It would take not just a single tweet, but maybe 1,000 or 10,000 to sum up President Donald Trump's craziness, but then you look at the Democrats, at the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez movement, at left-wing policy proposals. Would a million tweets describe all of this sufficiently?
I am not so sure, and what we have here, it seems to me, is not a 2020 solution but a 2020 threat, something on the order of catastrophic climate change without the sun.
Start with Trump and his southern border obsession. He is right on the basics. Barriers of the kind he wants have already been voted for by Democrats and built by past presidents. He's looking at some hundreds of miles, not a thousand or more, and these barriers absolutely, unquestionably work, as proven on our own border and around the world.
When you put the wall together with other Trump objectives – more border agents, more technology, redrawing laws that let illegal trespassers loose, improved means of addressing asylum needs – you could have a world of good: less trafficking in girls enslaved in houses of prostitution, fewer rapes in the desert, fewer drugs killing Americans, less threat of literally millions of new, illegal low-skilled immigrants submerging an economy.
So Congress refused much of a wall at all, said no to more border agents, didn't rewrite laws and thereby contributed to human misery and a diminished rule of law in oh-so proud a way. Yes, maybe more MS-13 gang members will sneak through under this lackadaisical way of things, but they won't chop up all that many more teenage girls with their machetes, leftist pundits assured us.
Still, Trump's government shutdown was not thereby justified because all it did was hurt the innocent and further despoil our system of governance. His declaration of a national emergency to enable him to grab military money for the project might be technically within the law and will be checked by the courts, but it still amounts to a continuation of President Barack Obama's autocracy.
Trump's mixed retreat from that sort of thing was a plus for him, and now, sadly, he has now succumbed to the temptations leading Obama to plan unilateral elimination of state laws while rewriting federal laws, to bomb Libya without checking with the legislative branch and on and on.
Oh well, he's out of office, but we have several presidential candidates of a Democratic persuasion co-sponsoring the Green New Deal with the aim of no more fossil fuels 10 years down the road. Authoritarian? It would absolutely have to be to accomplish its objectives that themselves would accomplish little as other countries probably increased their CO2 emissions by billions of tons. For one thing, you would have to get rid of your car or maybe remake it as filling stations had nothing to fill, and meanwhile we have other sensible alternatives.
But what about Trump and the debt that could lead to economic crisis, undoing the economic good he has done? Well, the Democrats have spending plans like you've never heard of, the New Green Plan serving as one of them, but then there's Medicare for All. The cost, one study shows, could wipe out most of our annual revenues with the only solution being not just more of a tax on the rich, but the doubling of all individual and corporate federal income taxes.
Then you've got free college that wouldn't be free to taxpayers. Of course, the liberals could help address some of this by getting rid of some of Trump's tariff disasters. Unfortunately, liberals believe in tariff disasters. They also believe in regulations that stymie the economy and here they would reverse Trump's deregulatory accomplishments.
No doubt, a Democratic president, House and Senate – all possibilities – would work better with our allies. Even here, however, liberals don't seem to recognize that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would have been an effective means of containing China's threats.
What we are really looking at, finally, is what used to be called creeping socialism, which is now racing socialism. But more on that later.
– Jay Ambrose is a columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.