And yes, I mean every word in the title of this blog post. Here is why.
To start, let it be noted that Donald Trump, by himself, can do more to disrupt international security and stability than can most latent geopolitical threats out there:
A Donald Trump presidency poses a top-10 risk event that could disrupt the world economy, lead to political chaos in the U.S. and heighten security risks for the United States, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Electing Trump could also start a trade war, hurt trade with Mexico and be a godsend to terrorist recruiters in the Middle East, according to the latest EIU forecasts.
The well-respected global economic and geopolitical analysis firm put a possible Trump presidency in its top 10 global risks this month, released Wednesday. Other risks include a sharp slowdown in the Chinese economy, a fracture of the Eurozone, and Britain’s possible departure from the European Union.
Trump’s controversial remarks on Muslims would be a gift to “potential recruiters who have long been trying to paint the U.S. as an anti-Muslim country. His rhetoric will certainly help that recruiting effort,” said Robert Powell, global risk briefing manager at EIU.
Until Trump, the firm had never rated a pending election of a candidate to be a geopolitical risk to the U.S. and the world. The firm has no plans to include Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz or John Kasich on future risk lists.
“It’s highly unusual, and I don’t think we ever have done it where we’ve had a single politician be the center of our risk items,” Powell said in an interview, but noted that the firm has once included the transition at the top of the Chinese Communist Party as a top-ten risk as well.
“Innate hostility within the Republican hierarchy towards Mr. Trump, combined with the inevitable virulent Democratic opposition, will see many of his more radical policies blocked in Congress,” wrote EIU. But “such internal bickering will also undermine the coherence of domestic and foreign policymaking.”
Strong words, of course. But entirely reasonable words as well. Even if only a few of the dire predictions discussed here come to pass in the aftermath of a (shudder) Trump presidency, the international order would face serious disruption, profound chaos, and a deeply worrisome deterioration of political and economic security in America, and throughout the world.
Concerning Trump’s economic plans, it is worth reminding everyone that they are a joke:
Many economists say Donald Trump’s proposals — from big import tariffs to mass deportations — would hurt the very demographic that supports him in the greatest numbers: less educated voters struggling in a tepid U.S. economy.
If Trump policies actually went into effect, these economists say, prices for goods lower-income Americans depend on could soar and a depleted low-end labor force could trigger a major downturn.
Trump’s appeal rests in part on the sense that he will be a tougher negotiator with trading partners. But comparatively less attention has been given in debates and on the campaign trail to the actual substance of his economic proposals, opening a new line of attack for mainstream critics against his unconventional economic thinking.
“There is a good reason many people are upset and angry, because for many it’s been a very rough decade,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics and an adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “But if Trump’s policies were enacted it would be some form of disaster for the economy. If you force 11 million undocumented immigrants to leave in a year, you would be looking at a depression. It would not help the people he is talking to, they would be the first to go down.”
The reasons for this are simple, economists say. The economy is close to reaching “full employment,” adding another 292,000 jobs in December. The jobless rate remained at 5 percent.
If 11 million immigrants were rounded up and removed from the country, many of the jobs they do — including restaurant, hotel and low-end construction work — could go largely unfilled, economists say. That would create a large and immediate hit to gross domestic product growth and the effects would ripple out to companies that supply goods and services to all those businesses. There would also be 11 million fewer people consuming goods and services, further driving down economic activity.
And on trade, Trump has argued for imposing big tariffs on goods imported from Mexico, China and elsewhere. The problem with this, many economists say, is the tariffs would ultimately be paid by U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices and would not lead to any significant increase in U.S. manufacturing.
Read the whole thing. I suppose I should admit that the deleterious impact Trump’s economic “ideas” are bound to have on Trump’s supporters almost tempts me to advocate the implementation of those “ideas.” Most–if not all–Trump supporters are awful people who are immune to facts and logic, and they either advocate or excuse violence against those with whom they disagree. But of course, it goes without saying that Trump’s “ideas” would not merely harm Trump supporters. They would also harm the rest of the country, and the international order at large.
Trump’s impromptu approach to public policy suggests that if he were in the driver’s seat, he would be guided by nothing but his own whims. Cruz, by contrast, assures us that his map would be the Constitution, and that difference alone makes him clearly preferable to the Republican front-runner.
[. . .]
The difference is qualitative as well as quantitative. Given the blatantly unconstitutional policies Trump has endorsed, such as censoring the Internet, closing down mosques, and barring Muslims from entering the country, I doubt he has read the Constitution. If he did, it did not make much of an impression.
Cruz, by contrast, is a Harvard Law School graduate who clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and argued nine cases before the Supreme Court as the solicitor general of Texas. “We will defend the Constitution, every single word of it,” he saidduring the September 16 GOP debate, and he has shown a broader interest in that task than most politicians.
In addition to defending the Second Amendment, as every Republican candidate is expected to do, Cruz has opposed the federal government’s mass collection of our phone records, the indefinite detention of Americans deemed threats to national security, and a presidential license to kill suspected terrorists on U.S. soil. He has castigatedDemocrats for trying to suppress political speech in the name of fighting corruption and criticized Republicans as well as Democrats for abusing executive power (although with considerably less specificity).
Cruz, who promises to “carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion,” concedes that he would need congressional authorization for such a war. “It should absolutely take congressional approval,” he told ABC News in 2014.
Cruz understands that what the Constitution omits is at least as important as what it says. Declaring that he wants to “protect the people by rolling back the federal government to the functions the Constitution sets out,” he lists four federal departments, one agency, and 25 programs that he would eliminate. Consistent with Cruz’s admirable opposition to crony capitalism, the programs include sugar subsidies and the federal ethanol mandate.
All of these facts may have no effect whatsoever on Trump supporters, who–as I have written before–appear to be immune to facts. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us should refrain from noting–over and over and over again, if necessary–that supporting Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is one of the furthest things from an intelligent decision than can be imagined.