August 22nd, 2015

Trump the unlikely populist

I watched Trump’s speech in Mobile last night without ever planning to do so. I was flipping around looking for something to watch on TV (in the background while I was doing some cooking) and noticed that CNN was showing it with comprehensive, wall-to-wall coverage, as though it was of the same importance as a State of the Union message.

That in and of itself got my attention. Not only that, the commentary at CNN seemed surprisingly respectful and even serious—not a lot of mocking and derision. So I watched, despite the fact that (as regular readers here know) I don’t like to listen to political speeches.

Of course, Trump giving a political speech is not like anyone else giving a political speech. He’s in his element in front of a crowd. And even in Alabama, the New York shtick that you would think wouldn’t play so well there seems to be something they love when Trump does it. People are really really really sick of feeling impotent as Obama has thumbed his nose at them and lied to them, as the GOP has either disappointed or outright betrayed them, and as PC thought has taken over our values, education, the press, some churches, and many novels and movies.

Trump seems immune from PC considerations and also from the ubiquitous need to be beholden to conventional donors. He has the advantage of his familiarity to the public and his relaxation in front of the camera gained from years of being a showman and a TV personality. Trump has a populist appeal—you could see it very clearly during his speech—but he’s a rich-as-Croesus populist who doesn’t trash the rich as so many populists do; au contraire. Nor does he apologize for being mega-rich himself; he brags.

Trump has mastered not just the “art of the deal” but the art of giving a speech that sounds like ad-libbing stream-of-consciousness but is not. As he went along it occurred to me that what he is doing is cheerleading for America, reiterating over and over what he would do for America and what he would do for the people he is speaking to, and fitting his words to their desire that America be what it once was. It’s the flip side of Obama’s hope and change: they hope that he can change things back to a time when America was great, and that’s his explicit message and the slogan on the very flyover-country-looking hats he wears and sells. This is a guy who knows marketing, and it’s no accident that the slogan is also pretty much what Reagan used in 1980 (Reagan put the word “let’s” at the beginning of the phrase, but otherwise it was exactly the same).

Trump is a happy warrior, or at least talks like one. “I will rebuild the military so it’s so strong and so powerful that we’ll never have to use it. No one will ever mess with us” is a typical utterance. He lists stuff—trade, health care, women’s health issues—and says “we’re gonna fix it.” And I guess people believe him, or at least believe he’s sincere about trying. How he’ll get around the impediments that stand in the way is unclear, but people don’t want clarity. They like his style. They like his spirit

“We have a great lack of spirit,” said Trump, and he’s right; and he’s out to provide it, and he does. He says he had thought Obama would be “a great cheerleader,” (hmmm, I thought; I just perceived him as a cheerleader a moment ago, and now he’s using the word). Instead, Obama is “a great divider.” But Trump? “I am going to make this country bigger and stronger and better and you’re gonna love it, and you’re gonna love your president…and you’re gonna be so proud.”

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m not a Trump supporter, but that I also get his appeal. Watching him speak at length, I “got” it even more. He makes all other politicians look boring and stilted (hey, many of them are boring and stilted). He makes it all sound so simple—just as Obama did, but in a completely different direction and with a completely, and I mean completely, different style. Populist appeal is a neat trick in a man who’s a multi-billionaire and who grew up in enormous wealth and graduated from Wharton. But he’s got it, and although I’m sure he carefully nurtures it he manages to make it look natural.

From the start of Trump’s rise in the polls I’ve taken him very seriously as a phenomenon. I haven’t understood those who casually asserted “He’s never going to win the nomination.” I’ve long thought he could, because the force of that appeal is obvious, and he’s somehow made himself immune to being criticized for anything he says. His niche is “the more outrageous, the better,” and the more extreme his utterances the more his supporters seem to like him—although not all of what he says is extreme, of course, and some is just common sense.

If I were one of the other Republican candidates I’d be very very scared. And if I were one of the Democratic candidates I’d be scared, too.

Here’s the entire speech, if you’re interested:

76 Responses to “Trump the unlikely populist”

  1. George Pal Says:

    It would be entirely in keeping with ‘God works in mysterious ways’ for Trump to triumph (both in primaries and general election). Moses would not have been even so much as the fiftieth choice of the Jews to go up against Pharaoh yet it was he who led them to the promised land even with a forty year layover of bitching in the wilderness.

    Trump could hardly sully the Oval Office even with all his “eccentricities”, that office had been sullied by Willy Clinton and his louche ‘good ol’ boy’ persona. The gravitas of the office had been greatly diminished by G. ‘Dubya’ and his reformed frat boy persona. As for Barack Hussein Obama, the name alone was portent and seven years of him fully justifies the feeling of dread. An amalgamation of the three suggests we have arrived at, and are fully at home in, the age of Idiocracy and President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. If so, there where everyone is so low a low brow, Donald Trump seems a giant step up.

    If the “I don’t give a shit if I’m not elected” attitude got him elected how refreshing it would be. Perhaps we would no longer have to suffer the ambitions of desperate men (and the preternaturally desperate such as Hillary), desperate for power and a page of historical fame. If truth, even in its subjective form – and Democrats are notorious in their courage to express such ‘truth’ – can carry the day, how much more powerful objective truth? Truth, unequivocal, unvarnished, without the earnest supplications to mitigation, and without the endless melodramas that Democrats routinely use to justify illegality (immigration) and to which Republicans stoop to emulate because… electability, is desperately needed. Trump has provided it. How refreshing that truth and Trump, both so outré, should have come from a ‘conservative’. An anomaly wrapped in paradox.

    The West had some time ago been set on its head, and time had convinced the people the reorientation was the new normal. So Trump is perceived as blowhard, the mouth that roared, the talking ass, the loose cannon, idiosyncratic, when all he’d done was utter the truth. His elections (primary and general) would go a long way in restoring the status quo ante. If you would have the truth known – all of it – start with one.

  2. Ann Says:

    If I were one of the other Republican candidates I’d be very very scared. And if I were one of the Democratic candidates I’d be scared, too.

    As simply an American, I’m scared of what Trump portends.

  3. neo-neocon Says:



  4. Mr. Frank Says:

    Trump’s ability to connect with middle America reminds me of George Wallace (minus the race issue). Wallace used to rail against the pointy headed intellectuals in Washington and the government inspectors with brief cases.

  5. KLSmith Says:

    No way he could be any worse than the guy golfing on our dime and sleeping at the WH now. So, we have that going for us.

  6. kaba Says:

    As per CNN Biden had a private meeting with Warren this weekend. Interesting dynamics early in this election cycle.

  7. Jim Miller Says:

    “the GOP has either disappointed or outright betrayed them”

    Many people feel this way, partly because some right-wing talk show hosts and bloggers, have been making such arguments.

    Do you really think — not feel — that the Republicans have “betrayed” their supporters?

    (My own view is that elected Republicans have done about as well as they could, after the two massive losses in 2006 and 2008, and the failure to recapture the Senate until last year.

    For instance, I think McConnell, Boehner and company did about as well as they could have in controlling federal spending — in the circumstances. Take a look at the federal budgets in the last two years, if that idea seems surprising.)

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Jim Miller:

    I’ve been writing on that subject for many years.

    I basically agree with you, although there are a few examples of actual betrayal. Most people disagree with me. I also agree with you about the talk show hosts. I have written about that, too, particularly in the comments section (don’t have time to find it now, but it’s there).

  9. Jimmy J. Says:

    I watched most of the speech as well. Personally, I am repelled by Trump’s braggadocio style and his claims to easily accomplish very difficult tasks.(Rebuild the military, rebuild the manufacturing sector, secure the border, end the anchor baby problem, reform healthcare, and more.) It all sounds good and he says it in a way that sells it to citizens who are eager to believe it can all be brought to fruition. He is a salesman par excellence. I’m just not ready to buy his promises yet.

    What also disturbs me is that popularity (and Trump is popular) seems to trump ( 🙂 ) measured rationality in the minds of so many – even the MSM, which also seems unable to know what to make of Trump. Populist demagogues have been bad for nations. Some examples are Hitler, Mussolini, Huey Long, and Juan Peron.

    Could we have a leftist populist, Bernie Sanders, running against a rightist populist, Donald Trump, in 2016? Well, it’s a long time to the conventions. A lot can happen in that time.

  10. Eric Says:

    Reminds me of Stephen King character Greg Stillson.

  11. KLSmith Says:

    Yeah, it must have been Limbaugh or Levin making me imagine that the day after winning 9 Senate seats, McConnell went to the Senate floor to announce that the voters message to “work with Obama” had been received. Sheesh, I am so stoopid.

  12. Gail Finke Says:

    I heard a woman call in about him on the Sean Hannity radio show Friday. She said that she loved him because he says something and he thinks he means it, and that supporters don’t care how many gaffes he makes. I think this is pretty much on the mark. Just as Progressives don’t care WHAT the heck Obama and Clinton and Pelosi actually do or say, Trump supporters don’t care what he actually does or says. It’s the embodiment of an ideal that counts.

    Trump supporters are sick of EVERYONE in government. They think they all lie. And they think that Trump will go ahead and do anything he wants to do, while all other politicians will not. Hannity said that Americans are fed up, and they can tell Trump is fed up, and that’s why they like him. I think that’s probably true too.

    I get the appeal. I don’t like the guy. I think he would do whatever he wanted to do… which is not necissarily a good thing.

  13. Ann Says:

    What McConnell actually said in his first statement after becoming Senate majority leader was this:

    The American people have had enough. And this November, they had their say.

    The message they sent was clear.

    If voters hit the brakes four years ago, this time they spun the wheel.

    They said they want the Administration to change course and move to the middle. They said they want Congress to send legislation to the president that addresses their concerns.

    The promise of the Senate is real. Time and time again, it has been an engine for bipartisan achievement to which both parties can assume either credit or blame. And that’s how we should view it today.

    So yes, the American people elected divided government. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want us to accomplish anything. If there’s a will to do so, we can come together to achieve great things. And if President Obama is interested in a historic achievement of his own, this can be his time as well.

    He’s already indicated a willingness to work with us on trade and infrastructure and comprehensive tax reform. These efforts will require a lot of hard work. Navigating the political pitfalls won’t be easy. But passing these types of things would represent a win for the American people.

    Wins we could all be proud of.

    The truth is, we could work for bigger things too.

    We could work together to save and strengthen Medicare, to protect Social Security for future generations, and to balance the budget and put our growing national debt on a path to elimination.

    But bipartisan reform can only be achieved if President Obama is interested in it. The president is the only one who can bring his party on board. He’s the only one who can sign what Congress passes.

    Full text here.

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Trump’s popularity is a direct barometer of how unhappy the ‘great unwashed’ are with the state of the union.

    KLSmith at 7:48 pm,

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. Matt_SE Says:

    “…the commentary at CNN seemed surprisingly respectful and even serious—not a lot of mocking and derision.”

    The left is watching Hillary crumble in real time, and are lending an assist by giving constant coverage to the spoiler on the right.

  16. charles Says:

    Actually, given the “malaise” of the US during the Carter years it isn’t surprising that someone like a Reagan, full of optimism, was elected.

    So, it makes sense that the malaise of the Obamanation should also give rise to a popular candidate who comes across as full of optimism.

    Trump ain’t no fool!

  17. Matt_SE Says:

    per Eric,
    He reminds me of Greg Stillson too. In that case, the readers here who say Trump can’t be worse than Obama are having a failure of imagination.

    I was only able to stomach half of the speech; I imagine the second half was the same as the first half.
    I remain unimpressed, utterly. The man is all emotion, and has few if any workable solutions. If nominated and elected, he will be either ripped to shreds by the establishment in a most public way, or will be entirely neutered by them for his tenure.

    Governance is a skillset, and Trump has little of that despite his claims. He will be ineffective, even assuming that he’s being sincere in his desires to reform Washington (a big if, given his past).

    Trump’s supporters are being taken in by the same type of hucksterism that gave us Obama.

  18. Matt_SE Says:

    PS: for those who don’t get the Steven King/ Greg Stillson reference, watch The Dead Zone movie with Christopher Walken.

  19. rickl Says:

    I wrote this at Ace of Spades last night:

    I don’t have any illusions about Trump. I didn’t watch tonight’s speech and I know he’s not exactly consistent ideologically, to say the least. I am uneasy about a charismatic populist, aka a Huey Long type. I wasn’t born yesterday.

    But the professional political class has brought us to this point. None of them are trustworthy on the immigration issue, which is an existential problem for America going forward. We are constantly told that white English-speaking people will become a minority in a few decades. But that is not inevitable; it is a deliberate policy, and it will spell the end of America as we know it. It must be opposed and resisted at all costs.

    So at the moment, I am a Trump supporter. As somebody mentioned earlier, it is kind of interesting that a billionaire appeals to Joe Sixpack more than the other professional politicians. That shows just how out of touch the political class is.

    One point in Trump’s favor is precisely that he can attract LIVs. They usually vote for whoever promises them the most free shit. If they like Trump because he is a celebrity that they know from TV, then I don’t see a downside. They are not going to vote for a “serious” candidate who offers a 50-point plan to save the economy or whatnot. That they might vote for a candidate that we might not find too objectionable is not insignificant, and may be the best we can get.

    LIVs are going to have a big say in the election whether we like it or not, so I think it’s a good thing to give them an alternative to voting full Socialist, which is their natural inclination.

    The best comment I’ve heard about Trump is “he pisses off all the right people”, namely the left, the GOPe, and the MSM. That sounds fine to me. Those people need pissing off, or pissing on.

    If Jeb Bush is the Republican nominee and Trump runs as an independent, I will vote for Trump without hesitation.

  20. rickl Says:

    The last few days, I’ve heard a radio commercial for Bill Bennett’s show, in which he says that he wants Trump out of the picture because he’s not a “team player” for the GOP.

    I cannot express my utter contempt for Bill Bennett without resorting to profanity. It is him and people like him who have brought us to this point.

  21. Frog Says:

    Trump WILL BE on the ballot Nov 2016.
    I am close to predicting he will be the next POTUS.

    He articulates the issues like no other. His grievances are our grievances. He doesn’t have to grub for donors. He has the freedoms that most of us have surrendered or lost.

    Now is not the time for policies. That is so Paul Ryan. Now is the time to express our grievances through The Donald, hear him express them in no quiet tones, and that’s why he is the Leader of the Pack. The other sled dogs are following.
    The people don’t see a wonk in Trump, and they know what Obama BS is.
    He is a man of achievement, and he is street-smart and intelligent. Wearing a red baseball cap in Mobile shows it.

    And for those who fear he is the flip side of B Hussein: No,he is not. He is telling you what’s rotten: Our downsizing, near-toothless military; immigration and the border; anchor babies; bringing in the wretched of the earth (it’s not 1902 any more), the health care disaster; VA health; economic globalization; the ass-kissing of Iran; the anti-Israel line. The fixes can come later.
    Folks who comment here may be too disconnected from Joe and Jane Average, white and black, to see his effect.

    I think he will most likely be the next Pres. He will not be a Jesse Ventura in the State House. He can have the same magnitude of impact as FDR…in the opposite direction mostly. Mobile migrants may well start self-deporting soon.

  22. Ann Says:

    the professional political class has brought us to this point.

    Oh, I don’t know. Seems quite a bit of the support for him — and from Evangelicals no less — is because money talks:

    The Donald J. Trump Foundation has made donations to evangelical groups like Iowa’s The Family Leader ($10,000 in 2013, PDF), Samaritan’s Purse ($10,000 in 2013, PDF) and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ($100,000 in 2012, PDF), according to IRS forms posted on

    Jerry Falwell Jr., the son of the college’s [Liberty University] late founder, Jerry Falwell, introduced Trump to raucous applause, calling him “one of the great visionaries of our time.”

    “Here at Liberty University, we plan to start replacing our oldest dorms in the dorm circle with residential towers in January and I think we need a Trump Tower or two here on campus, don’t you?” he said to laughter and cheers.

  23. Mark30339 Says:

    The good news is that it’s a long long long campaign season, and support can plummet on a single misstep. Clearly a swaggering George Patton posture is in vogue, and a prudent, cautious, polite Eisenhower-like posture is, for the present, not. Trump’s appeal may confirm that the Left is not the only group that votes for substantive packages without struggling through the details; short attention span thinking contaminates Right, Left and center.

  24. KLSmith Says:

    Matt_SE: just trying to look on the bright side; I don’t think it’s lack of imagination. I’m not on team Trump (unless he becomes the nominee), and I’m not saying what kind of president he would be. I think his protectionist leanings could get us in trouble. But like I felt McCain – Trump, unlike Obama, doesn’t hate this country and wants to turn it into a third world backwater. So, he could be bad but not worse. Unless, you agree with all the swell things Obama has done. Being successful implementing his agenda is altogether different.

  25. KLSmith Says:

    Ann: thanks for providing the long version of what I said McConnell said.

  26. Ann Says:

    Ann Coulter has sold her soul to The Trump — her August 17th tweet:

    I don’t care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper.
    — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter)

  27. Ann Says:

    KLSmith :

    I didn’t read McConnell as saying the message from voters was to “work with Obama,” but rather that Obama had to work with Republicans.

  28. blert Says:

    The standard drill for the MSM is to raise a man — and then shoot him in the back.

    I would suspect that the Democrat // Left // CNN is thinking that Trump, not Bush, would be an excellent foil to see at the polls in 2016.

    They would LOVE to see the backside of Cruz, Fiorina, Carson, Walker et. al.

    Any of those four would be pure dynamite in 2016 — so the Left is picking their fall guy.

  29. rickl Says:


    I like the four you mentioned, but not one of them is trustworthy on immigration.

  30. KLSmith Says:

    Ann: kind of the same difference. he wanted to work with Obama and get things done in a bipartisan manner, for the people; which is gracious and statesmen-like. however, coming the day after the election, when most people turned out to give them the other branch of congress to STOP Obama, it sounded tone-deaf and was a middle finger to the base.

    That comment by Coulter was pretty disgusting.

  31. George Pal Says:

    Why Trump? What is it that would recommend Mr Trump for the presidency? Who are his advocates? Has he that most essential prerequisite of a serious candidate – electability?

    In reverse order.

    Mr Trump is most assuredly electable. Any electorate (the big blob at or near the center) that would elect George W Bush… twice, and follow that up by electing Barack Obama… twice, may be relied on as being unreliable in its politics. And furthermore, may be relied upon to be without political philosophy or theories of governance. And yet further, is more than a tad capricious. The blob had known nothing, cared nothing, of the makeup of Barack. The only thing that mattered was he was the next big thing because he was the new big thing. Mr Trump has that going for him. Recall also Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura had both been elected to governorships on the basis of what?… having co-starred in the movie Predator? Mr Trump has, by far, an electability factor greater than ANY other candidate, Dem or Rep.

    So, who are his political advocates? It’s a very large contingent of the great middle. Who can listen to yet another professional politician who under advice of professional media consultants seemingly says both everything and nothing in political class cant, parsed out as talking points in the form of political platitudes? Not these people. Mr Trump talks like they do and they don’t talk PC – kindred spirits.

    Now to what it is that recommends Mr Trump for president.
    1. The hostility of the GOP Party, most all of its members, candidates, and bundlers.
    2. The acrimony of the proponents of amnesty.
    3. The animus of liberals
    4. The vitriol of the Democratic Party
    4. The animosity of the MSM
    5. The opprobrium of the PC hall monitors

    If that is not endorsement enough then what’s the use of enemies, or, for that matter, harbinger canaries. How long must someone be without a clue before they can be committed?

    BTW, I am not endorsing, supporting, or voting for Mr Trump. Nor am I playing devil’s advocate. The comment stands merely as an observation.

  32. Beverly Says:

    I’d be interested in what all y’all think of (Dilbert) Scott Adams’s analysis of Trump’s hidden strengths: see “Clown Genius?”:

    The art of persuasion, salesmanship, and branding.

  33. Beverly Says:

    Excerpt: “If you’re keeping score, in the past month Trump has bitch-slapped the entire Republican Party, redefined our expectations of politics, focused the national discussion on immigration, proposed the only new idea for handling ISIS, and taken functional control of FOX News. And I don’t think he put much effort into it. Imagine what he could do if he gave up golf.”

    Read more:

  34. Eric Says:

    blert: “I would suspect that the Democrat // Left // CNN is thinking that Trump, not Bush, would be an excellent foil to see at the polls in 2016.”

    I think that was Neo’s ulterior point in her recent post about McCaskill supporting Akin as the more-beatable GOP candidate. Version of the same strategy.

  35. Tonawanda Says:

    Before I watch the video, neo, I have to comment that you have by far captured the Trump phenomenon better than anyone else I have read (and I realize you are not a Trump supporter).

    And Ann @ 12:06 AM says – –

    “Ann Coulter has sold her soul to The Trump — her August 17th tweet:

    I don’t care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper.
    — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter)”

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That truly is demoralizing, and as I have said several times before, there is a lot of integrity-shredding going on, and it will be hard to look at some people the same way again, or at least for a very long time.

    Even if Trump were 100 % sincere (and he may very well be, but we really have no basis for believing that) what he portends (as Ann says @ 4:43 PM) is frightening. Nonsense, but frightening nonsense.

  36. Eric Says:


    A few of Neo’s commenters, including me, have posted Adams’s assessment of Trump’s campaign.

    Sounds right. It is salesmanship. And in that regard, fits George Pal’s comment about what actually constitutes electability.

    Contrast with the disillusioned Romney-esque platonic ideal of electability.

    (BTW, I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000 but I did vote for him in 2004.)

    Adams doesn’t emphasize enough that it’s a seller-buyer dynamic, not only about persuasion.

    Many in the audience recognize Trump’s rhetoric for what it is. But they accept it because he’s the only one offering the product they want – a paradigm shift that recasts the whole Overton window. The other GOP candidates are not offering that.

  37. Eric Says:


    I read the book. I haven’t seen the movie or TV show to compare the portrayals of the Stillson character.

  38. The Other Chuck Says:

    Even if Trump were 100 % sincere (and he may very well be…f

    It is no accident that Trump emerged from almost oblivion to become the leading candidate at this point. His immigration plan is too detailed to pop up overnight. My guess is that he’s had a think tank working on it for some time. And those families who lost loved ones to illegal immigrants also appeared conveniently overnight. He zeroed in on the single biggest issue that divides a large segment of the party from its leadership.

    Given his past support for the Clintons, and his rabid contempt for GW and the Iraq War, when exactly was his come to Jesus moment conversion into a staunch conservative Republican? He’s nothing more than a showman and actor who intends to peel off enough votes in a third party run to insure defeat for those “war mongering Republicans” and what he and the Democrats assume would be the ultimate candidate, Jeb Bush.

    @ricl: If Jeb Bush is the Republican nominee and Trump runs as an independent, I will vote for Trump without hesitation.

    @Frog: I think he will most likely be the next Pres… He can have the same magnitude of impact as FDR…in the opposite direction

    Trump is running as a spoiler, nothing more.

  39. Eric Says:


    Coulter’s point, I think, is that demographics is destiny, so an iron comprehensive cure for the immigration problem ASAP is the existential issue that, at this point, overrides other conservative concerns such as abortion. And the immigration problem is urgent enough to accept radical measures, even if they call for climbing over the limits of “workable solutions” within the political system.

  40. Jimmy J. Says:

    Eric @10:55: “Coulter’s point, I think, is that demographics is destiny, so an iron comprehensive cure for the immigration problem ASAP is the existential issue that, at this point, overrides other conservative concerns such as abortion.”

    I just finished reading her book, “Adios America.”
    It’s very well researched and makes the strongest possible case that immigration, both legal and illegal, is quite rapidly turning this country into a Banana Republic. She is sounding the alarm in the strongest possible terms.

    I have been in Southern California in recent years. It is literally amazing how much it is starting to resemble Mexico. Obama’s policies are accelerating the trend. I don’t think Coulter is being too alarmist.

    All this was forecast by Victor Davis Hanson in his 2003 book, “Mexifornia.”

  41. jack Says:

    Trumps #1 appeal is that …

    He says what he wants
    When he wants
    HOW he wants … you don’t like … TUFF!

    I think we are at a turning point on the PC mess we have today. A school band in Mississippi was banned from playing a certain song at halftime because someone decided it was religious. At halftime one by one the people in the stands stood and sang that song. This is the kind of thing that the american people have had enough of! And they are ready to fight back. They see Trump as the man that will do that and it does cut across much of the electorate, Repub,Dem ,Indie ETC.

  42. jack Says:

    Hotair has the story and vid.

    You can’t tell me everyone that stood and sang was from one party or another.

  43. Tonawanda Says:

    I could only get up to 20 minutes.

    The opening comment about how Billy Graham was beloved by Trump could possibly be true, but it did make me somewhat skeptical.

    Twenty minutes later when Trump was calling the Bible his “favorite” book, far ahead of the his second favorite book (his own), and “we” take the Bible all the way, THAT WAS IT for the speech watching. Again, maybe sincere, but I was skeptical. (And I believe the book thing was a total set-up).

    No question Trump projects warmth and sincerity. When he calls an audience member “beautiful” and says we need to get her “The hell out of here” he implies a relaxed genuineness which may very well be true.

    When he mentioned BO’s “stupid” trade of “the traitor” Bowe Bergdahl for five jihad generals, I was ready to take up the Trump cause myself, it was so appealing to hear.

    The bit about asking the crowd if he should take a particular lobbyist’s money and then “screw him,” was a brilliant bit of manipulative theater, I believe.

    I was reminded of my beloved grandfather (who died all too young) and how he would make me laugh, make me feel special, tease me a little, creating an emotional intimacy essentially by understanding my child psychology.

    In retrospect, I can see so clearly how he did what he did with me (and I still love him for it) but it was all based on my grandfather’s understanding of our psychological disparity.

    For instance, he might deliberately do something stupid (like drop an egg on the floor) which only I saw. He would make me howl with laughter as “we” cleaned it up and conspired to make sure my grandmother didn’t find out. You can only do something like that with children.

    Gopa and I were in this naughty thing together, much to my delight. And I was special.

  44. G6loq Says:

    Coulter makes ‘hand grenade jokes’ … it take a while for it to pop in your mind. She has the libtards down to a T.
    I think she’s referring to Nina Burgeigh who … cough, cough, would be “happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.”

  45. G6loq Says:

    And I was special.
    Good with babies.

    At least this time there are a few men in the crowd…

  46. Eric Says:

    More Scott Adams on Trump:

  47. G6loq Says:

    Trump is conducting hostile takeover

    Complement to the Scott Adams piece referenced above:

  48. Tonawanda Says:

    G6loq @ 12:17 and 12:20 PM:

    1) I see what you are saying, but there is a problem – – (presumably) Burleigh’s offer to give BC a blowjob is in an entirely different category of desirable objects than Coulter’s approval of Trump performing an abortion in the White House. Would Coulter say: ” … or, owning a personal slave in the White House”?

    2) That photo makes me smile and I even like the sign because of the sheer delighted human feeling behind it. But this is not a good thing in the long run. We will find out.

  49. G6loq Says:

    Ann Says:
    August 23rd, 2015 at 12:06 am
    Ann Coulter has sold her soul to The Trump…

    She annoys all the right people:
    Rick Wilson Asks Ann Coulter If Donald Trump ‘Pays More for Anal’
    So does Trump …

    Anal! Hmmm …. paging Uncle Sanders ….

  50. Eric Says:

    Tonawanda: “The bit about asking the crowd if he should take a particular lobbyist’s money and then “screw him,” was a brilliant bit of manipulative theater, I believe.”

    Mead offers insight on the current-day lobbyist system:

    It’s an overview of the issue exposed in this Continetti piece:

  51. G6loq Says:

    Tonawanda Says:
    August 23rd, 2015 at 1:04 pm
    G6loq @ 12:17 and 12:20 PM:

    1) I see what you are saying, but there is a problem …
    Yes! She’s off on that one.
    What to say, not all jokes are good. Then, there is the talent and … the critic.

    I wish I could write books as well researched and articulates as hers.

    She Po’d me with her Romney position …

  52. G6loq Says:

    Eric Says:
    August 23rd, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Exactly. Continetti & Mead are treasures.

    I blame the plutoc.rat donors ….

  53. Liberty Wolf Says:

    I have not read all the comments and I might try and stomach the speech but I just will NOT vote for Trump under any circumstance. I will NOT vote for Hillary either or whoever they pick (Biden NO!!!) but I will either sit it out or vote Libertarian. I mean, a protest vote. No way will I vote for this guy.

    I will be very disappointed and disturbed if the GOP nominates him. There are very good candidates now on the GOP side and I am still trusting that one or two will rise above this Trump mania. I like Cruz, Walker, Fiorina, and to a lesser degree Rubio. I would vote for Rand Paul over Trump. No way Trump. NO WAY!!!

  54. G6loq Says:

    Donald Trump At The Republican National Convention 1988…
    Campaigned for Jeb Bush’s father … not a Repubics say Jeb.

    It turns out Jeb is partly African-American ….

  55. neo-neocon Says:

    Liberty Wolf:

    I continue to think that Trump will not be the nominee and we won’t be faced with that dilemma. I think he will be a strong contender all the way, but I’m hoping that the others will start dropping out and people will coalesce around another candidate. The most he’s ever polled is a quarter of the GOP vote.

  56. Liberty Wolf Says:

    I’m also betting on Trump not lasting Neo but I am getting worried. It is still early in the game, people seem to play with the idea of odd or unusual candidates this early in. The last time it was Herman Caine…

    Strange phenomenon though, this Trump thing… oh I hope it ends soon!

  57. G6loq Says:

    Strange phenomenon though, this Trump thing…
    Strange? Really?
    Not if you pay attention. It started with the TEA party.
    Left and right know one thing. Trump will destroy their monopoly hold on power(money) and must be destroyed or compromised.
    The establishment cozy plutoc.ratic crony capitalist arrangements is possibly coming to an end, Trump is a catalyst at the moment.

  58. Tonawanda Says:

    neo @ 6:54 PM – –

    “The most he’s ever polled is a quarter of the GOP vote.”

    The 25 % is a totally credible figure to eliminate the last political/electoral hope of the aspirations discussed on this site.

  59. Eric Says:

    Liberty Wolf: “Strange phenomenon though, this Trump thing”

    It’s pretty easy to explain.

    Populist conservatives are disaffected. They have witnessed – and lived the growing effects of – the progressing Gramscian march by the Left since the Boomer generation.

    First, they placed their faith in civic SOP and turned to traditional electoral politics and the GOP (Reagan!) to counter the Left-activist Gramscian march.

    When the GOP failed to counter the Left, they placed their hopes in the quasi- (ultimately pseudo-) activist Tea Party movement, which short-circuited by misdirecting into the GOP despite that the GOP inability to counter the Left-activist Gramscian march motivated the Tea Party movement in the first place.

    Of course, turning to the GOP and electoral politics again to counter the Left’s Marxist-method activism proved inadequate – again.

    All the while the Right has self-limited their counter-Left strategy to the GOP and electoral politics, the Left-activist Gramscian march has persistently grown, spread, and burrowed across society effectively unopposed except for occasional spontaneous but isolated localized counter-Left activist efforts.

    The problem is Trump-supporting populist conservatives are guilty of the same fundamental error that is habitual for GOP-loyal mainstream conservatives: self-limiting counter-Left strategy within the confines of electoral politics that on their face are insufficient to counter the Left-activist Gramscian march.

    The answer for populist and mainstream conservatives alike is not a magical GOP Messiah, whether Trump, Cruz, Fiorina, etc. Because the problem is not primarily a GOP problem.

    While electing the best candidates to government always matters, it’s principally an activist problem. Activism is bigger than electoral politics. The Mead and Continetti articles I linked upthread spotlight some (not all) of current-day activist mechanisms that co-opt electoral politics.

    The only effective solution to the Left-activist Gramscian march is a Right-activist Gramscian (counter-)march where the people collectively take the Left head on everywhere and win control of American society in honest competition.

    When the Right wins their contest against the Left, then GOP candidates like “Cruz, Walker, Fiorina, and to a lesser degree Rubio” can do their part defeating the thus-reduced Democrats within the elected political lane.

    Conservatives of all stripes need to stop passing the buck to the GOP. However, because conservatives habitually insist on demanding the GOP solve a problem that requires a victorious Right-activist Gramscian (counter-)march to solve, while they habitually eschew the collective Marxist-method activism that is necessary to compete for real with the Left, Trump is able to exploit the resulting market inefficiency.

  60. G6loq Says:

    Eric Says:
    August 23rd, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    The needed activism is going to be unpleasantly physical.

    Germane to your post:
    How America was lost.

  61. neo-neocon Says:


    In your comment at 9:16 PM, are you assuming that if Trump doesn’t get the nomination, he will run as an independent?

  62. blert Says:

    The Trump EGO is NOT for losing.

    I don’t know how to make it any plainer.

    I can’t imagine Trump running a Bull Moose effort… and being a certified loser on the national stage to …

    HRC ?

    Jeb ?

    He’d rather toss his cookies.

    FURTHER, the notion that Trump actually has billions to pour into campaigning — is FALSE.

    Trump has loan covenants — out his ears.

    He’ll be forced to BORROW any serious campaign chest.

    His bravado about having billions is just to scare away crowd-sourcing that might erupt behind Cruz, Carson, Fiorian, Walker, … et. al.

    If the economy takes a major spill in the next twelve months — Trump will have to exit the race just to keep his empire afloat.

    He never stops being leveraged. So another Chapter 11 is in his future.

    What Trump would REALLY like is a cabinet post. By the rules of the game, he’d be able to convert ALL of his long term notes into debts to Uncle Sam… and at very low interest rates, too.

    Then his assets would be transferred into a blind trust.

    Which turns out to be ideal for real estate holdings, anyway.

    For you non-financial types: Trump would entirely re-coup his outlays for this campaign by such a mechanism. He wouldn’t even need to get into the Oval Office.

    Running against the eventual winner would mean that he’d never be offered a Cabinet seat — obviously.

    So, there will be no third party attempt. Instead Mr. Deal Maker will do a quid pro quo and PRE- accept a Cabinet seat — almost certainly Commerce… which would be a perfect fit for Trump.

    Hoover used the Commerce Department to step up to the presidency. Think of tradition!

  63. RickZ Says:

    Jim Miller Says:

    August 22nd, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    “the GOP has either disappointed or outright betrayed them”

    Many people feel this way, partly because some right-wing talk show hosts and bloggers, have been making such arguments.,

    I don’t listen to talk radio. I don’t read the RINO blogs anymore. Outing the RINO bloggers has been one of Trump’s successes.

    So if I don’t listen to talk radio and don’t read a lot of the establishment blogs, then why do I know the Pubbies have betrayed me? I don’t feel it, I know it.

    Do you really think — not feel — that the Republicans have “betrayed” their supporters?

    Now that all depends on who you mean by supporters. If you mean the rank and file Republican voter, then yes, those RINO bastards have betrayed us. If you mean the CoC, then no, the RINOs are working hard to make them very, very happy — at my and this Nation’s expense.

  64. Tonawanda Says:

    neo @ 11:42 PM:

    “In your comment at 9:16 PM, are you assuming that if Trump doesn’t get the nomination, he will run as an independent?”

    Not so much assuming as very concerned, for two reasons.

    First, that Trump’s support will not fade, and he will go into the convention with many (but insufficient) delegates who are not Bush delegates and never will be Bush delegates. But in the process of getting there, Trump will have eliminated or fatally weakened all other credible anti-Bush candidates.

    I can see many (otherwise conservative) Republicans settling on Bush as the “stable” alternative to Trump. That thought makes me shudder, but the GOPe did not attain power through luck.

    I can see many other conservative Republican voters simply dropping out in disgust if Cruz, Fiorina, Walker and Jindal do not get sufficient traction (I ought to include Carson, but I think he is a bridge too far. I loved him in the debate, but he came across to my sympathetic eyes as unready to run for president).

    I am actually only repeating what has been reported as the reasons for the delighted reaction Bush has had to the Trump campaign.

    With extremely clever rhetoric, Trump drains the enthusiasm, the passion, the high emotions from conservative alternatives and leads a large segment of the conservative electorate to worse than nowhere: he leads them to more intense demoralization, disgust, hopelessness and angry despair.

    Second, I am concerned that Trump in fact will run independently in enough states to guarantee the Democrat victory.

    blert (above) gives very plausible reasons why Trump will not do this, and blert may very well be right.

    Yet … I remain concerned.

    blert says Trump is highly leveraged and does not in fact have the money. Assuming that to be true, that does not mean Trump cannot get the money the way everyone else does. (Not to mention the copious free attention he gets from the media).

    And watch what Trump does in his speech in Alabama. To my eyes, he was preparing the audience for Trump accepting huge donations. He has thought about how he will do it, and he was trying out his justifications. I believe he can do it and do it in a way which (again bizarrely) enhances his stature with his supporters (“I’m going to take their money and screw them! Hah, hah, hah …).

    In the independent run, he will have cast himself as the persecuted avatar of the forgotten little man, and he is quite capable of playing that trick.

    I closely followed Trump’s bid to buy the Buffalo Bills. It is impossible to know the details of what went on behind the scenes, but it looked like Trump’s attempt wound up costing the winner around 200 – 400 million dollars, money which (in effect) went to purchase Trump a lot of publicity featuring him as the possible savior of the beleaguered Buffalo Bills fan, the maverick champion of the little guy, a Player in Arena of The Big Time.

    Not bad for a 69 year old guy who wants something more exciting than golf to end his days. But then, that assumes Trump has an ego which would crave that sort of thing.

  65. Tonawanda Says:

    I don’t know how to do a particular direct link to American Digest. Here is a general link – – look at the fifth story down, about Trump, and the comments there.

    Who knows the truth, but someone who has spoken to Trump thinks Trump is in this all the way to 3rd party, which supposedly explains Trump’s seeming contradictions – – which are (allegedly) Trump’s way of taking both sides of an issue to preserve it for an independent run.

  66. Tonawanda Says:

    Trump to get money from big-money donors?

    Per Trump, isn’t that inherently corrupt?

    Would he ever do that bad, bad thing?

  67. G6loq Says:

    The Trump Conundrum is not only screwing up the RNC/GOPe plan, he is forcing the Wall Street, K-Street money people to rethink EVERYTHING.

    If it works everybody will stay home on voting day ….

  68. neo-neocon Says:


    I am very concerned, too. I say it’s 50/50 on a third party run, and I have noted that Bush seems to be doing better since Trump threw his hat in the race.

    On the other hand, I think the debates will see some of the other candidates rise, as well. It’s still very very early.

  69. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Trump populists still believe in elections, if only technically. Be glad they aren’t like the crazies that have given up on the power of elections to reform this decadent, corrupt, and evil Regime we live in.

    Because if a lot more people shift to that camp, then the sh will really start hitting the fang.

  70. Ymarsakar Says:

    The internet is also bypassing talk radio. Talk radio is reacting to the internet OODA and command and control networks now.

    Cuckservative had a throughput time in weeks or 2 months. That’s faster than war propaganda in 2005, when it affected public opinion and made people think thoughts they thought were their own.

  71. right and left | activist | passive | demonstrations Says:

    […] Here’s a commenter at my blog, opining on the subject of what to do: […]

  72. RickZ Says:

    The problem with people poo-pooing a third party run by Trump is the recent history of third party candidates. In 1980, John Anderson was not popular or even well known. Perot, too, was not well-known or even that popular. Trump is a well-known name, practically a brand, and is pretty popular right now.

    Consider the Dem old and tired candidates: Hillarity! (if she survives her email scandal), Joey Choo Choo, the avowed socialist, Sanders, and possibly a fake Indian. On the RINO side, Jeb!, Kasich, Christie and The Huckster. Trump would wipe out both parties in a third party run with that sort of opposition. People are tired of politicians, and that’s not something to be taken lightly or overlooked. Trump is not a politician. There is a lot going for him on that score. Plus, no one is talking up America like Donald Trump is talking up America. That’s exactly the kind of campaign rhetoric to which most Americans will gladly gravitate.

  73. RickZ Says:

    I’ll also point out that Trump is not a lawyer. That’s a tremendous point in Trump’s favor considering the damage lawyers have done to this Country.

  74. neo-neocon Says:


    I think you are very wrong about what would happen if Trump ran third party.

    He would go the way of Perot—which is, draw a significant amount especially from the Republican candidate, and enable the election of the Democrat.

  75. G6loq Says:

    Rick Z Says:
    August 25th, 2015 at 8:16 am
    I’ll also point out that Trump is not a lawyer. That’s a tremendous point in Trump’s favor considering the damage lawyers have done to this Country.

    A medley of Trump Tweets.

    Lindsay says she wants to beat him up!
    Summer of 2015!

  76. AesopFan Says:

    Matt_SE Says:
    August 22nd, 2015 at 9:36 pm
    “…the commentary at CNN seemed surprisingly respectful and even serious—not a lot of mocking and derision.”

    The left is watching Hillary crumble in real time, and are lending an assist by giving constant coverage to the spoiler on the right.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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