• Is Donald Trump America’s savior or a plutocratic shill?
By Christopher Petherick —
Is billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald John Trump a man of the people worth endorsing, or is he playing a part in a carefully crafted script that seeks to keep the tens of thousands of angry grassroots Republicans, who are fed up with the way Washington has been doing business, from bolting the Grand Old Party?
Since the Republican presidential primary season kicked off earlier this year, Trump has dominated the race. In poll after poll, no other Republican contender comes close to Trump. Even former Florida Governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, who most people suspected was going to be crowned the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, trails Trump by a sizable margin in New Hampshire and Iowa. A survey of registered Republicans in New Hampshire taken on August 25 shows Trump in the lead at 35% in that state’s upcoming primary. His closest competition is Ohio Governor John Richard Kasich, who is polling at a paltry 11%.
To be fair, Trump’s popularity comes not just from being a sort of anti-politician in a sea of manicured, coiffed and finely polished professionals. In every speech and interview he gives, Trump affirms his independence from Washington, casting himself as a confident and successful business executive—an embodiment of the American dream—who’s not afraid to speak his mind about the terrible troubles facing this country and draw the wrath of well-funded lobbying groups.
When it comes to the planks in his platform, much like the other candidates in the Republican primary, Trump argues that the federal government is too big. He wants to kill Obamacare, is pro-life and is opposed to homosexual marriage. And when it comes to the country’s energy needs, he contends that the United States should drill for oil in the U.S. and get off of foreign crude. He’s also tough on crime and supports the death penalty.
But where he differs is a key distinction that has set him apart from the free-trading fanatics who currently dominate U.S. trade policy and has drawn the attention of the editors and reporters at this newspaper.
In several speeches over the course of the past few months, Trump has stated that the U.S. needs to “renegotiate” free trade. When he officially announced his candidacy on June 16, he said the world views American trade officials as “saps,” who give up the store to foreign countries.
Trump says if he is elected president he will immediately enact a 20% tariff on all U.S. imports at the water’s edge to protect struggling American industries.
He would ban so-called soft money—the billions of dollars in campaign funds that are handed out to politicians every year but need not be disclosed to the American people.
But where Trump has really been drawing support from Republican faithfuls has been his outspoken stance on immigration—views that have earned him the ire of liberal journalists and special interest groups around the world.
Right from the beginning Trump came out swinging on illegal immigration. In his official announcement speech, he argued for building a 2,000-mile-long, triple-layered wall on the U.S.’s southern border, and then he said he wants to send the bill for its construction to Mexico. All illegal immigrants should be peacefully rounded up and deported, he added. Finally, he said, overall immigration to the U.S. should be limited until joblessness and poverty are addressed in this country.
We’ll be watching Trump very closely in the months ahead as he continues to lay out his plan for the nation before the country’s first primary in New Hampshire on February 9, 2016. Until then, the question remains, does Trump deserve AMERICAN FREE PRESS’s endorsement? Let us hear from you on this topic.
Christopher J. Petherick is AMERICAN FREE PRESS’s executive editor.