Recently, the Young Democrats held a voter registration drive at UVA-Wise.
I’ve noticed a few things from meeting people across the political spectrum through my experience volunteering at these events. Democrats enjoy the way our country is now, headed by the Obama administration. They are excited to see the platform centered around hope, finished and realized. The people in the middle are mostly disappointed. They are the most upset with their choices and registered unenthusiastically, if at all. As for Republicans, they all seemed ready for the Obama administration to end. They want nothing more than to turn Washington on its head and change the political landscape of the country. I have a question, however. Is a Donald Trump presidency truly worth it?
The Trump’s tax plan has been analyzed by Tax Policy Center, a group that claims the plan favors the rich over the middle class. With a flat tax on all individuals, including the vastly wealthy, the Tax Policy Center estimates the proposal would reduce federal revenue by $9.5 trillion over its first decade and an additional $15.0 trillion over the subsequent 10 years. These numbers are calculated before accounting for added interest costs or considering macroeconomic feedback effects as well. Considering the current condition of US national debt, Trump’s proposed tax plan would strain the country’s budget in a time it literally can’t afford to do so.
The “Trump Wall”, Donald Trump’s most detailed proposal, would exceed the cost Trump claims. With the need for concrete footing and foundation, roads for construction vehicles access to the site, engineering, design, and management, along the materials needed for construction, all of these expenses would put the cost of a border wall at around $26 billion dollars, anywhere from two to six times what Donald Trump has led the American people to believe.
These expenses do not include Trump’s proposed deportation of all 11 million undocumented immigrants. By any tally, the costs would be enormous. The American Action Forum, a conservative-leaning research group, calculated the federal outlay to be at least 400 billion only if the deportations were stretched over 20 years. This solution only combats the issue of immigrants who walk over the border, not the ones who overstay work visas. This means the deportation would only deport a small portion of illegal immigrants at the expense of billions of tax dollars.
Donald Trump’s social policies will negatively impact the world’s perception of the United States if he becomes president. From building a tremendously expensive wall on the southern border to keep out immigrants, to the distasteful and vile comments about women, immigrants, and world leaders, Donald Trump has effectively put fear and contempt into the hearts and minds of many people, all the way from migrant workers to world leaders.
While the country’s economic strength and social policies are the most important aspects of this argument, the destruction of the party is personal to Republicans. Donald Trump’s erratic campaign, conspiracy theories and controversies have not only effected the top of the ticket, but the down ballot Republican races as well. Congressional candidates that have supported Trump or are supporting Trump are being associated with his behavior. With the video leak of the comments in which Trump encourages sexual assault, his continuing comments on the morality of his accusers and the recent, “nasty woman” comment toward Hillary, the damage has only gotten worse. Traditional Republican states are beginning to fall out of the party’s grasp. Many recent polls have shown that formally solid Republican states like Texas, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri and others are now swaying toward Democrats.
With the recent polls showing Clinton anywhere from six to 10 points ahead, the Trump campaign must begin planning for a loss. However, as is evident by almost every public appearance in the last month, Trump is very willing, if not inclined, to contest the results of the election if he does not win. As a country, we have always made every effort possible to create a peaceful transfer of power. This harmful rhetoric makes it difficult, if not dangerous for the new administration and their supporters. When a group of people feel as though they have been left behind, and then are told that the whole democratic process is rigged against them, it becomes a formula for violence and an even more deeply ingrained fear of change. This is not only a problem for the administration moving into the White House but for Republicans as well. If Donald Trump does not accept the results of the election, the Republican Party might just split over whether to concede the election and continue governing, or whether to fight the results. This would heavily impede the governing process and further the plummeting approval ratings for Republicans in congress.
Considering the economic and social impact of a Trump presidency and the impact to their own party, Republicans must ask themselves: Is it all worth it? The anger and the frustration against establishment politics may be justified, especially in this area of Southwest Virginia. However, the social, economic, global and inter-Republican strain that is sure to come cannot justify a vote for Donald Trump. Just like the rule of medicine, where all bodily fluids are treated as if they contain an infectious disease, treat politicians as if they mean to do everything they say. I hope voters decide putting Trump in the Oval Office is not worth the risk.