Opinion: A Warning To President Trump Regarding Leftist Policies
On Presidential Election Day of 2016, Donald Trump was elected against the abysmal odds that were given to him by the media. Many suggested that Trump rode an angry populist wave to cross the finish line, and to “stick it” to the political establishment and media elites. Despite having some truth, I don't believe this repetitiously populist attribution accurately describes the basis for the support Trump was able to consolidate. Then-candidate Trump was not only able to garner the vote of the rust belt states and the “white working class”, but he was also able to convince essential Christian voting blocks on the Conservative side to come out and vote for him. Trump’s victory was facilitated by his populist rhetoric, but he would never have won an election if millions of Conservatives did not plug their nose on Election Day and vote against Hillary Clinton. And yet, without realizing that his base was essential to his victory, he continues to espouse anti-conservative rhetoric regarding guns and free trade. We all knew Trump was never really committed to an ideology, and perhaps it was only natural that Conservatives let their guard down because of recent good policy measures. But his recent leftward movement cannot be observed with leniency, nor be excused from our harshest criticisms. The past few weeks may have possibly been vital in an unforeseen way to the prospects of a diminished Second Amendment, and an unnecessary tariff and price disturbance on the steel industry. Republican voters oversaw Trump’s character flaws in November of 2016, in the hopes that he would become a champion for conservative policy. Now, as Trump begins to abandon his conservative base via policy, he will do so at his own political peril, if he chooses to continue.
Recently, a nonchalant agreement between President Trump and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to ban “assault weapons” was met with raised eyebrows from all across the political spectrum. On the right side of the aisle, the suggestion to ban ‘assault” rifles was more than suspicious, and rightfully welcomed outspoken resistance from the Republican base. Republican Congressman Warren Davidson from Ohio reportedly received a surge of phone calls from angry constituents that believed Trump’s recent embrace of gun control was suspect and worrying. Simply put, Ohio is the wrong state from which to upset gun-loving conservative constituents.
Perhaps most disappointingly, Trump was one of the first initiators on the Republican side to call for a ban on bump stocks, a more rigorous background check system, and a higher age requirement to legally acquire a gun. This has put Conservatives entirely on the defensive in the rhetorical battle to continue to celebrate the spirit of the Second Amendment. The President needs to understand that if raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 is what he and the Democrats want, then they must also accept that 18-year-olds can no longer be legally recognized as adults. Since all adults have the constitutional right to bear arms, the new age requirement will cease to share congruity with all other legal standards that define adulthood at 18. He needs to understand that “assault weapons”, despite being used to perpetuate anti-gun demagoguery, constitute an embarrassingly low percentage of total homicides relative to other types of firearms. And lastly, Trump needs to learn that background checks are already put in place in the United States and do little to prevent the vast majority of potential gun crime. Even Politifact, a left-leaning institution, confirms that only 3-11% of guns used in homicides are legally obtained, as was the firearm used to kill 17 people in the recent
Florida school shooting. If President Trump passes a bill to curtail legal gun accessibility, he will have to answer to those who entrusted him with the dutiful conservative responsibility to preserve the spirit of the Bill of Rights.
Along with disappointing those who enthusiastically support gun rights, the deplorable tariffs that Trump wishes to impose on steel and aluminum imports will have cataclysmic economic fallout that will speak for itself. Trump must walk a tightrope. Right now, he is reverting back to his populist economic instincts, as well as his instinct to appear to break a “deal” with those who want to limit American gun ownership (Democrats). If this disturbing trend continues, Trump’s pyramid of cheerleaders will collapse; starting with the base.
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