Brooks Cain is a senior from Norman, Oklahoma double majoring in Economics and Human and Organizational Development (with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness). He is a part of Vandy Fanatics on campus, where he can put his Vanderbilt fandom to work for the student body. In the future, he hopes to dedicate his life to finding innovative solutions for problems on a national and global scale. When not following politics, you can usually find Brooks at the nearest golf course.
The preposterous may actually happen. Donald J. Trump, the business magnate, reality star, and small-handed man, has the best shot at the Republican nomination for President. For months, I have been incredulous. Surely Trump would say something that would tank his chances! Alas, if it hasn’t happened by now, it may never. Calls for banning Muslims from the U.S., referring to Mexicans as rapists, and refusing to rule out using a nuclear weapon in Europe haven’t derailed the Trump Train. Rather, those demagogic comments only seem to add steam to his candidacy. Therefore, I’ve had to consider where this Trump Train could be heading. What would a Trump Presidency look like? A worst-case scenario is easy to construct; we hear it from his bully pulpit everyday. Instead, it is more interesting to consider what the best-case scenario is for President Trump (as judged by a Democrat). Will a best-case situation be pleasantly surprising, or should I start looking into Scotland’s visa policies?
Donald Trump has “evolved” (or blatantly shifted) his political positions over the years. Given a blind résumé of Trump’s most liberal positions, nearly every Republican voter would opt for an alternative candidate. Here are some of the highlights, per the Washington Post, CNN, and others:
- Supported universal healthcare and praises Canada and U.K.’s systems
- Supported an assault weapons ban and longer waiting periods for purchases
- Was pro-choice, and still believes in exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or mother’s health
- Defends entitlement programs from cuts
- Protective tariffs for vulnerable American industries
- Supported legalizing and taxing drugs
- Proposed a one-time 14.25% tax on the net worth of individuals worth +$10 million.
So who is Donald Trump? The liberal that would make Bernie blush, or the firebrand that makes much of the world cringe? As always, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. However, that middle is “yuuuuuge.”
Here is my semi-realistic, best-case scenario for the first 100 days of a Trump presidency. After being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, Trump delivers an inaugural address describing how great America is just by electing him. As he wraps up his speech, he looks straight into the camera and delivers these words, “America, you should have done your homework. My campaign promises aren’t a contract. Conservatives, you’ve been Trump-ed. *winks and smiles at the camera* Free healthcare for everyone!” With this, Donald Trump “turns heel” on the Republican Party. He works with the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate (flipped by the highest voter turnout in years) to pass single-payer healthcare reform, name a liberal Justice to the Supreme Court, and institute stringent background checks with a national database for gun owners. He works to legalize and tax drugs nationwide, and he reforms the tax code to impose a higher marginal rate on the wealthiest Americans.
Alright…I said semi-realistic. A man is allowed to dream, right?
In reality, I have already started converting my résumé into a Curriculum Vitae and am brushing up on my British vocabulary. A Trump Presidency wouldn’t mean nuclear annihilation or a dystopian future, but I struggle to find an actual best-case scenario. Trump’s policy positions are frightening for many to consider, but the scariest part of the Trump package is his temperament. A change from a calm, collected President Obama to a bombastic, bullying President Trump would induce national whiplash. Even if Trump turned heel on the policy positions he is campaigning on and became a liberal stalwart, we would still have a member of the WWE Hall of Fame in the Oval Office. While that brashness may make for entertaining pay-per-views, it is no way to run a country.