To come up with a list of why Donald Trump is an absurd candidate for the White House would be a waste of time – far better journalists than I have already done so.
But perhaps one point that hasn't been addressed is how Donald Trump is absurd not just as a presidential candidate, but as a Republican in general. I mean, has anybody listened to what this blowhard's been saying? It flies in the face of everything the Republican Party is supposed to represent.
The most recent example? Donald Trump's plans to tackle China's increasing dominance of our imports with a 25% sales tariff.
The logic "The Donald" is using is that a 25% import tax will 'balance' China's more competitive prices on manufactured goods. The problem is that this policy violates three of the most sacred concepts in the Republican economic playbook:
- It's a tax hike – Republicans are supposed to be about lowering taxes, yet Donald Trump is proposing one that will make all imported Chinese goods (pretty much everything on the shelf at Wal-Mart) 25% more expensive.
- It's big government – Republicans argue that the government doesn't have a mandate in education or health care; so where is it authorized to start artificially manipulating the price of imported goods?
- It's anti-free market – Chinese goods are dramatically cheaper than American ones because they have less regulation and cheaper labor. If America wants to become competitive, they need to do it with innovation and technology that will help drive down production costs – not by slapping a tariff on China's goods. That will do nothing to address the shortcomings that got us into this mess in the first place.
In 19th century Britain, for example, one of the most infamous examples of protectionism caused decades of problems (the Corn Laws of 1815 and 1846, which controlled the price of imported grain.)
Even earlier than that, British protectionism on American exports and imports was directly responsible for the War of Independence and the birth of the American nation.
Protectionism is, quite simply, a bad financial decision - and Donald Trump's passionate embrace of the idea reveals not just his total unsuitability for running the nation's economy, but also how out of touch he is with the party he's hoping to champion him in 2012.