Donald Trump is our last, best hope
Tens of millions of Americans share a deep regret over the presidential election choices now before us. They don’t want Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, yet they acknowledge that this is a “binary” race—that is, that one of the two will be our next president.
But from a moral standpoint, the choice is clear.
When it comes to Trump, we face the problem that he has no track record of public service by which to assess him. To many Americans, that is a good thing—they want an outsider. But he is subject to criticism for being rude and insensitive, racially, ethnically and sexually bigoted, unprepared on the issues, impulsive and prone to flip-flopping on his positions. Liberals see him as too conservative, and conservatives worry that he is too liberal.
Then there are Trump’s bankruptcies, which are fodder against him because he left employees and creditors stranded, while his supporters note that the folding of his casinos was largely the fault of others. His supporters note that, in his bankruptcies and his tax returns (as yet undisclosed), there is no hint that he broke any laws, much less criminal laws.
But Trump has largely succeeded in becoming a billionaire the right way. Trump built businesses in highly competitive markets through providing goods and services that customers actually want and have chosen to buy. In doing this, he has created huge amounts of wealth not just for himself, but for thousands of others, including vast numbers of employees.
While Trump remains a mystery and a work in progress, his background in business could prove invaluable to us at a time when Big Government has been turned against our private sector, killing small business growth with reams of costly regulations, and driving large businesses to relocate overseas to escape from the highest corporate tax burdens in the so-called free world. Trump may itch to start a regrettable trade war or two, but presumably he’d have a Republican Congress to rein him in. And if he sticks to his published list of potential Supreme Court nominees, we’ll have much cause to be thankful.
Clinton, on the other hand, has a long and sordid history of life in public service. Her scandals from the 1990s pale in comparison to her misuse of her State Department position to amass a fortune with donations to the Clinton Foundation and speaking fees for her spouse.
Perhaps this “pay-to-play” scheme was the real reason why she ignored all of those warnings about running classified emails on her private server. Never mind the risks to national security and to our soldiers and spies; there was real money to be made!
While America’s economic freedom has allowed some of us to become billionaires if we pleased enough customers, as Trump has done, it is only through corruption — usually seen in dictatorships such as Russia and China — that public servants get filthy rich.
Our economy is in tatters, our schools are outlandishly awful, our immigration process is a disaster, our debts are skyrocketing, our children can’t find jobs, our allies are deserting us and our enemies are laughing at us. And with one more solid liberal Supreme Court justice — which Clinton is certain to nominate if elected — we’ll be untethered from our Constitution.
We may deserve better than Trump, but he could be America’s last, best hope.
Blaine Winship is the author of “Moralnomics: The Moral Path to Prosperity.”