The Economist‘s Intelligence Unit has found that a Trump presidency is one of the ten biggest potential threats to the global economy, potentially plunging the world back into a painful recession – just like the last Republican president did. They cite his aggressive stance towards free trade and his excessively violent “foreign policy” as one of the most destabilizing forces in the world and a threat as serious as the breakup of the European Union or the outbreak of a new “Cold War” against the Russians.
Thus far Mr Trump has given very few details of his policies – and these tend to be prone to constant revision – but a few themes have become apparent. First, he has been exceptionally hostile towards free trade, including notably NAFTA, and has repeatedly labelled China as a “currency manipulator”. He has also taken an exceptionally right-wing stance on the Middle East and jiadhi terrorism, including, among other things, advocating the killing of families of terrorists and launching a land incursion into Syria to wipe out IS (and acquire its oil). In the event of a Trump victory, his hostile attitude to free trade, and alienation of Mexico and China in particular, could escalate rapidly into a trade war – and at the least scupper the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the US and 11 other American and Asian states signed in February 2016. His militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East (and ban on all Muslim travel to the US) would be a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups, increasing their threat both within the region and beyond.
Mexico and China are our nation’s second and third biggest trading partners (after Canada), accounting for over a trillion dollars a year in imports and exports between the two. Trump has made complaining about China and Mexico a regular theme in his stump speeches, constantly railing against them for “killing us” in trade but never explaining how that actually works to an electorate which clearly does not care for facts but are content to absolve themselves and pass the blame for their financial woes off on other nations. Disrupting our trade agreements would cause enormous upheaval in the global economy, the consequences of which are lost on an ignoramus like Trump, who is in fact a terrible businessman.
His plans to murder large numbers of Middle Eastern civilians, bring back the torture program, and invading Syria to destroy a rapidly collapsing Islamic State without a thought for the aftermath is a similarly destabilizing threat. Millions more refugees would flee into Europe as jihadi groups turned from their struggle against Assad to engage in a protracted and bloody guerrilla war against the American occupation, drawing us into a five-year multinational conflict that shows no signs of ending and giving new legitimacy to the objectives of al-Qaeda and their countless affiliates. The cost would be incredible in blood and gold, the former of which would likely be put on the national credit card like Bush did – which is why we have the debt that Trump complains about so frequently.
Donald Trump is a danger to the American people and the world, and they will never forgive us if we elect him. Let’s not let it come to that.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.