In our previous post, we mentioned that a small number of scholars (about 150 intellectuals at last count) have openly declared their support for Donald Trump. According to their public statement, the 150 are voting for Trump for the following reasons: (1) K-12 education, (2) religion, (3) economics, (4) corruption, and (5) the Supreme Court. Below the fold is our reasoned reply to their five arguments:
The 150 tout “Trump’s support for a voucher system for charter and parochial schools.” While we too support education vouchers and would like to see voucher programs expanded to cover all poor families, we must respectfully point out to Trump’s supporters that there is very little the Commander-in-Chief can do regarding school vouchers because K-12 education policy is not (and should not) be set at the federal level in Washington, D.C. Instead, K-12 education is a matter mostly under State and local control.
The 150 write that “Donald Trump has pledged to defend our religious institutions.” With all due respect, however, what does such a “pledge” mean? Coming from a fraudster and con man like Mr Trump, i.e. a man who has cheated people out of their money (Trump University) and who repeatedly has refused to live up to his agreements in his business dealings, his solemn pledge to defend religion is entirely worthless.
The 150 conclude that Secretary Clinton’s economic policies will produce “job-killing regulations and economic malaise.” This statement is simply nonsense. The benefits of any proposed regulations must always be weighed against the costs. More fundamentally, we strongly reject Donald Trump’s zero sum or “us versus them” economic world view. As bad as Mrs. Clinton’s economic policies might be, Trump’s opposition to free trade and his repeated threats to increase tariffs on our trading partners would make everyone economically worse off.
The 150 rightly criticize crony capitalism, but once again, with all due respect, isn’t Mr. Trump the biggest and most corrupt crony capitalist our country has ever seen, a man who has refused to release his own tax returns and who most likely has failed to pay any federal taxes in over two decades?
The Supreme Court
This argument comes down to who will get to replace the late Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. Before his death, the Court was equally divided, with four conservatives, four liberals, and one wild card. Thus, Scalia’s replacement will determine the ideological and political composition of the Court for years to come. We will give the 150 this one.
I know that P.P. is not a poltical forum, but I feel I must make a couple of statements.
With respect to K-12 Education — here in North Carolina, school systems and teachers are being squeezed in order to give corporations tax breaks and lower the top bracket of income tax for the well-to-do. Meanwhile, teachers are leaving the state because they can’t make a living here. It may be true that the Federal Government cannot do anything directly about this — but one Party advocates for education, and the other Party is both blinded by their dislike of teachers’ unions and dazzled by the glint of corporate donations. We all know which party is which.
With respect to Scalia’s replacement… we will see (if the Republicans maintain Senate control) whether a Democratic president will ever be able to successfully nominate a replacement. The Republicans here (Senator Burr of North Carolina) are already signaling obstruction. We are in new and (I hate this word) troubled times my friend.
P.S. It is interesting and ironic that Obama came to the office on a wave of hope, re: a supposed ebb of racism. Eight years later, a woman is now poised to become President, and the opposition to HER is even more entrenched and poisoned. It is like Zika, the hateful viruses that survive seem to become stronger even as their numbers dwindle.
Delete this comment if you must, I know you have considerations. — C
True, I try to avoid politics (and religion) as much as possible since both domains are just a matter of personal preference (like art), but given the upcoming election, I just could not help myself. By the way, both major candidates are just horrible, so it’s tough …