I Don’t Mean to Alarm Anyone, But …

 

I reckon the only times in history we’ve seen this much geopolitical instability and danger were prior to the outbreaks of the First and Second World War, and it seems a goodly portion of the American electorate — of all age groups, education groups, racial groups, ethnic groups, and both genders — thinks Donald Trump is the man to navigate our Ship of State through these rocky shoals.

To me, this looks like a distinctly sub-par situation. But it hardly helps for me to run about like a headless chicken, does it?

Can anyone here think of anything I can do to improve this state of affairs? Me, personally, today?

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There are 162 comments.

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  1. Inactive

    Don’t read too much into the results from Nevada. It was an utterly inept and unruly, unorganized farce of a process that was obviously manipulated by Trump allies. He likely would have won a primary in the state due to the fractured field, but trying to glean meaning from the margin or make up of the coalition that voted for Trump is a mistake. It can’t be trusted as an accurate read on the electorate in Nevada.

    • #1
    • February 24, 2016, at 1:59 AM PDT
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  2. Inactive

    “President Donald Trump.” Repeat it to yourself and get used to the sound of it.

    • #2
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:09 AM PDT
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  3. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Mike LaRoche:“President Donald Trump.” Repeat it to yourself and used to the sound of it.

    No can do, Mike, I think the guy’s a nut.

    • #3
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:10 AM PDT
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  4. Inactive

    If you want to feel a little better, Claire, go look at Jay Cost’s Twitter feed from last night and read his analysis of where the race is.

    @JayCostTWS

    • #4
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:10 AM PDT
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  5. Inactive

    Feeling similarly desperate… BT, the fact that Trump can manipulate the results of a caucus is hardly reassuring either. My efforts are going into prayers that someone convinces all other non-Trump competitors besides Rubio to drop out. Then I think sanity would return.

    • #5
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:11 AM PDT
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  6. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    BThompson:If you want to feel a little better, Claire, go look at Jay Cost’s Twitter feed from last night and read his analysis of where the race is.

    Frankly, what has me worried is this part: “I reckon the only times in history we’ve seen this much geopolitical instability and danger were prior to the outbreaks of the First and Second World War.”

    If that weren’t the case, I’d say, “Heck, Trump’s popular, and that’s democracy.” But I don’t think we’ve got much room for a president with wacky judgment these days.

    • #6
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:14 AM PDT
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  7. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Merina Smith: My efforts are going into prayers

    I’m just wondering if I can do something more practical than praying and flapping my yap here on Ricochet.

    • #7
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:17 AM PDT
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  8. Inactive

    Indeed, but the only chance we have of getting a lid on things requires that the GOP race veers off its current collision course with a cartoon version of Ceasarism. So hopefully Jay is correct and sanity will ultimately prevail.

    • #8
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:20 AM PDT
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  9. Member

    BThompson:Don’t read to much into the results from Nevada. It was an utterly inept and unruly, unorganized farce of a process that was obviously manipulated by Trump allies. He likely would have won a primary in the state due to the fractured field, but trying to glean meaning from the margin or make up of the coalition that voted for Trump is a mistake. It can’t be trusted as an accurate read on the electorate in Nevada.

    I agree with BT that Nevada’s results are much harder to interpret than a primary.

    The problem is that the Democratic vote in Nevada was also likely influenced by Hillary’s allies and even then only succeeded in holding Bernie back to a single digit loss. The fact that a significant portion of the electorate in three states view him as someone fit to the run the ship of state is no less disquieting.

    • #9
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:20 AM PDT
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  10. Member

    There were those land wars in Asia after WW2. And state-on-state wars in the Middle East and Africa. And the years of lead in the 1970s in the West. Hungary. Czechoslovakia. And how many putsches, revolutions and juntas in Latin America?

    I would consider the greatest strategic threat to the US to arise from the diversion of the vast foreign affairs and military structures from their job of safeguarding the nation and its interests towards politically correct nonsense (gender balance, global warming). Perhaps a President Trump would embolden the hard heads in those establishments who have survived to come out swinging and e.g. re-orient the armed forces towards killing bad guys rather than prosecuting soldiers and fundamentally restructuring US society.

    There. Now you can sleep better.

    • #10
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:29 AM PDT
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  11. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Chris:

    The fact that a significant portion of the electorate in three states view him as someone fit to the run the ship of state is no less disquieting.

    It’s profoundly disquieting, but I’m trying not to over-interpret it. I fear that Carlos Montaner is exactly right, and that the success of both candidates, even to this extent, is a sign of an unrecoverable disaster for the world. He’s obviously emotional:

    In any case, the presence of people like Trump and Sanders in the political landscape of the United States totally wipes out the notion of U.S. exceptionalism supported by so many thinkers and ideologues who are convinced that this country has a moral responsibility to mankind.

    It marks the end of the much-debated and slightly Messianic proposition that the United States is a unique nation, the leading modern republic, different from all others, chosen by God to serve as a model and defend republicanism, freedom, individualism, equality, and democracy, to roundly defeat the fascists, Nazis, and communists, and to confront the murderous Islamists of the new Caliphate.

    It’s a pity. At the end of his brief Gettysburg Address, Lincoln affirmed that the task of Americans is to ensure “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” That’s another version of exceptionalism.

    Ronald Reagan liked to play with those ideas and with the following metaphor: The United States is “the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid,” as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mountain.

    Not at all. The United States is a nation like all others. With its Trumps and its Sanderses. Like all others.

    I think it’s true that it was silly ever to imagine the United States as somehow invulnerable to the lure of commies and caudillos, but I don’t want to descend into premature morose fatalism. I did genuinely think the electorate’s natural response to eight years of Obama would be, “This is too frightening. We can’t afford more of this.” It may still be.

    • #11
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:33 AM PDT
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  12. Member

    First of all a good stiff drink. One can follow the news and at some point when you realize how depressing it is you will realize that’s as good as you’re going to feel for the rest of the day. That’s when it’s time for a second good stiff drink. Cheers

    There is something rather faintly familiar about the antics of Trump supporters during the Nevada Caucuses. I have to wonder about the remark Trump made about wanting to punch someone in the mouth when he was heckled, and something about a stretcher. That reminds me I need a drink, one at home not in a beer hall.

    • #12
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:46 AM PDT
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  13. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    genferei: There were those land wars in Asia after WW2. And state-on-state wars in the Middle East and Africa. And the years of lead in the 1970s in the West. Hungary. Czechoslovakia. And how many putsches, revolutions and juntas in Latin America?

    Throughout that entire period, the only truly plausible rival we had was the Soviet Union. We’ve gone — quickly — from a unipolar global power configuration to a multipolar one. We’re giving absolutely no stable signal of how we’re apt to respond to a challenge. That’s an invitation to every aspiring regional hegemon — and every nut — to attempt to reorder the global system in its favor. As we’re seeing. The risk of miscalculation right now strikes me as massive, and greater than it was at any point in the Cold War, simply because of the number of players.

    Please argue with me, I don’t want to be right about this.

    • #13
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:53 AM PDT
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  14. Inactive

    Claire, I’m curious if you think HRC would be better than Trump at guiding the nation through the shoals. I’m beginning to think I’d prefer her to Trump, though I’d never vote for either of them. She’d be awful, but at least she wouldn’t blow up the Conservative party, or, we hope, the nation and world. Then hopefully her awfulness would give us a good president in 2020. It’s a grim scenario, but perhaps preferable to President Trump.

    • #14
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:53 AM PDT
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  15. Inactive

    Claire, few if anyone are going to early state primaries or caucuses concerned about the situations that concern you abroad. Many people including me believe a portion of the globe, primarily Islam, are a bunch of ungovernable savages bent on killing each other. We’ve spent too much blood and so much treasure to the point we are going to be ineffectual no matter who is elected.

    Marco Rubio appears sharp on foreign affairs. If you try to pair a Marco Rubio interventionist foreign policy with a Marco Rubio/Mike Lee gimmick laden tax plan on top of a $20T Bush/Obama/Pelosi/Boehner national debt it will fail equally as anything Trump dreams up.

    • #15
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:58 AM PDT
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  16. Member

    Merina Smith:Feeling similarly desperate… BT, the fact that Trump can manipulate the results of a caucus is hardly reassuring either. My efforts are going into prayers that someone convinces all other non-Trump competitors besides Rubio to drop out. Then I think sanity would return.

    Sanity in this election year? It wouldn’t be returning, it would be making a first appearance

    • #16
    • February 24, 2016, at 2:59 AM PDT
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  17. Member

    Trump is quite stoppable and everyone knows how: Cruz and Rubio must come to some sort of agreement where one of them drops out and endorses the other. Do they really care about the Republic, or is it ultimately about themselves? Unfortunately, I’m not convinced the latter isn’t true. I suspect The Donald thinks so as well, which is why he’s laughing all the way to the nomination.

    • #17
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:08 AM PDT
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  18. Inactive

    Large sections of GOP voters will vote for the Democrat to stop him. So get used to ‘President Hillary Clinton’, hardly a reassuring solution, I know. Unless she gets indicted. In fact, the idea of a President Biden is starting to look wonderful to me. Next to this.

    • #18
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:19 AM PDT
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  19. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Merina Smith: Claire, I’m curious if you think HRC would be better than Trump at guiding the nation through the shoals.

    Depends on the VP nomination, because her health doesn’t look good to me. But, yes, because she’s a known quantity, and so far I don’t see any very visible sign of cognitive impairment.

    I’m beginning to think I’d prefer her to Trimp, though I’d never vote for either of them. She’d be awful, but at least she wouldn’t blow up

    “the world.” This is my fear. I would be less afraid of that with her in office than I would be with Trump.

    the Conservative party, and hopefully her awfulness would give us a good president in 2020.

    I’d be satisfied with feeling, in an intuitively certain way, that there will be a next generation.

    • #19
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:23 AM PDT
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  20. Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Throughout that entire period, the only truly plausible rival we had was the Soviet Union. We’ve gone — quickly — from a unipolar global power configuration to a multipolar one. We’re giving absolutely no stable signal of how we’re apt to respond to a challenge. That’s an invitation to every aspiring regional hegemon — and every nut — to attempt to reorder the global system in its favor. As we’re seeing. The risk of miscalculation right now strikes me as massive, and greater than it was at any point in the Cold War, simply because of the number of players.

    Please argue with me, I don’t want to be right about this.

    No,you’re right. However, there are some things you can do:

    1. Spend lots of money to build you own customized underground bunker to wait out the coming apocalypse. Or..
    2. Contribute to a candidate of your choice and VOTE. Or…
    3. Do what you can to promote the candidate of your choice while persuading others why Trump,in your opinion,might not be the best candidate. Or…
    4. Have a sit-down with Cruz and Rubio to try to get them to reach some kind of accommodation. (Bring Luca Brasi if you must). Or…
    5. Some combination of numbers 1 through 4, or all of the above.

    Good luck.(We’ll all need it)

    • #20
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:23 AM PDT
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  21. Inactive

    Many Repubs feel this way. Rick Wilson pledge: With God as my witness, I will never vote for DT.

    http://opinion.injo.com/2016/02/253451-i-will-never-vote-for-donald-trump-with-god-as-my-witness-i-will-never-vote-for-donald-trump/

    • #21
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:26 AM PDT
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  22. Inactive

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Merina Smith: My efforts are going into prayers

    I’m just wondering if I can do something more practical than praying and flapping my yap here on Ricochet.

    Just so you know, I woke up the morning after the New Hampshire primary, took stock, and sent my husband off to volunteer with Rubio. It ain’t easy managing a house, a 13-year-old, a more than full-time job, a puppy, etc., on my own, but I read the equation pretty much the way you are reading it.

    I would suggest that there are three things one can do: pray, donate, and volunteer. Almost anyone can do at least one of those things.

    • #22
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:28 AM PDT
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  23. Inactive

    Claire,

    One issue is that you sitting in Paris while we are in the US nearly half-way around the world from the middle east. We feel more removed from those things.

    • #23
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:29 AM PDT
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  24. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    BrentB67: Many people including me believe a portion of the globe, primarily Islam, are a bunch of ungovernable savages bent on killing each other.

    I don’t share this belief, because I’ve spent enough time in that part of the globe to have seen — with my own eyes — that this is untrue. I can’t be persuaded to believe something I’ve personally seen to be untrue, over a period of many years.

    • #24
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:30 AM PDT
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  25. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Z in MT: One issue is that you sitting in Paris while we are in the US nearly half-way around the world from the middle east. We feel more removed from those things.

    There’s nothing happening in Paris that would lead me to feel this way any more than someone in the US. My views about this aren’t at all shaped by anything I can literally see from here.

    • #25
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:37 AM PDT
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  26. Inactive

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Merina Smith: My efforts are going into prayers

    I’m just wondering if I can do something more practical than praying and flapping my yap here on Ricochet.

    Now that is the million dollar question isn’t it? Trump seems to have taken broadside after broadside and there is nary a scratch on him. The theories that the GOP primary voter will throw their temper tantrums during the fall and then come back “home” when the real voting happens have shown to be just wishful thinking. With Cruz and Rubio running neck and neck there is zero incentive for either to get out. Kasich is running a rather self-centered campaign at this point, just waiting to get to Ohio where he is behind Trump by 5 points. And Carson, is he even still really running?

    Trump is the candidate and the president that this country deserves right now. In the age of selfie sticks and micro aggressions, he is the ultimate embodiment of what it means to be an “American” today. Our society has been forced to look in the mirror by President Obama and what we are seeing in the reflection is Donald J. Trump. Those of us wringing our hands for this or that reason are mere specks of what used to be “America.” Claire, welcome to the Brave New World. You might be better off in France.

    • #26
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:40 AM PDT
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  27. Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Merina Smith: Claire, I’m curious if you think HRC would be better than Trump at guiding the nation through the shoals.

    Depends on the VP nomination, because her health doesn’t look good to me. But, yes, because she’s a known quantity, and so far I don’t see any very visible sign of cognitive impairment.

    I don’t follow this argument. We’re in a terrible situation because of the actions and inactions of the US administration over the last 8 years. The author – or, at least, collaborator – of a good part of those decisions is indeed “a known quantity” – a known disastrous quantity. (Intimately known, since everyone in the world has all her emails.)

    How is this devil-we-know better than the devil-we-don’t? Or are you having 1980s flashbacks about how Reagan and Thatcher will blow up the world by talking tough with the Soviets? Break out your CND paraphenalia now, Jezza and Bernie will join you on your march.

    • #27
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:43 AM PDT
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  28. Inactive

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    BrentB67: Many people including me believe a portion of the globe, primarily Islam, are a bunch of ungovernable savages bent on killing each other.

    I don’t share this belief, because I’ve spent enough time in that part of the globe to have seen — with my own eyes — that this is untrue. I can’t be persuaded to believe something I’ve personally seen to be untrue, over a period of many years.

    If I may, I would say that the Salafist portion of that society is ungovernable and savage. Between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, I would take the UAE. Between the UAE and Oman, I would take Oman. Between the Muslim Arabia and the Jewish Levant, I will take the Jewish Levant. The further you get away from the Salafist influence on the society and culture, the freer you are.

    • #28
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:43 AM PDT
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  29. Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Merina Smith: My efforts are going into prayers

    I’m just wondering if I can do something more practical than praying and flapping my yap here on Ricochet.

    For many of us–even us on Ricochet–there is nothing more practical than prayer and frequently there should be nothing less practical than flapping our yaps.

    • #29
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:43 AM PDT
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  30. Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Merina Smith: My efforts are going into prayers

    I’m just wondering if I can do something more practical than praying and flapping my yap here on Ricochet.

    Send money to Mike Murphy.

    • #30
    • February 24, 2016, at 3:45 AM PDT
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