Tag Archives: Donald Trump

On Tariffs

Globalism and free trade have been US policy since the Reagan administration… Donald Trump attempts to turn back the clock on trade policies- his critics are quick to attack any position he takes.  America has a long tradition of protective trade policies, but Trump’s critics are unwilling to acknowledge the historical context.

Listen to this rap

Before rapping about his life on Broadway… Alexander Hamilton was one of the earliest advocates for protectionist trade policies.  Hamilton considered tariffs an essential part of government investment in economic growth.  He did not want the United States to remain a tiny agricultural nation beholden to the European grain markets.  Protecting our young industry was an important first step.  Hamilton argued:

“Taxes are never welcome to a community, [but] an increase of duties shall tend to second and aid this spirit [of manufacturing], they will serve to promote essentially the industry, the wealth, the strength, the independence, and the substantial prosperity of the country.”  1791

Strangest bedfellows

Alexander Hamilton and Donald Trump sharing tariff policies?….  I’m not sure the crowds at Hamilton!  the musical will approve this political alliance.

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A Public University- Jefferson’s Dream

The gall of Black Lives Matter to demand Jefferson’s likeness be removed from the University of Virginia… our first truly public university.

Go to community college, kiddies…

Irony so palpable it is nearly farcical…. students of all ethnicities and backgrounds on a campus literally built for them by Jefferson.

Jefferson believed in education for all of society:

“I feel … an ardent desire to see knowledge so disseminated through the mass of mankind that it may, at length, reach even the extremes of society: beggars and kings.”  1808

“This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind.”

The University of Virginia was his experiment and his dream of an educated citizenry…
“We wish to establish in the upper country of Virginia, and more centrally for the State, a University on a plan so broad and liberal and modern, as to be worth patronizing with the public support, and be a temptation to the youth of other States to come and drink of the cup of knowledge and fraternize with us.” 1800
To the confused children leading the preposterous protests in Charlottesville-   Jefferson is not your enemy- your successes and privileges can be attributed to his vision and guidance.

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Fake News and Propaganda

Only those who approve

President Trump continues to attack unflattering coverage of his floundering administration… as fake news.  His response was to launch the blatantly biased Facebook propaganda channel called Trump News AgencyGone is the Fox News pretense of objectivity- this is the President feeding heavily edited stories to willing minions.  The days of Walter Cronkite and the Huntley-Brinkley report are ancient history.

Thomas Jefferson cautioned George Washington about the importance of a free press…. his words should serve as warning to citizens today…


“No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defense. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth whether in religion, law or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know nor notice its sycophants or censors, as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter.”

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Defining Misdemeanors

Madison and Hamilton allowed the grounds for impeachment of the President… open to necessary judgments and deliberations in the House of Representatives.  Madison’s original draft suggested only the term “maladministration” of the duties of the office.  Later amended to “misdemeanors” it is clear that the Framers were not only discussing indictable crimes- public men of this order would be above petty larceny and the like-  abuse of the office and the neglect of official duty is what concerned them.

You doubt our words?

Hamilton explained the difference in Federalist #65:

“Those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

Impeachment applies to political abuses of the office… not necessarily criminal acts.  Delegates at the ratifying conventions were concerned about the President interfering in the legislative or judicial processes.  Madison responded to the concerns by equating such Constitutional misconduct with criminality:

“Were the President to commit any thing so atrocious… he would be impeached and convicted, as a majority of the states would be affected by his misdemeanor.”

Failing to discharge the duties of his office

The President cannot abuse or misuse the powers of his office… without risking impeachment.  The term “misdemeanor” as applied by the Framers establishes a standard extending far beyond simple criminal acts.  Public men should be held to a greater standard.



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It was Never the Tariff

Historians, politicians, and neo-secessionists who argue that the Civil War… was caused by the Federal government’s manipulation of tariffs are at best terribly deluded, at worst, they are scurrilous ideologues with a shameful political agenda.

A brief history lesson for Tom DiLorenzo, Governor Greg Abbott, President Donald Trump, the Freedom Caucus, Ron and Rand Paul,  and any other woefully misguided students of history:

  • Article 1, Section 8  of the Federal Constitution- The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States………   Really, this should explain it, but secessionists were never concerned with Constitutional restraint.
  • The first tariff in our history was signed into law by George Washington on July 4, 1789.
  • The Walker Tariff of 1845 slashed duties in place since the Whig’s controlled Congress- A southern coalition pushed for the reduction
  • Tariffs were reduced again in 1852 and 1857.  The 1857 tariff was only 18%- the lowest since the 18th century.
  • The Morrill Tariff of 1861 was not passed until Southerners had already resigned from Congress.  During the secession crisis, Southern Senators had blocked the increase.  When in place, it raised the duty from 18-36%.

The Civil War was caused by slavery-  not tariffs. 

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Brief History Lesson for Our Leader

Donald Trump continues to display a disturbing ignorance of American history…  A recent interview with a friendly reporter on Sirius Radio gave President Trump the opportunity to question the necessity of the Civil War.

Confederates in the attic

“People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

Look how far we’ve fallen

Slavery, Mr. President–  The Rebellious states started the war, Lincoln finished it…. It would be no surprise if Trump’s understanding of Civil War history came from an academic huckster like Tom DiLorenzo.   Clearly, Trump is pandering to his ultra-right wing, states rights base.

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Unintended Consequences pt. 2

The real possibility of Donald Trump winning the nomination… of a major political party has shaken American politics to its core.  Many in the media are quick to accuse the Right Wing for propagating the current political climate allowing Trump to thrive.  However, an honest historical assessment, reveals an opportunistic candidate taking advantage of a nomination process championed by Progressives.  Instituting primaries- citizen selection of party nominees- was an essential piece of Progressive political reform in the early 20th century.  Allowing the people to choose their nominees, what could go wrong?

Will of the People?

Will of the People?

Primary voters barely constitute 12% of the electorate… and inevitably represent the most radical elements of each party.  Candidates are forced to pander to a tiny minority of people to win this unnecessary popularity contest.  Radical positions which were requisites during the primary are quickly cast aside in the General election.  Are the nominees really representative of the American electorate?

Business leader, political novice

Business leader, political novice

Trump’s critics call him a radical and a demagogue…  but the primary election process is making his nomination likely.  The American left resents his rise, but their forefathers made it possible.



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