Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Terminator and the Rats

Counting the Cost

Donald (The Terminator) Trump is shaping up to lose handsomely to Hillary Clinton, arguably the most mendacious carpetbagger yet to stand for the US Presidency.  Faced with falling poll numbers, the Terminator has seen the need to bloviate more volcanically than usual (which is saying something).  This from the Wall Street Journal:
Donald Trump offered a starkly protectionist view on trade policy, pledging for the first time on Tuesday to scrap the current North American Free Trade Agreement while saying he would label China a currency manipulator and kill America’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers,” said Mr. Trump, adding that if they don’t agree to favorable terms, “America intends to withdraw from the deal.” [Hat Tip: Kiwiblog]
This latest eructation shows all the signs of a showman looking for ratings.  Once upon a time during the primary season, if the Terminator had come out with such a declaration, the media would have fawned, celebrated, and danced nativist jigs.  It was good for their ratings--and that's all that mattered.

Now, not so much.
 Virtually the entire US economy has benefited from NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) which allows the economies of the US, Mexico and Canada to trade freely.  US businesses have now made this particular trade environment the essence of their commercial life.  And not just US businesses.  Even companies as far removed as New Zealand have set up manufacturing plants making upmarket white wear in Mexico and shipped their products to the US, winning the endorsement and approval of US customers. The US economy would undoubtedly tank into a deep recession, if not depression if the Terminator tore up NAFTA.  The effects would be felt globally.

Chill winds of reality are now blowing through the undergarments of the American polity.  US voters and businesses are starting actually to calculate the real life version of the Terminator in the White House, not the Hollywood reality show version.  And it seems the voters are undergoing an uncomfortable reality check.  And that reality check is leading them to swallow some, putrescent dead rats and declare their vote for Ms Mendacity.

In our humble opinion, the only way ahead for the Republican Party, if it is to survive and remain credible in any future sense, is to dump Trump and nominate a relative outsider (Governor Scott Walker would do the job nicely) so that the Party can lose the election with dignity and leave a skerrick of credibility left intact, and regroup for 2020 and beyond.  Not likely, however.

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