On December 31, I was a guest on Joshua Bennett’s radio show on KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska. Given the day, much of our wide-ranging, two-hour discussion focused on events of the last year and what may come in 2017, including what President Donald Trump will mean for United States intervention abroad and liberty in America.
Looking forward to the Trump presidency, I predicted, pointing to something similar that happened with President Ronald Reagan, that Trump would trade away following through on his stated desire to reduce spending in some areas in order to gain support in Congress for increased spending in other areas such as infrastructure and the military. The result, I concluded, would be a “compromise” of “increasing spending across-the-board.”
Continuing with predictions for a Trump presidency, I pointed to policing as an area where I expected “Trump as president would seek to expand government very likely.” In support of this conclusion, I referenced Trump’s support for New York City-style stop-and-frisk, the rolling back of restrictions on the US government supplying military weapons to local police, surveillance of Muslims in America, and the building of a wall between the US and Mexico. Trump talks about using the wall, I noted, for fighting the drug war in addition to preventing illegal immigration.
Regarding Trump’s potential foreign policy, the discussion turned to matters including Trump’s back-and-forth position on torture, his support for imprisoning people at Guantanamo, and his desire to reverse much or all the détente with Iran and Cuba that the Obama administration obtained. A foreign policy bright spot was the potential that Trump would take action to reduce the US government’s animosity toward Russia.
While the radio show discussion addressed several actions the Trump administration may take to threaten liberty and increase foreign intervention, I held out some hope, saying, “I’m always hopeful that there is a chance that we’ll have a president that at the end of his time in office the political system is better than it was before, that liberty is respected more.”
At the completion of Trump’s presidency, it would be great to inform Bennett that my hope had been fulfilled. But, the early days of the Trump administration are not boosting my optimism.
Listen to the complete interview here:
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.