When the Second World War ended and the hard work of reconstruction began, Sir Winston Churchill—a Conservative—found himself thrown out of office and replaced by a Leftist named Clement Atlee. Despite having led Great Britain through its great crucible, Churchill and his fellow Conservatives had lost the peace. The British people had come out of the conflict not with renewed vigor but with resignation.
In the decade that followed the war, the British Empire (already under siege before the war began) was placed on the permanent path toward dismantlement. Thus, Britons voted for the candidates that promised them the most in government subsidies and, after centuries of global dominance, the British people no longer believed in their greatness. This leftward turn would exacerbate Britain’s decline and, ultimately, would consign the empire to the dustbin of history.
Today, in 2016, the United States faces a choice similar to the one faced the British people after the Second World War. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for permanent decline and perpetual stagnation.
In recent weeks, the WikiLeaks organization has released a spate of damning private emails and transcripts that prove how unqualified for the presidency Hillary Clinton is. Among the most galling were the purloined transcripts of Clinton’s speech to a group of Brazilian bankers touting her vision for a Western Hemispheric Trade Union. This “free trade” union would closely resemble the European Union in its makeup and would further diminish American sovereignty. In her “dream” (which would make NAFTA look like a paean to nationalism), the transport of cheap goods and low-wage workers would be ensured by the removal of almost all borders within the free trade area.
Thus, low skilled workers would be able to move freely from South America into the United States, and cheaply made goods would be produced in South America and shipped up to the American people. This would displace jobs and opportunities for middle-class Americans. Such a free trade union would be the death knell for the already dispossessed blue-collar manufacturing workers in the U.S. What’s more, such a union would also have deleterious effects on American society, as the country would be forced to try and integrate constantly shifting masses of new immigrants who would have little time, even, to get settled, let alone integrate. Our already-beleaguered entitlement system would be pushed to the breaking point, as more people were placed on its rolls. And, as we’ve seen in the EU, the government would become increasingly bloated, inefficient, more corrupt, and less responsive to the needs of its taxpaying citizens.
Irresponsible Economic Policy
As if that wasn’t enough, Clinton’s tax plan intends to raise your taxes and intensify deficit spending to the tune of $1 trillion. This, as the U.S. already has a national deficit of roughly $20 trillion. Now, I know what my economist friends are going to say. They’re going to say that deficits really don’t matter, so long as the dollar is the international reserve currency. But, how long will that last? If the Federal Reserve keeps printing money in order to keep the economy “moving”—even at its current, anemic 1 percent growth levels—then the value of the dollar will continue to decrease. It will become far more difficult than it already is for Americans to purchase goods with such a devalued currency. More importantly, if we devalue our currency enough to keep a bad Democrat-run economy from totally collapsing, what will stop other nations from looking to other currencies to displace the dollar?
Just as the British discovered, a state’s currency does not retain dominance on its own—particularly in the face of stiff competition. As early as 2009, rising states like China and Russia were demanding that the world look to the creation of a new reserve currency, citing the 2008 Great Recession and the subsequent slow recovery as proof that the dollar could no longer be trusted. While these concerns have been quieted over the years, they have remained in the background of most international economic discussions.
And what about taxes and regulations? We have had a net increase of taxes and regulations under Barack Obama that has had disastrous effects on the growth potential of the American economy. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the mother’s milk of the American economy and always have been. Under President Obama these things have—and under Hillary Clinton they will continue to be—downplayed by those who believe that businesses contribute nothing to America other than greenhouse gases.
Clinton’s embrace of an EU-style hemispheric trade agreement would be just the first of many nails in the coffin of the American middle class. Her tax and economic policies are the real killers of an already-dwindling middle class. High taxes and burdensome regulations will serve only to further increase unemployment, thereby increasing the size and power of the federal government. For Clinton and the Democrats, the more ordinary American workers lose, the more political power they win. Don’t believe me? Just look at what’s happened recently in overtaxed and over-regulated Spain: the government there collapsed and, in the wake of that collapse, the country experienced an entrepreneurial renaissance and a significant uptick in economic output.
Disastrous Foreign Policy
As I noted recently, Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy beyond her proposed new hemispheric trading zone would be a continuation of the Obama foreign policy, only slightly more militarized. What do I mean by this? Just look at our relations with Russia. Like many in the national security community, I firmly believe that Russia is a grave and growing danger to the United States and its interests. I also believe that Russia is to the United States what the French historically were to the British: a constant spoiler. But—just as the British and French Empires not only had to get along over the centuries, but also routinely partnered together—so too must the United States and Russia have a basis for more amicable relations than they’ve had in recent years. Especially as the American military continues to suffer significant reductions in its war fighting capabilities.
A recent RAND Corporation study found that roughly seven brigades of troops would be needed just to deter Russia from taking more of Ukraine or other parts of Eastern Europe. Where will the U.S. find the forces to commit to this endeavor without removing critical units for fighting jihadists in the Middle East, or countering the increasing belligerence of North Korea and China in Asia? All that the Hillary Clinton foreign policy will do will be to appease mad dictatorships like Iran and North Korea whilst antagonizing nuclear powers like China and Russia without providing the military with the resources needed to resist those powers. It’s utterly irresponsible and totally disqualifying, in my book. Given its current economic and military constraints, America is already over-committed militarily and Hillary Clinton would double down on that over-commitment to the point that it would likely break the back of the armed forces.
And what about domestic politics? During the Obama years, crime and civil unrest have exploded. Law and order have been on the wane, in part because of economic factors, but also because the Democratic Party has spent the last eight years vilifying and marginalizing law enforcement for political purposes. This trend not only will continue unabated under the Clinton Administration, but it also will likely intensify. Lawlessness reigning supreme under a Democrat shouldn’t be too surprising. Between the Obama Administration and a potential Clinton Administration, corruption has been so pervasive that it is expected and elicits yawns.
Of course, there’s also the Supreme Court of the United States. With several seats now opening up for the next President to choose, I would expect a President Clinton to place the youngest, most left-wing jurists on the bench that she could find. This will ensure that America remains a majority Leftist country for decades after Hillary Clinton leaves the White House. The Supreme Court will decide some of our most vexing legal battles. If we lose it, the laws of the land will be interpreted permanently with an orientation toward the Left, meaning that the Right will always be at a disadvantage, even if it does manage, eventually, to win some elections.
Damage to the GOP
By the way, a Clinton presidency would also ensure that the Republican Party would be forever changed—for the worse. Just as in the United Kingdom today, the right-wing of the United States would be forced to move closer to the Left, as the ruling class takes the country’s politics even more leftward. In order to win elections then, the Right would have to continually compromise on its core values and effectively become a center-left political party. This is how the Tories of Great Britain operate today. It is how the “Never Trump” movement seeks to ensure that the Republican Party operates in the near future and would have had it operate now had they defeated Trump in the primaries. Under a Hillary Clinton presidency, any semblance of legitimate opposition to Leftism will be permanently marginalized and whatever remained would become, essentially, less an opposition party than a reluctant participant in the Leftist reorganization of America.
Expect the United States to mirror the makeup, the politics, and the economy of places like California or Illinois rather than those of Texas and Indiana. Under such conditions, the United States will have moved from the world’s lone Superpower to the world’s largest Failed State. We could make Greece look like an economic powerhouse at worst. At best, the United States would resemble Great Britain: a medium power with continued reductions in influence with each passing year.
The 2016 presidential election is indeed a change election, more so than any election has been in the last twenty years. Just as the British people voted for permanent decline in 1948 when they began dismantling their empire and building a cradle-to-grave entitlement society at home, so too will the American people decide on whether they will continue being the world’s leading Superpower. Or, the American people will decide to consign themselves to permanent mediocrity, just as the British did. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a signal to the world that Americans generally no longer believe in American Exceptionalism. Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson has a constant refrain that decline is ultimately a choice. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for permanent American decline.