Donald Trump is the most sensational candidate to informally announce his candidacy for the 2012 presidential election. 

Unfortunately, lost behind all the sensations – such as jokes about his hairdo and reactions to his claim that incumbent President Obama may not have been born in the US – are his positions on actual issues.

Trump’s stance is radically different from anyone in Washington – both Republican and Democrat. His basic premise – and possibly future campaign slogan – is making America respected again. In a series of interviews on Bill O’Reilly’s talk show, Trump outlined the following positions:

Foreign Policy

                China – Threaten them with a 25 percent import tariff if they refuse to appreciate the yuan faster.  The mere threat of a tariff would induce the China to revalue the yuan. 

                OPEC – The US economy can’t handle oil prices at $100 per barrel. Make OPEC lower their prices. When pressed by O’Reilly for specifics, he didn’t give any details except that if the message is delivered the right way (by him), OPEC would listen. He also said the US protects Saudi Arabia with their soldiers, but the latter doesn’t pay anything for that protection.

                Pakistan – They know where Osama Bin Laden is. Cut off all financial aid to Pakistan until they hand him over.

                Iraq – When the US leaves Iraq, Iran will immediately invade and take over the country. By then, the US will not have the appetite to go back and fight Iran. Instead, occupy Iraq’s oil fields indefinitely and take their oil. Trump also said throughout history, the US has been the only country that conquers another country only to hand it over to someone else (often an enemy of the US).

                Libya – The Arab League said they want Gaddafi out, but they’re not giving any financial support to the cause.  Make them pay for military efforts to oust Gaddafi.

Wall Street

-No additional regulations. Otherwise, Wall Street wouldn’t be able to compete with London, Zurich, and Hong Kong.

Defense Spending

-Trump implied he’ll increase defense spending, build better weapons, and have better intelligence so that the US military can achieve its goals with fewer human casualties.

Immigration

- The US border with Mexico is a joke. It should be militarized so that no illegal immigrants can come in. Moreover, doing so would stop the burgeoning US-Mexico trade in illegal drugs.

- For illegal aliens already in the US, decide on a case-by-case basis who can stay and who should be deported or jailed. It’s a lengthy process, but Trumps believes this is the best option.

Social Issues

- Pro-life and anti-gay marriage. However, America has bigger problems than these two issues, which shouldn’t be the focus of presidential elections.

Taxes

-Simplify the tax code and make it fairer. When pressed by O’Reilly for specifics, Trump didn’t give any details.

 

During the interview, O’Reilly pointed out that jobs will likely be the number one issue in the 2012 election. He asked what Trump will do about it.  The latter answered that the United States is being abused by everyone and is the “whipping boy” of the world.

He said if he stops the abuse and makes the US respected again, economic problems like the poor jobs market and the budget deficit will be much less severe.

Trump’s stance seems controversial, especially his aggressive foreign policy. It’s also risky. 

However, the status quo of the US isn’t that appealing either; America’s economic and political position in the world has undeniably slipped in the last ten years. Moreover, for the first time ever in US history, young Americans can expect a lower standard of living their than parents and grandparents.

If Trump were elected to office, he would change America’s current trajectory – for better or for worse.

To watch Trump's interview with the Today show, click here.