Trump Deserves a Darwin Award

China is graduating twice as many PhDs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) disciplines as the U.S. China's economy is way behind the U.S., but catching up fast in key areas. Chinese missiles can sink any U.S. aircraft carrier within a range of several hundred miles from its coast. China can knock out American satellites. Chinese computation capabilities are on par with America's. China has more industrial robots installed than any country in the world. China is about to become the dominant producer of Internet communications equipment (with Huawei replacing Cisco as the global market leader). China and its periphery manufacture everything that goes into American tech products.

America used to have disruptive, innovative tech companies. Now we have corporate giants run by patent trolls rather than engineers, and their mission is to suppress innovation. Apple, a design company that relies on Asian production, now accounts for two-thirds of all profits in the S&P 500 Technology Sub-Index.

America used to have nonpareil defense technology. Now we are betting the defense budget on the F-35, a plane like the proverbial horse designed by a committee, and sold by defense industry lobbyists.

Ronald Reagan knew that America's edge in defense technology also translated into an edge in civilian technology. The Defense Department stood godfather to most of the major innovations of the 1960s through the 1980s, from lasers to computer chips to the Internet. Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative helped convince the Russians they couldn't compete with us. Back in 1983, I was a junior researcher crunching numbers on defense spending and productivity for the then head of plans at the National Security Council, Norman A. Bailey. Why do you think China decided to break with Russia and support America de facto during the Cold War? The answer is simple: China respected and feared America's technological prowess.

Yes, I'm for tough enforcement of immigration laws. I want a long, tall fence on the Mexican border. But Trump deserves a Darwin Award. If we obsess about Mexicans and Chinese microwave ovens, we're going to lose, and lose bigtime.