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Haley Campaign Press Release - Trump Would Drain the South Carolina Wallets That Haley Helped Fill

January 24, 2024

By: George F. Will
Online here

When Donald Trump won 20 of Iowa's 40 nominating delegates — 20 of the 2,429 who will be allocated nationally; 20 of the 1,215 needed to nominate — he declared the game over. Enlarging his emotional repertoire — leavening a barrel of petulance with a pinch of synthetic magnanimity — he said it is "time now for everybody, our country, to come together." Presumably, he was not inviting to this group hug those Americans he calls "vermin."

After winning less than 8 percent of Iowa's registered Republicans, he received less than five percentage points more than a majority in New Hampshire. There, flanked Tuesday night by grinning, ring-kissing, cringeworthy toadies (Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott, you are the sum of your choices), he declared the game over.

As the game enters the bottom of the first inning — 62 delegates allocated; 2,367 not yet — the nomination is his to lose. However, he, who despises "losers," is one.

He, and the cult-cum-party under his tutelage, has lost the national popular vote twice, the presidency, the Senate and the House. His party spectacularly underperformed in the 2022 elections. And in numerous court challenges to the 2020 election results, he has compiled 20 fewer wins than the famously futile 1899 Cleveland Spiders baseball team, which went 20-134.

Trump's wisdom makes him flinch from debating Nikki Haley. Readers who did not see her combative, soaring Tuesday night speech can do so on YouTube. They will then recognize that his wisdom is a coward's caution.

On Feb. 24, South Carolinians can extend the nomination process into the middle innings — into March, giving voters elsewhere time to consider the following.

Trump's inversion of conservatism is complete. His prospective program features higher taxes at home and retreat abroad.

To be fair to him, it is simply beyond his poor powers of comprehension to understand that tariffs — he vows 10 percent on all imports from everywhere — are taxes paid by American consumers and producers. So, to a nation furious about inflation, he promises to raise the cost of living, especially for his lower-income idolaters, who necessarily devote disproportionate shares of their incomes to consumption.

A reelected Trump could keep this promise because Congress has abandoned to presidents (who cite spurious "national security" and other "emergencies") its constitutional power to "regulate commerce with foreign nations" (Article I, Section 8). This should especially interest South Carolina — and other exporting and importing states, in the Southeast and elsewhere — that will vote on March 5, Super Tuesday, when more than half the number of delegates needed for the nomination will be selected.

The Port of Charleston is one reason South Carolina's population is burgeoning. And one reason South Carolina has changed more, and more for the better, in the past 50 years than any other state. Upward of 400,000 South Carolinians have arrived since Haley left the governorship in January 2017, and the state was the country's fastest-growing by percentage in 2023. They might not know this, but many have become residents because of her.

Haley — like some other South Carolina governors, but she more than any other — has made her state an economic dynamo, where unemployment is 3 percent. Trump, whose understanding of wealth creation is, like his wealth, wildly exaggerated, will dump sand in the dynamo's gears.

In foreign policy, Trump, a leader obedient to his base, promises to ensure that Ukraine loses the war that he was sure would not occur. (In 2016, of Vladimir Putin: "He's not going into Ukraine, okay? … You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.") Trump, obsessing about the cost of U.S. assistance (a rounding error on the federal budget), is oblivious of the fact that almost 90 percent of U.S. dollars devoted to arming Ukraine are spent in the United States. His blinkered parsimony is ludicrous from someone who blithely presided over an $8.4 trillion increase in the national debt.

South Carolinians should contemplate the deluge of measures likely if Trump, who has never had and never will have 50 percent approval, is a lame duck president in 2026, when Republicans will be defending 20 Senate seats, Democrats only 13. A Democratic Senate majority's agenda in 2027 might include ending the filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, instituting card-check procedures to vitiate unionization elections (and the South's attraction of investments), pursuing statehood for D.C., and much more.

Haley's gallant "game on" message on Tuesday night might ultimately be unavailing. She is, however, standing alone against Trump possibly becoming the most valuable president progressivism has ever had.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Trump Would Drain the South Carolina Wallets That Haley Helped Fill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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