Still undecided? Has the greatest media onslaught of all time (aided and abetted, it must be said, by the candidate himself) failed to convince you that Donald Trump is 1) unstable 2) a bigot 3) in league with Vladimir Putin 4) a demagogue 5) a Nazi or worse?
If your mind is still open, here are five reasons why a sane person might pull the lever for Trump.
Education. There is no question that our public schools are failing our kids and our minority children worst of all. Hillary Clinton cannot address this issue because the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association – the two biggest teachers’ unions – have donated millions to her campaign and she needs those organizations to get out the vote. As an unpopular candidate, that effort will be critical.
Note that every single speaker at the Democratic convention, including President and Michele Obama, urged people to vote. They know that Hillary has not won the hearts and minds of the Obama coalition and that many millennials and minority voters may simply stay home on November 8. Hillary wants all those millions of teachers ringing doorbells and making phone calls. The words “teacher accountability” will not be heard from Mrs. Clinton. Upward mobility starts with a good education.
Obamacare. Obamacare is collapsing. Premiums for next year are expected to jump 18 percent to 23 percent across the nation; insurers are pulling out, and the exchanges are failing. The system is inherently broken, with too few young, healthy people signing up. Obamacare was sold on a lie, and the lie is being exposed.
What will Hillary Clinton do? Her instinct will be to double down on the federal takeover of our healthcare system. In May she floated a “buy-in” to Medicare for people over 50. That’s a step towards the so-called “public option” embraced by Clinton years ago and revived by her recently, which would impose an even greater burden on taxpayers. What’s needed instead is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a combination of health-savings accounts, greater competition amongst insurers, a faster approval process for healthcare innovations, more participation by private companies offering low-cost efficient clinics, and protection of Medicare. Most of these ideas were presented by House Republicans in June, and should be the roadmap for progress.
The economy? Americans continue to rate jobs and the economy as their number one concern. Hillary offers four more years of Obama’s policies that have brought us slow growth, a “real unemployment rate” of 9.7 percent and near-stagnant wages. She virtually guarantees a continuation of the same by promising to levy even more regulations on job creators and to raise taxes on corporations and top earners. There have been endless studies linking lower corporate tax rates with higher wages; even President Obama has proposed cutting the rate paid by U.S. businesses.
Hillary fans will dismiss her proposals as insincere campaign pledges, but it is possible that running against Bernie Sanders has revealed Hillary’s inner socialist – the Wellesley girl who revered Saul Alinsky. Her current ad campaign calls for making corporations and the rich pay their “fair share.” Clinton knows they already are. What she will not admit is that encouraging businesses and growing the economy is the only way to boost wages, secure our entitlements programs and provide the kinds of opportunities that make the United States a beacon for the entire world. Trump has a better plan for growing the economy.
Dissatisfaction with government is Americans next most pressing concern. Polling shows the country more confident in local authorities than in the federal government. A Gallup survey shows that the closer to home the power is, the higher the approval of citizens. While only 38 percent think the federal government is doing a good job of handling domestic issues, 58 percent give high marks to their state administration, and 70 percent approve of “local” authorities. This is an important message, one to which Hillary Clinton is utterly tone deaf. She embraces an ever greater federal reach, extending Beltway tentacles to student loans, energy development, education, to how wages and benefits are set – to nearly every aspect of our lives. By definition, this means less efficiency and less accountability in our government – something that every American should reject. Trump would check federal overreach and regulation.
The Supreme Court. As I and many others have argued, no matter what you think of Donald Trump’s personality, those who believe in free markets, limited government and in protecting our constitution cannot allow Hillary Clinton to appoint as many as four liberal Supreme Court Justices in the next few years. Her choices for decades will tilt the country even further towards a progressive agenda and weaken the checks and balances, which have powerfully limited the autocratic rule of Barack Obama. This is not acceptable. Trump would work to balance the court and free it ideology.
Trump is a deeply flawed candidate who will not personally manage the government. Instead, he will, as Obama and all presidents have done, outsource the direction of our vast federal enterprise. But on the issues noted above, his instincts – and the instincts of those who are working with him -- are sounder than Clinton’s are. And his designated hitters would be more likely to achieve the progress the country needs.