An Amateur Historian Imagines a Trump Presidency

by | Mar 3, 2016 | Legal History

If Donald Trump were President, and if he kept his campaign promises …

  1. Benito MussoliniThe United States would be fighting a trade war against China — after we levy 45% tariffs on our second biggest trading partner, reversing our long-term success at reducing tariffs (but it’d be “a fair war”).
  2. Mussolini’s ideas would once again guide a great nation.
  3. The U.S. would be fighting a cold war + trade war against Mexico, our third biggest trading partner and one of two countries on our land borders.
  4. Just after they pass by the Statue of Liberty, refugees and immigrants would take an “I’m not Muslim” oath.
  5. The intelligence agencies would have to halt most anti-terrorism operations in the Middle East, thanks to our loss of Muslim allies, but they’d compensate by assassinating suspected terrorists’ wives and children (and “war crime” would no longer be a thing).
  6. The Pope would not visit the U.S. for four years.
  7. The market for instruments of torture would soar, as the President “bring[s] back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” because, “believe me, it works” (again, “war crime” no longer a thing).
  8. Treaties with the U.S. would no longer be binding, thanks to our policy on NAFTA: “We will either renegotiate it or we will break it.”
  9. A hundred thousand Syrian and Iraqi men, women, and children would lie dead, due to the President’s plan to “bomb the shit out of” ISIS (but ISIS itself, highly dispersed, would be fine).
  10. ISIS Recruiting Officer would be the world’s most sought-after job: easy and highly paid.
  11. Down_and_out_on_New_York_pier.croppedInstead of “my esteemed opponent” or “the right honorable gentleman from South Carolina,” American politicians would call their opponents “loser.”
  12. Fashions of the 1930’s (see photo) would return, thanks to a new Great Depression, caused by trade wars and by the credit collapse (the latter triggered by the President’s debt policy: “be unpredictable”).
  13. Libel laws would “trump” freedom of speech, and I’d owe the President my house and savings for this post.

This might not seem like a post on history, but it looks at the Trump effect on historical forces. Those include America’s unique advantage from having no opponents across a land border, America’s habit of winning in a free trade environment, the economic effects of unpredictable government, and the impact of demagogue leaders. Please share!



Trump Photo by Gage Skidmore, licensed through Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

© 2016 by David W. Tollen.

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