prevent American companies from moving outside the United States, regardless of what they believe is best for their businesses.

In other words, Donald Trump has clearly told all of us that he will use the power of the presidency to force people to bend to his will. This is not liberty.

In fact, Donald Trump has never even spoken about liberty. Neither has he spoken about the Constitution and the Founding documents. This is an absolute first in the history of the United States.

Instead, Donald Trump talks about hiring the “best people” and making the “best deals.” This, though, isn’t what made America great, and it certainly isn’t what will return America to its prominence.

The blueprint for America’s success is the ideas of the Framers -- limited, Constitutional governance -- an area in which Donald Trump is criminally ignorant.

Let me be clear that I don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I also don’t want to vote for Donald Trump. My preference is to write-in or vote third party. I think they are both terrible for our future.

But between a big government progressive and a potential despot -- every American must ask themselves where liberty has the greatest chance to survive over the next four years.
By the way, Trump fans, once you start posting people’s home addresses and home phone numbers on Twitter, you’re no longer fighting for liberty. You’re using implied threats and the force of the mob to bend somebody else to your will. You’re replacing forced obedience to the state with forced obedience to you.
To the reader telling me to get onboard with Trump . . . What am I supposed to do, outsource my sense of right and wrong to the crowd? Because Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal jump on the bandwagon, I’ve got to follow?
I’m not wrong. Trump is untrustworthy, flip-flopping slime of awful character, obnoxious, crass, authoritarian in instinct; a bully, ignorant of policy and unwilling to learn, stirring up people’s worst impulses, disrespectful to anyone who doesn’t kiss his ass, likely to enact a plethora of policies I oppose, and likely to affirm Obama’s imperial approach to the presidency. And you want me - as you’re apparently willing to do -- to shrug and hand-wave all of that, just because he’s not Hillary Clinton? Could we set the bar any lower?
Hasn’t history taught us that a Democratic loss isn’t automatically a victory for the conservative cause?
From Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol:
"I just don't think he has the character to be President of the United States. It's beyond any particular issue I disagree with him on, or who he picks as VP or something. The man in the last five days has embraced Mike Tyson, the endorsement of a convicted rapist in Indiana. When it was pointed out to him that he had been convicted of raping a 17 year old girl, he didn't back away, at all. He likes toughness, Donald Trump, that's great, he likes rapists. And then what -- the thing with Ted Cruz's father, he just recycles a National Enquirer story accusing his rival's father being involved in the assassination of John Kennedy."
Ben Stein's view:
Last week and somewhat before that, Mr. Trump raised the possibility that in some future economic crisis, he might respond by lowering government expenses by not paying back all U.S. Treasury debt at 100 cents on the dollar. That is, he would try to walk away from the “full faith and credit” trust that undergirds our national economy.
The trustworthiness of the U.S. debt is also the foundation for all economic activity the world over. If investors in China and Japan are told in advance that they will not be paid back what they invested, that puts all economic transfers on shaky ground. The dollar — and its utter trustiness — is what lies behind every kind of financial matter in the world.
To tamper with it is breathtakingly irresponsible. If the whole worldwide system of trade is put in jeopardy by Mr. Trump, he will be the most dangerous U.S. President there ever has been. Without international trade, without the ability of the U.S. Treasury to finance government operations, just about everything grinds to a halt.

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