In CPAC Steve Bannon provided the ideological background to the Trump administration in his three buckets. The topic has not generated much discussion which is surprising as you will rarely see the philosophy of the Trumpian wing of the GOP efficiently distilled into three bullet points as Bannon did.
Security and National Sovereignty
When you discuss security the very first thing you go to is the defense budget and this is one of the priorities of the Trump administration. As things stand we are currently spending 4x what China is for defense, assuming that China is truthful in its public declarations which many analysts doubt. At first glance it looks like we are massively outspending our leading rival, yet this may not be true. Salaries of American personel dwarf those of their Chinese counterparts. In 2015 a US serviceman of enlisted rank would have been paid a minimum of 23k per year while a chinese leuitenant colonel would have been paid 6000 yuan a month or roughly 12k per year. Around half of the military budget is maintenance and operational costs. I don’t have any details of the chinese budget but the US military has many more comittments worldwide than China which leads to a higher portion of the budget being used for operations. While spending a fourth of the money it is very possible that China gets more men and materiel than America does.
The primary opponent for the military during the Trump administration is the terrorist states and organizations. We have already seen a remarkable paradigm shift in the way the Trump administration deals with terrorists as opposed to previous administrations. By conducting the Yemen raid the Trump administration has put terrorists on notice that they would no longer honor human shields that previous administrations did. The US has more than enough military power to defeat terrorists. The only thing lacking is the willpower to actually use it which the Trump team has shown that they have.
Lastly there will be a focus on reclaiming the independence of the United States from international institutions that chip away at our national sovereignty. The TPP withdrawal was a big first step as it had provisions which allowed for international courts to supercede the local elected representatives when the profits of the companies were in danger. A focus on bilateral trade agreements as opposed to complex multinational ones is important as well as it is far easier to suspend or cancel these argeements if they are no longer in our favor. Lastly withdrawal or reformation from international organizations that limit our options on a case to case basis of course.
President Trump summed this point up perfectly in his speech to congress. He is the American president who works for American interest and not the global president who works for global interests.
First off no matter how much the left wants to confuse the two concepts nationalism is not isolationism and isolationism is not nationalism. Nationalism is simply doing what it best for your own countries national interest without any regard for ethics, morality , or any other artificial construct. Depending on the needs of the country the specific policies involved in this may actually change. In the time of President Reagan it was very nationalistic to pursue free trade. No other country had the industrial base to compete with America at that point in time so we had free reign to exploit the rest of the world. This is no longer the case as other countries have caught up with us so it ceases to be nationalistic.
At this point in time the Trump administration will be focusing on our various trade deals and tax reform. The way that the laws are structured makes it so that it is far more profitable to site your production facilities outside the country, not only that once those profits are realized our current laws make it more favorable to keep them outside the country than to repatriate them. Economic nationalism would make sure that the laws are set up to benefit our country and not others.
Economic nationalism also applies to employment. We currently have a system where it is far more beneficial for a company to hire illegal aliens as opposed to hiring citizens. We also have a system where it is better to replace local workers with h1-b imports while having the citizens train their replacements. Our employment system must benefit our citizens first.
Bannon summarized this perfectly in CPAC. “When liberals cannot pass something they stick it in a regulation somewhere”. Out of all three buckets this is the ones liberals are actually most afraid of and why they never discuss this on its merits, instead fearmongering on the word “destruction”.
In the area of climate change Obama unilaterally entered into the Paris Accords. Under normal circumstances Obama would have had to have the senate ratify the treaty like other countries did, but since he knew they would not he entered into it as an executive agreement instead. When Cap and Trade failed to pass Obama put up the Clean power plan instead to bypass the legislature. This prompted Lawrence Tribe who actually argued for the democrats in Gore V Bush to equate this to burning the constitution. In the area of immigration reform Obama bypassed congress yet again to give lawful status to 4.3 million illegals. These are just some of the worst examples of overreach and there are dozens. Trump himself may end up passing a lot of executive orders in his term, mostly to reserve the orders of the previous administration.
Democrats are afraid to have all these taken away yet they do have the option to keep them. An option they always had but were too lazy to do. They can win elections and have them passed like Republicans do instead of relying on the courts and orders to bypass the elected branches of government.