They sent me this video (above) by InfoWars (Alex Jones.) This video is advertised as being two things, one the video that will prove why Donald Trump deserves to be president, and according to my friend, will prove that Trump has "always been conservative." I have taken this video and analyzed it. I will admit there are some things I do agree with, but... I do not feel this video accomplishes its stated goals.
To make this easier I have broken this down into a response to each and every individual clip within the video. As always, I have provided Chicago Style citations and references at the bottom of this article.
Clip 1: This isn’t a partisan commentary, but there are two reasons to be concerned. #1, the clip was from 1980, and Trump comments that he wants to see someone who will be strong with positions that may not be popular. Well, 1980 Reagan and Reagan’s Conservatism was very popular, so if he is looking for someone who would be unpopular, and Reagan and Conservatism were unpopular, what is he looking for? One could argue that he was looking for someone to stand against Reagan. And given that Trump himself did stand against Reagan in public discourse, going so far as to testify in congress against Reagan’s tax policy-1, I am not sure that this clip tells me anything about Trump being a conservative.
He also mentions the problem with people with big smiles and little brains… a common refrain used to attack Reagan in that era when the Left was calling him an amiable dunce. InfoWars, however, decided to use the moment to attack Rubio, by placing a picture of him in the bottom right corner. You will recall that Rubio is a part of the Conservative Tea Party. He may have screwed up on immigration, but he has been rock solid on every other issue.
Clip 2: Here he is on Oprah (a known Democrat) complaining that he is tired of seeing the country ripped off during the 80s… Consider, again, that during the 80s Trump was a critic of Reagan. Was he referring to Reagan’s Tax Plan? “We’re really making other people live like kings, and we’re not,” is awfully close to the Democratic slogan of “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” This clip does not give us a lot of detail about who he is talking about… but given the context of history, one can fairly speculate that he is calling out Reagan here.
Clip 3: To who is Trump referring as ripping the country off for the last 25 years? If you are looking at his current campaign, you might say, “China and Mexico,” but he doesn’t specifically say that here, so it’s a fill in the blank cut that is vague enough to invite conjecture. But let’s assume that it is China and Mexico. In my third video, we talked about free trade versus fair trade. Free trade is what Reagan supported, enabling global trade with only minimal tariffs, which open up markets, and create jobs. Reagan’s system worked. He created millions of jobs, lowered the unemployment rate, and created an environment where people experienced individual financial growth. Trump’s fair trade policies were tried by Herbert Hoover… it didn’t go well. There’s a reason Republicans are Free Traders, not Fair Traders. We learned the hard way on that one. But again, I am speculating because a lot of this cut removes context, and I don’t know to whom he is referring.
Clip 4: Rockefeller Republicans are Liberal Republicans. When asked why he is a Republican, Trump says he has no idea, he just believes certain principals of the Republican Party. Bare in mind Trump was a critic of Reagan during this same time frame, which is why the interviewer was so confused by learning that Trump was a Republican. Also, Trump had been registered as a Democrat prior to that. He didn’t actually register as a Republican until July of 1987, according to public records. He has been in and out of the GOP frequently since but has been more out than in. -2 While he was in the GOP he used his platform to attack Reagan. Remember, he was asked if he was a Rockefeller, Republican, or a Bush Republican because the interviewer knew one thing to be true, Trump was not a Conservative.
Clip 5: This is disturbing. This is a registered Democrat who practically begging Trump to be president. Shouldn't we be asking why?
Clip 6: Okay, here again, the trade deficit nonsense. According to the Cato institute, under Reagan, and both Bushes, when the trade deficits were at their peak, yet economic growth was booming. Unemployment was down. Given that I already addressed this in my third video, I will just refer you back to it. Fair Trade is not a Conservative position. It goes against Reagan’s Supply Side economics, and even further against the Austrian model of economic thought that I, along with the Cato Institute, prefer. By railing against Free Trade during the 80s, Trump was railing against Ronald Reagan.
Clip 7: Trump bemoaning the lack of an advocate. This isn’t necessarily a partisan commentary. Though the film editor does use this opportunity to attack the next several presidents. Which is fine, I suppose. It just doesn’t make the case that Trump is Conservative.
Clip 8: Again, fair Trade is not a Conservative position.
Clip 9: This is hilarious, here is Trump railing against the Reagan era taxes! Seriously? See Chicago Style Citation # 1. -1
Clip 10: Trump boasting about his ending gridlock. As a Conservative, I look at Gridlock as a positive. The less congress acts, the less damage they can do. As Reagan said, “government is the problem.” Bemoaning Gridlock is a Democrat tactic. Republicans don’t mind it.
Clip 11: Wounded Warriors is a bi-partisan issue. I don’t think I know of any Democrats that hate our vets actively, do you? I think this is good that he cares about wounded vets. But if the argument is that this is a specifically Conservative issue, it’s not. The reason the Military prefers Republican leadership is because we let them fight the enemy, and Democrats grand stand, posture, and negotiate with the very terrorists that we have been fighting. This clip has nothing to do with Conservatism.
Clip 12: Trump bemoaning the Iraqi war using Democrat talking points.
Clip 13: Trump criticizing Obama as not knowing how to handle business. That’s fine. During this same time, he also would praise Obama on other issues. Please see video -3
Clip 14: Trump bemoaning the difficulty of competing with China, at a time he was having the Chinese manufacture elements of his clothing line. -4 It’s also worth noting that Trump’s clothing line remains being manufactured overseas even today.
Clip 15: Trump did endorse Romney, but left the party in 2011, and later blasted Romney for being too harsh on immigration and scaring minorities away with his talk of “self-deportation.” We handled that in my second video with all appropriate and proper citations provided. Please watch it.
Clip 16: Whoah!! Trump advocating lowering interest rates! Can we say Keynesian?!!! I wish I had known this for my third video! This is John Maynard Keynes to the letter! Not a Conservative! Let’s back this up with a rap battle between Keynes and my favorite Hayek. -5. “There’s a boom and bust cycle and a reason to fear it.”
Hayek, “I blame low-interest rates,”
Keynes, “Nah, it’s the animal spirit.”
According to F.A. Hayek, wealth is created by avoiding debt and building savings. Keynes, on the other hand, bet that well-managed debt could build wealth. Calvin Coolidge sided with Hayek. Reagan tried to but had a Democratic Congress to deal with. Most other presidents have adhered to Keynesian philosophy, and I urge you to be aware that Trump is also a Keynesian. This call for lowering interest rates is the final nail in the coffin in arguments over that. It is settled. Trump is inarguably a Keynesian… meaning not a Conservative.
Clip 17: Okay, I agree with him about the problem with the cartel and oil prices. He is absolutely correct on this. See? I’m fair. When he’s right I stand with him.
Clip 18: I agree with him about the massive debt, however, our debt has nothing to do with China and everything to with congressional spending and entitlements. Trump told Hannity he doesn’t want to touch entitlements (See my videos.) So on this one, Trump is right about the diagnosis, but entirely wrong about the cause. It’s like a Doctor trying to say you got the flue because you ate at Wendy’s instead of Burger King. His anti-trade philosophy, again, is not Conservative.
That said, he is absolutely correct about how the government stops counting you in the unemployment numbers when you stop looking for work. So, he is 100% correct about that. But again, right diagnosis, incorrect causation.
Clip 19: He is right about this issue as well. It’s pathetic that we spend so much money on countries that don’t want us there. Nation building has got to stop. Foreign aid has got to stop. We have problems of our own we need to deal with, and Trump is 100% correct about this. Still, think I’m unfair?
Clip 20: Okay, the primary problem with Trump’s announcement is a right diagnosis, with a wrong causation. Our problems with the economy are entirely government spending and over-regulation. Trump also manages to take a law and order issue (immigration) and with his harsh racially insensitive language, lends credence to the Democratic Party’s accusations that our concerns over immigration are racially motivated. He is wrong about Iraq, we succeeded in Iraq, and Obama threw it away. The situation in Iraq is entirely Obama’s fault. Most of his complaints about Iraq are drawn from Democrat talking points.
I agree on the problems of the GDP, and the Labor Force Participation Rate, and the way the government skews the unemployment stats. He’s 100% correct about this. He is right about the diagnosis, however, his policies, which I dissect at length in my videos, are the real core of what we need to look at. His solutions to these problems are really bad and very liberal. That last clip is loaded with absolutely correct diagnosis, and nothing by way of solutions.
So now we have to look at two things. # 1: How consistent has Donald Trump been?
Well, let’s take a look at this, (much shorter) compilation of videos and material from the same era as the videos selected for Alex Jones’s little video.
So as you can see, Trump has not been consistent. The vast majority of Alex Jones video makes the case he has been consistent on Trade, and from that we’re supposed to understand that Trump has always been a Conservative. But that argument is precisely the reason I am so opposed to Trump. He is literally trying to redefine what it means to be a Conservative so that it matches early 20th Century Progressivism in the vein of Herbert Hoover, a Republican, and FDR, a Democrat. I am trying to Conserve Republican Conservatism in the vein of Calvin Coolidge and William F. Buckley, and Ronald W. Reagan. Early 20th Century Progressivism is not much different than the current crop of Progressives who run the Democratic Party. And since Trump bemoaned gridlock in Alex Jone’s video, and eagerly boasted that he will work with Democrats in the video I put together, we can see that Trump will ensure the status quo.
# 2: we have to have a hard look at Trump’s solutions. And the videos that I have posted on my own You Tube Channel will show that his policy positions are far from Reagan-style Conservatism. Like the video above, my videos are Trump on Trump. My production values are at least as good as what Alex Jones put together here, so they deserve a serious look.
But we should also look at the source of this video. Alex Jones. How seriously can we take a guy who believes that the chemicals we put in the water are turning frogs gay, or that geneticists have created fish/human hybrids?
This stuff is bat guano crazy, yet its par for the course for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Can we really consider Alex Jones and Info Wars a reliable source of information? This is the guy who popularized the 9-11 Truther movement, which was very popular among Democrats, the birther movement, popular with Hillary Clinton followers until Obama became the nominee, and then they tried to blame us for it. He also popularized the birther conspiracy theories about Ted Cruz.
Personally, anything that Alex Jones has to say on the subject of Trump is suspect. I don’t think that its accidental that there are cuts here that Jones made that removed Trump’s quotes from its context, so it's unclear who or what Trump is talking about. This forces the viewer to assume the context based on what Trump is saying today. Jones also disingenuously leaves out anything and everything Trump said in the exact same time frame that was very liberal, including an interview with Wolf Blitzer where Trump proclaims that he’s “more of a Democrat,” or when Trump proclaims that he has “New York Values,” or all the times Trump has defended Planned Parenthood, Gay marriage, or Transsexual men using the women’s rest rooms, or the fact that Trump invited Gay Rights Activist Peter Thiel to lecture the GOP about “social issues” at the GOP Convention, and then when Trump got up on stage praised the GOP for applauding Thiel… Never mind that this is abandoning the advocacy of the Traditional Family, a key pillar in the Reagan alliance. Sure, Trump says he’s all for Christians, but then why is he putting his thumb in the eye of Christians with his policies?
Alex Jones ignores so many of the problems with Donald Trump. Many Trump supporters, but obviously not all, then blast those of us who reject this guy and call us “cucks” and first demanded that we get out of the party, and many of us, self-included, have. Then they demand we ben the knee and kiss the ring. I can’t. I won’t Donald Trump violates far too many of my core Constitutional beliefs. Then they try to say we Never Trumpers are irrelevant, but they won’t ignore me, they keep attacking me. Now that the polls show no change in Trump’s head to head status against Clinton, many are now pre-blaming us for what is an inevitable loss this fall, when we tried to warn all of you, and you would not listen.
So here we are again, I looked over this video, as I have looked over Donald Trump for over two decades, watching, and trying to prepare for what I knew was coming. Only back then, I thought he’d be the Democrat nominee. Imagine my surprise when the GOP tossed all of its principals to the wind to get behind one of the most liberal Keynesian minds in modern US political history. With a presidential nominee so out of step with Reagan Conservatism, we are well within our rights to be concerned. Donald Trump should be scrutinized, especially as the nominee of the party of Reagan, Coolidge, and Lincoln.
1-Of Course: Trump Trashed Reagan Tax Cuts as Democrat-Called 'Expert' Witness
Guy Benson, 4/19/2016, townhall.com, http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2016/04/19/video-trump-trashes-reagan-tax-cuts-as-democratcalled-expert-witness-in-1991-n2151131 Accessed 8/21/16. Also worth noting, Townhall has been a pro-Trump website since the beginning. They were at least honest enough on this issue, though.
2-Donald Trump changed political parties at least five times: report
The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 16, 2015, www.washingtiontimes.com, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/16/donald-trump-changed-political-parties-at-least-fi/
3-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvlHvntyb1Y Wolf Blitzer with Donald Trump CNN interview, December 18, 2008
If the hypertext does not work, please copy and paste it into your web browser’s navigation bar.
4-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8vvfmUucIA Donald Trump destroyed by David Letterman, posted by Sam Dreiberg, published 7/4/16.
My videos on Trump: