James Pinkerton, "Globalism Hits a Brick Wall: Now, What Will Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Do?" (ValuBit News, August 30, 2016). After providing a substantial historical lesson in Free Trade Orthodoxy and its alternatives, Pinkerton concludes:
... So now we come to a mega-question for 2016: How should we judge the sincerity of the two major-party candidates, Clinton or Trump, when they affirm their opposition to TPP? And how do we assess their attitude toward globalization, including immigration, overall?
The future is, of course, unknown, but we can make a couple of points.
First, it is true that many have questioned the sincerity of Hillary’s new anti-TPP stance, especially given the presence of such prominent free-traders as vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and presidential transition-planning chief Ken Salazar. Moreover, there’s also Hillary’s own decades-long association with open-borders immigration policies, as well as past support for such trade bills as NAFTA, PNTR, and, of course, TPP. And oh yes, there’s the Clinton Foundation, that global laundromat for every overseas fortune; most of those billionaires are globalists par excellence—would a President Hillary really cross them?
Second, since there’s still no way to see inside another person’s mind, the best we can do is look for external clues—by which we mean, external pressures. And so we might ask a basic question: Would the 45th president, whoever she or he is, feel compelled by those external pressures to keep their stated commitment to the voters? Or would they feel that they owe more to their elite friends, allies, and benefactors?
As we have seen, Clinton has long chosen to surround herself with free traders and globalists. Moreover, she has raised money from virtually every bicoastal billionaire in America.
So we must wonder: Will a new President Clinton really betray her own class—all those Davos Men and Davos Women—for the sake of middle-class folks she has never met, except maybe on a rope line? Would Clinton 45, who has spent her life courting the powerful, really stick her neck out for unnamed strangers—who never gave a dime to the Clinton Foundation?
Okay, so what to make of Trump? He, too, is a fat-cat—even more of fat-cat, in fact, than Clinton. And yet for more than a year now, he has based his campaign on opposition to globalism in all its forms; it’s been the basis of his campaign—indeed, the basis of his base. And his campaign policy advisers are emphatic. According to Politico, as recently as August 30, Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro reiterated Trump’s opposition to TPP, declaring, "Any deal must increase the GDP growth rate, reduce the trade deficit, and strengthen the manufacturing base. "
So, were Trump to win the White House, he would come in with a much more solid anti-globalist mandate.
Thus we can ask: Would a President Trump really cross his own populist-nationalist base by going over to the other side—to the globalists who voted, and donated, against him? If he did—if he repudiated his central platform plank—he would implode his presidency, the way that Bush 41 imploded his presidency in 1990 when he went back on his “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge.
Surely Trump remembers that moment of political calamity well, and so surely, whatever mistakes he might make, he won’t make that one.
To be sure, the future is unknowable. However, as we have seen, the past, both recent and historical, is rich with valuable clues.
[Hat tip to Sir A.S.]