In a stunning upset, and having lost the popular vote by perhaps a million votes nationally, Donald Trump amassed enough electoral votes to become our next President. Now comes the hard stuff: how to run the country and fulfill your campaign promises.
Here are Trump's major campaign promises and his likelihood of fulfilling them:
"I will build a wall and make Mexico pay for it."
Perhaps 40% of the border with Mexico is in private hands, and you can expect strong resistance from border landowners, many of whom may have supported you, to allowing a border fence to be built on their land. Perhaps half of the border is the Rio Grande River itself, and a treaty with Mexico exists to prevent the flow of water from being impeded by either country. Do you want a land war with Mexico? And the cost of the wall would be, in your own estimate, $10 billion dollars or so. And good luck getting Mexico to pay for it. Do you want a trade war with Mexico, one of our most important trading partners?
"I will deport all illegal aliens to Mexico."
Are you going to use Homeland Security and the border guards as your form of Brown Shirts to enforce these new laws or policies, terrorizing the inner cities, and even schools and universities, in America as they swoop down on their hunt for illegals?
Over half of those persons illegally in the U.S. overstayed their visas, and many are not from Mexico. They are from other parts of Central and South America, and from Europe and China, and even Canada. What are you going to do, Donnie, when the home country of these illegals refuses to take them back? Kill them? Lock them up at Guantanamo? And can you envision the spectacle of the American-born children of illegals being deported screaming with terror as their parents are taken from them? Will you be able to handle the open revolt of many American businesses, some of whom were your strong supporters, when you deny them the cheap "guest worker" laborers picking grapes, etc.? Are you going to use Homeland Security and the border guards as your form of Brown Shirts to enforce these new laws or policies, terrorizing the inner cities, and even schools and universities, in America as they swoop down on their hunt for illegals?
"I am going to eliminate and replace Obamacare."
Obamacare is the law of the land and the Supreme Court has twice upheld it. Are you going to bring it before the Supreme Court a third time (if you get an appointment to the Court to replace Scalia) to get it gutted or eliminated entirely, throwing 20 million or so Americans out of their healthcare, denying under 25 year olds from staying on their parents policies, and allowing insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions? How are you going to get this gutting of Obamacare through the Senate, where you can expect ferocious opposition from filibustering Democrats? What exactly do you intend to replace it with? Private healthcare accounts might be good for wealthy Americans, but what about the poor Americans who don't make enough money to fund such accounts? In addition, there are parts of the Obamacare law that cannot be legally changed, so a future President could not gut it entirely.
"I am going to tear up the Iran nuclear deal on my first day in office."
The Ayatollah allowed the three debates between Hillary and you to be broadcast in their entirety inside Iran, so most Iranians saw you in action, threatening, demeaning and interrupting. What do you think they will do if you tear up the nuclear deal? Go back to building nuclear weapons as fast as possible? Mounting terrorist attacks in the U.S.? How will the Israelis react? How will the Russians and Putin react, since Russia is allied with Iran? Are you going to do as Sen. McCain once said and "Bomb-Bomb-Bomb Iran"?
"I am going to restructure NATO and bromance Putin."
Our European allies are now in a major state or alarm regarding your reckless statements about restructuring (or even dropping out of) NATO. Even more alarming is your admiration for Putin and what he stands for. (See my November 7 article in LAProgressive.com, "He Calls He r'Crooked Hillary"; Could He Be 'Commie Donnie'".) Are you going to fracture our NATO alliances with our allies, and form an alliance with Putin to allow him to overrun Western Europe? Remember, some of our European allies also have nuclear weapons, and might just use them if they feel threatened by Putin.
"I am going to protect the Second Amendment."
Are you going to allow (or even require) all American citizens to carry guns? In schools and universities? What will you do if there is an ISIS terrorist attack on an American city on your watch? Will you nuke the ISIS headquarters in Raqqa? Do you have any ideas as to how to restrict assault weapons from use and ownership in the U.S.? What if our law enforcement people are at a disadvantage when they come up against "militias" or criminals with assault weapons with armor-piercing bullets?
"I am going to ban abortions."
You have not taken a strong position on abortion, but your Vice President, Mike Pence, will lobby you hard to support banning abortion even in the case of rape or incest. Are you going to force American women to return to the days of coat hanger abortions, or going to Canada or Mexico to get one?
"I am going to appoint conservative Supreme Court Justices."
Good luck. Obama still has one arrow in his quiver here: He could do a two-year recess appointment just before the next Congress convenes on January 3, 2017, either his current nominee Judge Merrick Garland, or even himself. And there is nothing you can do about it. There is precedent: Dwight D. Eisenhauer did a recess appointment of Justice William Brennan in 1956. If there are more vacancies on the Court, it is certain that the Democrats will filibuster them strenuously. The Senate could adopt the "nuclear option", and allow a majority vote to confirm Supreme Court nominees in the Senate, rather than the current 60 votes, but that precedent will undoubtedly apply in the future, when the Democrats are back in the Senate majority (it probably will be 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats in the next Congress).
"Lock Her Up".
Your rabid followers want you to lock up Hillary for having classified information on her private email server. But we are a nation of laws, and the most you could do is appoint a Special Prosecutor to look at the facts and determine whether to indict her. But guess what? Before President Obama leaves office, he could pardon Hillary from being charged with any criminal acts that may have resulted from her State Department service. There is precedent: President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon after he left the White House, George H.W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger for his misdeeds as Defense Secretary, and George W. Bush pardoned Scooter Libby for leaking information regarding CIA agent Valerie Plame.
"I am going to rebuild our military."
The budget of the Defense Department is already the highest it has ever been, and far higher than any other country (or several countries put together) in the world. How are you going to pay for this, as well as your Mexico border wall, and the other vast infrastructure projects you have proposed? You can't just default on, or walk away from, American debt without throwing the world into a deep depression. U.S. Treasury bonds are not like the debt you have incurred and escaped from through the four or six bankruptcies your companies have been through.
"Climate change is not real".
Abrogating the current climate change agreements with China and other countries would just accelerate the destruction of the planet which almost all scientists agree is happening. But, Donnie, you will probably be dead when our children and grandchildren suffer the consequences of your inaction.
"I will abrogate NAFTA, oppose TPP, and revise our tariffs with China and other countries."
Do you realize what these actions will do to the ability of Americans to buy everyday products they depend on, from China, Japan, Canada and Mexico, among other countries? Do you even care?
There are many other promises you have made to your supporters that will be extremely difficult to fulfill, and I will do other articles on the potential hiccups facing the Trump Presidency as I think of them. Oh, and what are you going to do about the Trump University racketeering trial that is about to commence before a Mexican-American judge?
Pardon yourself? What about the 12 or so women who have accused you of sexually assaulting them?
Sleep well, Donnie…