The Popular (For Now) Progressive Populism of Donald Trump

A couple of days ago Donald Trump appeared on Mark Levin’s radio program. Frankly I was surprised Trump agreed, considering in 2011 Mediaite reported that “Levin was on fire as he provided a series of arguments to discredit nearly every perceived benefit of a Trump candidacy. Suggesting Trump’s proposal for a tariff on goods from China is as horrible of an idea as many of Trump’s other past positions, Levin said even if ‘all your supporters are going to give you a pass on every damn thing you’ve ever said or done’ Levin will not be along for the ride. And in his final parting shot, since Trump repeatedly argues his success as a businessman would make him a great President, Levin humorously concludes, ‘if I follow your logic, Bill Gates ought to be President of the United States because he’s worth ten times what you are, and yet when it comes to economics and government he’s an airhead just like you.’”

But Mark Levin was more than kind and allowed Trump to speak his mind, even paying him a compliment saying that he got a call from his father who said, “I like this guy. He says what he needs to say. He’s standing up for America.”

Mark Levin was discussing with Trump why his message appears to be resonating. Levin said, “number one, you’re not a Washington guy. Number two, you’re a successful businessman. And number three, you’re talking up America.” Trump responded by saying that it’s because people are sick and tired of our stupid representatives. “They’re giving away our jobs, they’re giving away our money, they’re giving away our manufacturing, they’re giving away everything — we get nothing.”

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And then Trump uttered his all-too-familiar refrain that China and Mexico are kicking our butts. He cited the case of a Ford plant being built in Mexico for $2.5 billion, to make trucks and cars and parts and ship them right back to the United States. “We get nothing,” he says. “We get no jobs, we get no tax. We get nothing.”

Read more: Donald Trump Want’s Americans to Pay a 35% Tax on New Cars.”

Yet within his populist nonsense, he merely states that the reason these other countries are kicking our butts and taking our jobs is because of bad or weak trade deals negotiated by the United States. Trump said he loves free trade but you “have to have smart people representing you.”

Yes, as if a trade agreement would’ve prevented Ford from building a huge plant in Mexico. As if NAFTA drove Ford into the loving arms of our neighbors to the south. Wrongo! That’s not why.

The reason companies leave the United States isn’t just for the cheaper labor. It’s because they are literally being taxed and regulated to death. Why would a company who has the means to get out of Dodge, choose to stick around only for the privilege of being abused by local, state and federal politicians, not to mention the hundreds of regulatory agencies camped out on their doorstep, are waiting to pounce. And did I forget to mention the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the known and unknown universe.

Who needs that crap? I’ll move my manufacturing to a country that actually appreciates me and will, for the most part, leave me alone. This way I can manufacture my products in relative peace and keep my competitive edge. By relative peace, I mean not having to deal with OSHA, the FDA, the EPA, the NLRB, labor unions, and scores of other regulatory agencies. These are the things that drive businesses out of the United States. Not bad trade deals.

Levin did have a great point I mentioned earlier regarding Trump’s immediate popularity — that he talks up America, unabashedly so. People love to hear that. After almost 7 years of the Obama administration telling us how bad we are, how sinful we’ve been, people crave some optimism. And Trump, the consummate salesman is right there, ready to step in and fill that populist void.

What he says sounds great. It really does, and Americans want and need to hear a candidate who loves America and will put our country first.

But then he says something ridiculous like I’m going to build a giant wall across the southern border, and then make Mexico pay for it. The knee-jerk reaction is to wildly cheer, and because Trump is tough, Mexico will simply roll over. I think not.

They will no more pay for a wall than voluntarily take back all the illegals. But the sanity of his plan is of no consequence, because he said it with the style of a firebrand preacher.

I agree with Glenn Beck regarding Trump. He’s a progressive like Christie, or Newt.

And with our economy already in the tank, teetering on the edge of disaster, we sure don’t need a Smoot-Hawley progressive pushing us over the edge.

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