In previous elections, there are undertones as to what drives the vote.  In 2004, Bush’s buddy Karl Rove tried to scare evangelicals about gay marriage, and the result was voting by the busloads.  In 2008, it was health care, hope, and getting away from the disaster trickle-down economics which destroyed the economy.  In 2012, it was “binders full of women” and “47%” which ultimately doomed Romney, along with his pivot from centrist to right-leaning zealot. 

In this election, Trump is the wild card.  The main issue I’m seeing coming from all of this is immigration.  There have been several rounds of immigration reform in congress, all have died along the way.  A family member recently urged me to re-consider my support for Trump, so with that, I’m going to once again explain my rationale for supporting him. 

1.       The tale of two Donalds – What many people are seeing on the stump path is the carnival barker….the “lyin ted” and the “crooked Hillary” plays well to a lunch pail crowd of 25,000 people.  Some people see this as dangerous.  Had this been any typical politician, I’d agree with you.  Why doesn’t this act seem to bother me and many others?  Because the “real” Donald is more of a cogent, coherent, soft spoken man who is deeply brilliant and intelligent.  It seems many left leaning people see this stump-speech Trump and think this is some sort of unhinged crazy person running.  The truth is, I read an article where in 2012 or so Trump was talking with some people about running and was listening to conservative talk radio to get the pulse of what is riling up the people.  He is using these talking points to get the heart of the voters, just like previous presidents had found issues that launched them into the White House.

2.       He had previously aligned with the Dems on many issues.  To my left leaning friends, he’s from New York.  While he might be running as a Republican, he’s about as moderate of a Republican you may ever find.  This is not Texas/Mississippi/Alabama conservative – this is someone who is aligned with the Republican fiscal values on true conservatism, not social conservatism.  I would think out of 17 of the Republicans to be nominated, this is the one who is actually most friendly to social moderation/liberalism.  He seems to be mostly centrist and my guess is his picks for the Supreme Court will also be centrist. 

3.       He did point out problems with illegal immigration.  What seems to be lost on 90% of the nation at the moment is that we have a legal immigration system that people from all nations are bypassing.  I watched in horror as the media tried to spin and twist this as Trump was a racist and hated immigration.   I’m not sure if you are aware, but two of his three wives were legal immigrants.  Four of his five children are children of legal immigrants.  There are three main issues at play here: a) people are crossing the border in Mexico (of all backgrounds) and our border patrol has been ordered to stand down, b) there are over 200 sanctuary cities, where people who are caught for a variety of reasons are intentionally not turned over to ICE for deportation, c) illegal immigration is costing us $113 billion per year and we need to reduce our costs.  Additionally, there have been over 25,000 murders committed by illegal aliens and 66,000 sexual assaults committed by illegal aliens the past 7 years.  I have sourced this from the Fed government’s own reports in another article I wrote. 

4.       Tax system – he is advocating 5 tax brackets and simplification of the tax system.  The top bracket would pay more than they do now, which is aligned with left values.  The lowest would not pay any taxes, also aligned with the left, but it would also remove all kinds of give backs which align with fiscal conservative ideals.  He wishes to reduce/abolish the IRS, and also wishes to severely lower the corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world.  This high tax rate is also one of the causes of corporate inversions.  The Bernie Sanders of the world want to tax corporations more, which is not smart for business. 

5.       Defense – if you listen to Trump, there are two main messages.  A) we will strengthen the military, b) we will only use force when necessary and need to force NATO/UN to do more and have those nations pay more in.

6.       VA – one appeal to Trump appears that he wants to hold people accountable.  There have been problems at the VA for years with fraudulent wait time stats.  No one seemed to be fired, but instead re-assigned or suspended.  Trump seems to be someone who would fire the crooks and he also said that anyone who can be treated at a VA should be able to be treated anywhere under Medicare type of coverage. 

7.       Healthcare – in one breath he talks about repealing Obamacare, but if you listen closely, he proposes one of two things: single payer to expand Medicare (which was Hillary Clinton’s idea in 1993 and a Dem-friendly position) or to open the exchanges and not make them state-based so true competition can happen.  Currently, one of the problems is this is a state-based exchange, and it is hard for companies to get into these exchanges.   Also, large insurance companies are looking to get out of this business as they are losing money and government payments are not covering their losses. 

8.       Deal making – even left-leaning pundits are giving credit to Trump for exposing our deals in the pacific and NAFTA failures.  Essentially, for 30+ years, manufacturing jobs have been moving to Mexico, China, and many other countries in southeast Asia.  China has been manipulating their currency for over a decade to drive down their labor costs.  While the left may laugh about Donald Trump ties sold at Macy’s are made in China – he embraces it – and says “people – I can’t make it in the United States because costs are too high.  We need to have them fix their currency so we can be more competitive”.  This tells me a lot.  He also mentioned how Nabisco is moving a huge factory from Chicago to Mexico.  Same with Ford.  Burger King just moved their headquarters to Canada.  Let me explain three concepts….

  • Left fixes for job loss – let’s raise taxes for unemployment, welfare, food stamps, job training.  I like this, to an extent.  It helps people when they are down.  If they are factory workers who can’t transition to office jobs, that’s a problem. 
  • Traditional right “trickle down” fixes – let’s cut taxes for the rich and they will invest in wall street and they will create more jobs.  This is factually wrong.  If they get money back, they squirrel it away off shore or even if Wall Street does invest, these companies are using that capital to build more factories off shore.
  • Trump fixes – China to fix currency, revisit NAFTA, re-visit pacific deals, lower corporate tax rates significantly, tariff as needed to allow us to be more competitive and punish those who manipulate their currency, repatriate offshore money with one-time forgiveness.  It seems to be the logical step of what to do.  Not only keep, but bring back manufacturing.  This keeps unemployment amongst the blue collars low as well as contributes to our tax base rather than tax away.  By repatriating money, there’s a possibility that more gets invested into Wall St.  This is different than any politician’s message over the last 30 years, and on substance, it’s interesting to consider.  With a right-leaning congress, there’s a chance this can work. 

9.       He doesn’t hate women, despite what has been fed to you.  Let me explain something to you about Mitt Romney.  Mitt was a centrist mormon republican who was elected governor in perhaps the most left-leaning state we have (maybe except for California).  Mitt entered the republican contest in 2012, and in order to get out of the primaries, he had to appease to the most right-leaning folks there were.  Problem is, he went all-in to the right.  When it came time for the general election, he couldn’t walk back.  Trump was asked a question, that if abortions were made illegal, should a woman be punished?  He said “yes”.  Why?  Because it appears while he might not be “for” abortions, he’s not hung out in the right wing crazy room where they talk about this shit all the time and have canned responses.  Apparently, the “proper” right leaning response is, “the doctor is punished”.  His answer spoke to me telling me that he really isn’t as pro-life as the right zealots are.  Once I had a child, the concepts of abortion I’m against, but I also couldn’t stomach the concept of outlawing it.   Furthermore with women, his organization is littered with high powered female executives.  His own daughter went to UPenn and is an executive in his company.  If he was truly against women, wouldn’t you think his organization wouldn’t have women at the highest levels and he might have encouraged his daughter to do something else?  I could see him giving raises and promotions based on merit and ability to negotiate with a person, not the gender. 

10.   He’s not racist, despite what the left tries to tell you.  “Illegal immigrant” is not a race.  While many associate it with Mexicans, and the lion’s share of illegal immigrants are Mexican, there are many nationalities, colors, and religions represented by this statement.   I fail to see why enforcing our nation’s laws is somehow deemed as racist.  These people (no matter what your skin color or background) came here illegally, and many are benefitting from our welfare system.  Because of the bloat of 11 million illegals in this country, it’s also stressing our legal systems, prison systems, education systems, etc – and driving up local taxes for tax payers.  I don’t know about you, but I like lower taxes.  Perhaps he goes after 200,000 of these offenders who have done time in jail and have no relatives here.  I don’t think anyone would have problems with this.  People are also hiring illegal immigrants off the books to do jobs Americans would normally do.  Perhaps after a few months of getting the worst of the worst out, it stops, and systems are put in place for registering all illegal aliens to make them documented and pay taxes.  I doubt Trump would deport 11 million illegals, and even his staunchest supporters would admit that won’t happen.  However, with his deal making, he seems to start with the big stick and walk it back. 

11.   He seems to have the most coherent national security strategy.  Yes, taken in sound bites here and there, it can seem disorganized, but taking everything he’s saying and putting it together, it’s actually quite interesting.

  • Force other nations to pay more into the UN or NATO with money and resources.  He feels that the United States is thrust into leading all foreign issues as the world’s police, and other nations should lead. 
  • He talked about why other nations should have nukes.  I don’t think he meant to “give” nukes, but more or less we would manage nukes there.  We’ve been doing that for years with places like Ukraine and Turkey, and one of the reasons Putin got pissed at us.  So, it makes sense for us to have 1,000 or so troops guarding nukes with some south Koreans on the perimeter.  Today, we have 50,000 troops in South Korea because we are still technically at war with them.  Why not have us place nukes in places with a few thousand troops supporting it as a deterrent rather than having 200,000 or so troops deployed everywhere.  To me, it makes financial sense to be able to deter a crazy person in the north with something other than 50,000 troops.
  • Our national debt is a threat to national security.  He says he has a plan to “pay it off in 8 years”.  I wrote a piece where this really isn’t possible, but most other politicians talk about “deficit reduction” and he’s talking about “debt reduction”.   He wants to add more good paying jobs and boost our success domestically.  He wants us to not be in debt to China, which is a big stick China has against us in regards to us wanting them to stop stealing our corporate secrets.  China essentially forces companies to move corporate offices there, and then they put all of their cyber attack resources into stealing their secrets.  Then, they kick out these companies and build it themselves and undercut the prices of the American company.
  • Our lack of border control invites ISIS or Al Queda to cross over and do harm to this country.  I am an advocate of the wall in order to be able to filter who legally comes into this country. 
  • Reign fire and brimstone down upon ISIS.  While the air war is doing nicely, there is something to a shock and awe campaign to not only disrupt their operations, but to demoralize them. 

12.   He’s a successful businessman.  Some of you latch on to the “bankruptcy” thing.  I think there’s a lot of error to that logic.  First, guys at this level tend to exploit laws you and I don’t know much about.  They have a team of lawyers from Harvard who advise them on how to hide money, where to store it, what laws to exploit, etc.  So, bankruptcy as you and I know it isn’t exactly the same at that level.  For example, Trump may have had 45 corporations which were separate endeavors.  If one of them was taking on water, he could have declared bankruptcy with one of those companies after selling off assets to another company at a fraction of the price.   He mentioned this was a tool he’d use to negotiate lower bank rates.  For example, if you bought a house for 15% interest, you’d be buried with interest payments.  Trump wet back to them and asked them for a 7% rate.  They said no.  He said, “if you don’t give me 7%, I’ll walk”.  They didn’t give it to him, and in bankruptcy, he’d then have a 5% rate.  Anyway, the point about the businessman is the same reason I’d support Perot or Bloomberg.  The amount of government waste is ridiculous, and good luck with processes and procedures.  I’d love for someone like Trump to come in, hire 200 Wharton school grads to be assigned to different government divisions to streamline processes and reduce waste. 

13.   He’s like us, sort of.  He is not the poster child for the Cleaver family.  Most politicians come parading out with the wife, the kids, and a bible.  This guy was divorced twice and has five kids from 3 different women.  His family isn’t the “traditional” family.  His kids also seem pretty grounded and talk about their experiences hanging out with daddy on job sites and learning the business from the early age of 14. 

14.   He’s not taking any money.  In today’s political climate, politicians are beholden to corporate sponsorship.  Big oil, energy, retail, etc.  It’s almost as if politicians need to be wearing sponsorship patches like NASCAR drivers.  Trump can say whatever the hell he wants to because he’s not beholden to anyone for money.  All of the other candidates have to watch what they say and do, or risk losing sponsorship dollars.  This is one of the things that attracted me to Perot in the early 90s.  Why would someone with $10 billion running a large company suddenly push it aside to run for president?  It’s not sudden, he’s been thinking about this for 30 years.  He mentioned he’s doing it now because his kids are now in a position where they can run the company he created.  When he decided to run, he called them all into his office and told them he was doing this for his country.  You have to seriously ask yourself, what person at 69 years old who has $10 billion wants to give that up to work at perhaps the most stressful job ever created for $400,000 per year?  Someone said – “he’s a NARCISSIST!” – well, I hate to break it to you, but any politician who got to the level of the presidency has narcissism issues and probably has broken a few kneecaps on the way up. 

15.   He’s a strategist.  Many of you just see what you want to see because he’s labeled as a republican.  He’s evil incarnate.  He’s going to cause nuclear war.  He’s going to make the Supreme Court conservative for the next 50 years.  But everything he’s been doing has been intentional.  He’s absolutely brilliant.  Why?  Well, he decided he’s going to run on his own dime.  The last time I read about how much it costs to run for president, I saw something like $1 billion.  He then had 16 other republicans to run against.  Yes, he had some good platforms I agree with, but he also had an advantage over every other candidate – he had no corporate leash.  While some may cringe at things he said, this was all crafted to constantly own the media cycles.  Every day he’s on CNN for half of the day.  He completely sucked up all of the oxygen on the right.  It was intentional, and say what you will about him, people will be writing about the brilliance of his strategy 100 years from now.  So far, he’s spent around $25 million.  Jeb Bush was knocked out 5 months ago and spent over $125 million.  Trump theoretically could be elected by using $100 million of his own money.   I feel that so many people are wrapped up by some of his “idiocy” they can’t get past it to see it’s crafted communication to own the media. 

16.   He wants to change our pharm dependency.  He asks, why would I pay $100 for a pill in this country where that same pill costs $4 in Canada?  These items are driving up costs of healthcare.  Why can’t we use Canadian drugs?  Cuba has a vaccine for cancer.  Just now with the embargo released, we’re able to study this and send through FDA trials.  Point is, why aren’t we sourcing from other countries who can provide lower cost drugs? 

17.   I’m not alone.  I am one of the 50,000 registered Democrats who switched to Republican in Pennsylvania this cycle to vote for Trump.  He has a centrist appeal. 

18.   He seems to be a friend to the left on some issues.  Recently, he came out against the NC bathroom laws and said “it’s bad for business”.  I would imagine being in show business and living in NYC that he has a tremendous amount of gay friends.  Having been divorced a few times, I don’t see him as being a religious zealot. 

19.   He has never touched a sip of alcohol or smoked a cigarette.  Apparently, he had an older brother that died as a result of alcoholism.  He doesn’t talk about it much, but I heard him say he never drinks.  I thought I also heard him say he’s never touched a drop of alcohol.  He’s also preached this to his kids.  I feel like he’s got his head on straight and works 80-90 hours per week. 

20.   He can grab some of Sander’s voters.  Sander’s voters want jobs for $15 per hour and love Sander’s frank tone.   Many of them hate Hillary.  Interestingly enough, Trump is promising a lot of these jobs to come back without changing the minimum wage and appears to be a friend to the left socially. 

21.   He can negotiate.  Whether you love him or hate him, he brings a promise of getting better deals with countries than we have been getting.

22.   He’s not Ted Cruz.  Ted Cruz is hated by pretty much everyone in congress.  Rick Perry, the governor for Texas, where Cruz is from, is supporting Trump.  Ron Paul calls Ted Cruz a theocrat and dangerous. 

23.   He understands money and finance.  Again, whether you love him or hate him, most people who get elected into office are lawyers.  They aren’t high end financiers.  He has a promise of bringing in some of his fellow financiers to completely help us with trade deals and structures of debt. 

24.   His “persona” is just whacky enough to keep Putin in check.  It is beyond clear that Putin has called Obama’s hand and Obama folded.  It started with the red line in Syria.  Then annexing a portion of Ukraine – and Russia was punished with sanctions against 8 Russian oligarchs.  Now, the Russian military has been provoking us at borders and buzzing our ships.  We took no leadership on Syria, and Russia filled a vacuum. 

25.   He is winning over people.  Over the course of the last 2 months, more and more people are coming around to him.  It’s not because they are attracted to his raucous style doing stump speeches, it’s because they’ve met him one on one behind closed doors and he has won them over. 

26.   He wants to “make America great again”.  While this is a Reagan slogan, it’s quite effective.  Hillary seems to think our country is just fine as it is.  Well, I’d disagree – $19 trillion in debt, inner cities are destroyed and overrun with gangs with broken youth and illegal immigrants (I lived in one, mind you), and jobs continuing to move overseas while China cyber attacks us daily to steal our trade secrets.  Look up Operation Shady RAT from several years ago.  The VA is a mess.  Reports that our troops out in the field don’t have the right armor.  It just doesn’t “feel” right today.  As mentioned below, we have low unemployment, but ridiculously high food stamp usage.  It makes it feel like millions of Americans are being forced to work at Target and Walmart 27 hours a week, not allowed to get healthcare through them, and are severely under-employed.  I seriously feel like he means what he says and will do everything he can to make this happen. 

27.   It’s “fresh”.  He doesn’t use a teleprompter or have these crafted speeches.  Where every single word and phrase Clinton uses is carefully crafted and sent to focus groups for feedback, Trump goes out there and calls out things he sees as wrongs.  It feels authentic.  It feels genuine.  Most politicians do not feel like this anymore, and it’s a breath of fresh air to have someone out there just speaking his mind, even if you don’t agree with everything.

28.   He will hold people accountable.  I can see him firing half of the senior leadership at the VA.  Today, we see people shuffled around.  I can seriously see him calling people out.

29.   He will get shit done.  Obama made a mistake with the shut down in 2011 or so.  Tactically, he was brilliant in shaming the republicans into caving in.  However, it was short sighted.  The republicans weren’t great friends to him before, and after he embarrassed them nationally, they essentially said that nothing that he ever wants to do will pass again.  With  Trump, I could see him calling a Tuesday night press conference and calling out politicians by name and telling you to call them to get them to pass a bill. 

30.   He’s flexible and not a career politician.  On the right, there have been these mummy-like figures rolled out who apparently have the same principles at 65 that they did at 20.  Most people in life have life events that can change their politics on issues.  Kerry lost in 2004 for two reasons – he was “swift boated” and he “flip flopped”.  If Kerry was able to fight back using the means of Trump, he would have been president.  Here’s a decorated Vietnam veteran getting attacked by a super PAC who was supporting someone who barely showed up for the air national guard.  The point is, he’s been a friend to both Dem and Republican for the last 40 years and gets shit done.  He’s more fiscally conservative and appears to be socially moderate.  How many socially moderate Republican candidates have you seen in the last 30 years?  Here’s your chance.   

 

I voted for Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008 and 2012.  If Biden would be running, I might have been tempted to stick with the dems.  I have issues with the dem candidates this cycle.

1)      Hillary – in years’ past, I would have supported her.  However, you can easily find Hillary videos where she completely changes her position based on the crowd she is speaking to.  While many on the left don’t give much credence to Benghazi or her email issues, I am someone on the left who challenges this “no issue” issue.  Having worked in cybersecurity for quite some time, the email issue is seriously disturbing.  Reports were this email server was located in a closet in a contractor’s bathroom.  At one point she was one of the most competent legal minds in America.  First, she was on the legal team that impeached Nixon, and later, she was married to a president who was impeached.  Interesting factoid.  I found her at times to be a brilliant communicator, but her message is what I’m having some issues with.  Overall, there’s been one too many scandals towards the Clintons to the point where it’s just time to move on.  Even if legally they can wrangle their way out of things, there’s enough smoke to feel that the ethics are compromised too much.

2)      Bernie – as I’ve mentioned before, he’s someone I can listen to for hours, even if I don’t agree with much of what he says.  He is calling for higher taxes.  He wants “free college” (note, this is called the G.I. Bill).  He wants $15 per hour minimum wage.  He wants socialism.  Socialism isn’t inherently bad.  There’s some good with it, and some bad.  He wants to break apart big banks.  The problem is, his positions don’t pass economics 101.  I’ve taken 4 graduate level economics classes, and Bernie is a champion of the poor, but doesn’t have the right solutions to fix problems.  I would posit that Trump’s position of bringing factory work back to this country would introduce a lot more jobs that pay $15-$40 per hour.  Additionally, his $15 per hour minimum wage, using economics models, guarantees higher unemployment as businesses lay off people.  Those who are the ones who need the jobs the most will then be placed on welfare and food stamps.  Essentially, price floors meant to help the floor will actually hurt them in the long term.  Ask any person who has ever taken an economics class, let alone any economist.

The inherent flaws with the dems this year are they are reaching for more tax money without fixing existing problems.  They want to tax rich more without thoughts they might move.  They want to tax corporations more without thoughts of corporate inversion.  They want to artificially raise minimum wage jobs without plans to actually bring back jobs that should pay what they want to give a McDonald’s worker.  They want to blanket healthcare but not address rising healthcare costs, namely high malpractice insurance and costs of drugs.  I read how we are at all time highs of food stamp usage in this country, yet our president is boasting 5% unemployment.  Many people don’t know how this number is calculated.  I was once unemployed for 15 months between jobs.  When you are filing for unemployment, you are considered unemployed.  After my unemployment ran out after 12 months, I was considered to have “voluntarily” left the work force, yet I was very much unemployed.  Also, you have able bodied workers who may have a bachelor’s degree in English who are working at Walmart for 26 hours per week.  You may have a displaced factory foreman who made $60k and had benefits who now has to work delivering pizzas  for $10 per hour and no benefits.  These people are “employed”, but they are underemployed.  Folks…when you have low unemployment recorded coupled with the highest foodstamp usage ever, it’s telling me there’s a ton of under-employed persons in this country.  The solution is not to get them $15 at McDonald’s, but get them work they can be productive with that they were trained to do. 

Additionally, I have not heard anything from the dem side which will fix our inner cities.  Take Detroit, for example.  Low property values, high crime, people leaving in droves.  The manufacturing jobs have left to go to Mexico.  Why not have someone resolve this trade difference which may encourage plants to remain or come back to Detroit?  You can’t tax your way out of that problem, these people need jobs.  When more jobs are available, crime will go down.  I feel Trump is the only person who has mentioned bringing jobs back.

While the truth is much of our country is going to a service model, there is still a LOT of production that can be done here.  Maybe back in the day you would have 5,000 workers at an auto plant.  Perhaps today, using robotics, you have 250 programmers/robotics technicians and 1,000 workers.  Yes – we have less manufacturing jobs than before, but we could keep them HERE rather than sending these 5,000 jobs to Mexico. 

 

 

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