The Donald from 1988: Birth of a Far Left-Wing Nationalist Ideology

Substantially revised and updated March 15, 2016

via Saboteur365 this video came to my attention this morning:

1988 Video: The Donald Tells Oprah The Same Things He’s Saying Today

I recommend you view this short video, where the current leading candidate for the Republican nomination, takes Washington, DC, to task for benefiting “foreigners” at the expense of US taxpayers.  While Trump starts off in the right direction in wanting to solve real problems, he recommends a far left-wing nationalist agenda of isolation and trade protectionism.  I believe the evidence is quite clear, and history will show, that isolation and trade protection does not solve any economic problems and, more likely, will lead to conflict and outright war.

According to Trump, it was a “well-known” fact that Japan and Kuwait (specifically singled out in the interview) and many other countries, had been profiting greatly at the expense of the United States.  He stated, “We let Japan come in and dump everything in to our market!”  I am no Einstein, but if foreign countries are “dumping” cheap products in the US, at a loss as claimed by some, then it is the United States citizens that are profiting, not foreign citizens.  Trump then went on to explain how impossible it was to sell anything in Japan.  While the issue was still up for debate in the mid-1980’s, history has shown that the mercantile policies Japan followed during their post-WW II boom was a complete failure and certainly came back to haunt them, the impact of which is still being felt today.  In any event, Japan did spend the dollars they earned in trade with the United States.  And, my guess as to why Mr. Trump was so upset at the time (the 1980’s), was that Japanese investors were rolling in to his backyard, New York city, bidding up prices and buying trophy properties – the ones Donald wanted.

With regards to Japan, and the accusation that they were not paying their “fair share” for US military presence and protection, historical context is required. The U.S.-Japan Security Treaty was signed during the Korean War in 1951 at the same time as the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which formally ended the Allied occupation of Japan. The security treaty enabled U.S. troops to remain in Japan and opened Japanese facilities as a staging area and logistics base for American forces in the war being waged on the Korean peninsula. U.S. military bases in Japan were seen as essential to containing communist expansion, especially since the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea were considered a threat.  Then, and to this day, not only would many Japanese citizens not want US forces there to begin with, they certainly would have no interest in paying the US for “protection”.  The United States provides these types of “services” to benefit from control of certain strategically important countries or regions, and thus are already being compensated.  Although the history is quite different, US-Kuwait relations are built on the same foundation.  I am not agreeing with all US-Japan or US-Kuwait foreign policies followed from post WW II to the mid 1980’s, or through today, but the “problems” and injustices referenced by Trump, then and now, are far more complex and have much wider ramifications than Donald not being able to buy certain NY city properties at the price he wants.

In conclusion, while “The Donald” proclaims to be pro-business and pro-worker, his policy prescriptions are far from advocating the global free-market principles and cooperation that would truly benefit all parties, not only in the US, but in all other countries as well.  This would be true both in terms of economic prosperity and in terms of peace.  Then, and now, I believe he is far more concerned with his own self interests of wealth and power.  And, while his wealth has brought him to a point of economic security, it is only the ultimate power, the Presidency of the United States, that he lacks and longs for.

From a libertarian perspective, Ron Paul has repeatedly expressed his preference to end all forms of “foreign aid”, which, while I would not necessarily lump all “foreign aid” with the examples referenced above by Trump, it is in alignment with classical liberal principles.  Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son, and current Trump rival, has advocated a similar position and supports a vast rollback of global military presence.  So, Trump stay and make them pay for it, Rand, pull out.  In fact, Rand Paul has been singled out by other candidates for being an isolationist, himself.  Most importantly, though, and the difference maker, both Ron and Rand are advocates of free trade.  So, while the libertarian Paul solution would lead to a more prosperous and peaceful world, Trump’s national socialist solutions, designed to deal with both allied and adversarial countries, are all proven recipes for global conflict and outright war.


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