Trump vs. Warren: Trump Builds, Warren Destroys
President Trump's vision of our country is America First. Unlike all presidents of the past 30 years, Donald Trump is not afraid of saying he puts his own people first. Everything he does is in the interest of ordinary Americans.
The policy of America First rejects the globalist and universalist policies of the past that saw America as just one nation among others — and a guilty and undeserving nation at that. The low point in this anti-American era was President Obama's apology tour of 2009, during which he traveled to Europe and the Middle East apologizing for everything America had done in the past and promising that we would do better in the future. They loved it in Berlin and Cairo, places where they do not love America and where they do not share our fundamental values of individual liberty. Obama spoke the words that other nations wanted to hear, and he spoke them because he shared their disdain. He believed that America needed to be "transformed" from what it had been in the past.
That kind of antagonism toward America is shared by Elizabeth Warren today. She does not speak with awe of the Greatest Generation that saved the world from fascism and communism. Nor does she celebrate the greatness of our capitalist economy, the sanctity of life, the Second Amendment, the right of religious expression in the public sphere, the need for a strong military and police force (including ICE), the crucial role of the family, or even the debt we owe to our legal immigrants.
Instead, Warren is pushing the transformation of America farther. Her official website offers no fewer than 46 "plans" for changing America. It says nothing about preserving what is good about our country.
Warren's plans range from the familiar "protecting a woman's right to choose" to "100% clean energy for America." They cover every politically correct topic, from "LGBTQ+ rights" to "A fair and welcoming immigration system" — welcoming those who cross illegally? When one digs into her "plans," they come down to a familiar, even trite recitation of progressive causes — call it Obama on steroids. Warren offers nothing that is different — only more of what didn't work in the past.
Warren's plan for "gun safety," for example, involves familiar ideas for restrictions on gun ownership: universal background checks, extended waiting periods, and bans on sales to many classes of individuals. It goes even farther by "holding gun companies accountable" for crimes involving use of their weapons — in effect, forcing them into bankruptcy. And it promises investigations that would weaken the NRA as well.
Democrats have always run with promises of free cash, and Warren's plan for Social Security is not at all different. It includes an immediate increase of $2,400 per year in benefits to all recipients, plus "even greater" increases for "people of color" and "women and caregivers, low-income workers, public sector workers, students and job-seekers, and people with disabilities." Everyone gets an extra raise except those who have worked and paid in most of their lives.
One of Warren's more extreme "plans" is her support for the Refund Equality Act — a bill that would refund taxes to homosexual couples who previously filed as unmarried singles. The point is that in the past, before the legal recognition of gay "marriage," homosexuals living together were single. That is why they filed as singles. Warren wants to extend tax refunds to them retroactively.
A disturbing pattern emerges in Warren's plans for America. At every point, they pit one class of Americans against another. Women versus men. Blacks versus whites. Gays versus straights. Disabled versus abled. And especially poor versus rich. In the past, despite whatever disparities that existed, Americans saw themselves as one people. They believed that their treasured citizenship as Americans was more important than any differences. My family was not rich, but we didn't go around railing against the 1% — or, in Warren's case, the 2%. All that Warren can do is to attack those she sees as "privileged."
Another pattern in Warren's plan is the emphasis on collectivism, or, if you like, socialism — and Warren is a socialist, despite her disavowal. Like many socialists before her, Warren wants sweeping government control of private enterprise. As she says, she believes in "markets that have a cop on the beat and have real rules and everybody follows them." Markets with agency "cops," constant regulation, and "everybody" after them are not free markets. What Warren wants is government control of markets, not free enterprise. Her over-regulation would stifle the robust economy that President Trump has set in motion.
Warren's environmental views have been described as an "adult version" of Greta Thunberg's sneering performance at the U.N. last month. Warren supports the Paris climate agreement and most other globalist initiatives that would curtail U.S. power and growth. Meanwhile, she opposes the USMCA (NAFTA 2.0), which would benefit American farmers and manufacturers. Her positions are not based on what would help ordinary Americans — they are aimed at pleasing her narrow political base.
If there is one word that describes Warren, it is "planner," and like socialists everywhere, Warren has a government plan for everything. That includes family planning. Warren is an "aggressive" supporter of abortion who wants to require private insurance and Medicaid to fund abortions. She believes that unwanted children should be aborted.
So far, Warren's socialism remains just a dream, but that will change if she is elected president. Her supporters love it when she attacks the rich, Wall Street, and Big Business. Yet, despite all her words about "saving the middle class," she has accomplished little in her seven years in the U.S. Senate. In the latest 2019–2020 term, Warren sponsored or (mostly) co-sponsored 357 bills, but of the handful that passed the Senate, only one made it to the president (the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019), and Warren was not the primary sponsor even of this bill.
If elected, Warren would undermine much of what America has been for 243 years: "the land of the free," a country whose citizens possess the liberty to worship as they like, speak as they like, work as they like, save and invest as they like (without the confiscatory wealth tax and investment trading taxes that Warren is proposing), and live their private lives as they like. Warren's policies, if carried to their logical end, would undermine all of our freedoms. They would impose sweeping hate speech limitations on free speech, restrict gun ownership, prohibit religious expression in public areas, curtail investment, and place businesses under close government regulation and control — in effect, nationalizing the economy.
This is very far from America as we have known it, and it is far from President Trump's ethos of America First.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).