My latest article on LewRockwell.com is on there now, on the LRC “Political Theatre” page.
Given that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is an entrepreneur, one would think that he would support economic freedom and free markets. But no, instead he supports draconian bureaucratic intrusions, regulations and crippling taxes on Americans. Go figure.
So besides being anti-immigration, Trump also supports trade wars with Mexico and China, and believes that the U.S. government should continue to impose restrictions on Americans’ freedom of trade with foreigners.
Trump also supports, or says he supports, a very militaristic U.S. government foreign policy, including his support for torture.
It’s yet another disappointment from a businessman turning to the political world, joining the graveyard of businessmen turning to politics Willard Romney, Steve Forbes, Ross Perot, Pete DuPont, and on and on.
For example, instead of threatening to impose further tax burdens on Ford Motor Company for moving manufacturing plants to Mexico, burdens which are then handed down to American consumers, why doesn’t Trump insist that the U.S. government remove the existing tax-thefts, regulatory nightmares, and wage and price controls which are motivating American companies to move out in the first place?
Because that’s what all these government-imposed trade deals, regulations, taxes, mandates and other intrusions really are: restrictions on Americans’ freedom of trade and commerce.
Even worse than Trump’s views on trade (if they can get any worse), he actually supports nationalized health care. In his own words, Trump has stated, “We must have universal healthcare … We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by healthcare expenses.”
So the Donald agrees with Obama on health care. But wouldn’t you think a real capitalist would call for repealing all the regulations, taxes, licensure requirements and mandates already imposed by the government which are the real causes of skyrocketing medical expenses?
Venezuela is similar to the U.S. in its rulers’ tyrannical compulsions to control every aspect of the people’s daily existence.
In Venezuela, rationing of medical supplies has been imposed, and now fingerprinting patients is required to get prescriptions at pharmacies. As with their food shortages, the medical supply shortages are caused by the Venezuelan government’s socialist policies and price controls.
Will Trump also call for the nationalization of America’s food supply, as Venezuelan President Maduro has imposed, such as when there is another economic crisis like in 2008 or a worldwide revolt against dollar hegemony, or, because of so many existing restrictions on American industry and commerce, if much of U.S. industry falls to pieces?
Besides being against free trade, free markets, and free competition, Donald Trump seems to also be against freedom of speech. One would think that someone with such a big mouth and who likes to publicly insult the people of an entire country (Mexico) would support the right of others to make public criticisms of powerful people or make insults and otherwise enjoy the same speech freedoms.
But that does not appear to be the case. For example, in 2012 Trump complained to the BBC about a documentary (“You’ve Been Trumped“) which informed the Scottish people of his plans to build a golf resort in their neck of the woods, and he attempted to stop the BBC’s airing of that award-winning documentary. There had already been questions regarding the golf resort construction’s alleged benefits to the local people.
If he really believed in freedom of speech, rather than trying to censor the documentary, couldn’t he have just used his own influential bully pulpit to respond to his Scottish critics?
And in his comments regarding anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller’s “Draw Mohammad” contest in Texas, Trump seemed extremely upset by Geller’s actions: He stated, “I mean it’s disgusting. Isn’t there something else they could be doing? Drawing Muhammad?…They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas doing something on Muhammad and insulting everybody? What is she doing? Why is she doing it?” To which Geller responded that Trump himself has taunted and insulted Mexicans, and that his own financial interests in Muslim countries could be influencing his emotions. Would a President Trump enforce some PC “Right to Not Be Offended” law and jail Ms. Geller for offending Muslims?
In Venezuela, 2014 was the “worst year” for freedom of expression, according to a study conducted by Espacio Público. I don’t think that Pamela Geller would have been allowed to hold a Muslim-drawing contest, certainly not a Chavez-drawing contest or a Maduro-drawing contest. And it is doubtful that Donald Trump could have gotten away with insulting Mexicans were he to say those things in Venezuela. As the University of Texas, Austin, Journalism in the Americas blog summarized the study, “According to the study, the state’s security forces oppressed social movements, which is why freedom of expression violations were not only experienced by journalists and media workers, but also by people who participated in and documented them, such as human rights activists, NGO members, and civilians.”
Most recently, because three Venezuelan news outlets are accused of “defamation” for republishing a story alleging drug trafficking by the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, the Venezuelan regime has banned 22 of the news outlets’ executives from traveling outside the country. Who knows how a President Trump might respond if U.S. news outlets aired stories alleging some sort of improper Trump dealings, given that Trump himself has sued for defamation, and in fact most recently he is suing Univision for its cancelling his Miss USA telecast. I honestly don’t think that Trump really understands what freedom of speech is all about.
And Donald Trump supports the government’s torturing of suspects. On Fox & Friends, he said, “This whole thing on torture not working … Torture not working? … Well, for 5,000 years it’s worked, but now it’s not working?”
According to the U.S. Senate’s report on CIA “harsh interrogation techniques” last December, the torture was ineffective and flawed. This summary of the report notes that such torture included waterboarding to the point of “convulsions” and “near-drowning,” detainees being made to stand on broken legs and being placed in freezing temperatures leading one victim to freeze to death.
But what about the morality of torturing suspects our bureaucrats knew had nothing to do with terrorism, in which senior intelligence analysts had known that one-third to one-half of Gitmo detainees were “mistakes” and “had no connection to terrorism whatsoever”? The truth is that the real purpose of torture is to get false confessions or falsely implicate others, such as Bush and Cheney’s use of torture to falsely link Iraq to 9/11.
But as far as torture “not working,” a suggestion which The Donald mocks with contempt, the nationalists and American Exceptionalists will stubbornly believe what they want to believe, despite evidence to the contrary, to validate their own prejudices and their needing to be obedient serfs.
Torture is a common response by totalitarian governments to criticism and protests. Take the U.S. government, for example, and many “law enforcement” departments within the U.S. Some Occupy Wall Street protestors complained of tear gas being sprayed directly into their faces, and more recently there have been complaints against heavy-handed police tactics in enforcing meaningless laws such as someone selling loose cigarettes. And S.W.A.T raids are out of control now across the country.
In Venezuela, torture is routinely used to suppress dissent, in addition to its other totalitarian policies such as censorship and price controls. In 2004, for instance, the principal cellist of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, Carlos Izcaray, was the victim of torture, including electric shocks, inflicted by members of then-President Hugo Chavez’s National Guard. Izcaray, incidentally, will be the new music director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra starting this Fall.
According to Human Rights Watch, on that day in 2004 while merely observing a protest but not taking part in it, Izcaray was apprehended and detained, beaten with nightsticks and was also burned with the contents of a teargas bomb. Some of this is actually similar to the way U.S. police treat suspects. Does Donald Trump really approve of torturing presumably innocent people?
Such criminality continues, by the way, under the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. “The Venezuelan National Guard actively aims to disfigure the faces of protesters as their repressive acts torture, injure, and kill dozens of anti-socialist student protesters. Survivors of government attacks tell Latin American news outlets that police shoot for their faces, kick, or bludgeon them with rifles,” according to this Breitbart article.
And while psychological torture has been part and parcel of CIA interrogations and U.S. police tactics for decades, in Venezuela illicitly jailed political opposition leaders such as Leopoldo López have now accused the government of routine psychological torture, and it is claimed that psychological torture led to another protester, Rodolfo González’s alleged suicide while in jail.
Since 9/11, American medical doctors and psychologists “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees,” as directed by U.S. military and CIA, according to the Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers in November, 2013. A more recent report requested by the American Psychological Association details the collusion by top APA members and U.S. Department of Defense officials to advance military and CIA goals at the expense of medical ethics.
Had these doctors and psychologists not been indoctrinated (like most Americans including, apparently, Donald Trump) to accept the government’s propaganda as The Truth, and instead been informed of the U.S. government’s role in provoking foreigners in the Middle East for decades, they probably wouldn’t have participated in such a criminal scheme of torturing innocents in the first place, thus sparing the entire psychological profession the shame and embarrassment incurred from this whole fiasco.
And now that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has stepped up his tyrannical crackdown on dissent and protest by mixing the Venezuelan military with law enforcement, one wonders if Obama’s latest military scheme called Jade Helm 15, a so-called training exercise taking place for the next two months in some southern and western U.S. states, may be intended to be a practice run for how Obama or a President Hillary will handle American protests in the near future. And such protests in America may very well come from the anti-leftist, conservative-minded folks in the near future, as they have in Venezuela.
Will a President Donald Trump further expand the current American police state in addition to the economic fascism we have in America today, such as ObamaCare? That’s what it sounds like.
I know, most if not all the other presidential candidates are just as statist in their views and intentions as Donald Trump. So why am I picking on him now? Well, given that Trump is a businessman and a capitalist, one would hope that in his campaign he would call for a Renaissance of Capitalism, and demand not reforming but the dismantling of all the socialist and fascist bureaucracies, regulations, tax-thefts and other intrusions which have wrecked capitalism and freedom in America for over 100 years. But no, he is not doing that.
No true capitalist in his right mind would support the current system as it exists now. And given that political freedom, freedom of speech and civil liberties go hand in hand with actual free markets and voluntary exchange, no true capitalist would support the current militarism and police state either. So, Trump has been a disappointment, in my view.