Leading article

It’s Trump vs Hillary: a race that should terrify all conservatives

7 May 2016

9:00 AM

7 May 2016

9:00 AM

Following Tuesday night’s Indiana primaries, the race for the Republican nomination is effectively over. Talk of Donald Trump being overhauled in a contested convention in July evaporated when Ted Cruz withdrew from the race after seven successive defeats. Compromise candidates have ruled themselves out, and Trump’s former opponents are reluctantly rallying around. It really has come to this: the people of the most powerful country on earth will be asked to choose between Hillary Clinton and her former campaign donor Donald Trump.

It cannot be assumed that Trump will be defeated in November. This week, for the first time, a poll put him ahead of her. The world is sooner or later going to have to face up to the possibility that a man whom our own Parliament recently debated banning from the UK, and whom the German magazine Der Spiegel recently called ‘the most dangerous man in the world’, might soon be leader of the world’s most powerful nation and commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military.

Is Donald Trump really such a danger to the world? Yes, but not in the way most of his critics usually assert. As the National Review has pointed out, Trump’s ascendancy means that Reagan-style conservatism is now in exile from the Republican party. He will attack Hillary Clinton from the left on every-thing from her Iraq vote to social security. But it is not his incoherent and contradictory foreign policy which we have to fear. It is his much more consistent — but seriously wrong — economic ideas that would inflict the most damage.

His victory speech in Indiana started attacking Mrs Clinton’s economics, saying that she ‘doesn’t understand trade’, apparently because Bill Clinton agreed to the North American Free Trade Agreement. The notion of international competition frightens him. To Trump, free trade is a system where ‘companies just think that they can move, go to another country, make their products, sell it back to us and we get only one thing: unemployment’. Jeremy Corbyn would have said the same thing, if he had the courage. Trump, like so many on the left, wants to build a wall around America not just to keep immigrants out but keep its companies in.

As he put it this week, ‘We’re not gonna let companies leave. Now if they want to go to a different state; good luck, compete. But when they start going to different countries, and in many cases countries that devalue their currency and make it impossible for our companies to compete, that’s not gonna happen. And if they wanna do it anyway there will be consequences and there will be very, very serious consequences.’ It’s worth quoting because this is the message that is resonating with a great many Americans. Trump is inviting them to feel afraid of the world and unconfident about America’s ability to compete.

Many in Britain could be forgiven for not taking Trump seriously — but this is, now, no longer an option. With far less money, no speech-writers, relatively few political staff, he has won an extraordinary victory, with far too much support to be written off as a wretched irrelevance. His protectionist message certainly has an appeal among those who believe the world economy is moving in a direction that disadvantages them. Trump has concentrated his ire on Chinese exporters, claiming they destroy US jobs. It is a message which gains great traction among poor white voters in the rustbelt, normally more inclined to vote Democrat. Inflammatory language on trade — such as accusing the Chinese of ‘raping’ the US — does not earn him condemnation on the left. On the contrary, it wins him the sort of voters who might have voted for Bernie Sanders.

In contrast to many of Trump’s policies, there is some logic to the claim that protectionism saves jobs. Tariffs of 45 per cent on Chinese-made goods would indeed protect some jobs in the short term. Unfortunately for America and the world, that would only come at the expense of a great deal of other jobs as general prosperity took a huge hit.

That is the experience of protectionism whenever it is tried. George W. Bush proved it in 2002 when, responding to complaints from US steelmakers, he slapped 30 per cent tariffs on foreign steel imports. An independent analysis the following year concluded that the move had cost some 200,000 jobs in steel-consuming industries, which had been hit by higher raw material costs as a result. Barack Obama proved it again seven years ago when he slapped tariffs on tyre imports for three years. The number of jobs in the US tyre industry grew by 1,200 to 52,000, but the estimated cost to American consumers was put at $1.1 billion. US motorists in effect paid $900,000 for every job created — and that is without taking into account the retaliatory tariffs which China imposed on chicken imports from the US.

But it is not enough to trot out such figures and blithely declare that the case for free trade is self-evident. It needs to be made again and again. The decaying Republican party has been unable to make this argument, so it was vulnerable to a fist-shaking challenger like Donald Trump. In Britain, the Conservatives have been very bad at defending conservatism, and are similarly vulnerable as a result. Trump’s ascendancy is a warning to conservatives the world over: failing to make the case for popular capitalism and basic economic freedom invites political disaster — as American conservatives are now finding out.


Show comments
  • diqi

    You still miss the point. The issue is not a failure to “make the case”. The issue is failure to meet the obligations to the electorate and support the aspirations of people who previously voted Conservative. A large part of your problem is that the traditional Conservative mindset, let alone the social democrat equivication, no longer applies to that group of people.

    Donald Trump appears to represent a group that the traditional policiticans have abandoned, why are you surprised that they have reacted and why therefore are you attempting to drive them even further away?

    • WFB56

      I loathe Trump but you make a very good case that traditional politicians have abandoned even the appearance of listening to large sections of the population; why is anyone surprised?

      • nibs

        Though unlikely that he will pass, HRC too will ignore vast swathes of the population and one day a person like Trump will get elected.

        • WFB56

          I think that you underestimate how truly awful HRC is as a politician and how strong the antipathy is to her from the Sanders supporters.

          That’s the pseudo intellectual argument. The real argument is that Trump’s wife is worth 10 points on election day.

          • Makroon

            It is beyond comprehension that most of the European political elite would be happy with either Clinton or the slimy phony Cruz.

    • polidorisghost

      “The issue is not a failure to “make the case”. The issue is failure to
      meet the obligations to the electorate and support the aspirations of
      people who previously voted Conservative”

      Exactly. The “case” is irrelevant if there is no place for you at the table – Not just for Conservatives either

  • @PhilKean1

    .
    I am guessing that the author’s conclusion –

    – presupposes that Donald Trump will direct – and be allowed to direct – America’s economic policy, unopposed and without the advice and influence of economic experts and his chosen advisers. I believe this to be the remotest of possibilities.

    However, I again find myself baffled by a headline which warns of a danger that is speculative, remote and indirect, whilst completely missing a danger that is direct, obvious and current : David Cameron.

    Because the British people will certainly suffer dire consequences if David Cameron is allowed to make sure that Britain remains in the EU under all conditions.
    .

    • HammyTheHamster

      Come on Phil, authors are allowed to write on other topics, you don’t need to make Cameron and the EU the subject on every article.

      • @PhilKean1

        .
        I am just putting the two issues into context.

        I remember similar things being said about Ronald Reagan. Yet he turned out to be one of their best Presidents.

        And Trump himself has as good as admitted that he doesn’t know everything and that, whilst his agenda will be guided by his instincts, he will rely heavily on the advice of experts.
        .

        • WFB56

          Whoooaaaaa!! There is NO valid compairson between Reagan and Trump. Reagan had been a successful Governor and Union President and had spent 30 years refining his ideas and ennunciating his values.

          As the National Review points out, Trump is the anti-Reagan.

          • @PhilKean1

            .
            Trump turned a $200 mln inheritance into $5 bln. And Reagan was an actor, not an experienced businessman.

            Regardless of their histories and experience, people were warning that Reagan would be a danger to the world. How differently things turned out.
            .

          • WFB56

            Its well known in New York and in financial circles that Trump’s inheiritance would have performed better in an S&P tracking fund than it has under Trump’s guidance.

            Reagan was and will always be a lot more than an actor.

          • trobrianders

            But then Trump wouldn’t be where he is.

          • serialluncher

            However for completely different reasons. Trump is more similar to Reagan’s detractors at the time. Trump wants to withdraw US forces from Europe. Reagan was the opposite.

          • @PhilKean1

            True. But Trump won’t be allowed to withdraw from NATO and Europe.

            It is funny how banks that are closing branches and downsizing are reporting corresponding falls in profits.

            I can’t see America downsizing or abandoning areas of their own national interest and leaving them open for opponents and competitors.
            .

          • Makroon

            It will be very interesting to see what Trump makes of the US economy when he eventually “sees the books”. Congress and Obama have had a tacit understanding not to scare the horses, by explaining just how bad things are.
            I agree with Irwin Stelzer, neither Clinton nor Trump have a realistic view of the economy, and both, in their different ways, are hell-bent on making things worse.

          • @PhilKean1

            .
            I don’t believe Hillary Clinton has a realistic view about anything – including Britain’s relationship with the EU.
            .

        • HammyTheHamster

          I am just curious to see how he goes about bringing industry back from overseas, frankly I’m skeptical that it can be done without massive side-effects in the way the article mentions.

          • @PhilKean1

            America has an advanced and relatively self-financing defence industry because the Government made sure it wasn’t run in a mercenary, profit-driven fashion that put shareholder value ahead of their national interest.

            Ok, that requires dedication to the national interest, something British politicians no longer have, and an almost Constitutional commitment to making sure there is sufficient Government investment to ensure that U.S. defence companies can remain viable.

            I am Conservative to the bone. But I don’t believe in doing things in the name of blind ideology. That is why I believe that Governments have a duty to intervene, in a competent fashion, and bring certain industries under their protection.

          • HammyTheHamster

            The American defence industry is primarily driven by the US Government ploughing vast sums into military spending year on year. I don’t think that’s due to preserving national interest however, it’s more of a circular process involving movement of political level military staff into the defence industry. But in any case that’s not the industry which Trump wants to bring back from overseas.

            Oh I don’t have an issue with the concept of protectionism, it can certainly be beneficial at times. I’m also not discussing it in a UK context anyway, frankly the UK steel industry is a good example of what NOT to protect.

          • @PhilKean1

            .
            I worked for British Steel at a time when it wasn’t the Government who ran the UK steel industry, it was the unions. That is one of the main reasons it was losing, if I remember correctly, £1 million per week.

            Things were so bad I regularly saw ONE MAN with up to ten time cards in his hand clocking in workers who never came in. So bad that you could get beaten up if you didn’t join the union.

            Thatcher changed that culture. The trouble, though, is that our thinking, in terms of owning and running nationalised businesses, is still scarred by the memories of those times.

            Steel, defence and rail travel are industries that are vital to the national interest and must be preserved at all costs, even if that means having them Government owned – but run like a private business.
            .

          • Makroon

            As numerous audits have shown, US defence contractors are rapaciously self-serving, with a far more politically active lobby system than here.

        • Owen_Morgan

          Who picks the “experts”?

          • @PhilKean1

            .
            Expertise in relative fields picks experts.

            For example, Margaret Thatcher had Nigel Lawson as her Chancellor, and Professor Alan Walters as a trusted economic adviser.
            History shows that there was conflict of ideas and policy between Lawson and Walters. It was up to Thatcher to decide which course was the most convincing.
            .

          • Makroon

            Indeed, Lawson, that red-hot Brexiteer, thought it was a great idea for Sterling to shadow the DMark.

          • @PhilKean1

            .
            LOL

            Yes, I suppose a case of “better late than never”.
            .

          • Owen_Morgan

            “Expertise in relative fields picks experts.”

            That argument is as circular as they get.

            In the United States, the current administration has picked Hillary Clinton and John Kerry as Secretaries of State; Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch in the role of Attorney-General (complete with the most blatantly politicised Justice Department in history); Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor as members of the Supreme Court; Jeh Johnson as head of Homeland Security; Susan Rice, National Security Advisor (before that, US Ambassador to the UN).

            Those are not “experts” in any single instance. Like their boss, they have a track record of mendacious incompetence, mixed with a massive dollop of hypocrisy. There was no “expertise” involved in picking any of them. Why should Trump’s coterie be any better?

          • @PhilKean1

            .
            Sorry, I wasn’t talking about political appointments. Or, as it is in the UK, jobs for cronies.

            No, I am talking about employing experts in the fields of economics, foreign affairs and defence.
            .

        • serialluncher

          How can you compare? Reagan was a free market conservative. Trump is not. Trump is more like Juan Peron.

        • Makroon

          There is also an “advise and consent” unit adept at restraining presidents, known as the US Congress.

          • @PhilKean1

            Exactly.

            Which is why I made mention of it being unlikely that he can Govern “unopposed”.
            .

    • Makroon

      First two paragraphs bang on the money.
      Why spoil it with an irrelevant rant against Cameron ?

      • @PhilKean1

        .
        Err, because it is THE most relevant issue facing the British people at the most important – and dangerous – moment in their entire history?
        .

  • jack

    You think the opinion of 600 British MP’s matter compared to millions of Americans? And does the opinion of one German writer make it a whole country’s opinion?

    The MSM have been displaying a serious misconception that they are the voice for the people, they are not; they tend to be brainwashed toadies with a feeling of too much self importance falsely instilled into them because they understand grammar and punctuation.

  • Ken

    It depends what you mean by “conservative”. Your version, as ever, is Neo-con, globalist, pro-banks and big business. Personally I find it odd that we have to support the vile Chinese regime by importing their junk.

    • nibs

      I agree with you; HRC would be a disaster for the world and for the USA.

    • Fraser and co believe what is good for Goldman Sachs is good for the US/UK

      • The Masked Marvel

        That’s Hillary Clinton, then.

    • mrmrsspence

      It’s quite obvious where the focus lies – not on shifting debt between US and the EUk, i.e. TTIP.
      The focus lies on balancing the books with China, or in the UK case handing over assets in return for I.O.U.s.

  • Fraser and the Speccie/Telegraph crew are pundits. They operate within the confines of a rulebook which delineates what can be said and the coded phrases that obscure that which cannot be overtly expressed. So when somebody comes along and rips up that rulebook they run around like chickens proclaiming that the sky will fall in. These pundits have been 100% wrong about Trump for the last year – why on earth should we take them seriously now?

    • Trump is a refreshing breath of fresh air in a world dominated by a core of US practice to control oil supplies by means of coercion and regime change that has been unchallenged for far too long. Let’s hope that Trump will tell the EU to look after its own defenses. Perhaps then the EU might get some real leaders that make their own political choices and alliances. It is time to stop jumping to the tune of the CIA and the US military industrial complex and their outdated attempts to control the world as the Brits once did and failed to do as the US is now.

  • At least one consolation of seeing Trump elected will be getting to watch the hysterical reaction of British leftists. A few of them might literally have an aneurysm.

    • oneeyedman

      And David Cameron !

    • trobrianders

      Absolute payday for moronic lefty comedian panel shows who have a big lefty audience that rely on them to tell them what to think.

    • Cyril Sneer

      If Trump gets made President I will open a Guardian comment is free account and go trolling for the day.

    • The Masked Marvel

      Flags at half-mast over all BBC offices, presenters wearing sackcloth and ashes, mirrors covered, halls strewn with rent garments and soiled handkerchiefs instead of champagne bottles, glasses filled with Beeboid tears instead of champagne. All pretense of impartiality will be thrown out the window. It will be a joy to behold.

    • WTF

      With luck !

    • Carolyn Brown

      I’m one of the British who cant wait either! Fed up of the arrogance of some of us who don’t appear to have any regard for what Americans think, that some of them actually want Trump as president and also is it too much to ask them why they want him in the White House. I’ve noticed some very intelligent posts here in his defence.

  • SonOfaGun

    From a ‘neo’ conservative perspective, Trump departs from the ideal presidential candidate. This ideal candidate is predictably and fanatically pro-Israel; predictably liberal/Left on social issues, particularly anything related to immigration and multiculturalism; and in need of big campaign money contingent on satisfying the previous points. Despite all that, the public love him, he’s a phenomenon, he’s unstoppable no matter what they throw at him. David Cameron on the other hand…

    • The Masked Marvel

      Trump is pro Israel. He has other interests about which he has spoken more vociferously, so you may not have noticed.

      • RWJetzt

        Trump understands how to play the game, and in financial democracy you have to play to the money. I doubt he’d be anywhere near as pro-Israel as the other cuckservative candidates, particularly Cruzman Sachs.

        • The Masked Marvel

          Probably not, no. But he won’t be to keen on doing anything that will endanger his Jewish son-in-law or his daughter who converted.

      • Trailblazer10

        Of course. All people, including Israelis want a homeland to ensure the survival of their culture, heritage and ethnicity. Every rational being understands that.That is not the same as Israel first, his policy is America first.

  • oneeyedman

    Don’t worry . What they say on the “stump” and what they when elected are to different worlds. Only Dictators can deliver what they promise!

  • Due to its size and resources the US is in a far better position to raise trade barriers than the UK and if it does so it will be an interesting experiment against the all prevailing notion that trade is essential at all cost. The ultimate duty of any government is to feed its own people regardless of how many people may starve somewhere else in the world. Personal survival has always been the name of the game.

    If the UK and EU want to protect their populations against the inevitable leveling out of wages across the globe, which has to date seen an increasing decline in Western living standards, they should consider trade protection as a gradual means to alleviate immediate pressures and to provide time to sort themselves out, including greater control over taxation of the wealthy.
    All the while multi-national corporations can flaunt paying tax contributions to society and enrich only their shareholders and over inflated self appointed senior management salaries the Western poor will get poorer, and there will ultimately be a heavy political price to pay. It is one good reason why the UK should stay inside the EU, particularly as regards to agriculture, since if trade barriers are raised by the major powers the UK will be cut off.

    • Very good comment. You may be right in saying that if trade barriers go up the UK will be better off in the EU than out. I don’t pretend to know either way. However, the main objections to remaining in the EU are cultural and political rather than economic. Still, perhaps you were just stating a fact rather than voicing a preference. By the way, the word you wanted was ‘flout’ paying tax contributions, not ‘flaunt’.

      • Thanks re “flout” .Freudian slip!
        The Brexit argument is, in my view, only an economic one as to the man in the street who otherwise cares little about politics, culture or history. The major concern will be will immigrants take my job or get on the housing ladder above me or spoil my children’s education or reduce my NHS and Pension benefits. Since Cameron has no answer for any of these and few for staying in the EU I feel that people will vote to leave. If so it will be a mess of huge proportions.

        • I disagree. Even if some economist could prove to me that leaving the EU would leave me worse off financially, I would still vote to leave. Economically, I am happy to cut off my nose to spite my face and I don’t think I’m unusual in this. There are other things that mean more to me than my bank account. I think your view of people is far too cynical. No doubt there are people who are motivated only by narrow economic interests but unless you yourself are one of those, I don’t know why you would attribute such a bloodless view of humanity to others.

          I think what you claim has things exactly the wrong way round: while the argument to stay is nearly always couched in terms of economics, the desire to leave is essentially driven, not by a rationally worked-out balance sheet of economic pros and cons, but by a visceral desire for self-determination and to have control of our borders. In this the two positions are asymmetrical since there is no atavistic British desire to be ruled from Brussels.

          • You may be a fortunate exception but In voting pockets always come first with the great majority. If with Brexit that also tallies with immigration control in peoples’ minds then it stands a good chance

  • John

    Funny ; but I don’t feel remotely “terrified” by Donald Trump. Am I alone in this ?

    • trobrianders

      The only people who are terrified are those who’ve made a tidy living on the thing that pi$$es everyone else off

    • mohdanga

      All of my right wing knuckledragging friends (lawyers, doctors, dentists, small business owners, accountants, tradesmen, etc) are all in favour of Trump (and we’re Canadian). At least he says the things that no Western politician, especially US politicians, are terrified of saying (the threat of Muslims, the massive opposition to mass immigration that will fundamentally change our countries, the idiocy of “climate change”, etc)
      Clinton will be a disaster….just look at the Middle east under her time as S of S, Benghazi, the email server, the infiltration of her office by Muslim Brotherhood operatives, and on and on.

    • Colin

      Nope.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      Yes

      • WTF

        Wimp !

      • Cyril Sneer

        You do lies as well as insults.

        You’re not just a one trick pony.

        • Disqus Bolloqus

          Cyril, you must be a very sad person. I feel sorry for you.

    • WTF

      Not at all and the mood is slowly changing on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, the GOP is being forced to come around under protest and back Trump to destroy Clinton whilst in the UK papers, Piers Morgan has explained why he has succeeded and Mary Dejevksy in the Indy has even questioned just what is the fuss all about.

  • Q46

    Are there any Conservstives to be frightened?

    The modern conservative: Government regulation of the economy and society; all property belongs to the State for redistribution to ‘the poor’, leaving a bit for its owner’s personal use; State provision of healthcare and education; Government monopoly on money; borrow to squander and dump the debt on future generations; regression back to pre-industrial society to save the Planet; control of thought and speech; increasingly Government easy access to private information, bank, phone, Internet on the grounds of ‘national security’; control over what we eat, drink, inhale otherwise consume.

    Conservatives today make Socialist look moderate.

    • Simpatica

      Vote libertarian

  • Interesting quote from one of those US “conservatives” so beloved of the Speccie

    “There is a meme floating in my Facebook feed depicting Ted Cruz supporters as King Leonidas, whose body is filled with Persian arrows after the Spartan King’s fall at Thermopylae. As an amateur historian, I smiled a bit. But, as a tea party advocate, I would say to those for whom Donald Trump was not their first pick: It’s really not that bad.

    Watching the social media meltdown among leading conservatives last night was extremely painful, as several of those disappointed pundits and activists are people I admire. But 186 days is a long time, and as we have already discovered, flocks of black swans are clearly on the horizon. Independent conservatives should keep open minds, open hearts, and open eyes and not make firm decisions about what they are going to do in November quite yet.

    I have several observations about my evolving attitude toward Trump that I would like to share with you. First of all, he has already defied the odds, and his unconventional campaign has gotten him the nomination. Why shouldn’t this be true in the General Election? Also, I admire his fighting spirit, and his core message that is focused on this country. I have noted that he has changed his campaign staff and style to achieve a victory he obviously wants. Several people I respect are already in his camp (e.g., Sarah Palin, Jan Brewer). There are many personal acts of loyalty and kindness that demonstrate that despite his big personality, he is a decent man (e.g., Lynne Patton’s video “The Trump Family That I Know” – A Black Female Trump Executive Speaks; Trump sending the Marine jailed in Mexico $25,000 Check).

    Is Donald Trump perfect? No. But I think he has the smarts and motivation to enact policies that help the country more than they help him personally…unlike Clinton. This is especially true if he gets solid input from independent conservatives.”
    The author is a college student – a far more mature outlook I would say than Fraser’s panic in the streets screech

    • mohdanga

      What are Hitlery’s qualifications?? A disastrous run as S of S? At least Trump is raising issues that the majority of Americans are concerned about.

    • WTF

      I agree as Trumps message is America for Americans whilst Clinton and even most of the Republicans have sold out America, the former for politically correct reasons and the latter for imported illegal cheap labor.

    • Harryagain

      Palin!!!! God help us all.
      As barking mad as Merkel!

      • Simpatica

        Merkel may be wrong in her policies but she is a smart lady and she may be right. A physicist: they are usually pretty level headed unlike the social “sciences” crowd that is in power most places.

        • Harryagain

          Smart people don’t get things of this importance wrong.
          So she’s either brain dead or working to destroy the West in cahoots with Putin.

  • rickmcinnis

    So if Trump is a leftist Cameron is a Bolshevik. The hyperbole is taking on CLIMATE CHANGE enthusiast fervor.

    Just what is a conservative anyway? It has become as nonsensical a word as natural and racist. It means so many contradictory things these days. Plus, it is a stupid name anyway. Doesn’t the left want to conserve its gains? Everyone is a conservative for there own stuff and ideas.

    Time to come up with something that has a concise meaning with a word that is not as wide ranging.

  • mohdanga

    test

  • CharlietheChump

    Cameron and Osborne aren’t really Conservatives, that’s why they have no idea how to defend the philosophy.

  • Trump or Clinton?

    I think I’d choose the one who is not an obvious crook, liar, danger to national security and been involved in so much graft and skulldugggery she should be doing 999 years in the Federal penitentiary.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      None of the Above then!

      • Simpatica

        Gov Gary Johnson will be my alternative

    • WTF

      Here’s the thing, despite Trumps persona and bluster, you know pretty much what you’ll likely get with him as POTUS. With the Dimocrat likely nominee no one knows what they’ll get from a serial liar and that’s far more scary. It has parallels with staying in the EU knowing we’ll get more of the same un-democratic social engineering whilst leaving, we can make our own laws.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Unbelievable that the Spectator is less concerned that a corrupt, careless person with a terrible foreign policy record, and someone who routinely acts outside the law and treats national security as a personal annoyance to dispense with as needed, will become president of the most powerful country in the world. Trump is a vulgarian, cheats his vendors when he can, is many things besides, but he is not what Hillary Clinton is.

    Furthermore, it’s political ignorance to focus exclusively on the presidency. As much as Obama tried to rule by executive dictat, Congress is still important. Trump’s success will mean the Republicans maintain control of at least one house of Congress. Hillary’s success will come with a wave of loony Democrats taking over. That’s far more dangerous to the world’s economy and security than Trump.

    • Simpatica

      Please take a look at an experienced successful libertarian candidate, former NM gov Gary Johnson

  • cmflynn

    Trump was way ahead of ALL the other Republican candidates in ALL the polls since since November 2015. Now the ‘experts’ throw up their hands and say ‘Oh what a surprise. No one could have guessed.’ Well ordinary people did guess. Why should they believe ‘experts’ now?

  • cmflynn

    Trump has been telling the truth. That’s what ordinary people appreciate. When he said there were ‘no go’ areas for the police in London politicians fell over each other to claim it was rubbish. Soon there was a deluge of police, active and retired saying it was true and had been so for years. The ‘elite’ hate him for telling the truth and exposing their fantasy narrative for what it is.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      Your first sentence is really funny. Do you do stand up as well?

      • Ridcully

        Do you have anything to add to the discussion that doesn’t consist of sneering ad-hominem?

        • Disqus Bolloqus

          It was a genuine innocent question, thank you

          • cmflynn

            Do you really believe there are no ‘no go’ areas for the police in London?

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            Why do you think I believe that? It’s you suggesting Trump is telling the ‘truth’, not me.

          • mohdanga

            test

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            Failed

          • mohdanga

            There are no Muslim grooming gangs either….oh, wait….

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            Irrelevant

      • Cyril Sneer

        Can you only resort to insults or do you have an actual argument to make?… oh no you don’t, only insults…

  • Freddythreepwood

    Trump frightens the PC liberal/left establishment because he is immune to their Twitter storms. They can’t hound him out of his job or shut him up with threats and fake ridicule. Many an innocent making an unguarded comment who has been destroyed by these people will be watching his rise with deep satisfaction, whether they agree with him or not.

  • Hale Ashbee

    LOL. So Americans are “afraid” of “competing” with 3rd world sweatshops paying $10/day? If that’s your best argument, start getting prepared for Pres. Trump, idiots.

  • Trailblazer10

    Spectator at it again.

    You will notice the tactic- keep repeating false assertions, the aim is that eventually people believe they are facts.

    There are signs the public are becoming immune.Those of you who are still rational can try and prevent the others being indoctrinated.

    If you check the foreign and economic policies proposed by Trump, you will find they are coherent and rational.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      Perhaps if you’ve just taken mind altering hallucinatory drugss, you would. I agree.

      • Cyril Sneer

        So you don’t like his comment but you’re unable to argue it.

        • Disqus Bolloqus

          I think I agreed with him

  • Sean L

    You are spot on: “the Conservatives have been very bad at defending conservatism”. And reading this you’d be forgiven for thinking politics was reducible to economics; that there was nothing at stake in political life that couldn’t be resolved by the correct application of economic theory. Reminds me of a publication that does defend a conservative point of view. From the Salisbury Review *about* page:

    “Indeed during the twentieth century Conservatives may have spent more time in office but culturally speaking they have never been in power.”

    http://salisburyreview.com/ray-honeyfords-education-race-article/about-the-salisbury-review/

    • tolpuddle1

      Capitalism and conservatism (truthfully defined) are mortal enemies.

      Inevitably, since Capitalism is revolutionary.

      • Sean L

        Perhaps: but an economy is bound to be more or less “capitalist” or “socialist” since these are no more than the words we use to idealise our economic arrangements. We could just as well use some other terms, but then we’d be talking more about the map than the territory. And given that it was originally used in relation to a very different economic order 150 years ago, the explanatory value of “capitalism” must now be somewhat diminished. Conservatism itself defines an attitude rather than any specific political or economic programme, and a conservative could easily find himself defending very different arrangements according to the political climate. As with Powell when he canvassed for Labour 40 years ago, for instance. In his recent novel, Submission, set in 2020 France, Michel Houllebecq has a Muslim faction with a charismatic leader winning a decisive share of the vote in a general election. But when it comes to actual government, the Muslim party have no interest whatever in the economy. All they care about is control over the education system. That’s a conservative approach, being mindful of the broader long term implications. Whereas the British Conservatives took the opposite approach. Roger Scruton wrote an excellent book, The Meaning of Conservatism, published in 1980, which he intended as a warning to the Conservative Party about the ascendancy of liberal economic theory. Not that he wouldn’t defend liberal economic policies in practice, any less than Powell did. But economic theory doesn’t define what’s at stake in politics for the conservative. That is what the book set out to show. Its first chapter is “The Conservative Attitude”; second: “Authority and Allegiance”. As to economics, the key conservative principle is private property. Otherwise a conservative would most likely want to defend some kind of market economy for the most part, at least in peacetime. Of course capitalism requires markets, but actual capitalists are interested in profit, and the operation of a truly free market can often hinder their profitability, favouring leaner more productive competitors. To that extent capitalism or *capitalists*, as Adam Smith warned, are enemies of the free market. Hence all the lobbying of government by major corporations for regulations which have no other aim than to hamper their smaller competitors and stymie the free market. Capitalists exist to somehow dominate or corner or distort the market to their advantage, not to free it. Roger Scruton gives some good examples in his Green Philosophy, particularly in relation to “Europe”.

        https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/14424.Adam_Smith

  • Harryagain

    Americans (like us) are fed up of being lied to and taken for granted.
    The worm has turned, they have gone for the outsider.
    We need to do the same.
    Vote BREXIT and let’s get out of the looney bin!

  • tolpuddle1

    “Making the case for popular capitalism.”

    But Capitalism is only popular when it delivers the goodies.

    In a West being overhauled by China / India, while being undercut by a throng of developing nations (and all this quite inescapably) ……

    And in a West being remorselessly (and again, inescapably) flattened by (Capitalist !) mass-immigration …….

    – There’s not a great likelihood of Capitalism being popular, is there ?

    The political plates are shifting and not even Ronald Reagan or Mrs T (the beneficiaries when they last shifted) could shift them back.

    • Trailblazer10

      Well done for totally inverting the cause.

      • tolpuddle1

        From what ?

  • Sean L

    I hadn’t actually heard this chap speak before. But according to what he says here he wants to actually do something about multi-national businesses transferring their interests to other countries, destroying people’s livelihoods at the stroke of a pen, the click of a mouse. In other words, sticking up for the interests of his own people against unaccountable international capital. And it’s *Trump* that’s supposed to be scary?? But according to the Spectator, globalisation or “free trade” is not only sacrosanct but *conservative*!! Nothing could be further from the truth. If conservatives defend the principle of the market economy it’s on the same grounds as they defend institutions like the family and the nation: as a means of making people accountable, and in the economic sphere that means bearing their own costs; they also operate as bulwarks against the further encroachment of vast corporate interests, like the state – the biggest corporate of the lot. (See Ferdinand Mount’s The Subversive Family.) And it’s only to the extent that a market economy promotes local interests that a conservative defends “capitalism”. Ultimately conservatism is about *localisation*, what Burke called “small platoons”. Nothing could be more antithetical to conservatism than *globalisation*. In his book Green Philosophy, which is as much an attack on globalisation as governments, Roger Scruton coins the odd term “oikophilia”, after the Greek for love of home. But he might as well say localisation – it amounts to the same thing: giving people an interest and stake in their own local environment. As distinct from the “the environment” being some anonymous thing that’s the exclusive concern of governments. Scruton also gives some excellent examples of multi-nationals colluding with government to offset their costs, in effect thwarting the market. In this context it’s Trump that’s the conservative. Ditto building walls to keep out unwanted immigrants – we all protect our own homes with walls – same principle. As for preventing more people from groups who make no secret of their desire to kill us from entering – what’s scary to most people is that it’s even up for question….

    • mohdanga

      Funny that wealthy lefties live in walled/fenced compounds….don’t they say that “walls don’t work”??

  • WTF

    Turn the clock back 40 years or more and the left and right certainly had a lot of daylight between them but equally, middle England could empathize with elements of both sides as far as policies are concerned. There were benefits on both sides with opportunities to better one self unlike today where we have a welfare system that makes work a four letter word. Trump will surprise as he will bring back those concerns which both sides have abandoned in the last 2 decades.

  • TrumpGodzillaRising

    Trump is going to win this election and it’s GREAT to see the warmongers around the world desperate for US protection panicking. No longer will we sacrifice our lives for you.

    Let the world BURN. We’re thinking of America first and last.

    • Bertie

      As a Brit, have to say it’s disgraceful of the Establishment to claim that it is the EU that has kept peace in Europe. No it isn’t – it’s the military power of the USA via Nato.

      Most European nations spend barely 1.5% GDP, let alone 2%+ seen as bare minimum. 4-5 members of EU are neutral so no military capability to speak of.

      What’s deterred aggressors and kept the peace – a benevolent USA. Why else is their defence budget larger than the next 11 odd nations put together.

      The ongoing cost of defending Europe must’ve been astronomical – and will be going forward, even if the EU gets its dream of a USE and an EU army which will be nothing more than a paper tiger.

      It is time, however, that US looked to spend on Defence solely to preserve its strategic interests, & defence of the USA. I’d wager that Europe is no longer in its sphere of interest – why would it be, Europe is in decline whether Britain stays in it,or not.

      Americans eyes head to the Pacific, whilst keeping a watchful eye on Middle East.

  • emily dibb

    Trump is the best thing that’s happened in America for over half a century. If you look squarely at America’s ills, they all began in the early 70s. And what else happened in the early 70s? America went off the gold standard. Since then it’s been a free-for-all for the scoundrels. It makes no difference if they call themselves Democrats or Republicans these days, a rogue is a rogue is a rogue.

    • mohdanga

      test

      • emily dibb

        Thank you – an eye-opener!

    • mohdanga

      How about Ted Kennedy’s immigration reform in the mid 60s that wasn’t supposed to have changed America’s ethnic makeup? How’d that work out?

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