I recently made a pledge.
If President Donald Trump ever negotiates for Mexico to build a wall along the border with the United States, I will put a Donald Trump banner ad on this blog for as long as the Mexican-financed wall stands.
Something like this.
Last month I published My Donald Trump Dream. At the time he was surging. Since then the contested convention talk heated up as the establishment rallied around Ted Cruz. Trump was looking less likely when all of a sudden the Republicans realized Cruz is 10 pounds of shit in a five-pound bag, and Trump is the presumed nominee again.
Hence the pledge.
Analysis behind The Pledge
It’s not a difficult bet. First, Trump has to beat Hillary. I don’t think he will beat Hillary when the elections move beyond GOP primaries. In fact I’d assign less than 25% chance of that.
Even if Trump beats Hillary to take the White House, he will have to convince a middle-income country to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a wall which would epitomize their inferiority. I give that 0% chance.
So 0.25 x 0.00 = 0% chance of a Mexican-finance wall on the United States’ southern border.
Some may take issue with the 0%. Trump’s leverage, they say, include the threat of tariffs or enacting legislation to block remittances which Mexico’s economy depends on.
I give a 0% chance of Trump’s political ability to end the 20-year-old NAFTA agreement unilaterally. Even if he tries to use it as a negotiating tool, the public outcry will shout him down and undermine his position.
I give a 0% chance Trump will be able to enact trade barriers on the flow of money from the United States to Mexico. And even if he does, the internet is creating more and more ways to sidestep traditional finance. Bitcoin was set up specifically to bypass governments’ oppressive monetary policies, which is why it’s hot shit in Venezuela. I think Mexico calls his bluff on this threat.
So in all seriousness, I give a Mexican-financed wall a 0% chance.
I am ashamed to say that reading about Trump, who I privately call “The Antichrist,” is taking up a lot of my allotted work time. But his candidacy is just too much to ignore. It’s historic. I’m kind of hoping it splits the Republican party and ends up with a three-party system in America.
The Make-America-Great-Again crowd can have Trump.
In a new party, the pro-business segment of the GOP would no longer have to demonstrate their Christian, pro-gun or anti-immigration bona fides. The new party would draw pro-business Democrats who, before the third option, preferred to line up with labor unions and protectionism than gun enthusiasts and Creationists.
Three parties. I’m kind of rooting for it.
Here are some faves from my time-wasting reading.
Donald Trump wins the US presidential election (The Economist)
Earns the top spot for brevity. Three beautiful paragraphs summing up the danger of a Donald Trump presidency, which the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks as a higher global risk than jihadi terrorism affecting global trade or the UK leaving the EU.
On Trade, Donald Trump Breaks With 200 Years of Economic Orthodoxy (New York Times)
Makes one of the main points that Donald Trump is not really a Republican. His views on international trade and finance belong in the organized-labor camp of the Democratic party. And his departure from the Republican platform marks the first time since Herbert Hoover, whose protectionist trade policies caused the Great Depression according to some historians. Classic economics icon Milton Friedman would be rolling over in his grave, or voting for Hillary.
OPEN LETTER ON DONALD TRUMP FROM GOP NATIONAL SECURITY LEADERS (War on the Rocks)
As much as Trump is not a Republican on the economy, except maybe in advocating low taxes, he is even less Republican on foreign policy. This short list of bulletpoints from 121 Republican foreign-policy leaders is a biting critique which illustrates how uninformed Trump is. Written before Trump’s big foreign policy speech last week.
Donald Trump’s Strange Worldview (New York Times)
Written after Trump’s big foreign policy speech. You can’t declare bankruptcy in geopolitics, and what makes good reality television may not make a better world.
Five things we “learned” from Trump’s foreign policy speech (Brookings Institution)
Explains the angles Trump uses in his effort to convince the Republican leadership that he is not completely unviable as a candidate in regards to foreign policy.
Why Donald Trump Should Be Taken Seriously on Foreign Policy (Foreign Policy)
Not what the title seems. Trump is still unviable, but this piece offers an interesting perspective on how some of what Trump is saying resonates with a broad section of the American public because many of our foreign policies have become entrenched. Some assumptions should be questioned. But Trump is still “a terrible candidate for his party and his country. A victory for Trump would be a loss for America. But even a broken clock is right twice a day.”
This is not an American politics blog. But nor am I the anti-American which many expats are.
This is very much an international blog, unabashedly pro-globalization. And if the GOP assclown is going to say something like:
We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.
… then Expat Chronicles will point out that he is an assclown who is better suited for reality television than government.
Besides that, let’s hope I don’t cover American politics again for a long time.
Stay tuned for a piece on Peruvian politics.