"Populism" is brain-dead, over-emotive nonsense, protectionism is big-government, statist, anti-capitalist foolishness, and trade wars always hurt the aggressor more than they do the target. Always. You want to know a synonym for trade war? Economic depression. Look up "Smoot-Hawley" the next time you have a spare moment. In fact, consider it a homework assignment.
Welcome to three more of the many things wrong with Donald Trump.
1) Four years ago, when he merely flirted with the idea of running for president, The Donald floated the ridiculous idea of slapping a 25% tariff (i.e. a tax on American consumers) on ChiComm-manufactured goods:
Gotta love that presidential decorum, dontcha? It used to be that even the saltiest of presidential rhetoric was reserved for private conversations away from the cameras and microphones and "off the record." But that's way too "phony" and "inauthentic" and "politically correct" for Mr. "Ultimate Alpha-Male". Care to lay odds on how many F-bombs he'd throw into his first State of the Union show? A more literal term than anybody would ever have imagined, BTW.
Anyway. The best, most succinct way I can think of to describe this idea is: stark-f'ing insane. Why? Because I'm "afraid" to "get tough" on the ChiComms? That's the eternal "alpha male"/"populist" retort, all penis-measurement and no brains. The actual reason is eminently practical: it wouldn't work. To the contrary, it would backfire. Spectacularly. Why? Because in addition to tariffs punishing U.S. consumers, not Beijing, the ChiComms would retaliate against U.S. manufacturers with massive tariffs of their own, further depressing our own economy and destroying American manufacturing jobs. Bear in mind also that our economy is much more vulnerable than theirs is because, being a communist dictatorship, they don't HAVE a real economy for us to influence or coerce, while they are still holding a large chunk of our national debt, which they can cash in any time they choose - or, rather, any time that is maximally strategically advantageous for them.
In short, launching a trade war with Red China is a manifestly retarded idea that only a Democrat could possibly think was serious or viable.
And, to be fair, that's not what Trump is proposing now. Instead, he's proposing slapping a 45% percent tariff on the ChiComms:
“The only power that we have with [Red] China,” Mr. Trump said, “is massive trade.”…
We have no such power at all, as explained above. For further proof, look at how their fake stock market manipulations effortlessly destroy U.S. wealth.
“I would do a tax. and the tax, let me tell you what the tax should be … the tax should be 45%,” Mr. Trump said.
A tax on American consumers, remember. Which means it'd also be inflationary.
[Red] China is on a path this year to surpass Canada as the biggest single trading partner of the United States, and its factories provide American consumers with lower-cost products ranging from clothing to computers, so such steep tariffs could hurt the pocketbooks of many Americans.
In the long and established Democrat tradition: Economically destructive government interventionism that punishes the voters to whom they deceptively pander and leaves the purported enemy untouched and stronger than ever. Not overpromising and underdelivering, but delivering the exact opposite of what is being promised and then scapegoating yet another purported "enemy" for it - in this case, "greedy corporations" who, of course, will get blamed for the higher prices of their products and imposing layoffs - and seeking other cheaper overseas labor sources to try and recoup losses and make ends meet.
And let us not forget the larger context of such self-defeating economic warfare. The last historical equivalent was the U.S. oil embargo against Imperial Japan in 1941, and we all know to what THAT led.
2) See my thoughts on the Second (anti-climactic) "Battle" of Bundy Hill here and here, and those of Mr. Gibbs here. In a nutshell, we both think that the Bundys' hearts are in the right place, but they're "fighting" like morons, though my friend Doug is much more reluctant to admit that last part. I also think that the Regime is very smartly waiting them out and not giving them the attention and potential martyrdom they're seeking, and indeed that they've already functionally incarcerated themselves in a federal facility, given Ammon Bundy's claim to be prepared to hole up there for years.
Donald Trump's "solution" cannot, of course, involve anything that doesn't include him being the center of attention and, naturally, also being the "alpha male" in the equation:
In addressing the Oregon standoff, Mr. Trump also spoke about the “great anger out there” that appears to be fueling the situation in Burns, Oregon.
“I think what I’d do, as president, is I would make a phone call to whoever, to the group,” he said, adding later, “I’d talk to the leader. I would talk to him and I would say, ‘You gotta get out — come see me, but you gotta get out.’”
“You cannot let people take over federal property,” Mr. Trump said. “You can’t, because once you do that, you don’t have a government anymore. I think, frankly, they’ve been there too long.”
First, he would be granting audiences to any and every group with a grievance and giving any and every group any and every incentive to take over and occupy federal facilities and hold him hostage to whatever each group's cause was. Second, if you believe that the Bundys are "constitutionally correct," then Trump is siding with the hated federal leviathan and its Democrat defenders on the "Oregon standoff". And third, what if his "magnanimous" offer for a "champagne summit" at the White House (You don't think Trump drinks beer, do you?) got laughed off in his face (not unlike the ChiComms would his tariff threats)? Would he send in the FBI and ATF, all guns blazing, providing the country with the twenty-first century Ruby Ridge that is the last thing it needs? Sure sounds like it, doesn't it? Because, of course, his ego would be in the crosshairs, and nobody crosses the ego of Donald Trump and gets away with it.
Gotta love that presidential temperment, dontcha?
3) Having evidently decided that resorting to constitutionally illiterate birtherism was too embarrassingly lame even for him (i.e. his ego told him how silly it was making him look), Donald Trump has "gone nuclear" on Ted Cruz and slimed him as an amnestyist:
This is, of course, a rank exaggeration at best, and one that Marco Rubio hasn't been able to make stick, so to the degree that actual evidence, facts, and substance still matter - commodities in which Donald Trump does not trade - it's difficult to see how he'll make this stick, either.
But then, Trump really was for amnesty before he was against it, and is still for it now, actually. Facts that Senator Cruz can deploy any time he wants.
When he tweeted the other day that Trump had jumped the shark, I'm pretty sure that's what he meant.