After I outed myself as a Trump voter (which does not mean a Trump supporter right or wrong), friends and others less friendly have asked whether I now think that vote was a mistake. Fair question. There are certainly mornings when Trump’s first tweet gives me voter’s remorse. I can only answer the question by postulating what the country would look like 500 or so days into Hillary Clinton’s first term and comparing that to where we are.
I was surprised to see I listed so many things that would NOT have changed regardless of which one of them was elected. Obviously some of the things I listed as Trump or Clinton positives you may consider as negative and so switch them to the other list.
Things that would be same (although different in the details)
James Comey would be fired, would have written a book, and would be on a book tour.
There would be a special prosecutor investigating whether the Clinton campaign pressured the DNC to illegally discriminate against the Sanders campaign, whether there was illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign by the Obama White House, and whether firing James Comey was obstruction of justice. The FBI Inspector General would still be on the verge of releasing a damning report.
The President would say the special prosecutor is conducting a witch hunt and would claim executive privilege for White House communications leading up to Comey’s firing.
There would be a health care funding crisis. ObamaCare as passed wasn’t economically sustainable. Clinton would have had to deal with that and the inability of Congress to pass meaningful reform.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would each be preparing to run for President in 2020 with a platform far to the left of the President.
The school shootings would have happened and Congress would not have made any meaningful changes to federal gun law.
There would be no immigration reform.
The trend for increasing prosecution of leakers, which began in the Obama Administration, including the subpoenaing of reporters’ records would have continued in the Clinton Administration as it has under Trump.
The carried interest deduction for hedge fund managers would not have been repealed.
Banks would have relief from Dodd-Franks.
Ethanol would still be mandated and subsidized.
ISIS would be on the run.
The Supreme Court would have made the same decision in the wedding cake case.
There would still be an opioid crisis no one knows how to deal with.
There would be speculation about the whereabouts of the first spouse.
The swamp would still be the swamp.
Things that would have been better under Clinton IMO
Discussion between and about international leaders would still be civil.
Appointees would not be trash-talking world leaders.
There would not be an undertone of racism in the President’s remarks.
Clinton would be more suspicious of Putin than Trump appears to be (very important to me).
Clinton would not be supporting abstinence-only sex education as a substitute for contraceptives and information about their use.
Presidential appointees would have been better vetted and not had to be shuttled out of the door almost as fast as they came in.
The country would be on the verge of a Republican mid-term landslide given that Clinton is not as popular in her party as Trump is in his, the location of Senate races favors Republicans, and midterms traditionally go to the party which is not in the oval office. (I’m not sure this would really be a good thing: Republican performance in Congress doesn’t deserve a big reward.)
Things that are better under Trump IMO
The economy couldn’t be stronger in terms of employment and (finally) increasing wages. There’s a combination of reasons for this but Trump gets some credit.
The readjustment of corporate tax happened and is resulting in the repatriation of money and jobs. Major other tax reforms didn’t happen and probably wouldn’t have happened under President Clinton either.
Our energy production is being allowed to grow although there is a danger that under-regulation will replace over-regulation.
We are out of the feckless Iran deal.
We are not acknowledging North Korea as a long-term nuclear power as Clinton supporters like Susan Rice have urged. Too soon, of course, to chalk up an accomplishment for Trump, though.
We are using our buying power to pressure China on both unfair trade practices and support for North Korea.
Our support for Israel as the only democracy in its neighborhood has been strengthened and we’ve helped create an anti-Iran alliance between Israel and the many Arab countries. Facing the reality of Palestinian corruption and misrule may lead towards peace; but that’s probably wishful thinking in the Middle East.
The FCC has reversed itself on so-called “Net Neutrality”, which I think was a dangerous grant of power to Google, Facebook, and Amazon who don’t need any help as well as an opening for government censorship.
Gorsuch (rather than Elizabeth Warren?) is on the Supreme Court. In a time when imperial Presidency is an increasing danger, I feel safest with a strict constructionist on the bench.
The Supreme Court will probably rule that compulsory agency payments by government employees to unions are unconstitutional. This will weaken the ability of teacher’s unions locally and nationally to thwart educational reform.
Charter schools have a fighting chance.
Things I think could be better
(the list is too long for this blog)