Remember when Ronald Reagan said that government wasn’t the solution, it was – more often than not – the problem? Yeah, Donald Trump apparently doesn’t share that sentiment.
Eminent domain – the practice of government forcing people to sell their private property in the name of the “common interest” – is a “wonderful thing,” according to the braggadocious crony capitalist who is inexplicably loved by roughly 30 percent of Republicans.
During a recent interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Trump extolled the virtues of using the coercive nature of big government for the benefit of crony business. In fact, his high praise for eminent domain wasn’t even marginally disguised within his rambling attempt to take charge of the interview. (The guy kinda reminds me of a “Chatty Cathy” that pulls his own string sometimes.)
And, no. I’m not over exaggerating:
Can someone explain to me the appeal this man has among conservatives? Since when did eminent domain, taxing the hell out of all “those hedge fund guys,” donating to the Clintons, extolling the virtues of Canada’s socialized medicine, disregarding supply side economics, and boycotting Fox News become desirable policy positions for a conservative icon? Did I somehow miss a meeting in the conservative movement?
But Trump’s penchant for sounding kinda like a big-government liberal doesn’t end with his apparent admiration for government kicking people out of their homes. It’s actually much deeper than that.
The fact is, Trump doesn’t really see an overreaching government as much of a problem. Oh sure, he calls the folks running the bureaucratic mess known as “government” a bunch of “idiots” (surprisingly accurate for being a pejorative most commonly found on school playgrounds), but he seems to think it’s more of a managerial issue than a structural flaw.
After all, when was the last time Trump used the phrase “limited government”?
Has he ever talked about “individual liberty”?
Does he ever extol the virtues of a “free market”? (No, seriously: I want to know.)
Because as far as I can tell, he seems pretty well-connected to the corrupt political hacks that currently roam the halls of the US capitol. Heck, he even bragged about how his donations to these “idiots” earns him special favors when he needs it.
And, really, doesn’t that kinda make him part of the problem? While conservative and libertarian billionaires (like the Koch brothers) spend their money attempting to diminish government’s reach in the private sector, Trump’s history is more reflective of the typical leftist elite. He’s spent most of his career cozying up to politicians who can wield their influence to make sure he receives preferential treatment from big government policies.
And what’s worse, he seems to expect a “pass” on all his liberal beliefs because… well, because he creates jobs.
At one point, Trump even suggests that eminent domain — when used not for a road or highway, but for a private business such as a factory or a Trump tower — is “economic development.”
Um… No, Mr. Trump. Eminent domain is not “economic development.” It is the devolution of private property rights so some politically connected businessman who happens to be friends with some high-profile politician can get his way.
“F-ck private property rights,” would have been a far simpler way for Trump to summarize his opinion on the issue. Apparently, so long as someone powerful (such as himself) thinks it will contribute to the common good, the right for an individual to keep their home doesn’t really need to be protected, right?
His love of eminent domain, combined with his feud with Fox News (I notice he never tried to boycott MSNBC), his cronyism with the Clinton family (I still haven’t run across any conservative that would pay Hillary to show up at their wedding), his admiration for Canada’s single payer healthcare system (contrary to his claims, it doesn’t work “incredibly well”), and his love of demonizing “those rich hedge fund guys” (Bernie Sanders would be proud) kinda paints a pretty vivid picture.
And that picture looks an awful lot like a big government liberal.