LAS VEGAS -- A heated debate discussing the pros and cons of likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took place at FreedomFest. Speakers included:
- Dan Mangru, founder and managing director of The Global Advisory Group;
- Wayne Allyn Root, radio & political commentator;
- Jeffrey Tucker, American economics writer, and;
- Matt Welch, American blogger, journalist, and libertarian political pundit.
Root, an avid Trump supporter, said that the reason the billionaire candidate is so popular is because “he is saying what you are thinking.” He said he believes -- just like Donald Trump – in “America first, America first, America first. Screw the rest of the world.”
The “root” of his message: You can’t be free without money. If the government takes 80% of your money, then you are not free….and you end up like President Obama. Root believes that “Free trade is a lie” and it is a made up name.
To Root, Trump is just “a little guy compared to the big corporations.” He used campaign donations as an example comparing the Republican Jewish Coalition’s $5,400 donation to Trump versus the $19.7 million given to Mitt Romney, and $19 million to Hillary Clinton by Wall Street organizations.
If you want smaller government and less taxes, then vote for Trump, he is the “cheapest individual,” he told the crowd which caused laughter.
On the flipside, Jeffrey Tucker said he believes Trump’s ideology is fascism. He is “hardcore, rude, dangerous to your liberties and a fascist”. According to Tucker, Trump will not cut the government and taxes; he will instead run the lives of the American public like a CEO. He concluded that Trump is authoritarian and statist, and that his anti-immigration laws will worsen the U.S. economy.
Tucker also argued that voters have a third choice in this election: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Trump supporter Mangru, claimed that Clinton is unfit to be President of the United States. He argued that labels such as ‘fascist’ and ‘Hilter-like’ get tossed around freely and it takes away from the value of the word and does not have a negative effect on the candidate. He encouraged voters to judge people by actions and not words. He listed the things that Trump accomplished: he allowed gays and Jews in his clubs when they weren’t allowed. “Trump has hired more female executives […] than he has males and actually pays them more,” he told the audience. “He has broken down social and culture barriers in his personal business,” he added.
He concluded, “If you’re for sending back the illegals who have committed crimes, if you are for eliminating federal funding to sanctuary cities, if you are for forcing laws that we have here in the United States, then, ladies and gentlemen, you are for Donald Trump.”
On the other hand, Matt Welch believes that Trump doesn’t know how international capitalism works or what impact is has on the global economy. Trump’s rhetoric is simple (and repetitive): the U.S. needs to be economically independent and trade is rape. “Trade is not rape,” Welch argued. Trump claims that manufacturing in this country is dead. However, according to Welch, manufacturing in this country is up 54% since NAFTA.
Trump has also said, according to Welch, that he wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants in the next two years. In addition, he wants to deport 4 million legal immigrant children of those illegal immigrants. That’s 5450 people a day! “What would you have to do in order to accomplish that?” he asked the crowd. “There is no such thing as a strong weapon against illegal immigrants that doesn’t affect the liberties of legal immigrants as well.”
Welch concluded with a question to the audience:
“Do you want someone who wants to undo the post-war idea of free trade? He is going against free trade of allowing someone who wants to buy what they want to buy.”
When asked whether they agree with Trump’s foreign policy and if it’s good for freedom (i.e. banning of Muslims)?
Wayne Root – Anyone bringing any Muslim into the U.S. is asking for “death to our children.” He claimed that 79% of every Muslim who has entered the U.S. in the last 10 years has been living on food stamps and welfare. When asked about foreign policy regarding protection, he responded, “let’s protect South Korea, Japan and Germany and charge them and turn the defense industry into a profit.”
Jeffrey Tucker – he wants to take over the government, make it bigger and impose his own plans on foreign policy. He believes people are fantasizing about Trump, a similar trait among dictators.
Mangru – 72% of all Syrian ‘refugees’ are fighting-age males. The moderator and anti-Trump speakers disagreed.
Matt Welch – 50% of Syrian refugees are women (not 72% fighting-age males as claimed by Mangru). There is a difference between the refugees who come to Europe versus the ones who enter the U.S.
Root’s response to the women statistic – “and there has never been a female suicide bomber? Oh really!”
The Q&A session is just as entertaining. Take a look: