February 17th, 2016

In all the tumult, I forgot about this probable lie of Trump’s

I heard Trump say during the debate that he had lost “hundreds of friends” on 9/11, and I immediately thought, “Really? That’s an awful lot of friends. I wonder if anyone’s ever challenged him on that.” And then I promptly forgot about it, since so much else was happening.

Well, The Daily Beast didn’t forget, and so they challenged him, and quelle surprise:

Two days after Donald Trump claimed that he “lost hundreds of friends” at the World Trade Center as a result of the 9/11 attack, his campaign continued to ignore a Daily Beast request that he name even one.

With silence comes the possibility that Trump told the most reprehensible lie of the campaign, just a few breaths from when he called both Sen. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush liars.

By his math, Trump is trying to tell us that at least one in 10 of the 2,983 who died on 9/11 were his friends.

“If he has hundreds of friends, he should be able to tell us about them,” said a Port Authority police officer who never talks about how many comrades he lost. “If he can tell us about the hundreds of friends he lost, who they were, what kind of person they were, I might have some respect for him.”

So far he hasn’t been been able to tell the names of ten—or of one.

The cop also wonders why nobody seems to recall seeing Trump at the seemingly endless funerals that followed the attack…

…Trump was also on record saying that none of his properties were damaged in the attack.

But, as the New York Daily News has reported, Trump accepted a $150,000 federal grant that was part of a program meant to assist small businesses affected by 9/11.

That becomes all the more disgraceful if the news site The Smoking Gun is right in suggesting that in the four years after the attack, Trump did not make a single contribution to assist the victims of 9/11, hundreds of friends or no.

The Smoking Gun reports that the records of the Donald J. Trump Foundation show a single donation in 2006 of $1,000 to a “detox” Scientology program of uncertain value for first responders.

Trump did pledge $10,000 to the Twin Tower fund while calling into The Howard Stern Show, but an online search produces no record of him actually making it. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks has told the Daily Mail that Trump “has donated close to half a million dollars to organizations as a result of the 9/11 tragedy including the American Red Cross and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Fund.”

Hicks said this was “in addition to a total of $102 million donated to hundreds of charitable foundations over a relatively short period of time, many of which helped people affected by 9/11.”

That $102 million may include land Trump donated to New York state after he abandoned plans to build a golf course. Trump enjoyed a considerable tax deduction…

Meanwhile, Trump offered to the press his opinions about the kind of memorial that should be built at Ground Zero, but seems to have contributed not a dime to building it.

He kicked in not even the price of admission to the 9/11 museum.

He does not appear to have attended any of the anniversary observances or to have participated in the reading of names…

If he has been to see the names inscribed at the memorial pools, he has been uncharacteristically inconspicuous.

Hey, if Trump can come up with these “hundreds,” I’ll take what I’m about to say back. But I highly doubt it will happen.

Con man. Liar. Exploiter of a terrorist attack. A man so secure in his sense that he is immune to exposure of his lies or consequences from lying that he will lie shamelessly and obviously when millions are watching and the spotlight is directly on him. Why anyone would still trust a single statement or promise he has made is utterly beyond me, except to say that a mind is a difficult thing to change.

53 Responses to “In all the tumult, I forgot about this probable lie of Trump’s”

  1. parker Says:

    You are too kind neo. But in the name of politeness I will refrain from venting my spleen on the adjectives I associate with the donald.

  2. M J R Says:

    Yep. I thought to myself at the time, “hundreds”? — that’s a pretty high number. But then I forgot about it.

    I was considering the source . . .

    . . .

    Maybe those “hundreds” were among the “thousands and thousands” later celebrating in Jersey City, New Jersey.

  3. Cornhead Says:

    Not surprised at all considering it comes from the guy who considered sexual relations with women in the 70s as his “own personal Vietnam.”

    This stuff needs to get out.

    Joe and Mikka were easy on him tonight. Jeb needs to wise up and bring it.

  4. Cornhead Says:

    And if it is only 20 dead friends, then he’s still lying as exaggeration is a form of lying.

  5. parker Says:

    Nothing the donald utters is to be believed. His track record for honesty or consistency is skipped over by his followers. Where are PatD, K-E, and others when donald needs their blind cheer leading? I hope SC is the beginning of his cult’s unraveling. How different is trump with his hundreds of dead friends on 9/11 from hrc/bho blame a video 9/11/12? It is measured in nano meters.

  6. KLSmith Says:

    We can despair all we want, but from what I’ve read, his support seems pretty locked in. Like you said, a mind is a difficult thing to change. Best hope is that his support won’t grow.

  7. KLSmith Says:

    Oh, also read that he hadn’t donated any money to the vets from that event in lieu of the debate he staged. Don’t remember the source though.

  8. Tesh Says:

    I see little value in Trump as a CIC. I value the chaos he’s causing the media. I wont’ be sad to see his campaign unravel, but I’m not at all certain that it will, and I’m not sanguine about the ability of Cruz/Rubio to pick up his support base.

  9. The Other Chuck Says:

    I hesitate to link this article from friedgreentomatoes.org because it describes only certain characteristics of Donald Trump in a much broader analysis of psychopaths that do not necessarily fit him. But the outlines are there. You be the judge.
    A few excerpts:

    Conscience seems to depend on the ability to imagine consequences. But most “consequences” relate to pain in some way, and psychopaths really don’t understand pain in the emotional sense. They understand frustration of not getting what they want, and to them, that is pain. But the fact seems to be that they act based solely on a sort of Game Theory evaluation of a situation: what will they get out of it, and what will it cost? And these “costs” do not seem to factor in being humiliated, causing pain to others, sabotaging the future, or any of the other possibilities that normal people consider when making a choice.

    Again, it should be emphasized that psychopaths are interesting as all get out – even exciting! They exude a captivating energy that keeps their listeners on the edge of their seats. Even if some part of the normal person is shocked or repelled by what the psychopath says, they are like the mouse hypnotized by the torturing cat. Even if they have the chance to run away, they don’t.

    Many Psychopaths “make their living” by using charm, deceit, and manipulation to gain the confidence of their victims. Many of them can be found in white collar professions where they are aided in their evil by the fact that most people expect certain classes of people to be trustworthy because of their social or professional credentials.

    Psychopaths just have what it takes to defraud and bilk others: they can be fast talkers, they can be charming, they can be self-assured and at ease in social situations; they are cool under pressure, unfazed by the possibility of being found out, and totally ruthless. And even when they are exposed, they can carry on as if nothing has happened, often making their accusers the targets of accusations of being victimized by THEM.

    Most people are able to combine ideas that have consistent thought themes, but psychopaths have great difficulty doing this. Again, this suggests a genetic restriction to what we have called the Juvenile Dictionary. Not only are they using extremely restricted definitions, they cannot, by virtue of the way their brains work, do otherwise. Virtually all of the research on psychopaths reveals an inner world that is banal, sophomoric, and devoid of the color and detail that generally exists in the inner world of normal people. This goes a long way to explain the inconsistencies and contradictions in their speech.

    Psychopaths are notorious for not answering the questions asked them. They will answer something else, or in such a way that the direct question is never addressed. They also phrase things so that some parts of their narratives are difficult to understand. This is not careless speech, of which everyone is guilty at times, but an ongoing indication of the underlying condition in which the organization of mental activity suggests something is wrong. It’s not what they say, but how they say it that gives insight into their true nature.

    And finally this:

    They perceive themselves as superior beings in a hostile world in which others are competitors for power and resources. They feel it is the optimum thing to do to manipulate and deceive others in order to obtain what they want.

    http://www.friedgreentomatoes.org/articles/basic_concepts.php

  10. The Other Chuck Says:

    A warning about the friedgreentomatoes website: it is a leftist, feminist, and otherwise unfriendly to conservatives place. But the article linked above is insightful. As I said, you be the judge.

  11. Steve57 Says:

    I caught that, too. When he said he had lost hundreds of friends in the attack, had I been on that debate stage I would have shot back “name one.”

    That really was my immediate reaction when I heard him say that. Two friends of mine were killed at the Pantagon (as an aside it irked me, too, when he brought up 9/11 and the response as an example of “New York Values” because I guess as a New Yorker he never knew the events of 9/11 weren’t confined to New York) and I can name them.

    It’s just that the lies keep coming so fast and thick with this doofus it’s hard to dwell on one for very long.

    After the debate I suppose he realized he had somewhat stepped in it what with channeling code pink and all, so he had a long rambling presser and claimed an additional reason why he came out ahead of the invasion to oppose it.

    Yeah, there’s as much evidence for that as there is of his imaginary friends.

    But that additional reason was that even if Saddam Hussein was a bad guy he killed terrorists.

    No, really, he said that. And it wasn’t an off the cuff remark. He had time to think about it. I think he even slept on it. And after he thought about it, he actually said that. In public. In front of cameras.

    Saddam Hussein was such an enthusiastic supporter of terrorism and consequently terrorists that one of the conditions of the 1991 cease fire was that he stop all support for international terrorists.

    Within weeks of his representatives signing the Safwan Accords Hussein was in breach of that condition. He doubled down on his support for terrorism. On a different forum I was running through a laundry list of all the types of support he provided to terrorists, what terrorist groups and individual terrorists he supported (Abu Abbas ring a bell?) and what terrorist incidents he was linked to right up until the invasion.

    I pointed out that Ramzi Youssef was able to get through customs and immigration upon arrival in New York with an Iraqi passport. Once wild in the city he went on to mastermind the 1993 WTC bombing.

    And I made a point of observing that Donald Trump probably didn’t have a single friend working in those towers back then, either.

  12. Steve57 Says:

    Not to hijack the thread, but my estimate of what was going on in Trump’s head was this. He confused Muammar Ghaddafi with Saddam Hussein. Because Ghaddafi really did kill terrorists. As a matter of survival, on many levels.

    First, because the terrorists were out to kill him. Second, because after he saw what the US did to Hussein; invade his country, capture him, turn him over to the provisional Iraqi government, which tried and executed him, Ghaddaffi didn’t want us doing the same to him. So he handed over his nukes and cooperated with US counter terrorism efforts (lots of good that did him and the message won’t be lost on others, thanks Obama!).

    It’s quite a feat, when you think of it. Confusing the events surrounding two entirely different dictators that occurred in two entirely different decades in two entirely different countries located on two entirely different continents. But Trump is capable of it. Even after he’s had plenty of time to think about it.

    Apparently the latest bit of information that passed through his brain filter about Muslim dictators was about the one who killed terrorists. And he wanted to talk about Saddam Hussein. So through some sort of cerebral mechanism I’m entirely unfamiliar with he glommed the factoid onto the subject he wanted to talk about it and served it up. Appallingly, this is the depth of knowledge about the man who has more than a decent shot at becoming President possesses.

    Did he even run his notes past any knowledgeable person for a sanity check? Obviously not, but since when has insanity hurt him with his base?

    I am not, as you can see, a fan myself.

  13. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Back in the day, there was the concept of “dense pack”, which meant in the context so many incoming missiles that the defenses could not even pay attention to them all, much less deal with them.
    Or, by the time the truth gets its boots on, a lie has traveled half way around the world, and the truth has to switch to wingtips before even getting started (poor metaphor alert) and never catches up. Catches up with what? This one? That one over there? No, it’s already accepted so switch to…..
    You don’t have to be a psychopath to use the technique, but it helps.
    Trump is the fault of the GOP. He’s picking up the chips they left on the table and sneering at the shaming tactics the Stupid Party used on those who wanted certain things addressed.

  14. LDC Says:

    I am late to this thread, but wanted to put up a defense of Donald Trump… No just kidding! He is a despicable human being, whose ego continues to write checks that reality can’t cash. He lies with such intensity and feeling that in that fever-swamp he calls a mind, he creates the reality that he just lied about and for him it IS truth. Much the same way that Obama or Hillary truly believe some of the asinine things they say are TRUE too. Very scary. On another note, after the reports coming out of Iraq about ISIS getting their hands on spent nuclear material and dirty bombs, will someone go back to Trump and ask him if there were NO WMDs in Iraq then where in the hell did this material come from? Also, why in the hell wasn’t it secured by the US a long time ago?

  15. Lurch Says:

    Don’t be so hard on The Donald, Neo. I once saw him in the expensive seats at Yankee Stadium will Bill O’Reilly. I’m pretty sure I saw him glance toward center field, where the Yanks have placed a 9/11 memorial plaque. His eyes misted up, I’m sure of it. It was a touching moment.

  16. Yankee Says:

    Let’s take a positive approach to things. Trump still has a non-zero chance of winning the nomination, and then a non-zero chance of being elected to the Presidency. And like any one of us, he is not without his faults.

    “Con man. Liar. Exploiter of a terrorist attack.” But then, what to say of Obama and Hillary, what they did in office, with actual power, as official policy, with Benghazi, and now Iran, etc?

    Regardless of who is nominated this year, I will vote for the Republican candidate in November. There’s just nothing comparable from the Democratic party–the Blue Dog Coalition has just 14 members in this current Congress, and people like Joe Lieberman and Scoop Jackson are long gone.

  17. sdferr Says:

    Let’s don’t. CodePinker.

    Instead, let’s observe the sell-out Trump makes to statists like himself. Let’s ponder the mush Trump has for a brain, a brain which conjures up nothing but one conventional wind-egg after another for policy. A hack who supported Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton only a few dozen months ago, and all for the purpose of his own self-aggrandizement. A hack who now demands everyone simply forget or dismiss his imbecilic stances on every pressing issue at hand. No, let’s don’t take this dismissive “positive” approach. Let’s use our minds to examine what sort of fellow lies through his teeth without cessation: a conman. That’s what we have here. Let’s don’t be his chumps, his marks; let’s don’t play his foolish game with our polity, to its ruin as we can see. This moron Trump ought not be within any tiny distance to the highest office in the land. He isn’t fit to govern a borough of a mere thousand people, let alone a nation of some three hundred million.

  18. Ed (from Ypsilanti) Bonderenka Says:

    I don’t see anyone else saying this, but if Trump runs as a Rep in the general and pulls in a bunch of disaffected Dems and they in turn pull a straight ticket “R”, then we gain more Congress.
    With that Congress, perhaps any Trump liberal tendency can be held at bay.
    Other than that, I despise him.
    Like the “Dense Pack” analogy, or the Obama administration, he throws out so much outrageousness, it’s hard to keep up playing whackamole.

  19. Lurch Says:

    C’mon you guys! This is New York City we’re talking ’bout. The Donald is obviously a They Might Be Giants fan. Everybody’s Your Friend In New York City!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExKXDy652lM

  20. Steve D Says:

    It’s not Donald Trump that’s the problem. It’s the people who support him. The same goes for Obama and Sanders and Clinton.

    They are effects, cashing in on our degraded culture and would not be possible in more rational times.

  21. blert Says:

    To correct the record on Dense Pack… which is here above totally flipped around …

    1) The concept is based on the idea that incoming warheads – – once detonated — ruin the path for follow on missiles.

    At the speeds involved, and the blast energies,… the later arriving warheads get destroyed by collision with the blast fragments of the first bomb that detonated.

    2) The ultra-ultra-ultra hardened silos were supposed to be able to take atomic hits pretty close by.

    3) An anti-missile would be used to prematurely detonate the Soviet ICBM before it became too close — yet close enough that its own detonation would ruin the attack vector for all other missiles.

    4) It would take hours for the sky to clear such that a second strike could survive the debris zone — still kicked high into the atmosphere.

    5) Yet, ascending (American) missiles could still pass through that zone — as they would be travelling much slower — only able to really pick up speed AFTER leaving the atmosphere.

    %%%%%

    Donald is less Dense Pack than shotgun-mouth.

    He emits a barrage of BS.

    The target is simply HOSED.

    In that, he’s identical to Adolf, Soetoro, Goebbels, Erdogan and ANY PLO spokesman/spokeswoman.

    This style of BS is standard fare in real estate dealings,… and mining surveys.

    &&&&&&&

    Trump only ever had Rhetorical Friends.

    By Trump’s standards, he’s still friends with Ted Cruz.

    I’m not kidding. Ted Cruz is still alive,… evidence enough.

    Don Corleone wants you to be his friend, too.

    &&&&&&

    I would LOVE to have Ted depose Donald.

    With the cameras rolling.

  22. Harold Says:

    A large cohort of both the left and the right are primarily interested in destroying the current system. Given that, they don’t really care who or what the agent of that destruction is. This has traditionally been the province of the left, but the feckless GOPe has driven the right into this.

    Trump very well may win it all (nomination and election) and then we’ll see if an agent of destruction can accomplish conservative goals of shrinking big government.

  23. Ib1netmon Says:

    After reading that last para, all I can say is “Clintons” as to the why and wherefore Trump thinks he can get away with it.

  24. Ib1netmon Says:

    To Steve57:

    Ayup, good analysis, which is why every dictator in the world (cough – Assad) will now fight to the death to retain power – as the example of Ghaddaffi has proven that if you give up power and troublemaking willingly, they will then come and kill you anyway.

    One of the many, many gifts of the Obama presidential legacy.

  25. Oldflyer Says:

    A couple of positives:

    One poll that will be overlooked for the most part, pairs Trump against either Cruz or Rubio head to head. He loses to each. They just have to keep him from locking it down before the field is winnowed.

    Cruz responded to Trump’s threat to sue him by inviting him to “bring it on”. Says he would love to see Trump deposed under oath like Bill Clinton was. Ball in your court Trump.

    Thomas Sowell has endorsed Cruz; with a stinging rebuke of Trump as a bonus. I know it will not affect the Trump faithful much; but, when Sowell speaks, thinking people listen.

  26. Eric Says:

    Neo:
    “Why anyone would still trust a single statement or promise he has made is utterly beyond me, except to say that a mind is a difficult thing to change.”

    It’s not “utterly beyond” you. You know the answer because you analyze the political landscape as well as anyone.

    However, for some reason, you keep defaulting to a traditional electoral political frame despite that the Trump campaign has been gaining ground by adapting the Left-activist model that’s proven against the Right and GOP.

    Beyond this election cycle, you’ve commentated incisively on the Left’s Gramscian march for years. Therefore, the gains by Trump-front alt-Right activists due to mimicking Left activism should not be “utterly beyond” you of all people.

    They’re not reinventing the wheel. Activism is a method, not an ideology. It’s effective for anyone for any cause.

    If you – of all people – with your long study of the Left, are unable to adjust from a traditional electoral political orientation to the activist orientation necessary to counter an alt-Right insurgency that’s merely mimicking the Left at a “jayvee” level, then there isn’t much hope your readers will make the necessary adjustment.

    The answer to your bewilderment is Trump’s supporters mostly – as many have said outright in comments here – don’t really trust his statements and promises. At least, those are secondary, rationalizing points.

    Trump is running against the GOP, not for it.

    The primary appeal of the Trump candidacy is negative, not positive – less an affirmative appeal of Trump than a rejection of stigmatized Republican politicians. A vote-against works the same as a vote-for.

    Again, they’re not re-inventing the wheel. The Democrat-front Left has long effectively deployed a particular stigmatization strategy against the Right and GOP that works like currency pegging, wherein however the Democrats err, the shortfall is evaluated automatically as better than the GOP alternative.

    The Trump-front alt-Right is adapting a same or similar stigmatization, pegging strategy where whatever Trump does, the GOP is automatically worse. More than that, they’re re-purposing the Left’s readily available work with the strategy.

    Case in point: What is the strategic purpose of Trump asserting the demonstrably false ‘Bush lied, people died’ meme in the SC debate?

    One, proximate: Undermine George W. Bush campaigning for his brother, and if/when Jeb drops out, other GOP candidates.

    Two and more impactful, re-purpose a critical stigmatization of the GOP: Probe the widely broadcast Republican vulnerability that was verified last May by the GOP field’s cowardly response to the Megyn Kelly ‘knowing what we now know’ hypothetical where they effectively stipulated the Left’s false narrative of OIF.

    The takeaway from that sorry episode was Republican weakness.

    As such, Trump took a calculated risk to administer a fitness test of his GOP opponents for American leadership. The fundamental leadership quality revealed by Trump’s fitness test goes deeper than ideology or platforms.

    When Trump brought the ‘Bush lied, people died’ meme to bear against his GOP opponents, it was test to find out whether any of them would stand strong this time and endeavor to set the record straight on this era’s defining representation of American leadership and American leadership under a Republican president.

    Or else, whether the Republican candidates for President would once again broadcast weakness – looking hangdog like an implicit admission of guilt – with another cowardly attempt to skirt the Iraq controversy.

    The Iraq issue is about more than just OIF; it’s a fundamental issue of American leadership. So Trump’s gambit would either reveal that his Republican rivals had found their spine for American leadership since they failed the Kelly hypothetical last May. Or their responses would once again expose the GOP as too weak to lead America.

    If the GOP field has exposed themselves as weak again on the Iraq issue, then that revelation validates Trump’s principal negative appeal that Republicans are decadent and too weak to lead America.

    In order to counter the Trump campaign’s principal anti-GOP theme that the GOP is decadent and too weak to lead America, Republicans and their allies must re-lay the foundation of the political discourse by vigorously re-litigating the Iraq issue to set the record straight.

    That task requires an activist sensibility, which means it’s likely incumbent on mainstream conservatives of the Right rather than the GOP to lead the re-litigation – though one hopes the GOP field will find their spine on the Iraq issue before it’s too late for America.

  27. K-E Says:

    Hello! Looks like someone was missing me! LOL. I think what gets me the most is people assuming I’m stupid, naive, a mouth-breather, etc. because I have Trump on my short list. Have I ever said the same about supporters of Bush, Kasich, Cruz, Rubio? NO.

    Why can’t I just have him on my short list and you have your guy and go forward. It does not help your cause to call me stupid (Neo, this is directed at all commenters, so please don’t think I’m saying this about YOU). Or whatever else you want to call me.

    Calling voters names is just a bad idea. Do you really believe that 30% of the Republican voters are idiots? Are stupid? Are mesmerized in the presence of the almighty Trump?

    It just is not a good way to go, folks.

    I will go back to why he is on my short list:

    1) He has accomplished things. Lots of things. He has finished projects under budget and well under deadline.

    2) He is tough. You may not like his tactics, but they work.

    3) He has upended the press and their hold on what is ‘allowed’ in a candidate. If an other candidate had said some of the things Trump has, he would’ve dropped out – shamed by the press. Trump does not back down.

    4) I like his ideas. I agree with his tax plan. I agree with his view on immigration. I agree with the business sense he would bring to government.

    I am still watching and waiting. There are more states to go. Candidates may stumble. Someone may drop out.

    The fact that Trump now has a higher percentage of the military vote AFTER the debate should tell you something.

    Candidate Trump is different than Actual Trump. If you can’t see that and believe all the bluff and bluster, rather than see it as a tactic, then maybe you can’t see how Trump would be a much different (and possibly more effective) President than we’ve ever had in the White House.

  28. Tom Says:

    *** Eric, YES — Trump ran an Iraq shit test on the other Reps, and none of them, not one, is a real Alpha Male.

    Read up on GAME, women are attracted to Alphas.

    I like Cruz, I want Cruz to win — but he failed to demonstrate Alpha against Trump on Iraq. (Rubio too)

    “Bush’s surge won the war, allowed a fair election in a still very disturbed Iraq — but Obama’s Democrats ran away from Iraq and Lost the Peace in 2011-2012”

    Democrats Lost the Peace.
    In Vietnam, Nixon got the Peace Accords in 1973, but Democrats in Congress Lost the Peace in 1975.

    Democrats often prefer to lose the peace, rather than enforce treaties or use force.

    Trump is a lying, almost psychopathic Alpha. That’s attractive to a LOT of people, over even the smartest, hardest working, most moral comparative Betas.

    People don’t have a choice about who they’re attracted to — they most often use their rational minds to explain why the feelings from their hearts are right. Rationalization.

    All too much like lesser-Alpha Obama.

  29. sdferr Says:

    Oh yes, the great Alpha Bernie.

  30. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    K-E, that was fairly spoken, so I will attempt to counter in the same way. I also like that what a candidate can say has been upended and I thank Trump for it. However, I don’t believe he had to do it with so much extra crap, and that crap is fallout that will keep people from a) hearing his content and that of his supporters, and b) voting for him. That is, I think he is screwing you and your ideas as much as he is screwing the whole GOP. I understand thtat he is the only standard-bearer for some of this, so you can only go to war with the army you’ve got. Still, his manner is not an inextricable part of his message.

    On that score, I worry what the percentage is of Trump supporters who actually like his manner more than his content. You do not seem to be one, but I have heard more than enough comments about how he really gives it to ’em, and pisses ’em off, etc. Enough so that I come away with the impression that that’s what they really like.

    Even you admired that he is tough, which I disagree with. I don’t consider what he does toughness. He may actually be tough, but what he shows currently could be as easily accomplished by self-absorption and bombast.

    I grant that Trump does have a record of getting things done in business, and I give that some value. I don’t precisely “like” his views on immigration, but I think he is more likely to get something limiting accomplished than the others, and it is unlikely to be as patently illegal as what he has said.

    As for Candidate Trump versus President Trump, that is intriguing, and I will ponder that. But I have some initial problems with it. A) If Candidate X is not the Real X, what real basis do we have for estimating who Real X is? Are we not then horribly vulnerable to our fantasies of who we think the candidate is going to become? (See Obama, Barack.) B) Do we want to move further in that direction of allowing deception and supporting candidates who are able to hack into our responses rather than reason with us? I admit, that may be all that has been happening for thousands of years and this is just the 21st C version of it, but I’d still like us to pretend to be rational.

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    K-E:

    I could spend an hour refuting every point of yours, but I doubt it would convince you of much. So I’ll be a lot more short than that—

    And I hope you realize that I don’t think you’re “stupid” at all, but that it’s your very intelligence that makes your willingness to support Trump even more troubling. And it’s not really primarily about you, the person know as “K-E” when commenting on this blog, but all the other people like you who make up at least a section of the Trump-supporting cohort.

    You write:

    1) He has accomplished things. Lots of things. He has finished projects under budget and well under deadline.

    Yes, and there are many projects that failed. He doesn’t talk about those, but other people have. If you read any biography of him you’ll find them, and there are many, including some of that probably amount to fraud. I concede that Trump has had some real estate successes and made some good real estate decisions. I don’t see the relevance to being a president; I really don’t. They are both executive positions, and that’s about it—the quantity and more importantly the quality and subject matter of the decisions are profoundly different. A real estate development executive is managing his own money and basically has complete control and the final say in everything, has no other competing needs to worry about, and no other branches (legislative, judicial) with which to share power. Of course, Trump probably doesn’t think he will share power.

    2) He is tough. You may not like his tactics, but they work.

    “Tough” is not something to admire unless you agree the person has goals that align with yours. The goals Trump has stated that align with mine are general things such as to “make America great again,” and limit illegal immigration (and some legal immigration), treat veterans better, that sort of goal that’s pretty standard for a Republican. There are quite a few other candidates who share those goals. You also must believe that the person both means what he says and can accomplish these goals; otherwise “toughness” is mere bravado. Trump is a liar and con man, of that I think there is plenty of evidence, so (as I wrote in my piece) one cannot know what he’s lying about and what he isn’t. Trump’s main goal, as exemplified by his history, is to puff himself up, and to acquire money and power, and to destroy anyone who gets in his way. Every dictator in history has been “tough,” by the way.

    3) He has upended the press and their hold on what is ‘allowed’ in a candidate. If an other candidate had said some of the things Trump has, he would’ve dropped out – shamed by the press. Trump does not back down.

    Plenty of other candidates have been challenged by the press for things they’ve said and not backed down. And (as I’ve written before), the press loves Trump, because he’s good for business. Do you wonder why his worst excesses (and things like the lie I’m writing about here) are not covered by the press? They want him to be the nominee, so the Democrats will win, because they (a) think he’s the weakest GOP candidate; and (b) gives them the most traffic and creates the most buzz. The still control the narrative, including the Trump narrative.

    (4) I like his ideas. I agree with his tax plan. I agree with his view on immigration. I agree with the business sense he would bring to government.

    Most of what is on his site was written by others, and when asked, he doesn’t want to discuss the details and sometimes gets them wrong when he does. I agree that Trump has pretty good business sense, although not always (he has quite a few failures of judgment). But business—as in being good at the business of real estate development—is not even remotely the same as being good at “running” a government of a large country and understand its economy and the international economy, not in terms of where to invest for a hotel or golf course (where, by the way, he made a bad business decision in Scotland), but international trade policies and all the rest.

  32. blert Says:

    Tom…

    Then America was lucky that WWI and WWII were Democrat wars.

    The fact is that the Democrat party is pathologically opposed to a repetition of 1865 — and a morally clear cut victory for the GOP.

    BOTH parties are defined by their Civil War schism… which keeps refluxing.

    &&&&

    I’m no longer surprised that modern Americans don’t know that Liberalism — and BIg Government got started via Hoover…

    And before him by Teddy.

    MOST don’t know that Wilson brought Jim Crow to Washington DC — and segregated the US military — terminating MANY Black military careers. (Yes, they were cashiered, wholesale. Outside of the galley, the USN became an all White force. )

    MOST Americans don’t know about much of anything that occurred before 1933. The entire period from 1865-1933 was practically BLANK in my high school history texts.

    For my generation, American history, as taught, virtually stopped with the Civil War. The period after was rushed through — with each generation meriting perhaps a few class sessions.

    Then, Summer arrived. Done.

    Younger Americans don’t even get that far. In Hawaii the Revolution and the Civil War are simply not covered — at all.

    !!!!

    One fine fellow thought that the Civil War occurred in Chicago, circa 1920s. He was serious.

  33. jack Says:

    On Trumps “friends” statement.

    The average person has only what they would call a “few” good friends.

    Trump may have had “known” more than a few people that died on 9/11 but I doubt in truth … only a few may have been real “friends.”

    For Trump to be a “non-politician” he sure does play with words like politicians often do when it suits them. He just uses words most of us use and that is still his appeal.

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    jack:

    I submit that he lies more than most politicians.

  35. neo-neocon Says:

    Tom:

    “Women are attracted to Alphas” you say. But to me, Donald Trump is not an “Alpha.” A braggart is not the same thing as an Alpha. I explained what I mean in terms of “Alpha” here (final paragraph) and in this this post.

    From my observations of polls, Trump’s main strength comes with men, not women. I have little doubt that the men who follow him see him as an Alpha. To me, he’s a fake Alpha. But you are right that some people see him as one, and that he is a “lying, almost psychopathic [I would add “fake” here, and I might even take away that “almost”] Alpha.” That is definitely part of the problem: some people have been seduced by him in that sense, but I think the majority are men, who feel their own power in the world has been reduced in recent years (and I think they are correct about that part of it).

  36. jack Says:

    When there is NO downside to lying, cheating, stealing etc. there is no reason to stop. That is what Obama, Clintons and many Repubs also have done and there was no punishment. They are like a bunch of children that have no morals. This is where our politics are today. It is very depressing.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Eric:

    When I wrote “people” there, I did not mean the Trump activists. They don’t care if he lies, and probably think it’s great that he lies because it makes him more effective.

    But a not-insignificant portion of the Trump rank-and-file do believe and trust him. That is what I’ve observed, anyway, and those are the people I meant who still trust him and should not. I didn’t mean that all his supporters trust him.

  38. T Says:

    IMO the point that everyone misses about Trump is that he speaks from (and to) the gut. His response to the Pope’s recent criticism is a case in point (H/T Ann Althouse @ 11:4, Feb 18):

    If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President….

    The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story….

    It’s not whether Trump is correct or not, or whether he has lied or not. It’s that he did not curl up into a fetal position and offer some half-bakes apology of his position or weak, namby-pamby justification for his position.

    Ted Cruz is certainly capable of doing this; his antipathy to the GOP establishment is evidence of exactly that resolve. But Cruz speaks to the intellect (he is an intellect, an academician). Trump, by contrast is the 21st century Howard Beale; he’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. That is the message which is resonating with voters.

  39. K-E Says:

    Trump’s main strength comes with men, not women.

    Not true in NH. Trump won every demographic, including women.

  40. neo-neocon Says:

    T:

    I have no problem understanding why Trump is resonating with voters. It’s obvious why.

    The point is that if that’s what people vote on to the exclusion of rational thought, we’re screwed. Good politicians (Reagan, for example) know how to play to emotion, too, but they have other attributes like basic integrity and accomplishment in relevant fields (he was a governor) as well as political philosophies that express something that a voter can either agree or disagree with.

    Pure emotion (particular rage) is a recipe for disaster. Trump is a demagogue who has few other attributes than the appeal to anger and power, and his own lies about himself and exaggerations about his history and accomplishments.

    I fully understand his appeal, which is also based in part on his TV persona, one he has carefully cultivated. Con artists also know how to appeal to emotion.

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    K-E:

    I am speaking generally, in terms of most of the polls I’ve seen. And by “main strength” I don’t mean that women don’t support him; obviously some do. But his supporters are much more likely to be men than women; that’s what I mean.

    Do the math. Add up all the women who support Trump versus someone else, add up all the men who support Trump vs. someone else. All of his support is a fraction of the whole, but the group of men is more numerous than of women. That’s my point—as a fake Alpha male he appeals more to men than women.

    When he gets in the 30-something percent and the next candidate down gets half of that, of course Trump will get more women than that candidate. But that tells us nothing about his support among women as a whole.

    Look at the exit polls themselves (exit polls are not all that reliable, by the way, but they’re all we have to go by). For Trump voters, men outnumbered women 37% to 32%. For Cruz and Kasich, their male/female numbers were about equal. Rubio did slightly better with women than men (13% female to 10% male). Bush likewise (13% female to 8% male). The others were all about equal male and female.

    Trump is the only one of all the GOP candidates who does significantly better with men than with women. And he only gets 1/3 of the women, so we cannot conclude he has some special appeal to women. Au contraire, from the data at this point.

  42. ldc Says:

    Neo-neocon,
    I agree with you on the Alpha Male issue. I don’t think Trump is an Alpha Male at all and believe me I consider myself an Alpha Male, but I have had some up close and personal dealings with Alphas that made me aware of my position in the hierarchy (General Schwarzkopf, Colonel North etc.) and the one thing that stood out more than anything else was their ability to totally verbally destroy someone without raising their voice, using profane language or personally disparaging someone’s character. Trump has zero of their attributes and tries to make up for that with bravado, personal innuendos and vulgarity. He isn’t an Alpha, he’s just an Ass.

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    Idc:

    Exactly.

    Alpha males have a quiet authority. The opposite of Trump, who is a fake alpha male.

    But you know, these days the fake is taken for the real, and vice versa. Those blogs on “game” have fostered this idea, and they are very very popular.

  44. ldc Says:

    Unfortunately, you are right about how the fake is taken for real these days (cough, cough) Obama.

  45. ldc Says:

    And for something completely different… Josh Earnest (useful idiot) won’t rule out that Obama might go golfing instead of attending Scalia’s funeral. Every time I think we have hit rock bottom, he just digs a little deeper.

  46. sdferr Says:

    Attend J. Scalia’s funeral? No.

    Journey to Cuba to hug Fidel and Raul? Yes.

    Point taken.

  47. T Says:

    The point is that if that’s what people vote on to the exclusion of rational thought, we’re screwed. . . .Pure emotion (particular rage) is a recipe for disaster. [Neo]

    Case in point, the “light-bringer” hagiography driving the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. No disagreement from this quarter.

  48. K-E Says:

    Alpha males have quiet authority? LOL. Where does that come from?

    It is about presence, the intimidation factor, the manliness factor (i.e. a Navy SEAL vs. a metrosexual), the words you use, the look in your eye, etc. Some of that can be ‘quiet,’ but some of that can also be commanding words and getting people to do things as you want.

    The Pope incident of today is exactly what I’m talking about. Trump just shut down the Pope, for heaven’s sake. Tell me who else running would have the cojones to be as blunt about the Pope? And still come out looking strong? And not worried about what the press would say? or Catholics? or etc.?

    BTW, Trump was 100% in what he said about the Pope and his opinions.

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    K-E:

    I don’t think you know too many alpha males.

    They don’t boast and tell you how great they are and how much everyone likes them and how much money they make, or lie to make themselves sound bigger and better. Those are fakes. No one who really is like that needs to brag about it.

    Alpha male examples: the characters John Wayne played. Reagan. Washington. Eisenhower. TR (speak softly and carry a big stick). Many in the military. That guy who was instrumental in stopping the French train terrorist attack recently, for example.

    Fake alpha male: Charlie Sheen. Donald Trump. Most of the guys on those “I’ve got game” blogs (I forget the names of the blogs, but I’ve read a number of them on occasion).

    That doesn’t mean that all alpha males are successful, or that some fake alpha males aren’t. Nor does it mean that some fake alpha males can’t shut down the opposition sometimes. But that has nothing to do with who and what they are.

    By the way, I do not agree with the Pope on that one. I covered the general subject already here, long before the Pope incident occurred.

  50. Oldflyer Says:

    Statements to the effect that “Trump is tough”: or “Trump is an Alpha Male” would cause me to laugh out loud, if it were not serious.

    Trump went to a military high school–after being asked to leave another preppy prep school. He claimed that the experience gave him the experience of being a soldier Really? When his student deferments ran out Trump became medically exempt for bone spurs in his heels; but, he claims to have been a student athlete. I knew a few tough guys over the years. Some who did their time in the Hanoi Hilton–like John McCain who Trump insulted publicly for instance. Trump could not carry their water; he is not a tough guy,

    Alpha Male? Come on. Megyn Kelly ate his lunch while he pouted. His reaction to anyone who opposes him is to run to his high priced lawyers, and get the courts to do his work. I am not sure what a human alpha male would look like–maybe like some of the guys I described in the previous paragraph. I am certain that the alpha male of folk’s fantasy would not look like the pouty, whiny, litigious Donald Trump.

    People are projecting imaginary qualities on to Donald Trump; just as a different set of people did with Obama.

    One more time; there are many causes for concern. Not the least is that Trump has an extensive history of employing his wealth and the justice system to beat down anyone who opposes him. It is not unreasonable to be wary of his having the vast power of the federal government at his whim.

  51. blert Says:

    Trump’s worst weakness is that he does not know his own limitations — nor the limitations of the office to which he aspires.

    So he’s spewing verbal ‘drafts’ that can’t clear reality.

    From time to time, his worldly ignorance leaks through.

    And it’s pretty scary basic stuff.

  52. Steve57 Says:

    “…It is about presence, the intimidation factor, the manliness factor (i.e. a Navy SEAL vs. a metrosexual), the words you use, the look in your eye, etc…”

    K-E, just curious. Have you ever met a SEAL? I don’t mean some guy in a bar claiming to be a SEAL.

    It’s rare. I live in Texas now. Do you want to know how many SEALs live in Texas? Three. But you can hardly swing a dead cat without hitting someone claiming to be a SEAL in Dallas.

    I’m not one of the three, btw.

    Also, do facts matter to you, and if so, what facts might those be? It bothers me that Trump can’t find his @$$ with both hands when it comes to telling Saddam Hussein apart from Ghaddafi.

  53. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve57:

    But Trump plays an alpha male on TV: “The Apprentice.”

    I have come to believe that at least 50% of Trump’s supporters (I’m not including K-E) think Trump’s an alpha male because of his reality show persona.

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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