Sunday, November 6, 2016

On Clinton vs. Trump, it's No Contest

Clinton for president of the U.S.
Tuesday's U.S. presidential vote will be a monumental event for both the U.S. and for the world. El Tiempo's editorial section today is full of column's about the election - all warning about the dire consequences of a Trump victory. And anybody who's followed this blog has no doubt where I fall, for the interests of Colombia, the U.S. and the globe.

El Tiempo's editorialists point out the likeliest immediate consequences for Colombia of a Donald Trump victory: a reduction in aid and more barriers to trade and immigration. Trump's discourse is erratict and his policies unclear, but he speaks like an isolationist. That suggests that he'd cut back on the post-Plan Colombia aid programs and reduce support for any peace processes here. Trump might also kill free trade agreements with Colombia, as he's denounced such agreements with Mexico.

Trump's evident hostility to and even racism against Hispanics would not help relations, either.

El Tiempo's editorialists also point out that most economists predict a recession if Trump wins and
The dangers are endless.
imposes protectionist trade policies and slashes taxes for rich people like himself, which would balloon the U.S.'s budget deficit.

Trump's authoritarianess, as eloquently described by the Washington Post's libertarian Volokh Conspiracy blog  could not only endanger the U.S.'s constitutional system, but also set a terrible example for weak democracies in Latin America.

Trump "is thrilled by the kind of authoritarian government that the Colonists fought a revolution to end." writes Volokh. "His world is a world of conspiracy theories, not reason and evidence. It is a world of putting your opponent in a jail cell after the election, not peaceful transitions of power. It is a world of mob violence, not law. It is a world of crushing political dissent, not limited government."  

The Volokh writers compare the U.S.'s possible future under Trump to Venezuela, where democratically-elected presidents have trampled institutions, converted the oil-rich nation into a near-dictatorship and, along the way, also devastated its economy. 

Trump's ignorance and denial of reality on environmental issues, particularly climate change, is yet another disqualifier. Climate change is already affecting Colombia and would undoubtedly accelerate under Trump policies.

I could go on about Trump's misogyny and sexual predation, his lack of political experience, his rotten business ethics, his instability, his evident affection for violence and for authoritarian leaders such as Russia's Vladimir Putin, and perhaps most of all the danger of a man like him controlling nuclear weapons - but you get the picture.

Hillary Clinton certainly also has her ethics challenges. But, as an experienced politician she's performed competently and has generally respected constitutional norms, as Volokh, normally no friend of liberals, points out. And Clinton would undoubtedly continue the Obama administration's policies of engagement with the world and Latin America. And her economic policies would likely continue those Obama, who has shepherded the U.S. out of a deep recession into a slow but sustained recovery. Even with the rise of China, Latin America's economy still depends heavily on that of the U.S.

For Colombia, for the U.S., for the planet and for decency, support Clinton.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Stuart Oswald said...

Oh dear, this is a crash of a post. Would delete it if I were you.

Miguel said...

Besides the policy issues, do you think an egomaniacal game show host who boasts about sexually assaulting women and not paying taxes and runs a fraudulent university is a good choice for U.S. president? I feel as tho I've fallen into an alternate reality and will wake up at any moment. Mike