Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Donald Trump: National Socialist

 
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In his classic 1944 work, Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, then living in exile in England, shocked readers with his diagnosis of Nazism. National socialism, he argued, was not the opposite of social democracy, but its evolutionary extension. All Hitler had done, said Hayek, was to grasp that racism is required for socialism, because to mobilize the passion necessary to achieve the full collectivist agenda, it is necessary to invoke the tribal instinct. Thus — contrary to Marx — the ultimate development of socialism is not stateless international brotherhood, but various forms of rabid tribal nationalism.

Donald Trump has confounded many analysts with his peculiar combination of political positions. While claiming to be a conservative, Trump has nevertheless advocated extreme statism. For example, Trump has — as recently as last December — supported nationalized single payer health care, a system that would put the lives of Americans in the hands of government bureaucrats. And just last month in a town hall with CNN, Trump said that he thought health care and education were two of the three primary responsibilities of the federal government. He is a practitioner and advocate of eminent domain, supporting a system that enriches insiders who can arrange for government action to dispossess ordinary Americans of their homes if that should be required to reap the oligarch’s profit. Trump is also radical trade protectionist, who would destroy the global economic foundation of American prosperity since World War II in order to impose a system that, again, enriches insiders who can arrange for government action to block foreign competition. If that were not enough, Trump has stated his intention to implement laws that would facilitate government officials suing critics, thereby chilling the freedom of the press that has been fundamental to American liberty since colonial times.

In addition, Trump openly embraces Nietzschean ethics, in direct opposition to the Judeo-Christian morality treasured by conservatives. He flaunts his practice of corruption of government through payoffs to elected officials, who, under the Constitution, are supposed to be representing some combination of their constituents and their conscience. He shows open contempt for such essential patriotic classical virtues as courage, building his own career through the promotion of greed and lust. He spews lies fluently and, when confronted with a request for facts to back up his assertions, brushes it off as if truth does not matter. His general methodology is that of a demagogue, a mobilizer of passion against reason, of the mob against the individual, an exemplar of liberty’s worst enemy.

Yet Trump’s opposition to illegal immigration might seem to make him a conservative, at least on that one issue. There is a conservative case against illegal immigration on the basis of support for rule of law. But Trump is not a supporter of rule of law. He is a supporter of abuse and corruption of the law, and through his casinos and related enterprises, has been a major player in an industry notorious for its links to organized crime. He has urged his supporters to commit acts of violence, and has threatened riots to disrupt the Republican National Convention if he is not given his way. He personally has scammed thousands of Americans out of their life savings, a practice that, under a more equitable legal system, would more likely make him a candidate for the penitentiary than the presidency. So, for Trump, the illegal immigration question can hardly be about the sacred rule the law.

The primary case advanced by most immigration restrictionists, labor protectionism, is anti-free enterprise, and thus not a conservative argument. Even so, the pragmatic side of immigration policy is an area in which reasonable people can differ. While adding more people with additional skills to the country is clearly a constructive act, there are practical limits to the rate at which such people can be assimilated, and what those levels are is a matter for rational debate. But it is apparent that, for Trump, the immigration issue is not about any practical policy. Rather, as demonstrated by his blood libel claiming that New Jersey’s Muslim Americans stood on rooftops cheering as their fellow citizens in the Twin Towers burned alive, it is fodder for xenophobic demagoguery.

So, is Trump an inconsistent combination of “left-wing” policies on most issues with “right-wing” racist politics? No. On the contrary, Trump is a completely consistent collectivist. Not to put too fine a point on the matter, racism – or tribalism, if you will – is not a conservative ideology; it is collectivist ideology. It is the oldest, most powerful, and most lethal collectivist ideology, because it is based on primeval animal instinct. By using xenophobic agitation to mobilize mob support for a program of socialist policy, unlimited government, and strongman rule, Trump has embraced a political methodology clearly identified seven decades ago in The Road to Serfdom.

In short, Trump is a national socialist. To be sure, he is not a Nazi, although he is attracting Nazis, “white nationalists,” and other Alt-Right “identarians” in considerable numbers to his banner. Nor is he a national socialist in the vein of the current North Korean tyranny, although he has offered praise for that regime. He is a different type of national socialist. Perhaps the closest foreign analogy would be that of the Putin regime, which uses extreme nationalism to secure mob support for an unlimited government that serves the interests of those who control it, or those who can pay enough to influence it.

In the Putinite world, there are no laws that effectively restrain the strong or protect the weak. The government is all powerful, and its bias is available for rent. It’s not about whether your case is just or unjust; it’s about who you can buy. It’s not that the system is corrupt. Corruption is the system, and everyone knows it.

Sound familiar?

In this context, the praise of Vladimir Putin and totalitarian ideologist Aleksandr Dugin for Trump, Trump’s open expression of admiration for Putin, his hiring of Kremlin-allied advisors, including Carter Page and Paul Manafort, and support for Moscow’s military moves globally, should come as no surprise.

However, the endorsement of Trump by Dugin is more significant than merely signaling the Kremlin’s appreciation of a useful idiot. Dugin is one of the principle philosophical theoreticians of the international Alt-Right, and his publications are regularly featured in such American identarian outlets as Radix. While he greatly admires Nazism, Dugin’s “Fourth Political Theory” seeks to transcend traditional Nordic racism’s self-limited market appeal by proposing multi-centered tribal fascism as a counter to the “liberal” (i.e. Western) ideas of individualism, intrinsic rights, and universal human dignity. It is the raising of “blood and soil” over “all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;” of animal instinct over human reason; of the id over the superego; of greed and lust over justice and love. This is the metaphysics of national socialism. It is also clearly recognizable as the metaphysics of Trump.

National socialism is not conservatism. It is the most extreme form of socialism, and thus the very opposite of conservatism. Trump is not a Republican, and he is certainly not a conservative. He has been able to impersonate a conservative only because some conservatives have sacrificed their own principles to go along with elements of his nativism themselves. This needs to end. Trump is a threat not just to the Republican Party, but to the republic. True patriots need to rally to defeat his cause, and all that it represents.

There are 221 comments.

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  1. A-Squared Inactive

    I’m sure this will generate some discussion.

    • #1
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:37 PM PDT
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  2. TKC1101 Inactive
    • #2
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:40 PM PDT
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  3. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Just so everyone knows, many of our more active members have already objected to other members associating Trump with national socialism. They believe it’s an unfair smear.

    • #3
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:42 PM PDT
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  4. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    TKC1101: Ok, Trump is both a Nazi and a member of OC.

    Zubrin was quite clear on this: he called Trump a national socialist, not a Nazi:

    Robert Zubrin: To be sure, [Trump] is not a Nazi, although he is attracting Nazis, “white nationalists” and other Alt-Right “identarians” in considerable numbers to his banner.

    • #4
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:44 PM PDT
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  5. Profile Photo Member

    Robert Zubrin: In this context, the praise of Vladimir Putin and totalitarian ideologist Aleksandr Dugin for Trump, Trump’s open expression of admiration for Putin, his hiring of Kremlin-allied advisors, including Carter Page http://www.nationalreview.com/article/433613/trump-kremlins-candidate and Paul Manafort, http://freebeacon.com/issues/lawsuit-trump-aide-ukraine/ and support for Moscow’s military moves globally, should come as no surprise.

    TKC – please respond to these specific charges of ties to Putin. Is the original poster incorrect to point this out? Are his facts somehow mistaken, and if so, what facts did the original poster get wrong?

    • #5
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:47 PM PDT
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  6. TKC1101 Inactive
    • #6
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:48 PM PDT
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  7. Profile Photo Member

    TKC1101:Ok, Trump is both a Nazi and a member of OC. Got it. Also he and Putin are secret admirers. Got it.

    I am frankly surprised the Illuminati did not get a mention, he does build things.

    I invoke the conspiracy rules of Ricochet. We need better conspiracy posts, this one was missing Atlantis and the Nazca Lines.

    The advertisement at the end was a nice touch.

    Only I go for the gold TKC. I can’t wait to hear you defend Trump’s totalitarian instincts, and explain why Trump is just a regular old conservative.

    • #7
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:48 PM PDT
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  8. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    TKC1101: Also he and Putin are secret admirers. Got it.

    Not so secret. Trump prevaricates quite a bit, but the compliments come pretty easy to him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCnDBh6Lb4w

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/17/politics/russia-putin-trump/index.html

    • #8
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:51 PM PDT
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  9. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    For my own part, the following:

    Robert Zubrin:The government is all powerful, and its bias is available for rent. It’s not about whether your case is just or unjust; it’s about who you can buy. It’s not that the system is corrupt. Corruption is the system, and everyone knows it.

    Sound familiar?

    reminded me of an observation someone else made about Trump:

    Here is a guy [Trump] whose job [real-estate developer] is cutting through bureaucracy, and who is apparently quite good at it. Yet throughout the book [The Art of the Deal] – and for that matter, throughout his campaign for the nomination of a party that makes cutting bureaucracy a big part of their platform – he doesn’t devote a lot of energy to expressing discontent with the system… [I]n the process of successfully navigating all of these terrible rules, he rarely takes a step back and wonders about a better world where these rules don’t exist. Despite having way more ability to change the system than most people, he seems to regard it as a given, not worth debating. I think back to his description of how it’s all just a big game to him. Most star basketball players are too busy shooting hoops to imagine whether the game might be more interesting if a three-pointer was worth five points, or whatever. Trump seems to have the same attitude – the rules are there; his job is to make the best deal he can within those rules. [italics added]

    Perhaps Trump is simply used to the system Zubrin describes as Putinism as already being the way things are?

    • #9
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:52 PM PDT
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  10. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    TKC1101:

    Any author who is unaware of the imagery associated with the very words “national socialist’ is playing coy. You write and know the game.

    It seems that Zubrin is quite aware of the association, which is why he made the distinction that I quoted (FWIW, I wish he included it earlier to avoid confusion). I do agree entirely that he’s making an inflammatory charge, but I think he presents quite a lot of evidence to back it up.

    There is a reason, you know, why this accusation keeps getting thrown Trump’s way.

    • #10
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:57 PM PDT
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  11. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    TKC1101:Ok, Trump is both a Nazi and a member of OC. Got it. Also he and Putin are secret admirers. Got it.

    I am frankly surprised the Illuminati did not get a mention, he does build things.

    I invoke the conspiracy rules of Ricochet. We need better conspiracy posts, this one was missing Atlantis and the Nazca Lines.

    The advertisement at the end was a nice touch.

    I think you should read the post a little closer and maybe point out where the analysis leading the OP to this conclusion is in error. He said specifically he is not a Nazi and laid out a pretty good case for why he is similar to Putin.

    • #11
    • April 21, 2016, at 1:59 PM PDT
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  12. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    TKC1101:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Zubrin was quite clear on this: he called Trump a national socialist, not a Nazi:

    Tom, I can now assume this one rockets to the main feed. Any author who is unaware of the imagery associated with the very words “national socialist’ is playing coy. You write and know the game.

    Do you have an actual counter argument or just indignation?

    • #12
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:00 PM PDT
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  13. Profile Photo Member

    TKC1101:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Zubrin was quite clear on this: he called Trump a national socialist, not a Nazi:

    Tom, I can now assume this one rockets to the main feed. Any author who is unaware of the imagery associated with the very words “national socialist’ is playing coy. You write and know the game.

    TKC, TKC, what is in it for you to defend Trump? I don’t understand it. Do you not find it all odd that Trump is the only one that has these nationalist problems? That Trump is the only one retweeting quotes attributed to Mussolini, and then not apologizing for the lack of judgment? Does that not trouble you, at all?

    • #13
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:01 PM PDT
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  14. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: There is a reason, you know, why this accusation keeps getting thrown Trump’s way.

    Tom, didn’t you know that the only reason this accusation keeps coming up is TDS and a hatred of “real Americans”.

    • #14
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:03 PM PDT
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  15. Profile Photo Member

    Jamie Lockett:

    TKC1101:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Zubrin was quite clear on this: he called Trump a national socialist, not a Nazi:

    Tom, I can now assume this one rockets to the main feed. Any author who is unaware of the imagery associated with the very words “national socialist’ is playing coy. You write and know the game.

    Do you have an actual counter argument or just indignation?

    It’s not just indignation, it’s righteous indignation. I know all about it, I have it on the other side of the #NeverTrump debate.

    • #15
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:06 PM PDT
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  16. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Also, how cool is it that Robert Zubrin is a member of ours(!)?

    Between him, anonymous, Rand Simberg, Tim H., and Mark Wilson, we’ve got a really impressive bunch of space nerds.

    • #16
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:09 PM PDT
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  17. TKC1101 Inactive
    • #17
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:14 PM PDT
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  18. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    TKC1101:Ok, Trump is both a Nazi and a member of OC. Got it. Also he and Putin are secret admirers. Got it.

    I am frankly surprised the Illuminati did not get a mention, he does build things.

    I invoke the conspiracy rules of Ricochet. We need better conspiracy posts, this one was missing Atlantis and the Nazca Lines.

    The advertisement at the end was a nice touch.

    An amazingly cogent counter-argument to that presented Dr. Zubrin.

    • #18
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:14 PM PDT
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  19. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Also, how cool is it that Robert Zubrin is a member of ours(!)?

    Between him, anonymous, Rand Simberg, Tim H., and Mark Wilson, we’ve got a really impressive bunch of space nerds.

    I fully expect Rob and Peter to announce the Ricochet Moonshot within the next 6 to 18 months.

    A conservative colony on Mars.

    • #19
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:16 PM PDT
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  20. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVeyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Damn, we’re being overtaken by a Virtuecon-class destroyer…twin Schafly engines. Charge the main FiCon gun!

    Woody Woodpecker in Destination Moon

    • #20
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:30 PM PDT
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  21. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Gary McVey:Damn, we’re being overtaken by a Virtuecon-class destroyer…twin Schafly engines. Charge the main FiCon gun!

    Woody Woodpecker in Destination Moon

    Libertarians to the Pacifist Bunkers! Weed is available.

    • #21
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:53 PM PDT
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  22. I Walton Member

    It’s not so much national socialism, as opportunistic statism, which is what Mussolini was. Hitler actually took himself seriously, like Obama or maybe even Bernie. While Mussolini and his fascist intellectual mentors had been socialists, and this is the key point, WWI demonstrated that nationalism was a more effective motivating theme than international socialism. Trump and Hillary are both opportunistic, but Trump has tapped into the themes of the day. My fear is that the Democrats will learn from him.

    • #22
    • April 21, 2016, at 2:58 PM PDT
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  23. Matt Y. Member

    Well said.

    Why not use the more common word “Fascism”, which I would consider identical to what you are describing? Or is there a difference? Perhaps Trump’s “National Socialism” is more proto-fascist rather than full-fledged fascism.

    • #23
    • April 21, 2016, at 3:09 PM PDT
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  24. Jason Rudert Member

    ?

    • #24
    • April 21, 2016, at 3:22 PM PDT
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  25. A-Squared Inactive

    I Walton: Trump and Hillary are both opportunistic, but Trump has tapped into the themes of the day. My fear is that the Democrats will learn from him.

    My fear is that Trump represents the learning Republicans have taken from the Democrats. Becoming a party that is selling government control of the economy with the promise to direct the economy to benefit one group of the population at the expense of other groups.

    I’ve long argued the Democratic Party is the party of single-issue voters who have agreed to support the single-issue of others in exchange for their support.

    Trump is creating a similar locus of single-issue voters whose single issue is anti-something, e.g., immigration, free-trade, foreign treaties, freedom of the press, constitutional limits on the executive branch.

    • #25
    • April 21, 2016, at 3:40 PM PDT
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  26. TKC1101 Inactive

    I assume after your piece that you view Mr Trump as a greater danger to personal freedom than Hillary Clinton.

    I see a rapidly gaining statism unrestrained by law occurring on the watch of a GOP congress and a Democratic President and the history and words coming from the Democratic frontrunner indicate a far greater preference to national crony driven socialism than anything you have presented.

    That has been occurring for sometime now. Does that not warrant any of your concern, or are you just focused on one option and set of possibilities over all others?

    • #26
    • April 21, 2016, at 5:20 PM PDT
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  27. Profile Photo Member

    TKC1101:I assume after your piece that you view Mr Trump as a greater danger to personal freedom than Hillary Clinton.

    I see a rapidly gaining statism unrestrained by law occurring on the watch of a GOP congress and a Democratic President and the history and words coming from the Democratic frontrunner indicate a far greater preference to national crony driven socialism than anything you have presented.

    That has been occurring for sometime now. Does that not warrant any of your concern, or are you just focused on one option and set of possibilities over all others?

    I am obviously very concerned about the Tyranny and socialism advocated by the left. However it was my understanding that on ricochet there are conservatives.

    It was further my understanding that conservatives support the Bill of Rights, support peace through strength, support our allies, oppose high taxes on imports and support free trade.

    Apparently I was wrong.

    The one thing for sure that Hillary has on Trump is that, to my knowledge, Hillary has never supported nuclear proliferation which Trump has supported in an offhand, casual fashion. It is also my understanding that Hillary has never suggested that we abandon our NATO allies or that it is too expensive to remain loyal to our most important global allies.

    Yes I understand that Hillary did terrible things when it came to Benghazi, Libya. However, on a macro-level, if we take Trump at his word, his policies would be so significantly different from the policies we have pursued for the past 60 years as to cause an unpredictable chaotic disruption in global affairs.

    So it looks like your only argument for Trump is that Hillary is really bad, we don’t know what Trump would do because his words should not be taken at face value, so let’s give ‘er a roll! Is that the long and short of it?

    • #27
    • April 21, 2016, at 6:28 PM PDT
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  28. TKC1101 Inactive

    Josh Farnsworth:

    TKC1101:I assume after your piece that you view Mr Trump as a greater danger to personal freedom than Hillary Clinton.

    I see a rapidly gaining statism unrestrained by law occurring on the watch of a GOP congress and a Democratic President and the history and words coming from the Democratic frontrunner indicate a far greater preference to national crony driven socialism than anything you have presented.

    That has been occurring for sometime now. Does that not warrant any of your concern, or are you just focused on one option and set of possibilities over all others?

    I am obviously very concerned about the Tyranny and socialism advocated by the left. However it was my understanding that on ricochet there are conservatives.

    It was further my understanding that conservatives support the Bill of Rights, support peace through strength, support our allies, oppose high taxes on imports and support free trade.

    Apparently I was wrong.

    The one thing for sure that Hillary has on Trump is that, to my knowledge Hillary has never supported nuclear proliferation which Trump has supported in an offhand, casual fashion. It is also my understanding that Hillary has never suggested that we abandon our NATO allies or that it is too expensive to remain loyal to our most important global allies.

    Yes I understand that Hillary did terrible things when it came to Benghazi, Libya. However, on a macro-level, if we take Trump at his word his policies would be so significantly different from the policies we have pursued for the past 60 years as to cause an unpredictable chaotic disruption and Global affairs.

    So it looks like your only argument for Trump is that Hillary is really bad, we don’t know what Trump would do because his words should not be taken at face value, so let’s give ‘er a roll! Is that the long and short of it?

    Mr Farnsworth:

    I asked a question of the author of the post. I await his response.

    Kindly allow some conversation without attack/defend being the sole purpose.

    • #28
    • April 21, 2016, at 6:55 PM PDT
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  29. Profile Photo Member

    TKC1101:

    Josh Farnsworth:

    TKC1101:I assume after your piece that you view Mr Trump as a greater danger to personal freedom than Hillary Clinton.

    I see a rapidly gaining statism unrestrained by law occurring on the watch of a GOP congress and a Democratic President and the history and words coming from the Democratic frontrunner indicate a far greater preference to national crony driven socialism than anything you have presented.

    That has been occurring for sometime now. Does that not warrant any of your concern, or are you just focused on one option and set of possibilities over all others?

    I am obviously very concerned about the Tyranny and socialism advocated by the left. However it was my understanding that on ricochet there are conservatives.

    It was further my understanding that conservatives support the Bill of Rights, support peace through strength, support our allies, oppose high taxes on imports and support free trade.

    Apparently I was wrong.

    The one thing for sure that Hillary has on Trump is that, to my knowledge Hillary has never supported nuclear proliferation which Trump has supported in an offhand, casual fashion. It is also my understanding that Hillary has never suggested that we abandon our NATO allies or that it is too expensive to remain loyal to our most important global allies.

    Yes I understand that Hillary did terrible things when it came to Benghazi, Libya. However, on a macro-level, if we take Trump at his word his policies would be so significantly different from the policies we have pursued for the past 60 years as to cause an unpredictable chaotic disruption and Global affairs.

    So it looks like your only argument for Trump is that Hillary is really bad, we don’t know what Trump would do because his words should not be taken at face value, so let’s give ‘er a roll! Is that the long and short of it?

    Mr Farnsworth:

    I asked a question of the author of the post. I await his response.

    Kindly allow some conversation without attack/defend being the sole purpose.

    Sounds good, just adding to the conversation. Did I accurately summarize your argument for Trump, or do you support his stated positions?

    • #29
    • April 21, 2016, at 6:57 PM PDT
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  30. Profile Photo Member

    Josh Farnsworth:I am obviously very concerned about the Tyranny and socialism advocated by the left.

    You appear to be a Hillary supporter. So, no you aren’t concerned about the tyranny advocated by the left.

    Apparently I was wrong.

    Quite a bit.

    , to my knowledge Hillary has never supported nuclear proliferation which Trump has supported in an offhand, casual fashion.

    If I recall Trump supported our allies getting nukes- unlike the present regime which has helped our enemies get nukes.

    Hillary has never suggested that we abandon our NATO allies or that it is too expensive to remain loyal to our most important global allies.

    What if it is in fact too expensive for us to defend our wealthy competitors our global allies? Does reality enter into your calculations whims?

    Yes I understand that Hillary did terrible things when it came to Benghazi, Libya.

    But you don’t care.

    However, on a macro-level, if we take Trump at his word his policies would be so significantly different from the policies we have pursued for the past 60 years as to cause an unpredictable chaotic disruption and Global affairs.

    Because they have to be, because reality.

    So it looks like your only argument for Trump is that Hillary is really bad, we don’t know what Trump would do because his words should not be taken at face value, so let’s give ‘er a roll! Is that the long and short of it?

    Then vote for Hillary, [redacted].

    • #30
    • April 21, 2016, at 9:01 PM PDT
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