Donald Trump

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

When potential Presidential candidate Donald Trump was asked by George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s “Good Morning America”, what he would do, as President, about soaring gasoline prices, he replied:

Look at what’s going on with your gasoline prices. They’re going to go to $5, $6, $7 and we don’t have anybody in Washington that calls OPEC and says, “Fellas, it’s time. It’s over. You’re not going to do it anymore.” I don’t know if you saw yesterday, Saudi Arabia came out and said very strongly there’s plenty of oil. “We’re going to cut back. ” You know what cutting back means? They’re going to drive up the price even further.

Stephanopoulos: So, what would you do to back up that threat?

Trump: Oh, it’s so easy, George. It’s so easy. It’s all about the messenger. They would even be there if it wasn’t for us. If it weren’t for us, they wouldn’t be there. These 12 guys sit around a table and they say, “Let’s just s***w the United States. ” And frankly, the rest of the world.

Stephanopoulos: And so finish this sentence: “If you don’t produce more oil…”

Trump: Look. I’m going to look ‘em in the eye and say, “Fellas, you’ve had your fun. Your fun is over. ”

Stephanopoulos: So, you would threaten to take away that [security] protection?

Trump: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Let’s…let me tell you something. Oil prices might go down. Because there’s plenty of oil, all over the world. Ships at sea. They don’t know where to dump it. I saw a report yesterday. There’s so much oil, all over the world, they don’t even know where to dump it. And Saudi Arabia says, “Oh, there’s too much oil. ” They—they came back yesterday. Did you see the report? They want to reduce oil production. Do you think they’re our friends? They’re not our friends.

Then Stephanopoulos asked what Trump would do about the Iraq oil fields. Trump responded:

George, let me explain something to you. We go into . We have spent thus far, $1.5 trillion. We could have rebuilt half of the United States. $1.5 trillion. And we’re going to then leave? So, in the old days, you know, when you had a war, to the victor belong the spoils. You go in. You win the war and you take it….

Stephanopoulos: So, we steal an oil field?

Trump: Excuse me. You’re not stealing. Excuse me. You’re not stealing anything. You’re taking—we’re reimbursing ourselves—at least, at a minimum, and I say more. We’re taking back $1.5 trillion to reimburse ourselves.

Even the most casual observer can see what The Donald would do to what remains of American foreign policy: “What’s our oil doing under your sand? It’s ours. We’re coming to take it. ” In a special letter to his subscribers, Doug Casey exclaimed: “Someone needs to debunk him—he’s dangerous!”

He thinks he’s a capitalist because he’s been a winner in the marketplace. But cutting deals with his and political buddies to make money in real estate, and using borrowed money while the property bubble was still inflating, is not like building a whole new business as Steven Jobs has done. And it doesn’t make him knowledgeable about economics. He believes in tariffs and quotas and all sorts of government interventions…

If The Donald somehow became president, he would make the U.S. even more controlled, with an even stronger, more intrusive government. He’d be a disaster in every way possible….

He says he’s got no great interest in Iraq, except that we should [get] their oil—this would repay us for freeing them from their tyrant….

Anyway, the idiocy—and ethical paucity of Trump’s view that we should take other peoples’ resources—is staggering. It’s essentially the theft of resources, just because you want them, and you can.

Trump has an opinion on other issues as well. In his book The America We Deserve, published in 2000, he favored national health insurance: “We must have universal . I’m a on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by expenses. ” And when he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in February, he told the audience “I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it, replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country.” (emphasis added)

He’s also pro-life. According to David Brody, Trump has changed his views from pro-choice to pro-life. In an interview with Trump, he said: “I changed my mind a number of years ago. One of the reasons I changed—one of the primary reasons—a friend’s wife was pregnant…and he didn’t really want the baby.”

He was crying as he was telling me this story. He ends up having the baby, and the baby is the apple of his eye. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. And here’s a baby that wasn’t going to be let into life. And I heard this…and I [became] pro-life.

He’s also pro-Republican and pro-. Since 1990, Trump has made financial contributions to 96 candidates—exactly half of them were Republicans, and the other half Democrats. The man seems to have no shame. In the most recent election cycle, he sent $13,600 to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and $12,000 to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ..). He contributed $4,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY..). In the past, Trump has contributed to the campaigns of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Tom Daschle, and then-Sen. Joe Biden. Of the $420,000 Trump has donated to campaign committees, “the largest recipient has been the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with $116,000—or more than one fourth of his total contributions to all party and political action committees,” according to OpenSecrets.org.

The biggest thing Trump has going for him is his ego. In a recent interview with Sean Hannity, he explained why his recent poll numbers were so high:

Well, I think I’m known as a really good businessman—and I am. And by the way, if I run, I will have to disclose my…finances, and my finances are phenomenal—much better than anyone knows.

You know, they know I’m rich—I’ve done a great job—I’ve made a lot of great decisions. And that will be disclosed if and when I decide to run. And I actually look forward to that—it will be I think a very positive thing….

Look, I think I’m a great negotiator. I think I’ll do a better job than anybody because I’m really a great negotiator—I know how to negotiate. I know how people are ripping us off—I know why they’re ripping us off, and I know how to solve the problem.

The obvious lack of conservative bona-fides doesn’t seem to bother many people. A Tea Party supporter, Doug Giles, wrote ecstatically:

I think the Trump Rebellion is dee-licious. It’s injecting attitude and information, not via some tepid politico but by via a mogul who has had enough of Barack’s bunkum, who gets the socialistic game Hussein is foisting on us, and who hates countries who hate and use us. Trump is probably the only one with the money (or could get the sufficient cash) to go up against this Soros-funded reelection hell machine.

Giles is far from alone. Everett Wilkinson of the South Florida Tea Party was delighted to have Trump speak at their recent Tax Day Rally: “Our members are ecstatic. They feel that understands what’s going on with their country and is standing up and actually doing something about it,” he said.

Another member of that committee, Danita Kilcullen added: “I think it’s a great idea that Trump’s speaking to the Tea Party. At least he’s bold, and he speaks out, and he’s willing to speak his peace, and he’s willing to take a beating for what he says from the other side. He’s got guts. ” continue to show growing support for Trump. The Democrat-oriented showed Trump with a favorable/unfavorable rating of 31/53 in the middle of February. A mere six weeks later, their new poll showed him with a 40/33 rating—an astonishing net approval gain of 29 points.

Doug Casey is frightened of Trump. In his newsletter, Casey explained:

I think [Trump] does have a high IQ, but I think he’s…how shall I put this? I think he’s mildly deranged. He’s actually, clinically speaking, a megalomaniac. His arrogance is just overwhelming. This is an extremely dangerous person to have running a country with a large military. It’d be “my way or the highway.” He’s the kind of person who’d be willing to start a war almost anywhere, with almost anyone, if he thought it would be to his advantage.

He has no principles that would restrain him, no guiding philosophical principles at all. He’s totally unscrupulous. He’d wind up doing whatever seemed like a good idea at the time, as long as it was his idea, because he thinks he’s always right. He’s a complete pragmatist, but not even a very thoughtful one….

It’s as I’ve always said about the Roman emperors: People thought it couldn’t get any worse after Tiberius, but then they got Claudius, then Caligula. They really thought it couldn’t get any worse than that—and then they got Nero.

Donald Trump has caught the imagination of an increasing number of the electorate. Let’s hope that in their zeal to run anybody who can oust that they don’t wind up replacing him with someone equally bad, or even worse.

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