Donald Trump is not a real Republican, he is a big government, big-spending Nationalist.
The Republican Party has always been the party associated with smaller government and more freedom.
True Republicans think that the majority of governing should happen at the local level and big government has no place in America. Unfortunately, Trump doesn't seem to feel the same. Donald Trump is a big spending nationalist.
Donald Trump has issued more executive orders in his first term than Obama.
President Donald Trump holds up an executive orderLeah Millis/Reuters
Donald Trump scoffed at presidential executive orders as "power grabs" and a "basic disaster" during Obama's presidency. But, he's clearly changed his mind: In each year of his presidency, he has issued more executive orders than did former President Barack Obama during the same time span.
Trump has signed 184 executive orders in his first term, an average of 50 per year. That's more than Obama, who issued 147 in his first term, and more than George W. Bush, who issued 173. Executive orders are a way to get around congressional checks and balances, and Trump uses them liberally.
Donald Trump has tried to grab power from Governors.
Republicans have alway understood that local governments are the ones that know the desires of the people the best, and so they should have power to make the decisions that actually affect our daily lives. In fact in 2016, the GOP platform condemned the Obama administration's "bullying of state and local governments."
In contrast to his Republican allies, Donald Trump has no respect for local government. When governors tried to make their own decisions regarding the coronavirus and the handling of protesters, Trump told the press, "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that's the way it's got to be. … It's total. The governors know that."
The local leaders, Trump said, "can't do anything without the approval of the president of the United States." This is both blatantly untrue and a huge blow to our federalist system that divides power between the states and the national government. The national government should stay out of our local politics. The president telling governors and state legislators how to govern is big government at its worst.
Donald Trump threatens the basics of democracy.
A peaceful transfer of power is an essential part of American Democracy—but not for Trump. "Well, we're going to have to see what happens," Trump said when asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition if he lost the election. "Get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very peaceful – there won't be a transfer, frankly, there'll be a continuation."
But the truth is we can't get rid of the ballots. As much as half of the country is likely voting by mail this election due to the coronavirus. To invalidate those ballots just because they might cause Trump to lose is a threat to democracy itself. Trump's threat is a threat against America. No U.S. president has said anything like this before. Ever. Real republicans know that. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knows it, writing on Twitter in response to Trump's comments, The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792."
Trump has previously refused to say whether he would accept the election results, echoing his sentiments from 2016. And he has talked about staying in office well past the constitutionally bound two terms. Make no mistake— this is how democracy dies, with casual statements from a man who cares more about his ego than his country.
Donald Trump has driven up the national debt.
Conservatives should fight against all threats to freedom and government intrusion upon liberty — and fiscal imprudence. Donald Trump is the self-proclaimed "king of debt," but even he claimed he didn't want more debt for the country.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised he would eliminate the nation's debt in eight years. However, his budget for the next four years estimates show that he would actually add at least $8.3 trillion, increasing the U.S. debt to $28.5 trillion by 2025.
However, the national debt may reach that figure much sooner due to the extra spending on the late coronavirus relief. When President Trump took office in January 2017, the national debt stood at $19.9 trillion. In October 2020, the national debt reached a record high of $27 trillion. That's an increase of almost 36% in less than four years. That is not fiscal responsibility.
New data from the Congressional Budget Office shows that national debt is expected to exceed the size of the U.S. economy for the first time since World War II because of the massive federal spending programs enacted to prop up the economy during the coronavirus crisis. Of course Trump can't be blamed for the coronavirus, but he can be blamed for our response compared to other countries.
The US has more deaths than any country in the world, and we are in the top 10 for number of deaths per capita. The US continues to regularly report more than 1,000 new coronavirus deaths a day, which is one of the highest daily death rates per capita in the world. As a country with the leading medical experts, our handling of this crisis is embarrassing at best, catastrophic at worse. The Trump administration's mishandling of the virus will ultimately cost us billions, and the cost in American lives is incalculable.
Donald Trump has throttled free trade.
Trump has placed huge restrictions on free trade, to the detriment of our allies and the American consumer.Evan Vucci/AP Photo; Steffi Loos/Getty; Lintao Zhang/Getty; Jochen Zick/Getty; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
The free market of capitalism relies on free and fair trade with other countries. But President Trump only cares about punishing his enemies. Unfortunately, Trump's enemies also include America's allies. Trump has placed huge tariffs on not only Chinese imports, but also imports from our allies in Canada and the European Union. President Trump drastically increased tariffs on solar panels, washing machines, steel, and aluminum, as well as on a broad range of products from China.
The Trump administration has repeatedly asked us to believe that foreign companies are paying for tariffs. But multiple studies suggest this is not the case: The cost of tariffs have been paid for almost entirely by American households and American business, not foreign exporters. While estimates vary, economic analyses suggest the average American household has paid somewhere from several hundred up to a thousand dollars or more per year thanks to higher consumer prices attributable to the tariffs. According to estimates from Tax Foundation, the Trump administration has so far imposed $80 billion worth of new taxes on Americans by levying tariffs on thousands of products, which is equivalent to one of the largest tax increases in decades. That's not free trade, and that's not small government. That is the government interfering in our daily life and in our economy.
Donald Trump increased socialist agriculture subsidies.
Trump's protectionist tariffs have also resulted in massive agriculture subsidies. Farm sales to China plummeted from $19.5 billion in 2017 to just $9 billion the next year after Trump's tariffs were enacted. As farmers continued to hemorrhage profits in 2019, farm bankruptcies jumped nearly 20%.
In response Trump has had to bail out agriculture because of a problem he created. Direct farm aid has climbed each year of Trump's presidency, from $11.5 billion in 2017 to more than $32 billion in 2020—all funded by the taxpayers. These subsidies are unsustainable and irresponsible.
Donald Trump has tried to restrict freedom of speech and press.
Free speech and press are essential American rights. They are the foundation of patriotism. As a truly free country, the press has always had the ability to criticize the government, and they have, not just in this current administration but in every administration.
True patriots live by the words, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." But Trump doesn't seem to care. Trump has praised a congressman who body slammed a reporter. He has threatened to change libel laws to make it easier to sue publishers and news organizations following the release of an unflattering book. He threatened legal action against a journalist and publisher over a book that includes critical statements about him.
Trump has said that "it's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it" (all the while publicly posting verifiably false information on a regular basis). He has threatened to cancel the broadcast licenses of media companies that offer negative coverage of him. He threatened to pull credentials of reporters who write "negative" stories about him, tweeting, "91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake)....Take away credentials?" He even unsuccessfully tried to rescind the press credentials of CNN journalist Jim Acosta after a heated exchange at a press conference, an action overturned by a federal judge.
These are not the actions of a man who believes in the freedom of the press, and the idea that free speech, no matter how negative, is essential to democracy. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Donald Trump is unilaterally spending billions on his wall
President Trump's border has cost taxpayers $11 billion — or nearly $20 million a mile — to become the most expensive wall of its kind anywhere in the world. Contrary to Trump's promises, Mexico didn't pay; American taxpayers are paying. Even worse, only $3 billion was obtained with congressional approval.
Trump obtained that money largely by going around congress and taking money from emergency funds and siphoning money from our military budget. This unilateral decision to use federal funds is still being argued in court, as many believe it's an illegal and frankly authoritarian use of executive power. And the costs just keep growing. A ProPublica/Texas Tribune review of federal spending data shows more than 200 contract modifications, at times increased or changed within just weeks of the original contracts, have ballooned the cost of the border wall project by at least $2.9 billion since late 2017.
Final estimates for the total cost of the wall vary from $21.6 billion to $66.9 billion. That is a massively expensive structure. Furthermore, if this wall is ever finished, it will likely do little to actually reduce illegal immigration. This is because for the past 10 years, the primary mode of entry to the undocumented population has been to overstay temporary visas. That means the majority of illegal immigrants (62%) arrived here legally, and a border wall will do nothing to prevent them.
Donald Trump is trying to take private land from citizens
Pamela Taylor, 88, lives on the U.S.-Mexico border, where she and her children have put up a sign to say they don't want a fence for protection. Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS
So far, Trump's administration has completed 371 miles of wall (out of roughly 1,150 miles) according to CBP. Very little of that has added new fencing where there was none, though. Most of the work has been replacing shorter vehicle barriers and fences with more ostentatious 30-foot walls largely on land already owned by the federal government in Arizona and California. Much less work has been done in Texas, because most of that land is privately owned.
Trump's wall in Texas is tied up in court because using eminent domain laws to take land from private citizens is very unpopular. Texans like Eloisa Cavazo say they would never take a buyout from the government. "You could give me a trillion dollars and I wouldn't take it," she told the Associated Press. Some of the landowners sued have kept the properties in their families for generations, but Trump doesn't care about little things like property rights; in fact, he has always praised the "eminent domain." To build a border wall in Texas will require massive government intrusion into private property.
Trump's wall is more of a symbol than a policy–and it's a symbol that he is using taxpayer money to fund, illegally siphoning funds from more important military projects, and violating American property rights.
In the words of Republican political consultant Mark Madrid, "The only way to reclaim conservative principles is to both call out Trump's actions, vote against him and demand we return to a philosophy of limited government and not big-spending nationalism."
Republicans need to stop pretending that Trump is conservative. I'm not the only one who is disturbed by the twisting of conservative ideals. Here are some groups of prominent Republicans who agree with me and are working to remove Trump from office:
Republican voters against Trump https://rvat.org/
The Lincoln Project https://lincolnproject.us/
The Bravery Project https://thebraveryproject.com/
Reclaim Our Party https://www.reclaimourparty.org/
Christians Against Trumpism https://christiansagainsttrumpism.com/
43 Alumni For Joe Biden https://43alumniforjoebiden.com/
Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform https://repair45.org/
Republicans for Rule of law https://www.ruleoflawrepublicans.com/
Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/national-security/