Bad Spectator article saying Brexit is better than Trump
December 2, 2016 3 Comments
The Spectator published a bad editorial called Why Trump’s victory isn’t like Brexit. The article claims that:
[Brexit] was an argument about encouraging more trade, lowering tariffs, restoring sovereignty, reducing net immigration — all ideas which voters proved very capable of understanding.
The author continues:
Donald Trump has no similar agenda. He offers emotion, but not much beyond that. He dislikes trade, and global capitalism in general. His immigration policy has amounted to a bizarre threat to ban Muslims from entering the country and build a wall between the United States and Mexico. At any other time, these policies would have disqualified him from the office — but this year Americans were not looking for solutions. Trumpism was about stopping Hillary Clinton from becoming president and sticking two fingers up to the machine. And beyond that, it is not about very much.
Trump has a website full of policies. The Spectator doesn’t mention these let alone criticise them. This is very bad journalism and very bad writing. Trump’s presidential campaign website is on the first page of Google hits when you search “Donald Trump”. If you read the website then you find he has substantive policies on a lot of issues.
The immigration part of Trump’s platform includes stuff like deporting criminal illegal aliens, detaining anybody caught entering illegally until they can be deported, reforming legal immigration to serve American interests and lots of other stuff including building a wall on the Mexican border. The website also lists problems that these changes are supposed to address.
The healthcare part of his platform is also substantive. He wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with health savings accounts. He wants to allow competition between insurers across state lines. Again, the site lists problems that these changes will address.
The trade part of Trump’s platform is also substantive. It lists policies and the problems that Trump thinks they will solve. A direct quote:
Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets – including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
This looks like a policy he has thought about. There are lots of people who object to trade and lots of economists who can’t answer their objections. For an example see Vox Day’s discussion with such an economist. Whether Vox Day is right or wrong in the light of a performance like this by an economist it is not surprising that a lot of people don’t agree with free trade.
To the extent that Trump is wrong, the Spectator’s editorial won’t convince anybody to reject his bad policies because it doesn’t explain any substantive points of disagreement. The article doesn’t even refer to another article or a book with arguments against Trump’s policies. Whoever wrote this article needs to learn how to argue.