Daily Egyptian

What would America be like if Trump became president?

By Bill Lukitsch, @Bill_LukitschDE

Tune in to a Donald Trump rally and you’ll likely hear him reminisce about the good old days when America was, by his estimation, great.

There was a hint of admiration in his voice during his speech in Iowa on Thursday night when he lauded Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1954 immigration policy — known as “Operation Wetback” — that deported hundreds of thousands of Mexican immigrants. Trump criticized the U.S. for a lax immigration policy and contrasted it with the harsh penalties illegal border-crossers face in North Korea.

Perhaps Trump’s way of making America great again would involve taking a page out of Kim Jong-un’s book. 

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Still, the 69-year-old real estate tycoon and former reality television celebrity has a startling 17-point lead as the Republican nominee for president, according to the most recent Reuters/Ipsos five-day presidential poll released Friday. And the only other candidate to come close in terms of popularity is Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who desperately needs a head examination.

Trump has prided himself on abstaining from political correctness during his campaign, and he’s said something that could be deemed offensive by almost anyone who isn’t a white male.  

But it has seemed to work out for him so far.

While the loudest Republican candidate is taking most of the spotlight, established GOP politicians have gone relatively unnoticed. And though it’s hard to believe a rhetoric machine like Trump could actually receive a nod from the GOP, let alone become president, he is running the most successful campaign and it’s time to entertain the thought.

So, what could happen if Trump snagged the Republican nomination, won the presidency and applied some of his policies for real?

The Great Wall of Mexico

The main focus of Trump’s immigration policy: build an impassable wall across the U.S.-Mexico border and deport every undocumented immigrant.

Want to know how much that would cost taxpayers?

As for the wall, Trump gave a vague response in an interview with the Washington Post when he said it “can be built for far less cost than people think.” But experts say constructing a wall across the 1,934-mile border — much of which crosses privately-owned and nationally-protected land — would cost tens of billions of dollars if it could even be built at all.

And that’s just a drop in the bucket.

Politico put the tab for Trump’s proposed mass-deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants at $141.3 billion.

Naturally, Democratic candidates are using Trump’s proposed immigration policies as ammunition against the entire GOP. Underdog presidential candidate Martin O’Malley chimed in during the Democratic debate Saturday night, referring to Trump as an “immigrant bashing carnival barker.”

Trump kept the circus theme going when he shot back at O’Malley via Twitter — as is his modus operandi — calling the governor of Maryland a “clown.”

It was O’Malley’s most triumphant moment during the debate, according to Twitter analytics.

Green grass and high tide Decembers 

Big Oil wouldn’t have to worry about pesky environmental scientists gumming up operations or federal funding for green technology with Trump in the White House. Like most of the candidates seeking the GOP nomination this year, Trump does not believe global warming is a thing.

But he does think climate change causes problems in a different way.

“I do agree that so-called global climate change is causing us some problems: It’s causing us to waste billions of dollars to develop technologies we don’t need to fulfill our energy needs,” Trump wrote in his most recently published book titled “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.”

Obviously the multi-billionaire investor doesn’t put much stock in the overall consensus of organizations, like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, who say climate change is a real threat that has been caused by humans.

Expect the Environmental Protection Agency to be cut severely under President Trump. 

Trump University

Trump hasn’t said a whole lot about education during the campaign, except that he would make drastic cuts to the U.S. Department of Education or even do away with it altogether.

“You could cut that way, way down,” Trump said during a speech at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention earlier this year.

Wave goodbye to federal funding for public schools, Pell Grants that provide financial assistance for higher education, and national accreditation standards.

That would probably fare well for non-accredited, for-profit schools like Trump University — a real-estate education program launched by Trump in 2005 that promised mentorship in his art of deal making. Trump faced a class action lawsuit earlier this year from former students who spent tens of thousands of dollars on the now-defunct school. 

Anyone could get a post-secondary education in Trump’s America. Anyone with the cash or the credit to personally fund it, that is. 

Say ‘so-long’ to soft diplomacy

When it comes to foreign policy, Trump is all over the map.

The most entertaining part of listening to him speak at a rally, for me, is the way he says “China.” There’s so much disdain.

Trump said during the fourth Republican debate that the the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal would only help China, a country he has referred to as an “enemy” of the US, even though China is not included in the agreement. Swing and a miss.

Additionally, Trump has supported decreased defense spending, saying the U.S. cannot afford to be a “policeman” for the world anymore. But he sang a different tune during the rally in Iowa on Thursday.

“I would bomb the s— out of ’em,” Trump said, referring to ISIS-controlled oil fields. 

Get a passport, eh?

I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what would transpire if Trump wound up in the Oval Office, as far-fetched as that may be. 

But there is one thing I can say with certainty: I’m moving to Canada if it happens. 

Bill Lukitsch can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @Bill_LukitschDE.

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