January 23rd, 2016

In his own words

Watch:

I assume that Trump supporters won’t care what’s in the video. They will excuse it and say he’s changed; or explain that he’s just a vehicle to destroy the hated Republican Party that didn’t fight hard enough against many of the things he supports in the video; or say he didn’t really mean this stuff in the first place and was just being strategic, or making money, or whatever excuse happens to pop into their heads today.

This blog has yet to be infested by the cadres of Trump-shills who have infested other blogs and come to dominate the comments section. I am not describing the regular commenters here who support Trump. I disagree with them, and we argue, but for the most part it’s civil and substantive, or mostly substantive. But if you’ve been reading the comments sections of many other blogs on the right (Breitbart is a good example) you’ll see what I mean. Those Trump-supporters act exactly like leftist trolls—mockery, crowing, ad hominen insults, accusations, everything in the book—perhaps because some of them are leftist trolls, or perhaps because they have merely adopted the tactics of leftist trolls because they have seen how well these tactics work to silence and intimidate people.

This is where extremists of left and right resemble each other, although it’s not the only way. So far it’s been under control here, and I tend to keep it that way.

As for Trump himself, I’d love to not have to talk about him. But he goes on, and on, and I could probably write ten posts a day about the pernicious things he’s said and done. I won’t be doing that, but I plan to continue to cover him as long as he’s a factor in American political life. And right now he most certainly is a factor.

In closing, I’ll add a famous German saying written by Goethe. I’d like those support Trump and believe they can predict what he will do, and who trust him and want to give him power, to mull it over: Die ich rief, die Geister,/Werd ich nun nicht los.” (“The spirits which I have summoned/I now cannot banish.”)

[NOTE: I’ve bumped this post up.]

121 Responses to “In his own words”

  1. chuck Says:

    > mockery, crowing, ad hominen insults, accusations, everything in the book

    Yeah, the alpha boys, it’s like highschool. Call it roostering.

  2. jack Says:

    neo has made the most compelling argument of all the blogs/articles etc I’ve read. Never really supported him or not supported him. But now OK you have convinced me.

    I have but one question then.

    If Trump gets the repub nomination?

    For myself this puts me into a true quandary!

    I refuse to not vote in protest. That I won’t do.

  3. Alan F Says:

    Yesterday and today, I was disappointed to see so many of our regular commenters arguing with Neo’s logical and informed criticism of Trump. It makes me think these commenters are mostly motivated by their opportunity to bloviate and don’t carefully follow Neo’s arguments.

    I am very afraid for our country because I think the general election will be a choice between terrible and horrible. If Trump is the nominee, I would see it as a choice between the most horrendous party and a loose-cannon terrible candidate.

    I remind of what Neo wrote yesterday:

    “I don’t know which is more frightening, Trump’s megalomania or the legions who defend it.”

    It seems that Trumps un-PC statements resonate with people’s sentiments, so they become believers and defenders impervious to persuasion, just like Obama followers.

  4. Alan F Says:

    I am very pleased that Neo is publishing beyond this blog. I hope she gets plenty of attention at American Thinker.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    jack:

    I have never not voted. This time, I’d be considering it.

    I don’t know what I would do. Right now, I’m just fighting a Trump nomination and doing my best to spread the word about him.

  6. Alan F Says:

    I have never not voted, but I have often not voted for president because I didn’t prefer one over the other. In 1980 I was disgusted with Carter’s handling of the Iran hostage taking, but couldn’t bring myself, as a liberal on many issues especially abortion, to vote for any Republican. In 1984, I again didn’t vote for Mondale or Reagan. Too late, I am a Reagan enthusiast.

    Since California will certainly go for the Democrat, my vote won’t actually help determine the outcome. At this point, I very much doubt that I would vote for Trump or any Democrat in the general.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Alan F:

    This year may be one of the few years that it’s a good thing to live in a state where your vote for president doesn’t matter, so you can abstain without worrying too much about it. In general, I think it’s good to vote anyway, of course, to swell the popular vote for the person you hope is the winner.

    This year, Trump vs. Hillary wouldn’t give me much hope.

  8. geokstr Says:

    I must have made a thousand comments on Breitbart in the last six months trying to hold back the swarms of virus-like infestations of his Cult, to now avail of course. At first they were very civil, lengthy posts with what I thought were at least reasonable questions we needed to ask to vet this candidate. They were met with an immediate torrent of vitriol, with no positive reasons to choose Trump, just smears and lies against whomever was in 2nd at any given time. (I even commented here a couple times to describe what was happening there.)

    Since then it has gotten exponentially worse. Comment sections have gone from 50-200 on a hot topic to many thousands on any post where Trump can possibly be connected. His adoring throngs have become extremely vicious, not only against Cruz but against conservatives as well, lumping us in with the Hated Establishment RINOs even while the RINOs begin cozying up to Trump, to the hypocritical cooing of his fanboys.

    What’s really sickening, though, is the triumphant joy of their editorial staff that all the legions of new clicks are catapulting them up the ladder of top sites. I think Breitbart himself is throwing up in his grave over their glee. He was an actual conservative and I think he would be appalled at rushing to replace the tyrant we know with one no one has a real clue about.

    Good luck trying to keep the infection off your site, neo. “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you(r site is) dead.”

  9. Cornhead Says:

    Very, very effective ad but it should have run three months ago.

  10. Jakob Says:

    Have you read

    “An Open Letter To Mark Levin”

    http://laurenstephens.com

    Quite an indictment on Ted Cruz

  11. Cornhead Says:

    One point of perspective: About 70% of GOP voters want someone other than Trump.

    He has played the large field perfectly.

  12. chuck Says:

    @jakob

    Oh come on, the Koch brothers? The Reince Priebus reign of terror? Lauren Stephens is a crank. That you are not embarrassed to post the link is a argument in itself.

  13. expat Says:

    I read this earlier today via Real Clear Politics/World.
    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/12/us-comprehensive-strategy-toward-russia
    It is an exhaustive discussion of the problems we face with Russia. As I read it, I couldn’t stop thinking of whether Trump had ever read such a thing (or The Looming Tower) or is even capable of understanding such complexities. He scares the devil out of me. His real priorities are gambling, golfing, and gold bathrooom fictures and, of course, getting headlines. Why has no one ever asked him questions that would display his ignorance?

  14. Yankee Says:

    We will all have a better idea of how things will work out, after the first primaries, by mid-March or so. This issue is significant enough that I highly recommend a separate category just for Trump posts.

    In the meantime, what we do know is that Trump is doing very well in the polls, and is drawing large crowds. Has anyone else seen this article by Mark Steyn, to explain why Trump is doing well?

    http://www.steynonline.com/7432/the-world-they-made

    If nothing else, Trump has been of service in bringing up the important issues of mass immigration, Muslims, and Islam.

  15. Tuvea Says:

    I am totally neutral with regard to the Republican nomination contest. I will vote for the eventual Republican nominee be he Jeb! or The Donald or Dr. Carson or be she Carly.

    So in that regard I’m not objective. But it does allow for a dispassionate view of the race to the nomination and the strength and weaknesses of the candidates.

    Or maybe not 🙃

    It does not appear, though, that you get it. S’ok, your mirrors on the left don’t get it either.

    From all sides the bloggers seem to be incapable of figuring out what is The Donald’s peculiar appeal.

    Trump isn’t telling Hoi Poloi what THEY want to hear.

    Trump is entertaining them with what THEY believe the “Elites” don’t want anyone to utter.

    His supporters can’t have nor even seem to care they haven’t tiniest inkling of how Trump might govern.

    Trump himself has no idea how he will govern.

    As your video – and many others – show he has absolutely no consistent ideology. Which is very likely his overall strategy.

    Tabula Rasa comes to mind.

  16. Jim Miller Says:

    neo – Thanks for posting this video, and for making the argument, which needs to be made, against Trump.

    Here’s a practical argument against Trump: Right now, according to a Pew poll, 14 percent of registered voters think he would make a “poor” president — and 38 percent think he would make a “terrible” president.

    One observation about Trump supporters (who I mostly see over at Lucianne): Many treat any criticism of Trump, however mild, as a personal attack on themselves. That isn’t logical, but it is very powerful, emotionally.

  17. Yankee Says:

    In fairness to Trump, what he said about Hillary Clinton was in 2007, long before Obama withdrew all the troops from Iraq, the debacle in Libya, the spread of ISIS, repeated Islamic terrorist attacks, and the actual deal with Iran that Obama and Kerry negotiated.

    Hillary Clinton was confirmed by a vote of 94-2 in the Senate. John Kerry was confirmed by a vote of 94-3. And here we are with the results of the trust placed in them.

    The Republicans had several golden opportunities, first with Benghazi, then with Hillary’s e-mail server, to eliminate her as a political opponent. And yet, nothing happens. Why?

    Friends, in the system we have, a decision not to vote effectively means a vote for the other side. Just think of it this way: (Any Republican nominee, including Trump) is better than Bernie Sanders, who is better than Hillary Clinton.

  18. ConceptJunkie Says:

    You think the Trump zombies are bad, you should see the hordes of people on places like Reddit who think Bernie Sanders is a libertarian. They make the Trump crowd look subdued.

  19. Ann Says:

    Even Trump himself finds the loyalty among his supporters “incredible” — in Iowa earlier today, he said this:

    “I could stand in the middle of 5th Ave and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay. Like incredible.”

    Video is here.

  20. snopercod Says:

    With all the information Neo is posting on Trump, it’s becoming very uncomfortable for me to continue playing devil’s advocate for the man. I kind of like Prof. William Jacobson’s attitude, though:

    I don’t know what to make of Trump. I understand fully all the criticisms, both ideologically and of the man. I share a sentiment I heard — I think on radio or TV — from Laura Ingraham, that you can’t not watch him, and he is by far the most entertaining politician we’ve had in memory.

    It’s the Greatest Show On Earth. And for the first time in my adult life, I feel it’s bigger than me at the moment.

    That’s why I’ve been mostly an observer to the show. About 10 rows back from the center ring, just enjoying. I figure the folks will figure it out at the voting booth. I trust the people on this more than I trust the media.

    So I guess I’ll shut up for a while…

  21. Eric Says:

    Neo:
    “perhaps because some of them are leftist trolls”

    A feature of leftist propaganda is that it will sample from anywhere on the political spectrum – including variously from the Right – as long as the points oppose the target, even if the points contradict each other. Their approach is not HS debate club to affirm a position, but rather maneuver warfare to defeat their opponent ‘by whatever means necessary’.

    Ymarsakar comments more directly on the foreign factor in the alt-Right activists driving the Trump phenomenon. Along those lines, I believe that some virulent anti-Bush propagandists have re-guised as the alt-Right. They represent themselves as anti-Obama and have adapted their rhetoric accordingly, but they continue to oppose their target, America.

    There often appears among them a consistent view opposed to modern American hegemony, ie, American leadership of the free world, that’s ostensibly anti-Obama yet consistent with the Bush-era propaganda opposed to modern American hegemony.

    Much alt-Right rhetoric is striking for its harmony with the Putin/Russian worldview, which has even been reflected in Trump’s remarks. A tell-tale is the conflation of Bush and Obama’s foreign affairs that indicates a foreign competitor’s unitary perspective of America rather than American observers sensitive to the fundamental course changes made by Obama from Bush.

  22. parker Says:

    trump could be caught on video naked in bed with bho and trump fans would find a ‘reason’ for why trump was correct to snuggle up with the messiah. That is the depth of their denial of the obvious. I admire your persistence neo-neocon, but cultists are not well known for recognizing the obvious even when it smacks them in the face.

  23. Matt_SE Says:

    “Much alt-Right rhetoric is striking for its harmony with the Putin/Russian worldview…”

    An attitude I’ve noticed more explicitly on sites like Zerohedge.

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    Eric, but even Americans will give points to Putin for 1. Talking to us via some NYTimes post. and 2. for being a patriot or nationalistic.

    I generally find myself in agreement with Bush II vis a vis Putin, that he saw into his soul. But his soul was not KGB, but merely patriotic and nationalistic, hence Georgia invasion. Not “democratic” in the sense Bush II thought it was, not pro Iraq democracy.

    Of course I haven’t met Putin or analyzed his body language personally, so this is a tentative conclusion only.

    I don’t like the KGB or assassination ploys of Russia either. But compared to what the American Regime has been doing, it kind of puts it into perspective. At least they’re targeting non Russians.

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Ultra Right is also the Alternative Right, overseas. The PEGIDA, Golden Dawn… UKIP I think it was called.

    So of course they are going to favor a Russian point of view, a nationalistic point of view. They don’t care about multicultural ethnicities or whatever Euro trash slave setup is going on.

    I think some of us may find much agreement with that.

    But not even the Alternative Right understands just what exactly civil war in America would do to the world. They haven’t seen that far quite yet.

  26. Ymarsakar Says:

    Good luck trying to keep the infection off your site, neo. “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you(r site is) dead.”

    It’s just C4 at work, no big deal.

    If people can’t even take that on, what hope do they have of fighting the Leftist alliance?

    If people can’t even stand arguing with someone mild like me, how would they take on the hordes of Humanity at large… I’ve always wondered that, silently, over the years. People just aren’t ready yet. But they will be. ENough pain will make anyone motivated to fight, after all.

  27. Eric Says:

    William Jacobson, as quoted by snopercod:
    “I figure the folks will figure it out at the voting booth. I trust the people on this more than I trust the media.”

    I’m not as sanguine as Professor Jacobson because I’ve been on the other side of it.

    When I was a counter-left activist, my opponents, albeit they were left activists who should have known better, initially considered(underestimated) my team’s advocacy with a similar flippant attitude as Jacobson.

    They assumed our cause would drown in the community’s political bias that they took for granted. They overlooked that the status quo was won by activists in the 1st place. Activism works for anyone for any cause, and it worked for us.

    We didn’t win right away, of course. It looked like we lost badly in the beginning, which reinforced to the left activists that our cause was quixotic. But with our early defeats, we were building the foundation of a social movement. Shifting the Overton window is an iterative process.

    The left activists probably could have choked off our movement in its infancy had they taken us seriously. By the time they realized how far we’d come and scrambled to try to stop us, they were too late. Their left activism whose effectiveness they took for granted against their usually non-activist opponents fell short against our counter-left activism.

    Whereas my team at least had to compete against a left activist defense, in this case, it doesn’t appear yet that mainstream conservatives are mounting a significant activist counter-insurgency. That’s a bad sign. Jacobson’s attitude doesn’t help.

    Don’t underestimate activists. The Trump phenomenon is being driven by activists. Whether or not they win the proximate nomination, they’re not going away. They’re on a long march.

  28. nkbay99 Says:

    I have noted previously that, if you want to see the real Trump, watch the film “You’ve Been Trumped”. I believe it was produced by some leftist group or another but the content is VERY worthwhile. It shows the Donald with the gloves off, as well as his son. It is the story of Trumps golf club project in the UK and shows how he crushes anyone in his way.
    Also, just watch how Trump deals with criticism – he can’t! He just tells you how bad the critic is and how he/she is a loser.
    Is this what we want for President?

  29. Eric Says:

    Ymarsakar:
    “If people can’t even take that on, what hope do they have of fighting the Leftist alliance?”

    Yep.

    The rationalization that Trump is raising issues against Cruz (citizen status, GS loan, etc) in preparation for the general election contains a kernel of truth.

    If the Right fails to muster to compete against comparatively juvenile alt-Right activism, then their inferiority against the mature Left will be that much greater.

    By the same token, the Trump-front alt-Right insurgency, via their choice of Left activist strategy, is gifting mainstream conservatives with the opportunity to learn, train, and compete at a JV level of the activist game to ready themselves for the varsity activist game versus the Left.

    But if mainstream conservatives can’t even wake up to compete in a JV activist game within electoral politics, then there isn’t much hope they can compete against the Left across the full range of participatory politics.

  30. liz Says:

    I’ll take the Iowa caucus with a very big grain of salt – to me it is a bully session and not a fair vote. You have t spend a lot of time in them vs being able to select a smaller window of time to go vote. I prefer the voting booth and one that is restricted to declared Republicans.

    In my state, you have to register as a member of a party 30 days before an election. Of course, in the general election, you can vote for anyone. I just don’t like the idea of these cross-over options and someone who does not support a party potentially voting for our weakest candidate so that theirs will win.

    I’ll wait until I can vote before I make up my mind. But, I’ll still end up voting for the R candidate in the general election since there is too much at stake – judges, laws, budget, our freedoms, our country.

    Sitting out of an election because your guy didn’t win in the primaries is just a dumb thing to do. No candidate will ever be 100% to your liking. But, think of the bigger issues – I can take someone who agrees with my ideas 50-100# of the time. Much better that someone who I cannot agree with at all – a socialist or a commie.

  31. Wooly Bully Says:

    If it’s Trump vs. Sanders or Trump vs. Hillary, vote Libertarian Party. That’s what I intend to do.

  32. Matt_SE Says:

    I just spent some time on Breitbart flame-baiting Trump supporters. They are every bit as juvenile as portrayed, with cries of “inevitable!” and “cuckservative!”

    To which I reiterate my original position: nothing will be clarified in this race until the also-rans drop out. Then, the more responsible-minded GOP voters will be forced to choose a viable candidate.
    I wonder if the GOPe endorsements/smears won’t sink Cruz among those people. But maybe they are as angry at the establishment, but not unhinged enough to support Trump.

  33. Matt_SE Says:

    “The Trump phenomenon is being driven by activists.”

    Activism is perceptions and hope. Governing is reality.
    If Trump is elected, he’ll soon be his own antidote the same way that Socialism is.
    That’s what happened with GWB, that’s what’s happening with Obama.

    If people act unwisely, it just means they haven’t been burned badly enough yet.

  34. M J R Says:

    Ann, 5:05 pm — “Even Trump himself finds the loyalty among his supporters ‘incredible’ — in Iowa earlier today, he said this:
    ‘I could stand in the middle of 5th Ave and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay. Like incredible.'”

    Yep. Calls to my aging mind,

    “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” — John Lennon, 1966

    —— —— —— —— ——

    [For whatever it may be worth, here’s the quote in context:

    “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”]

  35. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I too find the video of Trump’s prior statements to be a huge red flag. It’s obvious that he’s not a conservative and is instead, an unethical, opportunistic populist. His ‘principles’ are whatever, in the moment, best serves him. Above all else, Trump wants to win and will say and do whatever it takes to do so.

    That said, a Pres. Hillary, Sanders or Biden would be worse.

    A President Trump MAY not fight to restrict illegal immigrants and Muslim migration into America but there is no doubt whatsoever that dems and RINOs will do all they can to maintain and even increase them.

    Those twin issues are existential, mortal threats to America.

    Illegal and legal immigration is demographically leading America to a not too distant, one-party state.

    Muslim migration will result in this: “Horror as gangs of migrants ‘assault female swimmers and masturbate in hot tub’

    “A GANG of migrant men sexually assaulted German women at a historic swimming bath… Other migrants were caught “emptying their bowels” in the children’s pool and masturbating in a hot tub, according to reports.

    They are thought to have been caught on CCTV before laughing at pool staff when challenged about their behaviour.”

    Trump might well leave the country in worse shape but given the GOPe’s collaboration, if the dems maintain control of the WH, there will be no country worth saving.

    And that is why, if Trump wins the nomination, not voting for him will be a vote for the democrat nominee.

  36. M J R Says:

    EYEWITNESS REPORT FROM GERMANY
    (Article + Link to Embedded Video)
    The young lady is not an adult,
    but sees her world far more clearly than do too many adults.

    “Like many of us, she struggles to make sense of what is happening – how the German government would admit throngs of people who behave in violent and threatening ways, how the police don’t seem to care, while also begging German men to step up to the plate to protect women and girls.
    “She states that her once beautiful Germany (and the rest of Europe) has been ruined.
    “She wonders how a person can be a guest in a country and behave in such a violent way and wonders why Germany is not doing anything about it. She wonders why ‘immigrants’ chanting on the streets of German cities their intention to kill Germans are not deported. . . .
    “She imagines how ‘migrants’ must be laughing at how stupid Germans are, while noting that the entire German government is also laughing because they don’t take their citizens seriously when they say they are scared. Her desperation is palpable as she implores listeners for help while observing the government dragging the country down farther and farther.”
    — Carol Brown, American Thinker

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/where_are_the_men_of_germany.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjBKYDEJDJk

  37. libertybelle Says:

    It seems to me that the Trump campaign started as mostly a one-man show with Roger Stone as his campaign manager. Stone was fired or quit (depending on who is speaking) in August over the Megyn Kelly dust-up, yet Stone remained the only Trump mouthpiece, besides Trump himself until November, when an official spokesperson, Kat Pierson, hit the airwaves. And then the Trump children joined the media circus, but aside from early supporters like Ann Coulter, the Trump campaign seemed a singularly Trump-centric event. Trump hitting the airwaves relentlessly, jetting in to rallies to gin up crowds of fans and burning the midnight oil penning his 140-character “brilliant” political insights. Yet through it all he managed to quietly launch one of the most effective negative-campaigning efforts in American Presidential campaign history – utilizing very savvy mass media manipulation techniques. Is Trump a propaganda master worthy of the history books or who are the activists and advisers behind the curtain? Something stinks. Stone btw has a book due out in a few days, “Jeb And the Bush Crime Family”

    I can’t offer proof for this, but if you look at the 2016, if Trump were the GOP candidate and Hillary (assuming she avoids an indictment) well, you have Trump on the right, Sanders on the left and Hillary could stake out the middle in a perfect Clinton triangulation strategy. It’s very odd, but Trump’s perfect timing of dumping the negative opposition research and relentless work at creating an opinion cascade (which Clinton sewer rats are experts at, but GOP political advisers aren’t) with the relentless repetition of he is winning and leading in the polls, well, I felt like we had traveled back in time to the Clinton impeachment saga. Trump touts polls numbers more than James Carville.

    Honestly, I have wondered if Trump hired former Clinton political advisers to orchestrate this. And the thing is it could have been with Trump being unaware he was a dupe – with his golfing buddy, Bill Clinton, calling him (which did happen) before Trump announced he was jumping in. The conversation could have been casual with Clinton wishing him well and telling Trump that he’d need good political advisers to manage a presidential run, because it’s complicated and grueling. I can imagine Trump bragging and saying he’d be willing to pay for the best and Clinton regretfully informing Trump that the best political advisers are some democrats and then giving Trump some names. Through last year, Trump often seemed more surprised by his poll numbers than anyone else. Now here we are with an aura of “inevitability” clinging to Trump, because a mass media saturation effort blocked any alternative voices to even gain any traction. Years ago I likened this Carville/Begala strategy to the military swarming strategy. Would Trump, who doesn’t even bother to prepare for debates be able to orchestrate what has emerged on his own? i have noticed that two master media manipulators are having conniption fits about Trump’s propaganda blitzkrieg – Soros and Glenn Beck – one who operates the world’s largest propaganda apparatus in the world and the other who mastered the American rally technique among conservatives, which Trump usurped. Stranger than fiction!

  38. Rufus Firefly Says:

    If it comes down to The Donald and The Hillary I will vote for neither. I’m not sure yet, but I’d probably vote for Governor Gary Johnson if he’s on the ballot in my state.

  39. SteveH Says:

    I’m not a supporter of Trump for president but I am a big fan. I’ll even consider him a genius if his techniques can syphon off 15% of brain dead democrat support, while simultaneously not appearing so ridiculous in doing so that he loses much of the 43% Mitt Romney had.

  40. Rufus T. Firefly Says:

    While I agree with everything neo-neocon has written about The Donald it cannot be emphasized enough that the GOP has botched this primary, and just about every major issue facing the country in the past 20+ years.

    This article by Steyn is the best explanation I’ve read for The Donald’s success:

    http://www.steynonline.com/7432/the-world-they-made

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    yankee:

    In “fairness” to Trump—what he said about Hillary Clinton in 2007 was:

    (a) before she had an ounce of foreign policy experience at all

    (b) when she was a Democrat (she still is, actually).

    Now, why would he choose an inexperienced Democrat for that job, of all people? Why choose Hillary? My guess: he favors Democrats and their approach to foreign policy. She’s a buddy of his, as well as his senator, and he wanted to praise her and curry favor with her (same reason he gave a lot of money to her).

  42. neo-neocon Says:

    Jim Miller:

    Trump supporters, for the most part, are completely uninterested in being logical. Not in their response to things, or in their arguments, or in their reaction to arguments.

    They are not just reacting emotionally, though. They are using emotion, manipulating emotion—bullying, attacking, manipulating, using strawmen, propaganda, all sorts of psychological ploys. Reason is not a big arrow in their quiver.

    That’s why I like this video in particular. By using Trump’s own words, it doesn’t try to convince or argue using logic (which is the way I tend to argue). It just hoists Trump by his own petard, and lets the listener react as he/she feels. And for all but the most activist Trump supporters, it’s a bit hard for a person who believe in conservative principles at all to avoid a feeling of disgust at what is revealed in the video.

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    Tuvea:

    I don’t see that I’ve written anything that indicates confusion on what Trump’s appeal is. I believe I’m quite aware of his appeal and many of the reasons behind is. This post doesn’t deal with the topic of what’s behind his appeal. This post deals with Trump’s statements, and it also deals with the behavior of many of his supporters, and their imperviousness to relinquishing their support of him.

  44. neo-neocon Says:

    Rufus T. Firefly:

    They don’t call the GOP the Stupid Party for nothing. So I’m not defending them.

    However, I don’t think they’re to blame for Trump. They have contributed, of course, but Trump’s acceptance as a candidate also demonstrates a retreat from traditional American values that have to do with what we look for in the character of a leader. That’s been in long slow decline for much of my lifetime.

  45. neo-neocon Says:

    SteveH:

    At the moment, however, that Democratic support for Trump is pure myth. There is no evidence for it whatsoever in any poll I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen plenty of them. I have no doubt that a Democrat here and there supports him, but in polls he gets no greater Democratic support than the other GOP candidate, and probably worse than most (Rubio is the consistent favorite among crossover Democrats).

    But Democratic support is one of the myths by which the Trump activists try to maintain and promote the myth of Trump’s invincibility and electability. They don’t offer evidence, they just offer opinions of supposed experts that it might be happening or could be happening, or a poll or two that fail to measure what they purport to measure. I wrote about it in great detail here and here.

  46. neo-neocon Says:

    expat:

    They do ask him some hard questions, or at least try to pin him down on some details now and then. He just shrugs, says he’s not going to answer now, but when the time comes he’ll get the best people to work on it and everything will be great and beautiful.

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    geokstr:

    Yes, I’ve seen what happened at Breitbart, although I never went there regularly. But I went often enough to notice it a long time ago, and it is as you say.

    The thing is, as a blogger, one has to make a decision about comments. Years ago my site was being destroyed by trolls. In my case, they were from the left, but it doesn’t matter. Trolls can be from left or right. I was forced to redesign my blog and move to a platform where I had far more freedom to ban an almost infinite number of people. I try to use that judiciously, but if I determine someone is a troll I do my best to prevent them from commenting here. Quite a bit has to go on behind the scenes to keep the site from being infested, and that was true long before the Trump phenomenon began.

    My guess is that Breitbart didn’t police their comments much to begin with, and that once they really noticed, the Trump activists had taken over, and of course all bloggers like a lot of traffic. So I guess they made a decision about what they wanted their site to be, and they’re okay with what their site has become.

  48. Jenk Says:

    I didn’t vote until 1992, when I was 30. I voted for Bill Clinton that year out of spite for Bush I. By 1996 I started voting Republican and have not missed an election since then. I spent three years in grad school and had been permanently cured of ever even thinking of voting for a Democrat–until now.

    By himself Trump doesn’t strike me as presidential material, especially in these volatile times and following seven years of Obama’s “leadership”. Trump’s followers, however, are becoming even more disturbing than him. Trump is what and who he is, but his supporters are more than just beginning to remind me of O-bots and Ronulans from years past. It’s early though, so cooler heads may yet prevail. I hope so. I really don’t want to go full-on “let it burn” and vote for Sanders, but in some of my darker moments that thought does occur to me. Anything to stop Hillary! and a second coming of The Messiah. Those people even make Biden look good (gag)….

  49. SteveH Says:

    “”but Trump’s acceptance as a candidate also demonstrates a retreat from traditional American values that have to do with what we look for in the character of a leader. “”
    Neo

    Yes the citizenry has changed and not for the better in any moral sense. Its so bad I don’t think we can elect a sensible leader with good ideas anymore. At least he cant appear too boringly sensible or push ideas that make painful cuts to programs.

    I think what we’re witnessing is Americans who see this demographic change and are willing to risk a lot in radical approaches to finding a solution.

  50. neo-neocon Says:

    SteveH:

    You write:

    Its so bad I don’t think we can elect a sensible leader with good ideas anymore. At least he cant appear too boringly sensible or push ideas that make painful cuts to programs.

    I think what we’re witnessing is Americans who see this demographic change and are willing to risk a lot in radical approaches to finding a solution.

    In that second paragraph, are you suggesting that those Americans who see this change “and are willing to risk a lot in radical approaches to finding a solution” are the Trump supporters? If so, that seems an extremely bizarre solution: as a radical solution to the problem of decline in values and character and ability to articulate a problem and its remedy, let’s elect a leader who fits in well that decline, and somehow that will make things better?

    The hair of the dog that bit you?

  51. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Neo: You said “I think what we’re witnessing is Americans who see this demographic change and are willing to risk a lot in radical approaches to finding a solution.”

    In these past seven years, we have seen things happen at the federal government level, and with the Presidency, that we never thought could take place here. We do not live in the same country anymore. It was stolen from us by Obama and his supporters. Slowly at first, and then really fast. Like bankruptcy.

    We may never get it back.

    But I can guarantee you that we won’t get it back by chosing our most ideologically pure nominee to “debate” with those who stole it. We are going to have to fight them for it, and we will have to fight them they way they fight.

    Who you gonna call?

  52. neo-neocon Says:

    Cap n’ Rusty:

    The last person I would call would be Donald Trump.

    He is the worst of all the Republican candidates, IMHO. For the following reasons:

    (1) He is the most liberal. In fact, he is quite liberal, and is a big-government liberal to boot.

    (2) He has the least knowledge of how to get things done in the federal government, which is not the same as how they get done in real estate or city government in NY or the other places he’s built properties.

    (3) He has the last knowledge of foreign affairs, and the worst instinct for them (and by “foreign affairs” I’m not talking about immigration or illegal immigration).

    (4) He is the most narcissistic.

    (5) He is the least likely to get elected in the general. He is not just the most hated, but the most hated by far. And his supporters are lying about his Democratic support and his support among various ethnic groups.

    (6) He has little or no respect for the Constitution.

  53. Jim Kearney Says:

    Bu bu bu buT, he has changed, doncha know?

  54. Jim Kearney Says:

    Steve H. Obama want’s his voter’s excuse back.

    “I think what we’re witnessing is Americans who see this demographic change and are willing to risk a lot in radical approaches to finding a solution.”

  55. libertybelle Says:

    “(6) He has little or no respect for the Constitution”

    That’s the most worrisome to me – he never talks about The Constitution or limits of government power.

  56. KLSmith Says:

    Expecting Trump to start hawking his own version of Vitajex any day now.

  57. PatD Says:

    I’m a Trump supporter, as neo-neocon well knows, but I hope I have rational reasons. The video is very devastating to Trump. It shows he appears to be a classic NY liberal back in the day. His campaign contributions tell a different story. Mostly GOP and a few NY democrats.

    He just wrote an op-ed on abortion. He says:

    Let me be clear — I am pro-life. I support that position with exceptions allowed for rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk. I did not always hold this position, but I had a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life into perspective for me.

    A lot of people have back-tracked on that issue, and a lot more should, especially if they saw what Planned Parent was doing, The conservatives we voted for, in 2010 and 2014, fully funded planned parenthood in the Omnibus bill. I guess all the anti-Trump conservatives at NR were on board with that.

    The secret to Trump is that he comes across as a blue collar guy from Queens who made it. He can still manage a concrete pour, a skill nobody at NR knew even existed. As Roger Simon notes:

    One line near the beginning of National Review’s issue-wide blistering of Donald Trump revealed for me the subconscious motive behind the enterprise: “He and Bernie Sanders have shared more than funky outer-borough accents.”

    Ah, I thought, a dog whistle to the cognoscenti. The real problem with Donald is that he grew up in Queens, not Manhattan or Greenwich. He might have been “to the manor born,” but it was the wrong manor. Ted Cruz missed his target. Those aren’t “New York values.” It’s those tacky “outer-borough values.”

    The spirits that were summoned come from incredible frustration with the GOP. If the GOP had done what they promised and what their supporters expected of them, I doubt Trump would have thought about running. He’d just keep writing checks to the GOP, and NY Democrats, as he had in the past.

    But the feeling of betrayal runs deep, and I suspect Trump felt the same way. You give and you give, and they still cave. I think Roger Simon captures an important point here:

    Ideology should function as a guide, not a faith, because in the real world you may have to violate it, when the rubber meets the road, as they say. For those of us in the punditocracy, the rubber rarely if ever meets the road. All we have is our theories. They are the road for us. If we’re lucky, we’re paid for them. In that case, we hardly ever vary them. It would be bad for business.

    Trump’s perspective was the reverse. The rubber was constantly meeting the road. In fact, it rarely did anything else. He always had to change and adjust. Ideological principles were just background noise, barely audible sounds above the jack hammers.

    I think Simon gets the Trump frustration. It is a “just get the job done” frustration. We are the greatest nation in the world and we get screwed, screwed and screwed over again. Trump has rarely been screwed on a deal. Trump thinks we should use our power to advance our interests. He hardly has a clue how to do that but he knows how to recruit the people who do.

    Little wonder Trump appeals to these people.

    The spirits summoned are blue-collar Americans, the ones who died en masse in all our wars.

  58. neo-neocon Says:

    PatD:

    Donald Trump, just a blue collar guy who started with a million dollars of seed money from dad. He feels your blue-collar pain, folks.

    You write:

    If the GOP had done what they promised and what their supporters expected of them, I doubt Trump would have thought about running. He’d just keep writing checks to the GOP, and NY Democrats, as he had in the past.

    Perhaps you’re not aware of Trump’s campaign history. Hie didn’t just write checks in the past, although he certainly did write checks.

    If you want to get up to speed on it, see this:

    Trump floated the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter those races…In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support. Though he dropped out of the race due to party infighting, Trump still won the [Reform] party’s California and Michigan primaries.

    Trump later said that his national profile changed: “What happened was I did The Apprentice and it became a tremendous success. Who would have thought this was going to happen?” he told interviewer Larry King in 2005. “There’s sort of nothing like having the big hot show on television”, Trump said.

    As Trump publicly speculated about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Trump leading among potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. …His moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice. On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president.Public Policy Polling described the events of May 2011 as “one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of presidential politics”.

    Trump has been trying to run for president or talking about running for president for much of his adult life. What changed seems to have been he finally became famous enough with his show “The Apprentice,” and he finally figured out a good enough approach (immigration, etc.) to give him a decent shot at it. You are projecting when you think it’s dissatisfaction with the GOP disappointing its constituents that’s got him all riled up and running. He’s using their anger as a vehicle to hook his own lifelong ambitions on to.

    If you study that video clip, the only thing he says about Republicans is that they’re too far to the right (that was said in 1999).

  59. Matt_SE Says:

    [update on different topic]
    Although the Maricopa county GOP voted to pass a resolution directing the state GOP to endorse “anybody but McCain,” the resolution was defeated (kinda) at the state representative party, and in a novel way:

    The state chairman Graham (a McCainite) simply refused to allow a vote. He brought in some RNC insider parliamentarian who ruled that it was illegal and there was no appeal.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/23/gop-insiders-kill-anti-mccain-move-silence-republicans/

  60. Cabernt Says:

    Reading most of these comments has been like reading the “National Review”, a waste of time. It will not change the outcome.

  61. libertybelle Says:

    PatD, I understand the frustration, which has been building for years and a stagnant economy for almost a decade just adds to the anger people feel, especially those on the lower rungs. I had hoped the Tea Party might inspire some real change, but the power-brokers in Washington collude to block any meaningful changes.

    Ideology isn’t what it boils down to for me, it’s character and this is where I find Trump severely lacking. He may be mega-rich,a celebrity, a successful businessman, but quite frankly I do not believe he’s trustworthy. A lot of ink has been spilled about his political flip-flops, but I was more curious about his character. He has a reputation as an out and out liar, loves to sue people and his displays of vulgarity while campaigning made me wonder what kind of man he really is. His endless bragging hints at a thin skin and fragile ego and the tantrums about being treated “fairly” make me doubt he has the temperament to be a good leader. Because he came from a wealthy family and could run his company however he chose – he could behave as outrageously as he chose and his style, imo is toxic leadership. He seems to enjoy publicly humiliating people.

    You mentioned Trump wins in his deals, but here’s the problem I predict and some of his comments in the past few days may prove me right – he is starting to talk to the GOP establishment and he will cut deals with them and the Dems, first it will be to get their support as the GOP candidate, but that bodes poorly for any real change. His “deals” that he’s so great at working with politicians are crony capitalism, so if he does make it to the WH, I doubt he will keep to the promises,he strung good people along with, to convince them to vote for him. His ethanol subsidy support in exchange for Bob Dole’s endorsement is just a small harbinger of the way he does business.

    All the knives are out, so old news is hitting right and left. I read Trump’s book “How To Get Rich” to get a feel for him, in his own words. He devoted an entire chapter to holding a grudge and he he wrote another chapter about being paranoid and screwing people over. If he wasn’t wealthy and a celebrity, he’d be considered a sociopath. On page 138, he wrote:

    “When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can. Like it says in the Bible, an eye for an eye”

    And just the other day he was blabbering on about being the defender of Christians. Geesh, beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Left-wing rag, Vanity Fair, did a whole lengthy piece on Trump and Ivana’s lifestyle in 1990, that offers some curious hints at his character too: http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2015/07/donald-ivana-trump-divorce-prenup-marie-brennerle

  62. PatD Says:

    @neo-neocon: You miss the point. Trump got a start from his father’s success. He worked hard to expand from building and renting cheap housing in the boroughs to building luxury hotels and skyscrapers in Manhattan. In the process he seems not to have lost any connection with the people doing the actual work.

    Trump connects with blue-collar people, people who actually make or build things, many of whom have lost their jobs as factories closed and the work got moved to China.

    My wife is descended from a prominent family in our city. Everyone would expect her to be a progressive democrat to follow the family tradition. Instead, she involved herself in the Tea-Party movement. She has become best buddies with R, a really smart guy whose day job is laborer on street projects.

    R knows everybody in Ohio state politics. Every nuance. If he walks into a room, he knows everyone there and where they stand.

    R is a Trump fan. He is is working with Trump people to give them a clue about how to win in Ohio. He is as poor a church mouse, and Trump is as rich as Croesus, but still he supports Donald.

    Why?

    1. GOP betrayal cycle after cycle
    2. Trump is not afraid to speak the truth
    3, Trump connects with blue collar workers

    R knows the game. If he was a local GOP lackey, he’d be pushing Kasich, but he is an original Tea Party man, and Trump is his man.

  63. PatD Says:

    @libertybelle:

    You find this bad?

    “When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can. Like it says in the Bible, an eye for an eye”

    When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, what did America do? Franklin Delano Roosevelt did exactly what Trump said.

    Our world is in peril and we need to think Biblical. 9/11 was not a random act of violence; it was an Act of War.

  64. libertybelle Says:

    PatD, He attacks everyone who says anything that hurts his feelings that way, we”re not talking existential threats here – we’re talking about anyone who makes him mad. In that same chapter, which dealt with screwing people over, he also advised people to be paranoid. He held a grudge against Mario Cuomo for not doing a favor for him, which Trump wrote about in his book. The grudge, which he devoted an entire chapter to in his book, TRUMP: How To Get Rich”. The favor he got mad about was a political favor, which Trump believed Cuomo owed him for all the money Trump had given to Cuomo’s campaigns over the years (crony capitalist at heart). You can see this disturbing character trait as Trump unloads so much negative opposition research dirt endlessly, as he does these interviews, all while pretending he is just mentioning what “other people” are saying. The shallowness of his retaliations aren’t fighting for a higher cause – like defending America – his are all about him. Here’s a link from The Hill with a video from a Trump rally yesterday:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-primaries/266809-trump-i-could-shoot-people-in-streets-and-not-lose-support

  65. Orson Says:

    Then don’t vote. (I haven’t voted since 2008.)

  66. neo-neocon Says:

    PatD:

    Trump was not talking about foreign policy. He was talking about business, in an essay entitled “My #1 tip for living large.”:

    I truly do believe that you have to be reasonable and flexible in negotiations. I also think you should look for ways for both sides to come out a winner. But sometimes you still have to get tough. If someone screws you, screw them back.

    I once made the mistake of saying that in front of a group of 20 priests who were in a larger audience of 2,000 people. I took some heat for that. One of them said, “My son, we thought you were a much nicer person.”

    I responded, “Father, I have great respect for you. You’ll get to heaven. I probably won’t, but to be honest, as long as we’re on earth, I really have to live by my principles.”

    When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can. Like it says in the Bible, an eye for an eye.

    Be paranoid. I know this observation doesn’t make any of us sound very good, but let’s face the fact that it’s possible that even your best friend wants to steal your spouse and your money. As I say every week in The Apprentice, it’s a jungle out there. We’re worse than lions—at least they do it for food. We do it for the thrill of the hunt.

    Recently, I’ve become a bit more mellow about retribution and paranoia. Although I still believe both are necessary, I now realize that vengeance can waste a lot of time better spent on new developments and deals, and even on building a better personal life. If you can easily dismiss a negative from your life, it’s better to do so. Seeing creeps as a form of corruption that you’re better off without is a great time-saving device.

    Still, sometimes you’ve just got to screw them back.

    For example, a while ago I agreed to invest a small amount in a new restaurant venture. I did this with the full expectation that I was throwing this money down the drain, because most clubs are not successful. I liked the two young guys who approached me to invest and figured I’d give them a break—plus a good friend of mine had asked me to help them.

    When the restaurant opened, it was a smash hit. Crowds of people lined up to get in. Money was pouring in. It was incredible.
    About a year later, I realized that I hadn’t received a single dollar from the owners—no repayment of my initial investment and certainly no profit. I called two of the guys who got me into the deal and said, “Fellas, come on, I know success when I see it. You ought to pay back your investors.”

    One of them said, “Oh, we’re working so hard, and the money coming in just isn’t coming in fast enough.”

    My response: “Bullshit! I don’t believe it.” From my perspective, they seemed to be living like kings.

    Eventually, I received my first “equity distribution” from them, for a fraction of my investment. I was furious and sent an angry letter to the managing partner, in which I asked for a public investigation of their records.

    I’m an instinctive businessman and I hate being screwed. I can’t prove they did anything wrong without spending more money to investigate them than my investment is worth, but my hunch is that investors like me should have been repaid six times their initial investment by now.

    Now whenever I see the guys I tried to help, they wave to me and I just turn my back. The sad thing for them is that had I felt that they treated me (and their other investors) fairly, I probably would have backed them for millions on their next deal.

    Maybe I’ll sue them anyway, just to prove my point. Business can be tough, but you’ve got to stay true to your principles.

  67. Ymarsakar Says:

    In these past seven years, we have seen things happen at the federal government level, and with the Presidency, that we never thought could take place here. We do not live in the same country anymore. It was stolen from us by Obama and his supporters.

    Not all of us thought “never could take place here”. Certain types of people thought that they weren’t Good Germans, however.

    It was stolen from you a lot longer before than Hussein and his supporters. Try FDR and Wilson.

  68. Ymarsakar Says:

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt did exactly what Trump said.

    Our world is in peril and we need to think Biblical.

    FDR destroyed your nation and used Japan and Germany as the justifications for it. The slaves think they are free, as usual.

    If you want to fight, signing up for FDR’s war is a good way to become cannonfodder. Americans won the war, FDR didn’t win it for America. He got elected to avoid war in Europe, but needed a pretext, so he failed to inform certain admirals about certain attacks. The Left has been running like this far before Fast and Furious.

    There’s a big difference between fighting a war due to one’s personal beliefs, and getting dragged into somebody else’s war because you’ve been fooled into thinking you need a “leader” that makes you “fight”. Robert E Lee got dragged. One man insurgencies who kept fighting on, irregardless of orders, were fighting for personal reasons.

  69. Ymarsakar Says:

    Americans, now that they are realizing, seeing, and accepting how broken the system is, now yearns for somebody in the hierarchy to tell them what to do. To give them orders to fight, to tell them to fight in a war, in order to get things done.

    That whole “eye for an eye thing”.

    If America were actually the home of the brave still, they wouldn’t need to invest hope and change in a leader, to do what needs to be done. A hierarchy where they obey orders is the home of the brave? That’s independence and freedom?

    Relying on Authorities like Trump, his Apprentice program, just means you’re going to obey his orders like those quaking kids on the show do. That won’t make you free. And it won’t win the war necessarily either.

    It shows, once and for all, just how weak and decadent the American people have truly become. Only the newest generations have been conditioned for that “eye for eye” conditioning, at least they didn’t need Trump to get that far, they are the ones protecting Trump, not the other way around. This American tendency to conform, has been around for decades, due to WWI and WWII.

    People that grew up with ABC, NBC, CBC as the only channels, have a hard time adapting to the new era and the new century. People born or conditioned after the new century began, had very different experiences that tailored their personalities and habits.

    The younger generations will fight, because they have to or the SJWs and Leftists will conquer them. Or Islam will. The older generations still yearn for Authority and some orders to obey. People call them the Baby Boomers, but goes beyond them. Conformity when the Authority is patriotic is one thing. It’s quite another thing in this current climate.

  70. sdferr Says:

    FDR, State of the Nation address to Congress, Jan. 6, 1941: The Four Freedoms

    Utterly upending the Constitutional limits on government and making the people — formerly the sovereigns in the United States — into the subject wards of the authority of the United States federal government. All hail unity.

  71. libertybelle Says:

    “Utterly upending the Constitutional limits on government”

    The march of progressive policy in America permeated politicians on both sides of the aisle, even before FDR, but at least there used to be more on the conservative side defending federalism and those Constitutional limits. The 17th Amendment cleared the path for the vast uniparty in Washington, beholden to special interests, which now frustrated citizens rail against and keep looking for one man to fix. The disenfrashised in both parties keep looking for someone to save the Republic, and in 2008 that propelled Obama into the White House, a man who held a view of The Constitution antithetical to the principles of the founding fathers and in this cycle the other side is ready to throw their hopes into another person selling hope and change.

    America’s problems can not even begin to be changed without a dramatic change in our culture, starting at the grassroots levels, rebuilding and restoring our civic institutions and local and state governments. The last thing America needs is someone who will cut more deals in Washington; what we need is someone who will help slay the federal monster

  72. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    As a business man and partner in a small multinational company, Trump is the complete opposite of what I would call a good businessman. Shorting suppliers on agreed upon payment, suing partners and insulting others is not good business. And his business record is checkered to say the least with his own goodwill valued at 50% of the firm. He is not a reliable trading partner and this will put him in the Putin class if he’s president. Trump supporters, even casual ones, like the idea of a strong personality to shake things up, but they confuse the Hollywood version of a successful business man with real business men. He seems not to understand trade, economics, or labor law. His angle of I’ll just hire good managers doesn’t fly because you have to listen to your managers to get value from them.

    Complete blowhard with some very serious character defects.

  73. Rufus T. Firefly Says:

    neo-neocon wrote, “Trump’s acceptance as a candidate also demonstrates a retreat from traditional American values that have to do with what we look for in the character of a leader. That’s been in long slow decline for much of my lifetime.”

    I agree.

  74. SteveH Says:

    I think theres something rather bizzare in the notion that we may have all survived 8 years of an American hating socialist like Obama, but we cant possibly live through an egotistical businessman like Trump.

    Whats he going to do, send back the bust of Rosa Parks on his first day in office? Call the Iranian President and tell him we’ll furnish them with nuclear weapons free of charge? I don’t think its in the mans dna to be one tenth as horrible a President as what we just experienced.

    Hey I wish all this enthusiasm was behind Ted Cruz or Ben Carson, but for reasons of current national attitudes towards traditional politicians, its not.

  75. sdferr Says:

    What is culture?

    Seems an absurd question, I know, given the widespread use of the term today. Everyone uses it, so everyone must know what it is. Still, my problem is that I simply have no idea what people are talking about when the term is used. The founders and framers didn’t speak of this at all, so far as I know, and yet managed to make a political compact the like of which the world had never to their own time seen, and I think remains even in our own time unique. I’ve seen it suggested that Immanuel Kant is at least partially responsible for “a” coinage of the concept Kultur (Allan Bloom, Giants and Dwarfs, “Commerce and ‘Culture’ “), and yet the growth of the concept to encompass far more (or less, even) than Kant had in mind appears to me to be self-evident in that usage today. If there is a more indeterminate indistinct idea in commonplace political discourse today (or ordinary cliched talk today — we only have to look at “rape culture” spoken of unaccompanied by gales of laughter) I’m at a loss to say what that would be.

    On balance anyhow, we may benefit if we inquire whether culture as a concept or term in use in political discourse is a nice piece of progressivism at its root, so (possibly innocently, possibly not) smuggled in to foil our understanding of any alternatives.

  76. expat Says:

    Neo,
    In that Trump essay, Trump always talks about investment, about expecting to get something back. For me, giving should be done without that expectation. When I give, whether to a food bank or to someone I know, my biggest hope is that it helps them. I’m quite happy if at some point they may pass on a little to others. I don’t want to hire accountants to monitor this stuff. And I usually don’t talk about it.
    I realize that if you are a business person, you have to watch where your money goes, but that seems to be all that Trump is capable of. I have some very well off family members who crunch numbers on their businesses, but they also do a lot for people with bragging about it.

  77. libertybelle Says:

    sdferr, your comment:

    “On balance anyhow, we may benefit if we inquire whether culture as a concept or term in use in political discourse is a nice piece of progressivism at its root, so (possibly innocently, possibly not) smuggled in to foil our understanding of any alternatives.”

    Now, that’s something I never considered, but you are right, the framers talked about clear-cur principles and cited historical examples to flesh out their line of reasoning. Thanks for that insight, which will assuredly keep me pondering!

  78. Ymarsakar Says:

    I don’t think its in the mans dna to be one tenth as horrible a President as what we just experienced.

    Does Steven really think civil war 2 cares who the President is or will be…

    Talk about 20th century thinking.

  79. sdferr Says:

    Doug Ross offers a handy dandy chart of 21 comparisons.

  80. SteveH Says:

    All this talk about staying home if Trump is the nominee. There’s quite a bit of irony in we may discover open minded moderates have their own tunnel vision rigidity that lets the perfect get in the way of good enough.

  81. libertybelle Says:

    SteveH, Well, in the foreign policy area, Obama, has done immense damage with his clueless “leading from behind” no strategy approach, but with Trump, we might end up with what Sun Tzu referred to as a “mad bandit”, who could go off half-cocked, convinced of his own omnipotence and strategic infallibility. We’ve had almost 8 years of The One, vain, but indecisiveness; I fear with Trump we will have Another One, vain and too impulsive.

    No one talks about a comprehensive national strategy or even wants to look at the big picture geopolitical realities and potential consequences. Good strategy requires careful analysis, but it also requires strategic vision. Trumps overly simplistic blustering about “winning” doesn’t cut it for a strategy and some of Trumps’ idiotic comments have been as absurd as other GOP candidates doing chest-beating to sound tougher than Trump, like Christie talking about shooting down Russian planes or Cruz talking about carpet bombing. We need to get back to clear-sighted assessment of defining American national interests in the region, with regional stability being the strategic end-game, which goes much further than defeating ISIS.

    The big picture/little picture strategic methodology seems to be out of vogue in our celebrity worshiping culture, replaced with trite slogans and political hacks churning out “narratives”, selling bad policy touting poll numbers and retired generals for hire. Trump cites polls more than Clinton spinmeisters, so expect more poor strategy, but plenty more reality TV worthy prounouncements. Even the generals have gone Hollywood, following the prepared scripts. This decline in strategic planning began when the Cold War ended and America still hasn’t regained firm strategic footing.

  82. libertybelle Says:

    sdferr, Trump has traveled back and forth so many times on the Road to Damascus that perhaps it’s time to rename it the Great Trump Turnpike. His tolls would make a good dent in the national debt….

  83. Matt_SE Says:

    “…lets the perfect get in the way of good enough.”

    I’m not convinced at all that Trump is “good enough.”
    I’m currently taking a class on the history of Nazi Germany, and the strategy for the rise to power of Trump is straight out of their playbook: vague calls to make the country great again, stoking anger at the establishment, smearing of competitors, and the amoral will to power that justifies any means.

    That being said, there’s not a hint of homicidal intent in Trump so I have no worries of a modern Holocaust. However as I’ve said before, he is not a moral man.

    What I see as the chief danger is that he’ll sell ALL OF US out to the establishment. Of course, the first reaction of his followers will be denial, then anger, etc.
    But by the time you finally accept that you’ve been had, it’ll be too late.

    Were it not for the issue of SCOTUS nominees, I’d be happy to let Hillary be hoist on her own petard instead of our side. As it stands, I’ll just have to see what happens in the primaries. If Trump gets the nomination, I’m not certain I can vote for him.

  84. Baklava Says:

    MATTSE, I recommend we just stop talking to Trump supporters.

    Name callers are unable to persuade. Trump will lose people naturally without an argument from us.

  85. geokstr Says:

    I made this comment elsewhere a month ago – there are really only a few things you can know with certainty from a mercurial megalomaniac like Trump if he becomes president. By the time he leaves office, he will become the wealthiest human being in history. All his personal enemies will be decimated in the process. Crony capitalism and paranoid retribution are the only skills he’s really shown, besides of course being the world champion attention whore.

  86. neo-neocon Says:

    geokstr:

    Agreed.

  87. neo-neocon Says:

    SteveH:

    People who will stay home if Trump is the nominee are not staying home because he’s not “perfect” and yet is “good enough.” They will be staying home because he is abominable as a human being and as a potential president, perhaps every bit as abominable as the alternative, just in a somewhat different way.

    Trump and Clinton are long-time friends, by the way.

  88. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Over at PJmedia, there’s an extremely disturbing article; “Trump Spokeswoman Has History of Bizarre, Bigoted Tweets”

    In my view, if this is not a complete fabrication, (which seems unlikely given the ease of verification) it’s highly revealing of Trump’s actual, private mindset.

    Trump’s official spokesperson’s written, public viewpoints are indefensible and leftist in tone and substance. NO way is he unaware of them.

    This leads me to give more credence to a POV that parker has been advocating; that Trump is acting as a covert agent of the democrats, seeking to engineer a split in the Republican party so as to increase the likelihood of another democrat as President.

    All of this begs the question is such a scenario ‘too clever by half’? Perhaps but consider how desperate the dems must be to avoid a backlash that could roll back Obama’s ‘gains’. It may simply be viewed as an ‘insurance policy’…

    If this is true, Trump will if elected, act as a democrat and with RINO collaboration, forward the democrat’s agenda.

    Which makes Cruz and Fiorina the only candidates whose records are consistent with their positions.

  89. neo-neocon Says:

    No, I certainly don’t miss the point.

    I was being sarcastic. Let me explain my position in greater detail: Yes, blue collar workers/people feel that Trump connects with them, they just feel it. I get that very well. But it’s based on a carefully nurtured image that Trump projects—the rich man who still understands them and is looking out for them. But Trump has nothing in common with them, and most people have no idea how rich he already was when he started out. He’s a powerful wheeler deeler who will step on a blue collar worker or laborer if that person gets in his way. How many of those people would think Trump was such a great guy for blue collar workers if they watched this clip, for example? (it would probably need some subtitles, though, because of the accents):

    If Donald Trump is the nominee, there will be plenty of footage to air to get people up to speed on Trump’s history with the little people.

    Have your wife and R look at those two videos. Perhaps they won’t matter to them, but I’d be curious about their reactions.

  90. Faceless Commenter Says:

    > mockery, crowing, ad hominen insults, accusations, everything in the book
    ———————–

    To be fair, this is how the Breitbart commentariat behaves all the time. I don’t bother with it anymore. The comments fly in at the rate of about 12/sec and there’s no real discussion.

  91. Patrick Says:

    When you say you will write about him as long as he’s in a factor in politics, lets just hope that doesn’t go on for the next four years. He is as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning – criticize him and he comes back with a tacky insult like he’s some high school kid (if that isn’t an insult to high schoolers). I can just imagine him as president where having people disagree with you comes with the job – he’ll eventually alienate about two thirds of the country.

  92. DNW Says:

    Tuvea Says:
    January 23rd, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    … From all sides the bloggers seem to be incapable of figuring out what is The Donald’s peculiar appeal.

    Trump isn’t telling Hoi Poloi what THEY want to hear.

    Trump is entertaining them with what THEY believe the “Elites” don’t want anyone to utter.

    I think that there is a substantial amount of truth in what you say.

    I’ve been reading a number of articles on the general economic situation, as well as on what might be called the Trump supporter cohort, and the one odd thing I recognized them as having in common is a “diagnosis” of a certain attitude disorder, as they might view it, which originates in a segment of the American population which has found itself increasingly and quite literally, “dispossessed”.

    This dispossession factoid, or characterization, is reported in an astonishingly blasé manner. It is casually observed with an certain Olympian distance, if not a quite outright Schadenfreude, that their jobs have been exported, that they have been harrowed by financial sector manipulations, that they are increasingly without either prospects or a predictable future in a society wherein “elites” are actively reapportioning economic opportunities: a society, which is [mysteriously, the process is not quite clear] “undergoing demographic changes” which will – the elites themselves predict – irreversibly alter the manner in which the Trumpenproletatiat live, and the values and laws by which they shall be forced to abide.

    But of course, it’s all good at the helm nonetheless.

    Yes, they are diagnosed as being lied to, exploited, marginalized and dispossessed; and so it is granted, it is rather predictable that they are as crazy as they are.

    It’s just that the bitter clingers who have been selected for evolutionary obsolescence by the social managers, do tend to get out of hand when they see they have been herded toward a dead-end.

    Mark it down as another sociological tidbit for political scientists and historians.

    It’s all phrased in that free floating, “wheel of history” passive voice, so beloved by reporters who may this one special time condescend to “objectivity”.

    So, not only are Trump’s supporters reacting to being sacrificed on the altar shared by the Crony Capitalists and the Cultural Marxists, they are reacting to the smug indifference of and complicity of most of establishment America in their planned marginalization, expropriation, dispossession, and destruction.

    I think I have mentioned the December 12, 2014 article on the front page of the NYT “The Vanishing Male Worker …” which revealed that “The share of prime age men – those from 25 to 54 years old – who are not working … [is] … 16 percent.”

    Yawn, another day on the road to social restructuring …

    The people you mention, are reacting to a smirking cover-up, of their ruin. This is a ruin which has not “just happened” (as if illegal aliens just dropped out of the sky, and “too-big-to-fail” financial corporations accrued dollars the same way) but a dispossession which has been consciously engineered and anticipated, and with the result fully expected.

    They sensed it before. It’s shrug-worthy news now.

    No wonder then that so many are willing to support a man who may well be a kind of demagogue. On the road of to an extinction planned by their seemingly self-appointed and unaccountable social managers, they literally have nothing much left to lose by doing so.

  93. libertybelle Says:

    Geoffrey, Being an avid Presidential campaigns watcher since I was 8 years old in 1968, I’ve seen a lot of weird things, but the Trump spokeswoman’s tweets aren’t the only thing that’s bizarre.

    He started with Roger Stone, who quit or was fired in August during that Megyn Kelly dust-up. His current campaign manager came on board at some point after, but does not do interviews that I have seen and then Pierson showed up in November. Over 3 months is an eternity in a campaign and it seems incredible that Trump, all things great that he is, has managed this perfect mass media saturation effort and known exactly when, plus had meticulously researched negative opposition research ready to unload ,with just a shoestring campaign. I suspect he hired some top notch dem political operatives, who are working for him behind the scenes. I mentioned this before – watch Roger Stone, who, whether he quit or was fired,- is still out there doing interviews supporting Trump, but he looks very nervous all the time – he might know something. Something is not right with the Trump campaign – a man who doesn’t even bother to prepare for a debate or bother with policy details, yet comes loaded with meticulously researched and perfectly timed hits to attack his opponents. He has all this dirt at his finger tips.

  94. James Says:

    Obama sees life as the result of an ideology. Follow the ideology and life will be good. Since the ideology is bad, the results are bad.

    Trump sees life as a competition. When you are a private citizen, that produces results that aren’t the greatest but are fairly predictable. Neo’s Scotland video above was nothing more than Trump competing. Life has competition has no other values.

    But was is competition when Trump is running the government? Usually competition happens within the rules set by government. How could the government be “in competition”?

    I would guess the results will be random. Lots of flailing around. Much of Obama’s agenda will be thrown away, but which particular parts are unknown. It could turn out pretty good, it could be terrible. I like Trump better than Lindsy Graham or Huckabee, but the rest of the candidates would be better than Trump – even the Dr.

    If it comes down to it, I’ll vote for Trump over any of the current Democrats. No matter how it works out, the open free-for-all politics of the Republican party is better than the top-down controlled version from the Democrats.

  95. Brooklyn Boy Says:

    The whole Trump phenomenom reminds be so much of Obama in 2008. It is cultish and and smacks of Caudilloism. He is a small “n” and small “s” national socialist.

  96. Matt_SE Says:

    @DNW,

    Most of us sympathize with the plight of this new “class,” but we disagree that Trump is the right candidate to address their grievances. After looking at that Scottish clip neo posted, you have to ask “this is the person to support the little guy?!?”

    It’s more likely that Trump represents the interests of the class that is screwing the little guy, and he’s just a really good liar.

  97. DNW Says:

    ” Matt_SE Says:
    January 24th, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    @DNW,

    Most of us sympathize with the plight of this new “class,” but we disagree that Trump is the right candidate to address their grievances. After looking at that Scottish clip neo posted, you have to ask “this is the person to support the little guy?!?”

    It’s more likely that Trump represents the interests of the class that is screwing the little guy, and he’s just a really good liar.”

    Yeah, I largely concur. I didn’t have to watch the video to know that I don’t support Trump. I never have; and since mid-year have consistently advocated for Cruz. At this point, I still do.

    What I don’t think many of us bear in mind though, is how profoundly estranged Trump’s supporters are from the political class; and how justifiably so: Since the complacency or even satisfaction with which so many of the political class and its flunkies and hangers-on envision their political annihilation, is not only not lost on them, but is a breathtaking wonder of malice and double-dealing to behold by anyone.

    Talk about “crowing” …

    Not only have the Trumpenproletariat good reason to suspect that their country is being wrested away from them now that they have served their pioneer species social purpose, they are complacently told by those doing it, that yes indeed it is being taken over; with a more than occasional “tough shit”, “how do you like them bananas?”, “what are you going to do about it?” thrown in.

    Well, getting behind Trump, is what they are doing about it.

  98. VL Says:

    Not to be a total Shill, but Gov. Gary Johnson is a small-government alternative.

    He actually has a track record of veto-ing the heck out of legislation.
    https://www.garyjohnson2016.com/issues.html

  99. Richard Saunders Says:

    I would have supported Trump if he got the nomination, because he was one of the best able to take on Hillary, next to Fiorina and maybe Christie or Carson. He is not, however, the best to take on Good Old Unca’ Joe, whom I believe will be the Dems’ nominee. You can say nasty things about Hillary because she’s such a vile and incompetent person — you can’t say them about Unca’ Joe, because he’s such a nice, harmless guy.

    I’m not sure at this point who is the best person to take on Unca’ Joe, that will take some time to reveal itself, but it’s not the Donald.

  100. Martin Says:

    I have come to the conclusion that Bernie Sanders will be the next President of the United States. The Democrats proved in 2007 that they would pick any random nobody instead of Hillary, so she is not going to be nominated. No matter who the Republicans nominate some large part of the party will sit it out, if they don’t actively vote for Bernie.

  101. neo-neocon Says:

    James:

    You write “Neo’s Scotland video above was nothing more than Trump competing.”

    Well, I suppose you are right in the sense that it was nothing more than TRUMP competing. In other words, Trump competing is not the same as other people competing, even very competitive people who are winners in business and in life.

    It’s a question of style, decency, integrity, and honor. Trump has a style, all right, but he doesn’t have the other characteristics. There are plenty of other people in this world, even in the world of huge real estate deals, who are hotly competitive but who don’t feel the need to publicly insult and ridicule other people as they crush them beneath their giant feet.

    I think you ask the wrong question about Trump and government. You ask: “But [what] is competition when Trump is running the government? Usually competition happens within the rules set by government. How could the government be ‘in competition’”?

    Your error lies in the phrase “when Trump is running the government.” A president is a chief executive, one of three supposedly co-equal branches of government. Trump does not understand that and will neither respect it nor care about it, and that’s how the government could be “in competition” with a President Trump.

    If you want to see a push towards unbridled power from a chief executive, just elect President Trump. And if you might think that won’t be so dangerous because of course, he’ll be doing the things the right wants him to do, I submit that the ends don’t justify the means AND we have no idea what Trump’s real goals are. None.

    A further question that should be asked is “What is the basis of Trump’s very intense drive for competition and winning?” I think you’ll admit that it is unusually intense. He doesn’t need the money any more. I would submit that it comes from an extreme drive for power. Till now, the trappings of power (money, success, beautiful women) have been enough. Now he want more—although actually he’s always wanted political power, ever since 1988 when he first considered a presidential run, but this is the first time he can really taste it—and oh, does it taste sweet.

  102. PatD Says:

    I’m signing off until New Hampshire. After real people have voted, we will know who is a real contender and who isn’t.

    Well maybe not, since neo-neocon is a great blogger and she will do posts that might inspire a response, but
    I’ll try not to bother y’all with pro Trump posts.

    We’re off to NYC next week for our annual Opera fix. I don’t expect to see Trump there. He’s from Queens.

  103. Ymarsakar Says:

    Don’t forget all the dead people and the immigrants that count in the popular census. They’ll be voting Democrat, whether they know it or not.

  104. Alfred J. Lemire Says:

    In six decades of reading articles on politics, well, articles on anything, no article trumps, oops, surpasses that of Matt Labash at The Weekly Standard for wit. He deflated Donald Trump, in large part by quoting someone who looks like he recently floated above New Yorkers in a Macy’s Parade. See http://www.weeklystandard.com/nine-tales-of-trump-at-his-trumpiest/article/2000697

    However, that lies behind a paywall. Perhaps these words can get to it via a search engine: wild conjecture clueless handicapping demoralized citizens Donald Trump. Mr. Labash’s 5,449 words in his Nine Tales of Trump at His Trumpiest, in the magazine’s February 1 issue, should get the widest possible situation, but a few items ought to be trimmed for general distribution. They include off-color and gross material, hard to avoid, perhaps, when Mr. Trump is the target, oops, subject of the raillery.

    If you are feeling morose and glum now, read the article. If he is nominated and you still feel that way, read the article. If he is elected and your mood has not improved, wait until 2021. Other electoral possibilities will likewise sour the mood of many people, but thinking of Mr. Trump making deals with Nancy Pelosi is all this writer can handle right now.

  105. a6z Says:

    Most of the Trump people are angry but not hateful. This post isn’t about them. There are a bunch of the other kind, and they may show up here.

    Of the hate-legions over at NR claiming to be Trump supporters, many clearly are but some pretty obviously aren’t. In addition, some haters are, or claim to be, Nazis: not figuratively but literally, as in posting “Heil Hitler” and “Gas the Jews”.

    These may just be drunk college kids who, if they are political at all are probably college-conventional left-wingers imagining themselves to be Sneakers character Martin Brice (Robert Redford), using awesome Internet skills épater le droit. But they may be the real thing, too.

    My point is that those people don’t come to persuade, at least over there. It’s a hand-cranked but effective distributed denial-of-service attack.

    May you be spared its depredations.

  106. neo-neocon Says:

    PatD:

    Have a great trip!

    However, I’ve got one more video for you. Can you imagine, if Trump were to somehow get nominated, what the Democrats would do with this material, and what it would do to his populist support?

    I know I’m pulling your chain a bit, but this is serious stuff. I think a Trump nomination would guarantee the election of the Democrat:

  107. neo-neocon Says:

    a6z:

    As I said, I have had major troll infestations before, and so far I’ve successfully dealt with them. I’m not going to describe my methods, for obvious reasons. I think the Trump trolls, or any other trolls, tend to take over sites that are very big and don’t police and control their comments very well.

    We’ll see.

    I believe that the Trump trolls are a mixed bunch, a combination of leftist groups pretending to like him and trying to disrupt sites on the right, and right-wing activists (including neo-Nazis) who are trying to disrupt sites on the right and control and dominate them. By “combination,” I don’t mean they are working together. But their methods are similar.

  108. M J R Says:

    a6z, 12:58 am — “My point is that those people don’t come to persuade, at least over there.”

    I’m reminded of a certain friend of mine. I love her, she’s a friend of four decades now, but she lately drives me up a wall.

    She posts nothing that will ever persuade any persuadeable person (you know, open to considering another viewpoint), but she posts what she posts strictly to vent — and to revel in a camaraderie of the not-gonna-take-it-any-more like-minded.

    I have urged upon her that some things she posts not only do not persuade anyone persuadeable, but she in fact tends to discredit her own credibility and even integrity, due to the sometimes coarse, take-no-prisoners character of her venting.

    To no avail. Oh well. I suppose this comment of mine is a mild form of *my* venting. Thanks for indulging me. Carry on . . .

  109. Yankee Says:

    Perhaps to get an understanding of what Trump might do as President we should just look at his announcement speech, from June 16, 2015:

    http://time.com/3923128/donald-trump-announcement-speech/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_q61B-DyPk

    Look at the written portion to see what Trump identifies as problems, and what he wants to do about them if he is President. In a few weeks, we’ll have a better understanding of Trump’s nationalist and populist approach, and how well it works.

    Maybe Trump is not the problem. Maybe to better understand things, look at what is NOT happening. Hillary Clinton is utterly corrupt, and has risked national security with her e-mail server. There are elder statesmen (Mitt Romney, Sen. McCain, Sen Hatch, and others), yet why are they not out there 24/7 stating why Clinton is unfit to be President? Why? Why is there no leadership from that direction?

    Rush Limbaugh has been examining the basis for Trump’s appeal these last few weeks. So has Mark Steyn. Both theorize a disconnect between the elite and the people (not just here, but Europe, too), and frustration with having a vote, but getting nothing in return. And yet The National Review just published “Against Trump.” Why not against Hillary? And what’s more important, the country or an ideology?

    In short, Trump may not be all that bad. The level of support he gets in the primaries to come will indicate how much trust others have in him. And whoever the nominee is, the likely Democrat opponent will either be a crook (Hillary) or a Communist (Bernie). Let’s not panic.

  110. SteveH Says:

    “And yet The National Review just published “Against Trump.” Why not against Hillary?”

    This in a nutshell is why Trump is popular. The supposed opposition to democrats cant seem to oppose anyone but those that do oppose democrats. So people are looking for a ruthless sonofabitch that can do it.

    All of the spineless moderation in the face of whats happened these last 7 years is the creator of Donald Trump possibly being President.

  111. geokstr Says:

    Neo:
    I believe that the Trump trolls are a mixed bunch, a combination of leftist groups pretending to like him and trying to disrupt sites on the right, and right-wing activists (including neo-Nazis) who are trying to disrupt sites on the right and control and dominate them.

    Agreed. They’ve made it difficult to find out where they’re coming from, too, by having private disqus profiles. But by copy/pasting their most distinctive sigs into the address bar, I’ve been able to trace one to Stormfront (neo-Nazi (no pun intended) white supremacists), one to infowars (Alex Jones conspiracy nutjob), a number to conservativetreehouse (?), and various gaming, cultural, and entertainment sites but so far nothing to tie them directly to the Democrats. Their political comments on the other sites are definitely from what could loosely be described as the “right”.

    I get the impression that many are younger based on their almost total lack of knowledge of even the recent past in politics, but this could also be the influence of Howard Zinn and his cadre on our “history” books.

  112. geokstr Says:

    I think what’s happened is that, as the New Left completed, under the radar with the assist of the media, their transformation of the Democrats into the Marxist Party by purging all their moderates, it left a vacuum in the center that was quickly filled by the moderates in the Republican Party. This dragged their power center to the left, and took much of the conservative media (NRO, Weekly Standard, even the America Spectator) with them. This left the conservative movement politically orphaned and rebellious, but unfortunately, still voting for the R party out of default.

    They should have organized a third party long ago, when the risk of a Democrat presidency was not nearly as perilous as it is now. The Tea Parties were their last chance, in my view, to tap into the current populist rage against the machine, since we lost to the Marxist in 2012 anyway. Now instead they are easily marginalized by the populist demagogue as just another part of the tarred Republican brand.

    What should have been a grassroots coalition of conservatives, the Reagan democrats and Nixon’s “silent majority” with Constitutional principles to guide it, led by someone like Cruz, is instead an inchoate, incoherent outpouring of the powerless highly susceptible to the likes of Trump, a charismatic figure of no principles at all.

    While the founders set up the checks and balances to protect the nation from a tyrant like Obama, they also knew the dangers of mob rule by majority, which is why they made us a constitutional republic, not a democracy.

    They did a brilliant job, but I’m afraid that mankind still is not advanced or evolved enough to overcome its animalistic side of human nature. Their near-perfect design was gradually eroded from within by the quest for power and control. If we don’t wipe ourselves off the face of the earth first, maybe in another 100,000 years we’ll be ready…

    I am not overly optimistic.

  113. sdferr Says:

    Donald Trump is plainly a fraudster. Many charismats — not to say all — are just that: con men. We’ve been ruled by one for the last seven years. And thus the angry marks who fell for that one have decided they’ll have another — it’s hair of the dog. Wising up isn’t in the cards for fools. Perhaps the salient question is why the surfeit of fraudsters just now, or put the other way, why so very many glad marks?

  114. K-E Says:

    Thanks to Yankee for posting the words of Trump’s speech back in June. He has stayed consistent with his message. I am not afraid of a Trump presidency. Deep down he is a patriot. He loves America. Why would he be willing to ruin the reputation of his own business to do this?

    Everything he pointed out in his speech is something I agree with. And I was glad someone finally said those things in plain language. Refreshing.

  115. DNW Says:

    There is a certain amount of grim humor as well as irony in all of this.

    We have endured seven years wherein the executive office has been held by a cultural Marxist social activist; determined he plainly stated, to fundamentally transform America.

    The brainless, morally atrophied voters, and the cover-his-ass press advocates who facilitated his destructive rise and ascension, knew full well he was a 50 percent cypher and 50 percent closeted menace when they jumped on his progressive audacity bandwagon and elected him … only to go on later, the latter of them, to publicly remark on how curious this business of the mystery candidate “who remained a mystery” all was.

    His lawless administration has famously included the services of a woman who is widely acknowledged to be a virtual criminal, and who at this moment remains the top contender in the Democrat party for the same office he now holds.

    Republican contrasting collars and cuffs pantywaist “leaders”, have for the most part spent the last years briefly talking tough and then promptly capitulating; noses to the ground, asses in the air. (No wonder they find Islam so simpatico.)

    The one Senator who conscientiously acted to follow through on his rule of law principles, has been consistently derided as an extremist almost as “bad” as, “one Donald Trump” – who is seen as the present danger to it.

    A threat to the rule of law? What rule of law ?

    In the meantime, what is left of the law goes unenforced, border controls are thrown to the winds; a regime of left-fascism is instituted under the guise of an “individual shared responsibility mandate” which triples medical insurance premiums as well as violates heretofore never trespassed boundaries; military effectiveness is subordinated to political correctness; and the real unemployment rate is probably around 20 some percent.

    But it doesn’t matter, because that’s how we now effen “care for each other” in this goddamned political hothouse of hyperventilating narcissists and smirking soulless sybarites.

    But you know … Donald Trump is worse.

    I don’t support Trump. I don’t want Trump as president. But any populace that elects that piece of work Obama, or considers Hillary and Sanders to be anything more than outright mortal and existential enemies of free and edified mankind and the final human nails in the coffin of this country as a living constitutional republic, deserves its trip backwards into the vacuum … if not the flames.

    If Trump is the nominee and shapes up a bit, I just might vote for him. Or write myself or “Cruz” in.

    And then whatever the outcome, the so-called “American People” who have had their voice heard, can go the rest of the way to the hell they have always aimed for.

    They were never fit for a place in a regime of freedom and personal moral responsibility in the first place. Those who eventually came to be called by that title, “American”, anyway.

  116. artfldgr Says:

    To see cruz, note his positions before trump

    to see trump, is to see a person who has not guarded thdmselves all their adult life to run for office

    trump did not live for office or guide his actions in life tiwards that… others in the feild did and do…

    Without adjusting for that and time…who else is there??
    Cruz was for incressing citizen unemployment by jsckjng up H1B Visas…More H2 visas, and no border changes of substance
    hillary is a mess
    bernie is a open communist who has amazing bad idess fir our economy

    We have to pick from the selection we have
    i will go with the only csndidate who understands economy as applied living over the others

    cruz is only alive in this fight because money is backing him against trump… without trump, cruz would die on the vine and thats that….

    there realy is no choice..

    besides…in a femjnist society, any male that is a man is hated from the get go… period… and its funny to watch… today teddy would hide his rough riders, unless a gay club…sherman would be vilified for his war is hell line.. the founders are men of action

    its not hard to find things to focus on in a non politician life… in a way, it shows why we get these dishinest collusive back stabbing narcisutic sociopath leaders… they are the breed of people creating an image and need to hide nirmal bs thier whole lives… and if they pull it off, we provide

    i take warts and all over a false inscritable that may or may not apply…

    ive worked with too many of these
    they look you in the eye, and lie to your face
    so used to it we cant see anything else

    Sad

  117. neo-neocon Says:

    arfldgr:

    Actually, Trump has been running for office and/or talking about it since 1988. You can look it up.

    I agree, though, that he has not conducted his life in the way most politicians have—except in the sense that he’s been in the public eye and has been creating an image (a “brand”) that is very distinctive and very personal. Trump is every bit as into PR—and every bit as devoted to bobbing, weaving, positioning, currying favor with those who can help him—as any politician.

  118. Alfred J. Lemire Says:

    I wrote earlier that Matt Labash wrote a marvelous, witty, and very, very funny takedown of Donald J. Trump, which will appear in its February 1 issue.

    I wrote that the article ought to get the “widest possible situation.” That should be “widest possible circulation.” I suspect some automatic corrector of typos changed the words. But I should have caught the error.

    On another note, Neo-neocon mentioned something that does make me wonder. At another site, which sometimes links to articles here, I read many comments supporting Mr. Trump. And I have seen tweets disparaging Dana Loesch for joining with others in opposing Mr. Trump’s candidacy. The tweets reeked of ignorance, especially of Ms. Loesch and her record. The comments at the other website, while not as vile, nevertheless do appear come from people who are lost in a fog of fantasy.

    But thanks to Neo-neocon, now I wonder whether indeed, many of the somewhat nutty observations do come from lefties out to damage critics of Mr. Trump, so as to boost his nomination chances. His record and his persona would make him a poor choice to compete against whoever will be the left’s presidential nominee. Of course, in the weak chance he won a general election, the left still would have someone who thinks like them in the White House. Ted Cruz, who has doubled down on a slice of the conservative electorate, would have a tough time winning, too, but for different reasons. Grim. I’d better reread the Labash article. Comes close to gallows humor, but at least, it makes this writer smile.

  119. Alfred J. Lemire Says:

    I wrote earlier that Matt Labash wrote a marvelous, witty, and very, very funny takedown of Donald J. Trump, which will appear in its February 1 issue.

    I wrote that the article ought to get the “widest possible situation.” That should be “widest possible circulation.” I suspect some automatic corrector of typos changed the words. But I should have caught the error.

  120. neo-neocon Says:

    Alfred J. Lemire:

    A lot of pro-Trump commenters, particularly at some of the very large blogs, act, talk, and reason like trolls from the left. So I’d say either that’s exactly what they are, or they are people on the right who have decided that’s adopting the tactics and style of the left is the best way to fight for Trump.

  121. Orson Says:

    A streak of unresolved histrionics to the vampirics of narcissism, eh?

    I’ve said it before, and given recent days posts, I shall be reminding you of it again (and again, and again).

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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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