By: Jerome Wassel
My good friend Abigail Bender has written an article on the pros of a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency for our school paper, and I have volunteered myself to do the same for Donald John Trump. I’ve chosen five points to focus on that I believe are essential for voters and nonvoters alike to know and understand. Before I delve into that, however, I want to expand on the ‘nonvoters’ mentioned above. You may not be eighteen in time for the election. You may not believe in our electoral process. You might just be a non-citizen. Nonetheless, your voice -does- matter. You -are- capable of swaying individuals around you who -do- possess the right to vote, and I greatly encourage you to do so. The choices made this election will shape the next four (or more) years of this country, and your life, whether you vote or not. So I implore each and every one of you to do your part, read through this article, and Abigail’s, and form your opinions as you see fit to help determine the fate of our nation.
The five points I find most important, particularly for Trump’s campaign, are, in no particular order of importance, energy, immigration, defense, taxation, and trade. For trade, I will also include the American economy, and specifically American infrastructure. While this topic is deserving of its own independent point, for my purposes it will be tied directly to the topic of our trade practices.
Energy is a troubling topic in our current era. Increasing calls of ‘global warming’ (or climate change, or whatever the media feels like calling it on a given day) have lead to the downfall of our fossil fuel industries through over-regulation and turning public opinion. While I am no great fan of fossil fuel energy generation, I am also not so stupid as to believe we should move from them without having developed a viable alternative. I’m sure some readers are readying their ‘clean energy’ pitchforks with the ‘triple threat’ of solar, wind, and water. I’m going to trim the third for the upcoming tangent, because frankly, water-powered sources of energy are viable, as demonstrated by the Hoover Dam, but they also rely on multiple factors that make them not as favorable as other sources. However, solar and wind are the great lies of our century. The Obama Administration pledged 535 million dollars to solar panel manufacturer named Solyndra. Solyndra proceeded to provide the Administration with a -loss- to the tune of 528 million dollars, along with needing a 25.1 million dollar tax break from the California government. Another superb example of a solar failure is Abound Solar, which received a ten-year, 400 million dollar pledge, and then proceeded to suspend operations two years later. From an article published back in April 2015, American taxpayers will be footing a 2.2 billion dollar bill for the Energy Department’s venture into renewable energies. Two months later? Another investment into solar, the biggest yet made by the nation. From an environmental standpoint, the materials needed to create the panels have a harmful environmental impact that also suffer from a scarcity issue due to the difficulty in extracting them. Wind likewise suffers from problems, namely generation and profitability, alongside the need for massive government aid in the form of tax credits to make it an industry worth venturing into.
This leads me to Trump. Unlike his Democratic opponent, who wants to kill fossil fuels while investing in ‘clean’ energy that simply doesn’t compare, Trump is very much aware of the fact that, for the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are our only option. He is also aware that our fossil fuel production can be cleaner without its complete destruction. Our nation has massive energy reserves in the form of our shale, of which Trump estimates there are 50 trillion dollars worth of yet untapped reserves, our natural gas, our oil, and, obviously, our coal. Under his administration, he would declare American energy supremacy as both a domestic economic goal, and a foreign policy strategy. Put simply, he would see us break free from the monopoly of OPEC, or any other nations hostile to our energy interests. He would also have us move towards cleaner methods of coal production, along with developing methods to reduce methane emissions from natural gas. An important point to note is that on average, an American household’s energy bill will be roughly 5000 dollars. Trump’s plan to remove the barriers on fossil fuel production, and reduce regulation, will allow cost to go down and competition to go up, which would effectively drive prices down even lower. This will particularly help the poor of our nation, who obviously do not have as much flexible income to be able to put towards a yearly 5000 dollar bill. Finally, Trump in particular has been vocal in his support of nuclear energy and nuclear energy research, which makes him, at least in my own opinion, the only candidate that is aware of what our only real option after fossil fuels is, and therefore the only candidate capable of moving us into a prosperous post-fossil fuel era.