The Problem with Trump

 

The-Emperors-New-ClothesAfter successive wins in South Carolina and New Hampshire, Donald Trump is very much the Republican frontrunner. In attempting to make sense out of his scattered foreign policy statements over the last few weeks, observers have tried to locate him within the usual categories: Is he a hawk or a dove? An isolationist or a realist? My take is that he taps into nationalist feelings more than anything else — albeit in a discombobulated way. Attempts at pigeonholing him are useful as far as they go, but they still miss the single most important thing about Trump, along with his biggest foreign policy problem; namely, he is completely unfit to be America’s commander-in-chief.

Let’s begin by stipulating that many of Trump’s supporters are reacting with understandable anger against some disturbing national trends of the last decade or more. Wages are stagnant; there is a feeling that the US is in relative decline; political correctness has run amok; the nation’s elites show a kind of contempt for blue-collar white voters; the country’s immigration bureaucracy is clearly dysfunctional; and America has seemed unable convincingly to win a series of military engagements overseas. Indeed, these negative trends have accelerated under Barack Obama. But Trump offers no serious solutions to any of these problems. He only points to others’ flaws, even when his own flaws are vastly greater.

Take, for example, Trump’s recent statements about George W. Bush and Iraq. For some of his supporters, Trump deserves acclaim for finally opening up a genuine debate about the 2003 invasion of Iraq (as if Americans haven’t been debating that war for the past fourteen years). No, Trump’s real innovation here is to be a leading GOP candidate who openly taps into wingnut conspiracy theories, not only the idea that Bush knowingly lied about Iraq’s WMD — a charge for which there has never been any evidence — but that the former president may have somehow known about the 9/11 attacks beforehand. A despicable, baseless claim.

Regarding the argument that George W. Bush made fateful mistakes in Iraq: no kidding. There is in fact no record indicating that Trump opposed that war at the time. Now, what does he propose to do about it, in redirecting America’s foreign relations fourteen years later?

Here is Trump’s foreign policy platform for 2017, insofar as it exists, together with its inevitable consequences: Raise US tariffs sky-high, encouraging the formation of 1930s-style protectionist blocs and thus mutual economic impoverishment; crack down on allies such as Mexico and Japan, rather than obvious US adversaries such as Vladimir Putin’s Russia; completely alienate Muslim allies in the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda; and ignore, downgrade, or belittle America’s leading role in maintaining world peace since the Second World War. Altogether, a recipe for disaster both internationally and for the United States.

Equally serious are Trump’s deep failings of character. This is absolutely relevant to being Commander-in-Chief. We are about to elect someone with powers over war and peace, life and death. We expect this person to be minimally above the bar in terms of personal integrity. Trump clearly is not. Politics can be an insincere business, but even by contemporary standards, Trump stands out as a truly shameless liar. He misrepresents people, issues, and ideas so aggressively that many watching seem either impressed or astonished into acquiescence — they’ve just never seen anything like it.

But the emperor has no clothes. Trump’s dysfunctional temperament over multiple decades is abundantly clear. The idea that this megalomaniac will suddenly now stick up for the little guy or be fit to command those in uniform would be a practical joke, except that it’s not funny. He has never fought for anything larger than his own personal aggrandizement, fame, and celebrity; nor has he recently started. His entire presidential campaign rests on the conceit that having enjoyed every other material pleasure life has to offer, he’d really like to be president. Even his attention-getting stands on key issues such as immigration reflect no consistent position held over any period of time. He’s obviously not a conservative. Nor is he a political moderate; that would require some core convictions. What he is, above all, is a con artist. Incredibly, many of Trump’s own supporters admit this, and then reply that since the whole game is rigged, why not just elect the biggest con artist of them all. This isn’t clever. It’s debased.

The electoral argument made by Trump’s supporters is that by profoundly redirecting Republicans against free trade, immigration, and US foreign policy leadership — while abandoning other conservative traditions on domestic economic and social issues — he will pick up new voters for the GOP. This is not only wrong, but delusional politically. Hillary Clinton is eminently beatable this November, but not by Donald Trump. This is regularly confirmed in polling match-ups between the two of them. Since both Clinton and Trump have embraced ill-considered opposition to free trade, that issue will be a wash. He may pick up a few Democrats and independents willing to vote on the single issue of immigration, but Trump will lose far more voters than he gains with his positions and persona.

First, there will be millions of principled conservatives and Republicans unwilling to vote for this bizarre candidate, even if they cannot bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton. Second, Trump’s noxious personality and outrageous policy positions will turn off swathes of moderate and independent swing voters who might otherwise consider voting Republican this November. Third, he will energize unprecedented numbers of Hispanics to turn out and cast their ballots against him. Finally, insofar as voters look for steady, well-informed, capable leadership in foreign affairs — and they do — they will not turn to Trump. Hillary will ask the obvious question: Would you trust Donald Trump’s hands on the American nuclear arsenal in an international crisis? And the answer will be no. Unfortunately, Hillary will then not be held accountable for her multiple failings as Secretary of State, because to the median voter, Trump will seem even more unappetizing by comparison.

The notion that all of these various losses can be counteracted simply by mobilizing white, conservative-leaning, blue-collar voters, is a myth. These voters already exist: They’re called “Republicans.” If the stars line up for him, Trump may indeed have found a new way to secure the GOP’s nomination. He has not found a new way to secure the White House, and his nomination will mean almost certain defeat for Republicans this fall — linked to congressional, state, and local GOP losses all the way down the line.

There’s been a lot of talk about how anti-establishment Donald Trump is, how this is central to his appeal. Of course, everyone in American politics claims to be anti-establishment. It’s the ultimate self-licking ice cream cone. Obviously, no political party can function without elected officials, activists, donors, and opinion leaders. That’s your establishment, and by the way, “opinion leaders” include talk radio hosts who reach millions of listeners every day and influential billionaires like Donald Trump. So get over it.

The real question is, what does the party stand for? Traditionally, and particularly because of the legacy of conservative nominees like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, Republicans have stood for limited government, established moral traditions, and a strong foreign policy. Donald Trump neither stands for nor embodies any of these things. Trump is comparable to Goldwater only in that he is likely to suffer a crushing defeat. In every other way, Trump is Goldwater’s opposite: in your heart, you know he’s wrong. If the GOP had a party establishment half as powerful as generally suggested, it would have long since rallied against Donald Trump in an effective and unified way, because the man is well on track to wreck the Republican Party along with that legacy. We’ll see if members of the supposed GOP establishment start to line up behind him if he truly appears to be winning the nomination several weeks or months from now. If they do, this would confirm Trump’s suspicions: Above all, they seek access, and are no more conservative than he is.

Because Trump is such a polarizing figure, his continued success in the GOP primaries is still not inevitable. Plenty of Republicans continue to support a sane, principled, conservative vision of their party that deserves to win and is ready to govern. Since two-thirds of GOP voters polled do not support the current front-runner, the issue is no longer establishment versus anti-establishment; it’s conservatives versus Trump. But of course, the anti-Trump forces cannot succeed as long as they are divided. The obvious alternative now is Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz will struggle to expand beyond his core support. Candidates such as John Kasich, who continue to poll in single digits nationwide even after multiple primaries, are not going to win the nomination this time around. Their main impact will be to prevent the consolidation of mainstream conservative voters against Donald Trump, in which case he really could win the nomination. This is no reflection on the credentials, solidity, or good intentions of these other candidates. It’s just the brutal mathematics of this primary season. Jeb Bush ran an honorable campaign, but did the right thing by dropping out.

The founders of this country fully expected that from time to time, loud-mouthed demagogues of demonstrably low character and inflammatory skill would try  to capture the country’s highest office. In other words, they expected someone like Trump. That’s exactly why they built so many institutional checks and safeguards into the American political system. But they also hoped the electorate would have the wisdom and good judgment to see through such charlatans beforehand.

In the end, the party establishment won’t deny Donald Trump the presidency. The voters will. And if Republican primary voters don’t do it, the American public will in November. The entire Trump campaign represents a kind of colossal bet that he alone can not only fool some of the people some of the time, but all of the people all of the time. Since he can’t, that gamble will fail.

Republicans would be well-advised to jump off this would-be train-wreck or take over the controls, before Trump inevitably crashes it. Because one way or another, before this year is over, Donald Trump is going to end up as the very thing he hates most. A loser.

There are 48 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    I really do not want to get into a point by point discussion of your post. It is late on a Sunday and I drove many miles today, so I am a bit tired.

    Let me give you a summary:

    You raise many valid concerns.

    You do tend to extrapolate some of Mr Trumps comments into full blown policy solutions but extrapolation to extremes is a technique many use in an argument.

    Here is the rub. To tell Trump supporters the myriad of reasons their selection is not good, improper, foolish, cannot get elected is screaming at yourself in a soundproof room. You are wasting your time unless you offer an alternative that addresses their issues.

    What I hear is a large number of people sharing what are their opinions of the future (Trump will do this, the elections will turn out this way) to people with serious issues they want addressed. These people offer no addressing of these issues or any alternatives, they just say the person who is addressing their issues is wrong, bad and will not get elected anyway.

    This is the equivalent of telling someone with a serious illness that the doctor they have chosen is a quack, and that their illness is really not that big a deal anyway and they should go to other doctors who not only will not treat their illness, but are offering to make it worse.

    But heck, that is just my opinion.  Maybe your approach is the best way to convince people of the error of their ways.

    It seems to me there is only one solution if you would like Mr Trump to leave the race. Beat him on his issues. Offer convincing, real solutions with a candidate who can sell them.

    • #1
  2. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    In other news, Marco has a great rally in Nevada this evening, and lots of local endorsements, celebrities and politicians, former Democrats who have never voted Republican before and are tired of being lied to by Democrats.

    Pawn Star guy, Rick…. he was on the stage I saw.  I bet that’s good for a vote or two.  Some other guys, New kids on the block… politicians from Nevada and Utah… Chavetz?  Not sure of the spelling.

    Nevada Senator saying why no one from the Senate wants Cruz…

    I’m actually not much for knowing celebrities, which is why I don’t care much for Trump…. he’s just a blow hard.  Why would that make a good President?

    Some lie going out from the Cruz campaign about the Bible and Marco.

    • #2
  3. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    You’re exactly right.

    • #3
  4. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Good grief, Colin…whatever you do, don’t bring up Trump’s judgment or lack thereof and his knowledge on foreign policy or national security or lack thereof. What were you thinking? Trump has already assured us that he’s smarter than a lot of generals and will be more of an expert on terrorism than Hugh Hewitt will ever be as soon as he is sworn in as president. You just need to be more trusting. I can’t believe you’re actually trying to persuade people otherwise. Be gone with your valid concerns. Ricochet is no place to hash any of this out. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    • #4
  5. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    TKC1101:

    This is the equivalent of telling someone with a serious illness that the doctor they have chosen is a quack, and that their illness is really not that big a deal anyway and they should go to other doctors who not only will not treat their illness, but are offering to make it worse.

    People have told these people exactly what their problem is and what the solution is. They do not like the diagnosis so they head to the snake handler who promises them cure without pain, or personal change.

    But you know what I don’t even think I care about Trump’s supporters or their problems any more. The man they advocate for will advance solutions that will only exacerbate their problems. Yet, the worse off they become the more they will cling to him and his politics. So they shall be dragged down by their own inadequacies. We have seen much of this played out with African Americans and the Democratic party. It is sad, frustrating, and totally self inflicted.

    How do you help people that refuse to help themselves and favor empty rhetoric to real solutions. Trump is selling them a vision of a world that can not be because it defies economic reality. Rather than work on moving on they are digging in. Yet all they dig are their own graves. Time will do the rest as it always does.

    • #5
  6. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    Let’s see in the next few weeks how much Kasich, Cruz and Carson really care about their country.  If they care, they will drop out and leave the field to the guy that polls consistently show will be Hillary or Bernie.  Then Trump, who is exactly what you describe, goes down.  Shame on Limbaugh, Palin, Scott Brown and Ann Coulter for endorsing this fraud.

    • #6
  7. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    Let’s see in the next few weeks how much Kasich, Cruz and Carson really care about their country.  If they care, they will drop out and leave the field to the guy that polls consistently show will beat Hillary or Bernie.  Then Trump, who is exactly what you describe, goes down.  Shame on Limbaugh, Palin, Scott Brown and Ann Coulter for endorsing this fraud.

    • #7
  8. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    There is much truth in what you say. Painful truths to me, because I am a bit of a Trump supporter (Although I would prefer Cruz or Rubio). I, as a native, white, male, Christian (sorta), heterosexual, am tired of being bullied by the culture and the left for being racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe because I don’t like the idea of trans-dudes hanging out in girls’ locker rooms or whatever.  Trump promises to be MY bully, even though I know he badmouths me behind my back to his cool friends. There is a deeply visceral attraction to that kind of figure in this current age, despite all the stupidity that flows from his piehole. I think that ordinary Americans, esp blue collar guys, want that. In DC, they see collusion between R and D to give their jobs away to illegals. And, in the process, be told they are cold hearted jerks if they don’t also want to give in-state tuition and benefits to illegals.

    • #8
  9. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Metalheaddoc:There is much truth in what you say. Painful truths to me, because I am a bit of a Trump supporter (Although I would prefer Cruz or Rubio). I, as a native, white, male, Christian (sorta), heterosexual, am tired of being bullied by the culture and the left for being racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe because I don’t like the idea of trans-dudes hanging out in girls’ locker rooms or whatever. Trump promises to be MY bully, even though I know he badmouths me behind my back to his cool friends. There is a deeply visceral attraction to that kind of figure in this current age, despite all the stupidity that flows from his piehole. I think that ordinary Americans, esp blue collar guys, want that. In DC, they see collusion between R and D to give their jobs away to illegals. And, in the process, be told they are cold hearted jerks if they don’t also want to give in-state tuition and benefits to illegals.

    I don’t believe that Donald Trump can do much about trans-dudes hanging out in girls’ locker rooms except tweet about them. He will be expected to project a coherent foreign policy that includes checking Russian, Chinese, and Iranian ambitions and making sure that Israel continues to exist…oh, yes and dealing with ISIS and the other jihadist groups without creating yet another vacuum in the region. It’s a matter of priority and proportionality for both the candidate and those who are placing their trust in him.

    • #9
  10. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Trump has no shame.  And I believe that helps him.  He has a lot of fans who want a politician who is willing to be thought of as a jerk.  He will make the other guys cringe and moan pitifully like beaten dogs.  These are times calling for a Conan the Barbarian approach.

    • #10
  11. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    OmegaPaladin:Trump has no shame. And I believe that helps him. He has a lot of fans who want a politician who is willing to be thought of as a jerk. He will make the other guys cringe and moan pitifully like beaten dogs. These are times calling for a Conan the Barbarian approach.

    I believe that the OP is really concerned with Trump’s judgment and ability to be a wise leader on foreign policy and Commander-in-Chief. He can be a jerk all he wants…but other (sometimes smart) jerks running other countries may not be impressed or terribly intimidated, especially if they sense he is ultimately acting tough to cover his weakness on foreign policy or that he has difficulty in responding appropriately or effectively to a myriad of threats. Like all presidents, America’s adversaries will test him. A president needs to be wise enough to comprehend the threats posed and wise enough to weigh sometimes conflicting advice from very intelligent advisors.  Based on what some of us have seen of Donald Trump, it’s difficult to be impressed and virtually impossible not to be very concerned.

    • #11
  12. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Talk to the hand.

    • #12
  13. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Trump’s judgment and inconsistencies are cause for concern. I’ve thought for months he exhibits what appears to be early stage Alzheimers or dementia as evidenced by his ramblings, inconsistencies and inability to endure 2+ hour debates. However, the problem isn’t with Trump. Contrary to the pages of Ricochet he isn’t a dumb man.

    The exit poll results from SC are shocking. The GOP’s chickens are coming home to roost. I wish that was in the form of someone like Senator Ted Cruz (not so much the POTUS candidate), but I guess it is is Trump.

    As long as everyone is fixated on Trump and not on Republicans, specifically the worthless clowns leading Congress our eye is on the wrong thing.

    • #13
  14. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    For some of Donald Trump’s supporters, the destruction of the Republican Party would be a bonus, not an unfortunate side effect.  I have no faith that if the GOP is destroyed it would shortly be replaced by a large, powerful party that is conservative enough to satisfy any of us, least of all those who think that practically every elected Republican is insufficiently conservative.

    • #14
  15. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    If Mr. Trump wins the nomination the media will be relentless in their attacks. Republicans running for the House and Senate will be badgered by the media about Mr. Trump. Nothing else will matter except the Donald. If you think they are relentless now you haven’t seen anything yet. If Mr. Trump wins the nomination there is a very good chance that Republicans will lose their majority in the House and Senate. The Democrat base will be energized which will impact House and Senate races. Mr. Trump has only energized 40% of the Republican Party, and it may be less than that, and that is not going to translate into a win against Hillary Clinton in November.

    Will all this be Donald Trump’s fault? No any political party that puts 15 people on a stage for months is out of their minds. Donald Trump or any other candidate may have the right to run for president, but that does not mean he has the right to run as a Republican.

    Say what you want about Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, but she tried to keep other candidates from challenging Hillary in the Democrat primaries. The reason for that is it would allow for a focused fight, and a large war chest to take the fight to Republicans for months and months before the election in November. Not just for the presidency, but the House and Senate as well.

    • #15
  16. Peter Murphy Member
    Peter Murphy
    @PeterMurphy

    Great post Colin. Sums up Trump and the Republican dilemmas to a tee.

    • #16
  17. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    If, as seems more likely than it did a month ago, Trump wins the GOP nomination (God forbid 10,000 times), it will be between him and the Godmother of the Clinton Crime Family™ (or maybe an aged Marxist).

    Anybody who sincerely thinks Trump would be more injurious to the country than Clinton should vote for Clinton (or whoever is the Democratic nominee). Especially if you live in a swing state.

    • #17
  18. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    He is what he is and his supporters don’t care or don’t believe what his critics say, but whichever they don’t listen and they don’t understand enough to change their minds if they did listen.   They’d be Democrats if the party hadn’t gone off the deep end and if it were not in power now. We have to beat him and convince his supporters that they must not stay home on election day.  It’s very depressing but we can’t give up.  Maybe we could stop sending money to any candidate that attacks any of the conservative candidates and let their fund raiser know why.  If the anti Rubio folks can’t get over the fact that he is a Latino and the anti Cruz folks can’t get over the fact that he lacks charm, or isn’t nice or whatever the problem is, we can’t sort this out and can’t beat Trump.

    • #18
  19. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Nick Stuart:If, as seems more likely than it did a month ago, Trump wins the GOP nomination (God forbid 10,000 times), it will be between him and the Godmother of the Clinton Crime Family™ (or maybe an aged Marxist).

    Anybody who sincerely thinks Trump would be more injurious to the country than Clinton should vote for Clinton (or whoever is the Democratic nominee). Especially if you live in a swing state.

    That’s not what at discussion here. Trump hasn’t won the nomination yet. The question is whether he has the temperament, knowledge, and judgement to be Commander-in-Chief and keep the nation secure. That is the first responsibility of a president.

    Yes, he’s made a lot of money in his life and lost a good deal of money as well. But financial success doesn’t necessarily equate to understanding what’s happening on the world stage or having the wisdom to comprehend the consequences of certain actions or inactions. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much evidence that he knows much or cares to know much about specific threats to America, its allies or specific regions other than to boast that he’s more ‘militaristic’ than an auditorium full of veterans. He’ll get up to speed after he’s sworn in. Uh-huh.

    We all know why Trump has emerged and gotten the support that he has. Now, it’s time to challenge his supporters to show why 70% of Republicans who are inclined to vote against him, should trust the man with their lives and the safety of the country before he becomes the nominee. Thus far, the responses have been weak. Because he’s a mean, tough jerk, as some have suggested, is not a compelling argument.

    • #19
  20. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    BrentB67:Trump’s judgment and inconsistencies are cause for concern. I’ve thought for months he exhibits what appears to be early stage Alzheimers or dementia as evidenced by his ramblings, inconsistencies and inability to endure 2+ hour debates. However, the problem isn’t with Trump. Contrary to the pages of Ricochet he isn’t a dumb man.

    As long as everyone is fixated on Trump and not on Republicans, specifically the worthless clowns leading Congress our eye is on the wrong thing.

    I agree with you that Trump is not dumb, he just doesn’t care about the specifics of political philosophy, ideas or policy.  He is very smart in the same way as Obama is – about himself and marketing his brand to the American public.

    The problem is we are selecting a Presidential nominee now.  In the short run we can’t do anything about the worthless clowns.  And that’s my fundamental problem with Trump.  I’m disgusted with the GOP leadership, but why would I support someone I can reasonably anticipate will be worse than they are.  I am not a nihilist.

    • #20
  21. Doctor Robert Inactive
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    The Problem with Trump is that he is neither a Republican nor a conservative.  He is a wrecker, a stalking horse for Her Majesty, and things are going just fine for his project. The Republican field, largely because of him, has been emptied of its most attractive candidates in a generation and the presidential race now belongs to the felon in a dress.  Trumpkins, fie on them.

    Yet, I will vote for him in November.  Better that than directly electing the witch of Whitewater.

    • #21
  22. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Mark:

    BrentB67:Trump’s judgment and inconsistencies are cause for concern. I’ve thought for months he exhibits what appears to be early stage Alzheimers or dementia as evidenced by his ramblings, inconsistencies and inability to endure 2+ hour debates. However, the problem isn’t with Trump. Contrary to the pages of Ricochet he isn’t a dumb man.

    As long as everyone is fixated on Trump and not on Republicans, specifically the worthless clowns leading Congress our eye is on the wrong thing.

    I agree with you that Trump is not dumb, he just doesn’t care about the specifics of political philosophy, ideas or policy. He is very smart in the same way as Obama is – about himself and marketing his brand to the American public.

    I don’t think this is correct. Historically he has been engaged on details. I met a guy back in 2008 or 2009 that was one of the first contractors for Trump and played a key role in Trump Tower.

    The description from him was that Trump is/was a detail guy.

    The problem is we are selecting a Presidential nominee now. In the short run we can’t do anything about the worthless clowns. And that’s my fundamental problem with Trump. I’m disgusted with the GOP leadership, but why would I support someone I can reasonably anticipate will be worse than they are. I am not a nihilist.

    We can identify a source of the problem – Republican Congress.

    • #22
  23. Dex Quire Inactive
    Dex Quire
    @DexQuire

    Dear Republicans for Hillary,

    Just substitute Obama for Trump in Colin’s post and you will realize…no maybe you won’t realize.

    Here’s the deal: When Trump says, “The country is being run by very very stupid people!” it feels good and it feels really good to millions of people who are sick of all the usual cliches. They look at Trump and say, “Why not? He’s smart and knows how to make decisions. He talks about the issues in a frank way and if he can deliver on half of what he boasts about, well, that’s not bad.”

    All you Hillary supporters (in ovo) are sitting around with angstrom meters trying to measure Trump’s true conservative bona fides while … the common voter knows that a few of his friends would make good presidents, that we live in a citizen democracy whose roles are slotted for men exactly like Trump, they are sick of the professional politicians beholden to the huge dough of unions and industry, they are sick of all the usual cliches … and other reasons which I will think of later … don’t underestimate the power of feeling good in politics …

    … and I’m not really a Trump supporter. I didn’t like the way he treated Pamela Geller after the ‘Draw Mohammed’ incident in Texas. I just try to understand …

    • #23
  24. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    BrentB67:

    Mark:

    I agree with you that Trump is not dumb, he just doesn’t care about the specifics of political philosophy, ideas or policy. He is very smart in the same way as Obama is – about himself and marketing his brand to the American public.

    I don’t think this is correct. Historically he has been engaged on details. I met a guy back in 2008 or 2009 that was one of the first contractors for Trump and played a key role in Trump Tower.

    The description from him was that Trump is/was a detail guy.

    The problem is we are selecting a Presidential nominee now. In the short run we can’t do anything about the worthless clowns. And that’s my fundamental problem with Trump. I’m disgusted with the GOP leadership, but why would I support someone I can reasonably anticipate will be worse than they are. I am not a nihilist.

    We can identify a source of the problem – Republican Congress.

    I don’t think we disagree.  My point on Trump was related to politics, not his business, where my information is the same, he’s a detail guy .  I also agree with the source of the problem.  My only point was regardless of that we face a choice on the nominee and why I can’t support Trump

    • #24
  25. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    BrentB67:The exit poll results from SC are shocking. The GOP’s chickens are coming home to roost. I wish that was in the form of someone like Senator Ted Cruz (not so much the POTUS candidate), but I guess it is is Trump.

    As long as everyone is fixated on Trump and not on Republicans, specifically the worthless clowns leading Congress our eye is on the wrong thing.

    This. Exactly.

    If GOP Congresspersons had any decency or common sense, they would issue a unified statement of apology to the country for being feckless and spineless, and get behind an actual conservative before it is too late.

    • #25
  26. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Here is what I don’t get about Trump supporters – And I’ve said this elsewhere…

    When confronted with his prior positions/contributions/statements/ endorsements Trump freely admits he was posturing. He admits to being the quintessential crony-capitalist – buying politicians with words/deeds/money in order to get what he wanted. Telling them what they wanted to hear to schmooze out of them whatever he was after. And he admits he was good at it. He’s even kind’a boastful about it.

    Thats what has always worked for him. So Why oh why do people assume he has changed? He IS STILL doing it. Only now he is telling his supporters what THEY want to hear to get what HE wants. And he wants to be President.

    The only thing better than buying a President is to BE the President. Politicians have a nasty habit of not staying bought. But if he himself IS the President….what could be better?!?

    He couldn’t care less about ‘jobs’, or ‘the people’, or ‘the country’ or ‘the Constitution.’ He’s Leona Helmsley in man-drag.

    • #26
  27. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    TKC1101:It seems to me there is only one solution if you would like Mr Trump to leave the race. Beat him on his issues. Offer convincing, real solutions with a candidate who can sell them.

    How true! Someone should write a Ricochet thread that gives an awesome hypothetical illustration of this, eh?

    If you want to get rid of Trump… You Are doing it all wrong

    • #27
  28. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    Randy Weivoda:For some of Donald Trump’s supporters, the destruction of the Republican Party would be a bonus, not an unfortunate side effect. I have no faith that if the GOP is destroyed it would shortly be replaced by a large, powerful party that is conservative enough to satisfy any of us, least of all those who think that practically every elected Republican is insufficiently conservative.

    Actually, what Trump shows is that there is a large contingent (just as there always has been, in virtually every society) of essentially left-wing nationalists.  Massive government, but also massive appeal to tribalism.  Germany and Italy in the late 1930’s, even to a certain extent Obama in 2008 (although I think his “nationalism” was an “anti-nationalism” which is essentially the same thing).

    I’m not saying that conservatives shouldn’t be patriotic (certainly, the national pride that existed during WWII was not this same phenomenon), but that conservatism should be the greater concern.

    At the risk of being crude, what we’re really looking at is the rise of an American version of the Nazi party – not defined by murder and conquest (although I doubt all that many Germans really signed on for the holocaust in the beginning), but very similar in the nature of “political rise,” and in its appeal, which isn’t to any sort of actual ideology (apart from the Nationalism), but rather the movement itself.

    • #28
  29. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    Columbo:

    TKC1101:It seems to me there is only one solution if you would like Mr Trump to leave the race. Beat him on his issues. Offer convincing, real solutions with a candidate who can sell them.

    How true! Someone should write a Ricochet thread that gives an awesome hypothetical illustration of this, eh?

    If you want to get rid of Trump… You Are doing it all wrong

    Except that it is not at all true.  Trump has never been about any actual issues.  There is literally no way to beat him on those grounds, because that has never been his appeal.  His rhetoric is bloated but completely lacking in substance, and any attempt to make sense of those same “issues” would have his supporters screaming “establishment!!”  The only real way to beat Trump is to have a public that doesn’t buy into his garbage.  Frankly, with this electorate, that might not be possible.  Between Trump and Sanders, we’re seeing that a good half of this country has lost its mind completely; we can theorize as to why, but the what is somewhat undeniable.

    • #29
  30. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Probably everyone else already has, but if you haven’t, watch on You Tube “The Vicious Snake” with its pictures of mobs of violent immigrants in Europe, narrated by Donald Trump. (He truly does make it seem like Aesop’s wisest fable.)

    We have this false faith that Trump is wearing clothes ( I mean that he has viable solutions, or that it isn’t disturbing he validates, for his less informed supporters, despicable, chaos and confusion inducing, lies about President Bush ) simply because he’s willing to put our deepest fears related to immigration into simple, powerful words. People will forgive him anything because he does this.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.