Trump's Lost Opportunities, What Could Have Been
Lost Opportunity to Bring the Troops Home
Trump on many occasions threatened to bring all the troops home from Afghanistan and Syria.
I expected Trump to do so if for no reason other than an election ploy. He did not do so although he did reduce troops.
But reducing them is no big deal.
Had Trump actually pulled all of them, as he should have, Biden would have had to go way out of his way and take lots of criticism to put them back.
There is still time for Trump to pull the troops, but will he?
Lost Opportunity to Pardon Snowden and Assange
As with pulling the troops, Trump can still do this, and he should, but I expect another lost opportunity.
There's an interesting article on ZeroHedge on this subject: Trump's Last Chance To Snub The Deep State
I am not the only one hoping that Donald Trump will do the right thing with Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden too. The last president, one Trump hates, first put Assange’s key whistleblower in prison, in isolation, under torture. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years. Obama leaving office with a gesture of “goodwill”, commuted Chelsea’s sentence once she served seven years. She was later jailed for another year for not snitching on Julian.
Tulsi Gabbard, the only Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 who wasn’t a war hawk, is asking Trump for goodwill. She tweeted tagging Trump, “Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” and named Assange and Snowden for him to drop charges.
If Trump did the honorable thing of halting the persecution of Julian Assange, it would be a blow for freedom and a middle finger to the Deep State including Obama and Clinton. Wasn’t Trump supposed to be the anti-Deep State candidate? Now’s his chance to prove it.
Is Trump anti-deep-state or not?
Similarly, Trump has threatened on many occasions to declassify documents.
- November 28: Trump threatens to declassify ‘devastating’ documents if Democrats ‘want to play tough’
- November 11: Trump allies clash with top intelligence officials in quest to declassify more Russia documents
Trump believes the documents in question will undermine the intelligence community's unanimous finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 race to help him win, by exposing so-called "deep state" plots against his campaign and transition during the Obama administration, according to multiple current and former officials.
Flashback May 2, 2019
Like, uh... how soon?
Lost Opportunity at the Fed
The idea for this post came from Climate Change Is the New Fed Mandate.
Trump nominated Judy Shelton for the Fed. He made an excellent choice. It's not that Shelton would have changed policy. Rather, Shelton, a pro-gold economist would have changed the discussion.
A couple of weak Republican senators would not vote for Shelton. But Trump never pressed the issue. Republicans still had the votes but one one of them got Covid due to carelessness and passage failed by a single vote.
Democrat Mark Kelly, defeated Republican Martha McSally in November's special Arizona election. On December 2, Kelly was sworn in.
There was an opportunity for Trump to press for Shelton between the election and December 2. That opportunity is lost and gone forever.
Collective Bargaining and Bankruptcy Reform
President Kennedy enabled collective bargaining of public unions by decree. That was the mother of all pension mistakes.
Since then, much has been enshrined in law, so Trump could not reverse it by decree.
However, he could have pushed for bankruptcy reform, national right to work legislation, etc.
Perhaps he would have failed, but he never even tried. Why is that?
The answer is Trump cultivated a relationship with blue collar union workers. They would not like Trump championing anti-union policies.
Ironically, Trump had some successes in this matter by nominating justices to the Supreme Court that will rule for businesses not unions.
Deficit Spending and Balanced Budget
Trump wanted to shrink the deficit and balance the budget.
What did he do when he had the chance? Did he even try?
No. Trump ridiculously proposed tariffs would pay down the national debt.
Trump passed tax cuts and promised more. There will not be tax cuts under Biden, that's for sure.
The tax cuts were front loaded, added to the deficit, and primarily benefited the wealthy.
Republicans fiscal conservative hypocrites cheered.
I've looked at walls from both sides now, from in and out and still somehow, it's wall's illusions I recall, I really don't know walls at all.
The BBC comments on Trump's wall: How much has he actually built?
What Mr. Trump has actually built is far from what he promised at the start of his 2016 election campaign, when he pledged to build a concrete wall along the border's entire 2,000-mile length.
He later clarified that it would cover only half of that. And by the time of his State of the Union address in February this year, his pledge had been reduced to "substantially more than 500 miles" by January 2021.
As economist Milton Friedman explained, open borders are not compatible with free benefits.
And places like California offer massive amounts of free benefits. Illinois does so via massive untenable pensions for public union workers.
While the vast majority of immigrants may want to come for economic opportunities, not free benefits, the fact remains free benefits are an enormous problem.
Trump could not attack free benefits so he proposed a wall.
And he could have had a wall. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer offered Trump $20 billion for a wall in return for a deal on "dreamers".
Trump turned it down.
Trump was simply flat out wrong to oppose a deal regarding productive members of US society, many of whom have been here 10 years or more.
It's one thing to want to turn off the spigot (for right or wrong reasons), it's another to boot productive people and separate parents from kids.
Yes, Obama did the latter too. The spotlight is now on Biden.
Iran and Venezuela
The alleged master deal makers could not get Iran to the negotiation table via sanctions.
Maduro is still in power despite Trump sanctions on Venezuela.
Millions have died in those countries due to limited availability to obtain food and medicine. These sanctions are acts of war. Period. And they are illegal.
Some will disagree with my allegation of war. But no one can disagree with this: Trump said he would renegotiate a better deal with Iran. OK, 4 years are up. Where is it?
Sanctions don't work. Meanwhile, Trump sent billions of dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia and looked away when the Saudi's devastated Yemen.
US media gave Trump a pass on Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. There is seldom a war the US media does not support.
Trump is at war with Iran and failed to bring the troops home from anywhere.
War on Drugs
Hi Bob, consider it done. But let's change one word.
"If Trump supporters really cared about the war on drugs or libertarian ideals, they’d be demanding that the nearly half a million people currently in U.S. jails for drug offenses should be pardoned too."
Trump has fought legalizing marijuana every step of the way.
Trump also blames Biden for a policy that put millions of blacks in prison.
That is accurate, and Biden admitted mistakes. But why didn't Trump rectify the problem?
Trump failed on both drug policy and prison reform.
Wake of the Election
Trump got the election he wanted: a referendum on himself.
In the wake of the election "Mr. Law and Order" actively encouraged governors to break the law in an effort to change the election. That alone should have caused supporters to stand up and notice.
A few like Governor Kemp and Chris Christie did notice, but it was mostly Republican silence with a lot of inane dissent that "Trump won".
I voted for Trump in 2016 but could no longer take it for many reasons, some mentioned above.
I voted for Jo Jorgensen and I am proud of my vote.
Trump's legacy will not be ending Obamacare, ending drug wars, getting the US out of Afghanistan, taming the deficit, reducing the trade imbalance, winning a fight against the deep state, or even building a wall.
Trump could have succeeded at least some of those things.
Trump failed at all of them, not because of the deep state but because he is not the big deal maker he claims to be and his demands are always too one-sided.
Heck, Trump failed at things he could have done alone: pardons, ending drug wars, and bringing all the troops home.
Both Sides Now
I understand why people like Trump and why others hate him.
Many cannot figure this out, but Trump openly makes deeply controversial and polarizing claims on purpose. His supporters love it.
In general, Trump supporters feel he is some sort of deal-making hero who stands up to the deep state.
But where's the evidence on deals? On deep state? On Libertarian ideals?
If you are a huge Trump fan who believes nearly everything he says, I have a favor to ask:
Look at Trump from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow, it's Trump's illusions you should recall, you really don't know Trump at all.