Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Learning to Love the Political Wilderness (or, Who Doesn’t Like Camping?)

 

I have deep respect for Ramesh Ponnuru, one of the sharpest and most knowledgeable of conservative commentators. Nevertheless, I disagreed almost totally with this recent column at Bloomberg View, in which he suggests that anti-Trump Republicans have rendered themselves futile and irrelevant through their inability to get on the same page. I can summarize the column most efficiently by quoting the final paragraph first:

The major point of agreement among Trump’s conservative critics is an important one: They think that he doesn’t have the character to lead the country well. But that agreement is not a substitute for having a clear and unified sense of where they want the Republican Party, and the country, to go. They don’t have that, and they don’t even seem to see how quixotic it makes their dream of wresting the party back from the man who is their common enemy.

Everything before that, as you might expect, is a sketch of the wildly diverse views of anti-Trump commentators, who disagree about gun control, immigration, tax reform, and even how to refer to themselves.

Obviously, Ramesh is right that Trump-opposed conservatives have a wide range of views on other issues (and even on the question of why Trump rose in the first place). But I don’t see why this should be regarded either as a failure or as a problem.

Anti-Trump Republicans cannot wrest the party back from Trump. His consolidation of the base is, at the moment, much too strong. I think that’s very unfortunate, not only because he’s corrupt, unfit for office, and an embarrassment to the nation, but also because he’s really not that popular. Trump can’t easily be ditched because a substantial portion of the base adores him, and those are unpromising conditions for a revolution, especially when the majority of its politicians and pundits have already invested in his slimy brand. But he’s distasteful enough to the rest of America that he could easily be the millstone that drags the GOP down. Bummer.

Before we despair though, we should note that populist politics is volatile. Trump himself is very volatile. Also, the man is old. This moment will pass. In the meanwhile, I’ve always found the wilderness to be rather a good place for hashing out important arguments and developing ideas. Parties in power are forced to focus most energies on the practicalities of the present moment. If you aren’t (for the present moment) empowered to do much anyway, the pressure to perform is lifted, and you can afford to think in wider circles. That’s why to me it seems like potentially a good thing that the “wilderness-dwellers” of the present moment are in disagreement on several topics that could really use a good hashing-out.

So, for instance, Ramesh points out that anti-Trump conservatives are in disagreement over gun control. Bret Stephens, Max Boot, and Charlie Sykes are pressing for more sweeping gun control measures, while David French and Erick Erickson are totally opposed to that. To me, this division seems rather intriguing. I myself think an intra-conservative gun control discussion could be rather fascinating. There are some very deep moral questions at the heart of it. On the one hand, our Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, and personal self-defense holds a significant place in our rugged-individualist, anti-nanny-state American tradition. Also, the practical difficulties of confiscating hundreds of thousands of firearms are daunting, to put it mildly. On the other hand, I think it’s hard to deny that Americans are considerably more likely to die violently in comparison to citizens of other equally-developed countries, mainly because we own so many guns. In light of that, it’s not strange that many Americans would really prefer at this point to step back from that element of our tradition. Setting all of that on the table could be beneficial, even if there aren’t any ready-to-hand solutions at the present time.

Then there is immigration. In mainstream Republican circles, the immigration hawks are strongly ascendant, but anti-Trump conservatives are more divided. Again, I see this as potential fodder for a fascinating and (maybe?) fruitful debate. I myself think the amnesty-plus-enforcement track pretty clearly the right way to go in general, but of course, that doesn’t really clear up all the deeper questions. I sometimes think that the arguments of Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam (who we might call moderate immigration hawks) make pretty good sense. But I also think their presentation tends to exaggerate the objective significance of this issue while underplaying the extent to which immigration hawkishness is really driven by nativist angst far more than any objective appreciation of the impact immigrants have on American life. I understand why that offends writers like Stephens and Jennifer Rubin, who are repulsed by the ugliness of some of those currents. Nativism is not one of our prouder American traditions. Underneath all of this is still a further question: how do we balance our nation’s “melting pot” history against the realities of a world in which travel and communication are much easier than they used to be (making border control far more necessary)? It seems to me like the stage is set for some great discussions.

At some point, you have to come out of the clouds (or wilderness) if you hope to have a real impact on national policy. But considering the dramatic and shocking nature of the Trumpian take-over, I think it’s a little much to expect anti-Trump conservatives to have drawn up a counter-platform already. For the present, there’s something to be said just for articulating Trump’s defects from a conservative perspective. These last few weeks, as the Democrats have been working through their regrets from the Clinton years, I find myself wondering: Would it have mattered if there had been a more significant contingent of anti-Clinton Democrats who refused to sanction the corruption and turpitude of the Clinton White House?

Perhaps not. Maybe our major parties have such tremendous momentum at this point that dissenters will inevitably be assimilated, or else marginalized into insignificance. On the other hand, maybe it would have been helpful to have a stubborn contingent of NeverClintons on the left. Maybe such a group could have salvaged a bit of the honor of the Democratic Party, explored some new ideas, or groomed a few interesting candidates for further down the road. Maybe if liberals had been planting more seeds back then, the left wouldn’t have found itself rolling into 2016 with the baggage-laden, tone-deaf, geriatric Hillary at the helm. We all knew she was a dreadful candidate, but still, they ran her, because the Democrats had long since given up fighting Clintonian corruption, and frankly, they didn’t have anyone else.

As Ramesh correctly points out, “no to Trump” is not a substitute for a full political platform. An interesting starting point, though? It could be.

There are 167 comments.

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  1. Guruforhire Member

    I don’t think people who advocate for assassinations and stone cold murder get to call other people’s character into question.

    • #1
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:13 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. Gary Robbins Reagan

    After the crushing defeat in Virginia, the astonishing defeat in Alabama, and the tidal wave in 2018, I trust that Conservatives will be ready for a Party without Trump. I will be there as Republicans take their party back from Trump and Trumpism which never commanded more than a plurality in our primary voters and would have been overthrown if we had had a open convention.

    • #2
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:16 PM PST
    • Like
  3. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    I don’t think people who advocate for assassinations and stone cold murder get to call other people’s character into question.

    Who in the world in the ranks of NeverTrumpers call for assassination and murder? If you can’t name names, please take your comment down, and apologize to our community.

    • #3
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Locke On Member

    As a Reluctant Trump, my attitude when he took office was ‘Show Me’. So far, I see him governing in a more constitutional manner than either of his two immediate predecessors, and being willing to give the military enough resources and running room to conclude a few of our entanglements on a basis other than ‘leaving now, regardless’. My touchstone for the past election was “Who will most likely reduce the power and size of government?” On that ground, I’m happier now than the day I grimaced and voted him.

    You’re ready to give away my 2nd amendment rights. Why should I have any interest in a Never coalition that starts with that as its opening bid?

    • #4
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:27 PM PST
    • 33 likes
  5. Profile Photo Member

    @rachellu: If you are not happy with the second amendment-if our Constitutional rights do not fall in line with your conservative views- then work to amend the Constitution. That would be the conservative thing to do, wouldn’t it? Or do you have other ideas?

    • #5
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:31 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  6. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Locke On (View Comment):
    As a Reluctant Trump, my attitude when he took office was ‘Show Me’. So far, I see him governing in a more constitutional manner than either of his two immediate predecessors, and being willing to give the military enough resources and running room to conclude a few of our entanglements on a basis other than ‘leaving now, regardless’. My touchstone for the past election was “Who will most likely reduce the power and size of government?” On that ground, I’m happier now than the day I grimaced and voted him.

    You’re ready to give away my 2nd amendment rights. Why should I have any interest in a Never coalition that starts with that as its opening bid?

    I think that Heller was rightly decided.

    • #6
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:35 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. DocJay Inactive

    Well good luck with that.

    • #7
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:35 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  8. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Moderator Note:

    Uncivil request to end discussion.

    “His consolidation of the base is, at the moment, much too strong. I think that’s very unfortunate, not only because he’s corrupt, unfit for office, and an embarrassment to the nation, but also because he’s really not that popular. Trump can’t easily be ditched because a substantial portion of the base adores him, and those are unpromising conditions for a revolution, especially when the majority of its politicians and pundits have already invested in his slimy brand.”

    Do you really think you’re going to affect the ongoing dialog using such dismissive and hateful rhetoric? Really? Corrupt, Unfit, Embarrasing, Unpopular, Adored, and last but not least, Slimy? [Redacted]

    • #8
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:37 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  9. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    After the crushing defeat in Virginia, the astonishing defeat in Alabama, and the tidal wave in 2018, I trust that Conservatives will be ready for a Party without Trump. I will be there as Republicans take their party back from Trump and Trumpism which never commanded more than a plurality in our primary voters and would have been overthrown if we had had a open convention.

    Don’t include me, a freedom advocate, in your “Conservative” club. The GOP is dying; get a grip on that fact.

    • #9
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:41 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  10. Rachel Lu Contributor
    Rachel Lu

    I’m not crusading against the 2nd Amendment. I respect the Constitution and I respect tradition. I also share the widespread view that there’s no good, peaceful way to get all the guns. Or even most of them.

    I just think it’s understandable that some people get pretty agitated about this, given our comparatively high rates of violent death. Watching Constitutional conservatives talk it out sounds kind of interesting. That’s all.

    • #10
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:44 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Profile Photo Member

    Rachel Lu (View Comment):
    I’m not crusading against the 2nd Amendment. I respect the Constitution and I respect tradition. I also share the widespread view that there’s no good, peaceful way to get all the guns. Or even most of them.

    I just think it’s understandable that some people get pretty agitated about this, given our comparatively high rates of violent death. Watching Constitutional conservatives talk it out sounds kind of interesting. That’s all.

    I haven’t watched these Constitutional conservatives talking about it. What are they saying? Do they want to amend the Constitution, or do they have other ideas?

    • #11
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:49 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):
    “His consolidation of the base is, at the moment, much too strong. I think that’s very unfortunate, not only because he’s corrupt, unfit for office, and an embarrassment to the nation, but also because he’s really not that popular. Trump can’t easily be ditched because a substantial portion of the base adores him, and those are unpromising conditions for a revolution, especially when the majority of its politicians and pundits have already invested in his slimy brand.”

    Do you really think you’re going to affect the ongoing dialog using such dismissive and hateful rhetoric? Really? Corrupt, Unfit, Embarrasing, Unpopular, Adored, and last but not least, Slimy? Go away, please.

    I do not recall any President in my lifetime who have had a cadre of opponents in their own party at the being of their term. Opposition to LBJ grew during his Presidency to the point that he withdrew from re-election. Primary races were waged against Gerald Ford by Ronald Reagan, but not at the start of Ford’s Presidency. The same is true of Teddy Kennedy’s challenge to Jimmy Carter.

    I don’t believe that the writer was using hateful rhetoric by noting that Trump is corrupt, unfit, embarrassing, unpopular, or slimy, and that he encourages a Cult of Personality. I think that all of those things are true. I am not going away, and I hope that the writer will not either.

    • #12
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Profile Photo Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I don’t believe that the writer was using hateful rhetoric by noting that Trump is corrupt, unfit, embarrassing, unpopular, or slimy, and that he encourages a Cult of Personality. I think that all of those things are true. I am not going away, and I hope that the writer will not either.

    She was using hateful rhetoric when she dismissed those concerned about immigration as “nativists”.

    • #13
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:53 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  14. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I don’t believe that the writer was using hateful rhetoric by noting that Trump is corrupt, unfit, embarrassing, unpopular, or slimy, and that he encourages a Cult of Personality. I think that all of those things are true. I am not going away, and I hope that the writer will not either.

    She was using hateful rhetoric when she dismissed those concerned about immigration as “nativists”.

    I reread her paragraph about immigration. Some of the immigration restrictionists are nativists, however most are not. On the other hand, I think that is fair to say that all of the nativists are restrictionists.

    • #14
    • November 20, 2017, at 4:59 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):
    “His consolidation of the base is, at the moment, much too strong. I think that’s very unfortunate, not only because he’s corrupt, unfit for office, and an embarrassment to the nation, but also because he’s really not that popular. Trump can’t easily be ditched because a substantial portion of the base adores him, and those are unpromising conditions for a revolution, especially when the majority of its politicians and pundits have already invested in his slimy brand.”

    Do you really think you’re going to affect the ongoing dialog using such dismissive and hateful rhetoric? Really? Corrupt, Unfit, Embarrasing, Unpopular, Adored, and last but not least, Slimy? [Redacted]

    I do not recall any President in my lifetime who have had a cadre of opponents in their own party at the being of their term. Opposition to LBJ grew during his Presidency to the point that he withdrew from re-election. Primary races were waged against Gerald Ford by Ronald Reagan, but not at the start of Ford’s Presidency. The same is true of Teddy Kennedy’s challenge to Jimmy Carter.

    I don’t believe that the writer was using hateful rhetoric by noting that Trump is corrupt, unfit, embarrassing, unpopular, or slimy, and that he encourages a Cult of Personality. I think that all of those things are true. I am not going away, and I hope that the writer will not either.

    Well then, OK. I’m not calling for anybody to go away, but rather to be mindful of the effects of using dismissive and hateful rhetoric when discussing Trump and his supporters. And I’m not interested in another take on Trump’s imagined faults, in your mind’s eye. I don’t care about the fate of the GOP; that will be artfully administrated by its leadership. Sad.

    Maybe you don’t mind being called slimy at one remove, but I do. Finally, I really don’t care what you “believe” about Rachel’s rhetoric, but I sure have a solid opinion that those words, taken in sum, are dismissive and don’t contribute to meaningful dialog. [redacted]

    • #15
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:05 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  16. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I don’t believe that the writer was using hateful rhetoric by noting that Trump is corrupt, unfit, embarrassing, unpopular, or slimy, and that he encourages a Cult of Personality. I think that all of those things are true. I am not going away, and I hope that the writer will not either.

    She was using hateful rhetoric when she dismissed those concerned about immigration as “nativists”.

    I reread her paragraph about immigration. Some of the immigration restrictionists are nativists, however most are not. On the other hand, I think that is fair to say that all of the nativists are restrictionists.

    “nativist” is a slur, defies definition in any meaningful sense, and doesn’t add to clarity when discussing immigration or illegal immigration. I suppose I’m one because I prefer that our laws serve our citizens?

    • #16
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:08 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  17. Drusus Coolidge

    I agree with you Rachel, but wandering in the wilderness does not always help a party. I was heartbroken when Romney lost in 2012, but sought a silver-lining: I wasn’t sure the party had fully learned the lessons of Bush and perhaps now was the time. But rather than finding unity, a number within the party sought after strange and foreign gods. And, well, here we are. Rulers of all the centers of power, and less united than ever.

    • #17
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:15 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Front Seat Cat Member

    Rachel and others are still out of touch as to why Trump won, the strong conservative boots on the ground within the states, and what is actually being done for the country, post Obama. Our last administration lead our country in a direction it was never meant to go – everything that happened over the last 8 years seemed to be the opposite of what most basic, down to earth common hardworking Americans believe or expect.

    You won’t find extremist views among the Trump crowds or the “maybe Trump” crowds – your post reeks of elitist east and west coast snark. The Democrats still don’t have a voice, a purpose, a front person, or anything to offer the country. They might actually try to work with Trump on behalf of their voters and to better the country as a whole. As @docjay described Trump, I also thank God every day for this flawed imperfect vessel.

    • #18
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:23 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  19. Profile Photo Member

    Jonah Goldberg on Trump/Russia: “This whole ‘real Americans in the heartland don’t care’ about Russian meddling in the election thing is getting tiresome.”

    Jonah Goldberg on Hillary/Uranium One: “The Uranium One story is crap.”

    The Hillary Wing of the conservative movement is growing.

    • #19
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:25 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  20. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Rachel and others are still out of touch as to why Trump won, the strong conservative boots on the ground within the states, and what is actually being done for the country, post Obama. Our last administration lead our country in a direction it was never meant to go – everything that happened over the last 8 years seemed to be the opposite of what most basic, down to earth common hardworking Americans believe or expect.

    You won’t find extremist views among the Trump crowds or the “maybe Trump” crowds – your post reeks of elitist east and west coast snark. The Democrats still don’t have a voice, a purpose, a front person, or anything to offer the country. They might actually try to work with Trump on behalf of their voters and to better the country as a whole. As @docjay described Trump, I also thank God every day for this flawed vessel.

    I concur with all of your comment, FSC, except the addition of “flawed”, as it is unnecessary since we are all flawed, but in sum I appreciate Trump’s actions.

    • #20
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:26 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  21. DocJay Inactive

    The Trump brand, with all its vulgar incompetence, will indeed fade. So will the anti-Trump ‘conservative’ philosophy and the corrupt disgusting losers at the top of it.

    I doubt what comes after all this fiasco is said and done will favor Trumpist style knuckle dragging patriots any more than it will favor arrogant insular elites unmoored from reality.

    Legislation passed under Trump will be the last conservative legislation ever passed in this country. I’ll enjoy it, and my numerable firearms, as long as I can. I thank God our president won and I root for the administration every day.

    • #21
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:32 PM PST
    • 23 likes
  22. Trinity Waters Inactive

    DocJay (View Comment):
    The Trump brand, with all its vulgar incompetence, will indeed fade. So will the anti-Trump ‘conservative’ philosophy and the corrupt disgusting losers at the top of it.

    I doubt what comes after all this fiasco is said and done will favor Trumpist style knuckle dragging patriots any more than it will favor arrogant insular elites unmoored from reality.

    Legislation passed under Trump will be the last conservative legislation ever passed in this country. I’ll enjoy it, and my numerable firearms, as long as I can. I thank God our president won and I root for the administration every day.

    Great summation, @docjay! I can sign off with a clear conscience now that the brand “disgusting losers” is in play.

    • #22
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:41 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  23. Rachel Lu Contributor
    Rachel Lu

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I don’t believe that the writer was using hateful rhetoric by noting that Trump is corrupt, unfit, embarrassing, unpopular, or slimy, and that he encourages a Cult of Personality. I think that all of those things are true. I am not going away, and I hope that the writer will not either.

    She was using hateful rhetoric when she dismissed those concerned about immigration as “nativists”.

    I reread her paragraph about immigration. Some of the immigration restrictionists are nativists, however most are not. On the other hand, I think that is fair to say that all of the nativists are restrictionists.

    Yes, exactly. There are certainly non-hateful reasons to favor tougher immigration restrictions. I don’t think Douthat and Salam are suffused with nativist angst, for instance. But I do believe the issue has been elevated beyond its real significance (if we measure that in terms of the concrete impact of immigrants on native-born citizens). It’s true that we’ve had quite a bit of low-skill immigration in recent years, and that can depress wages and job opportunities for certain people in certain lines of work. It can also help the economy grow in some areas, but I’ll buy that the overall effect on lower-end wages was negative. I still think it’s a comparatively small factor, economically speaking. Outsourcing is a bigger deal, and automation a much bigger deal. Nevertheless, the immigration issue creates far more resentment and angst. Why?

    Because immigrants are humans, and it’s more natural, satisfying, and intuitive to direct our frustrations at humans (as compared to, say, fancy new software). Immigrants in people’s minds come to represent everything that’s being unjustly taken away. It’s a familiar historical pattern; people generally do become more suspicious of foreigners when they’re feeling beleaguered, and pessimistic about the future. Again, I’m not saying this is the only factor motivating immigration hawks. I do think it’s one non-trivial factor. I’m sorry if that offends people, but I still think it’s true.

    • #23
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  24. Annefy Member

    Rachel Lu (View Comment):
    I’m not crusading against the 2nd Amendment. I respect the Constitution and I respect tradition. I also share the widespread view that there’s no good, peaceful way to get all the guns. Or even most of them.

    I just think it’s understandable that some people get pretty agitated about this, given our comparatively high rates of violent death. Watching Constitutional conservatives talk it out sounds kind of interesting. That’s all.

    Why would you want to get all the guns even if there was some good, peaceful way to do so?

    And the 2nd amendment has been reduced to a “tradition” you respect ?

    • #24
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 20 likes
  25. Rachel Lu Contributor
    Rachel Lu

    Drusus (View Comment):
    I agree with you Rachel, but wandering in the wilderness does not always help a party. I was heartbroken when Romney lost in 2012, but sought a silver-lining: I wasn’t sure the party had fully learned the lessons of Bush and perhaps now was the time. But rather than finding unity, a number within the party sought after strange and foreign gods. And, well, here we are. Rulers of all the centers of power, and less united than ever.

    So don’t seek strange and foreign gods. Pursue the good and the true!

    • #25
    • November 20, 2017, at 5:47 PM PST
    • Like
  26. Profile Photo Member

    Rachel Lu (View Comment):

    Because immigrants are humans, and it’s more natural, satisfying, and intuitive to direct our frustrations at humans (as compared to, say, fancy new software). Immigrants in people’s minds come to represent everything that’s being unjustly taken away. It’s a familiar historical pattern; people generally do become more suspicious of foreigners when they’re feeling beleaguered, and pessimistic about the future. Again, I’m not saying this is the only factor motivating immigration hawks. I do think it’s one non-trivial factor. I’m sorry if that offends people, but I still think it’s true.

    I am not saying that all those who oppose Trump are out touch elitists, but elitism is one non trivial factor. Sorry if that offends people, but I think it’s true. Of course, I can’t prove my claim any more than you can prove yours, but what we think is all that matters, right?

    • #26
    • November 20, 2017, at 6:10 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  27. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Never Trump proved they were irrelevant when he won. It appears all the pundits preaching had zero effect on the GOP vote.

    In short, National Review and the Weekly Standard had no effect at all.

    I guess they were right that working to stop Trump did not mean they were helping Clinton. It looks like they (and I guess this includes you Ms. Lu, since you are a pundit), have no influence at all.

    One wonders why they bother.

    • #27
    • November 20, 2017, at 6:15 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  28. Profile Photo Member

    @rachellu: what, exactly, do you want to do concerning guns? What ideas do other people have that you find interesting?

    • #28
    • November 20, 2017, at 6:16 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  29. Zafar Member

    Rachel Lu:On the other hand, maybe it would have been helpful to have a stubborn contingent of NeverClintons on the left. Maybe such a group could have salvaged a bit of the honor of the Democratic Party, explored some new ideas, or groomed a few interesting candidates for further down the road. Maybe if liberals had been planting more seeds back then, the left wouldn’t have found itself rolling into 2016 with the baggage-laden, tone-deaf, geriatric Hillary at the helm. We all knew she was a dreadful candidate, but still, they ran her, because the Democrats had long since given up fighting Clintonian corruption, and frankly, they didn’t have anyone else.

    Didn’t they have Bernie Sanders?

    He honestly seems to be the Trump equivalent on the Left in the last election.

    The difference being that the radicals on the Right won the primaries and the election, while the conservatives on the Left won the primaries only to lose the election. That’s diminished conservative political cred on the Right and the Left.

    [edit: success has its own dangers – I don’t know about Radical Right cred after two years of controlling all three tiers of Governemnt and still having Obamacare despite all those promises….]

    • #29
    • November 20, 2017, at 6:20 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. KiminWI Inactive

    The actually supportive Trump base, which can be called populist and who call themselves conservative, is, among other things, nostalgic for another time in the country. They are also pragmatic, in that they believed a third Obama administration in the person of Hilary Clinton would be an unfathomable disaster. Reluctant Trump voters share that pragmatism. Every time he does something that raises my eyebrow or makes me cringe, I remind myself that this was the price we had to pay to avoid The Hydra.

    • #30
    • November 20, 2017, at 6:50 PM PST
    • 7 likes

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