The three “presidential” debates are over and thank goodness for that. Now all we have to do is get through the election itself and, for a time, this madness will hopefully be behind us. That’s not so much a hopeful sentiment as it is wishful thinking. We all know better. The madness isn’t over and it won’t be over regardless of who comes out on top this November 8th.
Based on history we can be reasonably sure that those candidates aspiring to higher office will, for the most part, do the exact opposite of what they say they will when whoring themselves for our consent to govern. Look at the self-aggrandizing titles of any piece of momentous legislation and the truth makes itself abundantly manifest. The Affordable Care Act? It’s actually incredibly expensive. The Patriot Act? Truthfully, it is one of the most unpatriotic pieces of waste to pass through the irritable bowels of congress.
So on and so forth.
Based on this litmus test – assuming the exact opposite of what our candidates and elected representative promise – what can we assume about the potential presidencies of Clinton and Trump?
Hillary said her economic plan won’t add a penny to the debt. We’ve heard this lie before and even if she weren’t a chronic/compulsive/serial/habitual liar, we can know, based in no small part on her predecessor’s abysmal track record, that this is a complete untruth. And in regards to Mrs. Clinton’s bravado about her husband’s often-touted budget surplus, it’s a novel piece of myth-making too.
She also said that her proposed no-fly zone in Syria would be leverage against Russia and that she would get them to join us in that effort. First, the idea that Russia would turn on its ally, Syria, and join us, their adversary, is laughable. Second, Russia has, as Trump aptly reminded us, outsmarted Obama and Clinton, specifically in Ukraine and the Middle East. Based on our litmus test we can reasonably assume that Russia will either a) scoff at Hillary’s no-fly zone and/or b) find ways to circumvent it and/or c) perhaps even use it as a casus belli to escalate hostilities between our nations. Like all candidates for POTUS, Hillary would no doubt assure us that her first duty as President would be to ensure the safety and security of the American people. A no-fly zone that could lead to a shooting war with a heavily armed nuclear state is the exact opposite of keeping us safe and is therefore right in line with the litmus test, as well as Orwell’s concept of doublethink.
What of Trump? He promises protectionism as a means of bringing stolen jobs back to America and preventing further losses to underhanded foreign states. Unfortunately for The Donald, mercantilism went out of style some three centuries ago when those proponents of laissez-faire demonstrated that free-trade was more beneficial to the market than government interventions for the purpose of autarky.
How about the Great Wall of Donald? He says the wall will cost $10 billion, not a small sum. Bernstein estimates it will be between $15-25 billion, a far cry from a drop in the bucket at a time when even Trump admits our national debt is out of control, and certainly much more than the GOP candidate opines.
This litmus test is rarely wrong, whether it be applied to George H. W. Bush’s “no new taxes” falsehood, or his son’s 2000 campaign rhetoric against nation building, regime change, and policing the world. It held true when Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over, it held true when our current Celebrity-in-Chief promised us that if we like our doctors we can keep them, if we like our insurance we can keep it. It will hold true through this election cycle and through the tenure of our next POTUS, whoever that will be.
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