I have often wondered how someone like Adolf Hitler could convince enough people to follow him. Or notorious cult leader Jim Jones convincing so many to follow him, up to and including the mass suicide of hundreds.
No, I am NOT about to claim Trump is another Hitler or Jones and that he is leading people to such atrocities. My question, rather, focuses on the people that choose to follow paths that seem so obviously fraught with disaster.
I’m beginning to get an idea of how it works.
A demagogue is a powerful and dangerous person.
- a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
- Donald Trump
Ok, I added number two, but I can think of no better example.
I have no idea what Trump’s ultimate goal is. But I do know that he has successfully convinced a very large number of people to follow him, wherever he goes.
World domination? Maybe.
Space domination (Space Force!)? Who knows?
Personally, I believe he has his sights set a little bit lower than that.
I think his narcissistic nature wants history to show him to be the greatest President/Businessman/Media Mogul/Deal Maker/Person in the history of mankind.
Of course, in his mind, he already is. All he has to do is convince enough of the rest of us. And he’s already got a scary number of Americans believing it.
But it’s all BS and bluster. All of it.
What’s the latest?
His new trade deal with Mexico.
Trump has been bellowing about NAFTA for years, claiming it’s the worst deal in the history of deals and that he was prepared to withdraw from it completely if Mexico and Canada didn’t agree to changes that Trump wants. Never mind that nearly all economists agree that NAFTA has been a boon for all concerned.
Could it be made better? Sure, all of our trade agreements could be, as the best trade agreement between countries is totally unencumbered, free-trade with no conditions, restrictions, or special carve-outs for special industries (except for true national security related issues).
So, as TheStig informed us earlier on TNB , President Trump announced this morning that he has made an incredible new trade deal with Mexico and will leave NAFTA (or at least remove the name because I guess it triggers some people or something) and call this new deal the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.” (Catchy, huh? I guess it’s better than “Trump’s Mega MAGA Spectacular Better-Than-Any-Other-President-Could-Do-Including-Reagan-And-Lincoln-And-Especially-That-Loser-Kenyan-Obama Big League Trade Deal With Mexico – Who WILL Pay For The Wall”)
What about Canada? Well, we hope they will be brought into this deal, but otherwise we would have to make a separate U.S./Canada deal.
Let’s take a look at the major changes with this new deal:
Auto manufacturing: The new deal would require that 75% of the parts in any car sold in North America be produced in the United States or Mexico. Currently, about 62% of parts are required to be produced in the United States, Mexico or Canada.
Higher labor standards: The new deal would require that 40% to 45% of auto parts in cars sold be made by workers earning at least $16 USD per hour.
Sunset clause: The agreement will last for 16 years, and will be reviewed every six years.CNN
Seriously, how in the world do these changes make for a better free market? What kind of free-market conservative, with any understanding of basic economics, would think this makes for a better free-market/free-trade economic environment?
Dictating where manufacturers can source materials for production reduces competition and increases costs. The old agreement required 62% of automobile parts to be produced in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada, which was bad enough, but now that is being raised to 75%. This will increase the costs to produce automobiles, which of course will make automobiles more expensive for the consumers, which will have cascading effects for all other industries. Great for North American companies that produce auto parts, but bad for everyone else.
And the higher labor standards? This new deal will now require that these auto parts, which are already going to be more costly due to the first requirement, will be made by workers earning at least $16 USD per hour, making them even more costly. Great for unions (and mostly for the union bosses), but bad for everyone else.
A big win, Trump claims…and the Trump supporters cheer.
You see, they are so desperate to feel like winners, that they will accept anything as winning as long as it’s perceived that their side is winning…no matter what the actual details of the “accomplishments” are. This is what’s so scary.
We now have conservatives cheering economic policies that go against free-market capitalism.
We have evangelical Christian conservatives excusing abhorrent moral failings.
We have a large majority of Republicans just fine with Russia’s interference in our election and the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with that because it helped defeat Hillary and the Democrats.
We have conservatives praising budget deals that blow up the deficits and dramatically increase the national debt.
We have conservatives praising Trump for meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jung Un with no pre-conditions and then praising the historic meeting even though nothing concrete was accomplished (Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!).
We have conservatives cheering Trump’s use of Executive Orders to unilaterally implement policies that should be done through legislation.
We have conservatives who promoted and pushed for TrumpCare policy that did not address the biggest problems with ObamaCare simply because it was being billed as “repealing ObamaCare” (It wasn’t).
We have conservatives agreeing that the government should limit the free press.
We have conservatives agreeing that we should force people to stand for the National Anthem.
We have conservatives, time and time again, falling for “bumper sticker” propaganda put out by Trump.
Mocking a disabled man? No problem.
Denigrating a POW war hero veteran? Cool.
Fighting with Gold Star parents? Hey, they started it, so they had it coming!
Disrespecting women over and over and over again? Meh.
Attacking our intelligence services and his own Attorney General? DeepState!
Wherever Trump leads, they follow.
Can anyone really argue with me that if Trump were to put forth a policy proposal to round up all of the Muslims and Hispanics in the country and deport them (regardless of citizenship) that half of the now Republican Party would be right behind him? For that matter, could anyone seriously dispute that half of those people would even agree to putting them in concentration camps, and half yet again would be fine with extermination? What about with gays and trans-sexuals? BLM members? All blacks? All libs?
It has become clear to me that a very disturbing percentage of the Republican Party would be good with all of that.
Where will they not follow Trump? Is there a red line?