February 23rd, 2016

Hey, let’s give Trump the power of the presidency!

This sort of thing is one of many, many reasons not to support Trump, if you care at all about liberty vs. tyranny:

[Yesterday Trump threatened] the Ricketts family, the owners of the Chicago Cubs, over their support for Our Principles PAC, a super PAC run by former Mitt Romney advisor Katie Packer with the goal of beating Trump. Trump tweeted:

“I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $’s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!”

…The Republican frontrunner is now threatening private parties for contributing to a campaign against him. This follows on him threatening Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) with a lawsuit for running an ad using old footage of him talking about abortion. And that follows on him threatening to sue a reporter who wrote about the failure of the Taj Mahal Casino. All of this has happened within the last four weeks.

We already have a president of the United States who uses the FBI and the Department of Justice to target his political opponents, who has utilized the IRS to harass and punish private parties ranging from nonprofits to Mitt Romney donors, who threatens to put his “boot on the throat” of private corporations who don’t do what he wants.

Do we really want to elect a Republican Obama?

Some people do indeed want to do just that—they long for it and would celebrate it—right up until the moment the crocodile eats them. The human desire for tyranny knows no bounds, left or right, and people delude themselves when they say it won’t or can’t happen, or that it will be okay if it’s used in the interests of their own pet causes.

And by the way, this isn’t some anomaly on Trump’s part; it’s a deep and abiding character trait and favorite weapon. This is the pattern of his entire adult life: threaten, threaten, threaten; insult, insult, insult; sue, sue, sue. Anything he can to hurt his enemies. He makes Nixon and Obama look like pikers.

The article continues:

The phenomenon of the right joining the left in its desire for a Great Man to “win for them” represents a frightening moment for those who cherish freedom from government. Freedom from government requires a government free of Great Men with great power.

The Founders knew that, down to the marrow of the bones. Some conservatives know it. Others who call themselves conservatives have forgotten it.

[ADDENDUM: Hat tip commenter “Wooly Bully.”

Time to wonder which “old days” Trump was talking about here:

The real-estate tycoon said [at a rally yesterday] he’d like to punch a protester in the face and fondly recalled the “old days” when “guys like that” who disrupted a political rally would “be carried out on a stretcher.”…

…the demonstrator who drew Trump’s ire emerged toward the end of the rally as the Republican talked about unemployment and slow GDP growth.

“He’s smiling. See, he’s having a good time,” Trump said before going on the offensive. “Oh, I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There’s a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days, you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out in a stretcher, folks. Oh, it’s true.”

And while Trump explained that “the guards are very gentle with him,” his own reaction would’ve been different. “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you,” Trump said to cheers. It’s unclear, however, if the protester was actually throwing punches, though he was smiling as guards escorted him out.]

[ADDENDUM II: Did you know that Trump is being sued for fraud in connection with Trump University? Why isn’t this a top headline?

Oh, and does this sound familiar?:

On Dec. 10, 2015, during a day he was making international headlines over his pledge to ban Muslim immigrants from the United States, Trump managed to escape any press attention and give a closed-door pretrial deposition in the case, according to court filings reviewed by Yahoo News. Exactly what he said in the deposition remains under seal, but lawyers for Tarla Makaeff, a California yoga instructor who is the lead plaintiff in the case, cited portions of his testimony (blacked out in her pleadings) to support their contention that Trump has threatened to ruin her financially for bringing the lawsuit and that she needs protection from his “retaliation.”

Now, what could possibly go wrong?]

36 Responses to “Hey, let’s give Trump the power of the presidency!”

  1. DNW Says:

    Do we have any updated numbers of the percentage of long-term registered Republicans, say longer than three years, who have actually voted for Trump?

  2. KLSmith Says:

    Yep. The ONLY reason I can think of to support Trump is that he is so unhinged that he might actually scare Putin. That, of course is a pathetic reason.
    In case you haven’t seen it, David Harsanyi at The Federalist has a good article on why Hillary would be better than Trump. If that’s what it comes down to.

  3. sdferr Says:

    Faugh. Trump doesn’t scare Putin. Putin surely would relish nothing more than a lesser mirror image of himself to work with divying up their mutual held desires across the world.

  4. Wooly Bully Says:

    Just today Trump said that he would like to punch a protester who interrupted his speech:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/donald-trump-nevada-protester-i-d-punch-him-n524011

  5. Coolidge Says:

    I can remember in 2012 when a group affiliated with the Obama campaign singled out Frank VanderSloot, a supporter of Mitt Romney, and he was subsequently targeted by the IRS and Department of Labor; I was furious with how government power was being used to smear and damage political enemies. I believed then, and still believe now, that this is a clear difference between the governing vision of liberals and conservatives.

    Now, the real test for our side is resisting the ugly (and insincere) calls for punishment and retribution made by Trump. No one who thinks that the government should squash political dissent should be supported, let alone nominated, by conservatives.

  6. Cornhead Says:

    The Ricketts are from Omaha. Pete is Governor. Nothing to hide except the daughter is a major liberal contributor. They also own the Cubs.

    Dad Joe is a Creighton alum but not a major contributor. Joe has purchased land near the Platte River for a Catholic retreat center based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Wooly Bully:

    Perhaps when he’s emperor he’ll get some goon squad to punch them out.

    Won’t that be fun.

  8. KLSmith Says:

    sdferr:scare may be the wrong word. but Putin is smart and Trump is not a balanced stable person. Wary of him might be a better way of putting it. My point was it wasn’t much of a selling point even if it’s true.

  9. David Y Says:

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to find bullying going in in the Trump campaign!

    I wonder how many Trump supporters have been screaming at Obama for the last seven years over his abuses of power? Yet they seem to love with him. Perhaps they see it as another sign that he is a strong alpha leader.

  10. sdferr Says:

    I take your point KLSmith. On the other hand, Trump seems stable in a sense which isn’t to me anyhow all that praise-worthy: he’s out for Trump, quite dependably. Everywhere and always, so to speak. Bets Putin can see it too? Very high, I reckon. And if so, then thereby probably pretty damned manageable from Putin’s point of view. Feed the Trumpian ego, and win against him.

  11. Eric Says:

    Neo, quoting Shapiro:
    “The phenomenon of the right joining the left in its desire for a Great Man to “win for them” represents a frightening moment for those who cherish freedom from government.”

    Alt-Right, actually. Not Right. Alt-Right ≠ Right. Though Left-mimicking alt-Right activists supporting Trump are successfully chipping away at the fraying, shrinking fringes of the Right for transfer into the infringing Trump alternative orbit.

    The Narrative contest for the zeitgeist is always malleable. The stroke-of-a-pen redefining of “nationalists” and “populists” to cut ties with conservatives to prep their transfer to the Trump alternative orbit was a key play, but it was an obvious play. Yet conservatives just conceded the social-political rearrangement with barely a ripple of counter-argument.

    Like with Obama, with Trump, don’t just look at the Man to diagnose the campaign. Focus on the activist movement that’s the creative engine. Neither Obama nor Trump are political masterminds. They’re merely backed by activist teams against an opponent that self-handicaps by insisting on limiting itself to a traditional electoral political frame in an increasingly activist game. If anything, if we wondered before how to apportion the credit between Man and movement regarding Obama, Trump is proof that the effect is due more to the activist movement than to the Man.

    Neo:
    “The Founders knew that, down to the marrow of the bones.”

    The Founders were first if not foremost rabble-rousing, revolutionary activists who understood that reifying their preferred America required winning their activist game by whatever means necessary. Our nation wasn’t founded by sportsmen, you know. In Canada, they’re villains.

  12. Cornhead Says:

    Pete Ricketts, Govenor of Nebraska, responded. Oddly passive and meek.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    “Oddly” passive and weak? What’s odd about it? He’s probably frightened. That’s what bullies like Trump count on. Don’t you think that if he became president, Ricketts would be scared? Perhaps Ricketts is being “careful,” just like Trump said he should.

    Do you have a link?

  14. sdferr Says:

    Machiavellians to a man (almost), the founders. But shhhh, don’t tell anyone. They wouldn’t want their carefully concealed modernist conspiracy to become public knowledge.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Eric:

    The Founders were rabble rousers, but that has nothing to do with what we’re discussing here. We’re discussing tyranny, and they were rabble rousers against tyranny, and their goal was a smaller, less powerful central government and an executive that was a lot less than a king. They fought to establish a certain kind of government. Trump is not advocating armed rebellion to overthrow a tyrannical government; he wants to BE the tyrannical government.

    And yes, I’m quite aware of the alt-right as the movers and shakers behind a lot of what’s happening. But they are using (and propagandizing and encouraging) regular folk (not activists) on the right to support these sorts of things, and it’s the latter group I’m talking about. Trump’s supporters are like a pyramid. At the top (the smaller group) is the alt-right. At the bottom, their followers, some of them very unaware of the propagandists and activists.

  16. Cornhead Says:

    Pete’s response:

    “It came to my attention a couple of weeks ago that my mother had contributed to this organization. Members of my family are politically active on both sides of the aisle, and they independently decide who to contribute to and support.”

    His Dad founded the PAC and I think Mom and Dad are the only contributors.

    My response?

    “Leave my parents alone. It is a free country and we have the First Amendment. We own the Cubs. You don’t. And my parents are richer than you. Buzz off, loser.”

    Not like President Trump could really do something to Nebraska.

  17. Cornhead Says:

    Link

    http://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/federal-politics/trump-warns-the-ricketts-family-over-contributions/article_25a06193-6eeb-529a-b029-83e681bbb252.html

  18. Becky Says:

    My Trump supporting friends assure me things cannot get worse. Either they have no historical information or no imagination. If this is the worse, I’ll take it.

  19. boxty Says:

    Trump is the Sam Adams of our day.

  20. NeoConScum Says:

    The Democrat Left (pardon the redundancy) is rooting for Donny Boy with enthusiasm. They fear and detest Marco Rubio. Jeepers, a ‘Tell’ or what?!

  21. Irene Says:

    fyi, neo

    https://www.yahoo.com/politics/with-gop-nomination-looming-trump-slated-to-take-191550876.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    boxty:

    Sure thing, in the same sense that a shiv and a scalpel are knives.

    Let’s see, Sam Adams:

    After leaving Harvard in 1743, Adams was unsure about his future. He considered becoming a lawyer, but instead decided to go into business. He worked at Thomas Cushing’s counting house, but the job only lasted a few months because Cushing felt that Adams was too preoccupied with politics to become a good merchant. Adams’s father then loaned him £1,000 to go into business for himself, a substantial amount for that time. Adams’s lack of business instincts were confirmed: he loaned half of this money to a friend, which was never repaid, and frittered away the other half. Adams would always remain, in the words of historian Pauline Maier, “a man utterly uninterested in either making or possessing money”…

    Drawing heavily upon English political theorist John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, Adams’s essays emphasized many of the themes that would characterize his subsequent career. He argued that the people must resist any encroachment on their constitutional rights. He cited the decline of the Roman Empire as an example of what could happen to New England if it were to abandon its Puritan values…

    Like his father, Adams embarked on a political career with the support of the Boston Caucus. He was elected to his first political office in 1747, serving as one of the clerks of the Boston market. In 1756 the Boston Town Meeting elected him to the post of tax collector, which provided a small income. Adams often failed to collect taxes from his fellow citizens, which increased his popularity among those who did not pay, but left him liable for the shortage…

    “When the Boston Town Meeting approved the [Sam] Adams instructions on May 24, 1764,” wrote historian John K. Alexander, “it became the first political body in America to go on record stating Parliament could not constitutionally tax the colonists. The directives also contained the first official recommendation that the colonies present a unified defense of their rights.” Adams’s instructions were published in newspapers and pamphlets…

    n Boston, a group called the Loyal Nine, a precursor to the Sons of Liberty, organized protests of the Stamp Act. Adams was friendly with the Loyal Nine, but was not a member. On August 14, stamp distributor Andrew Oliver was hanged in effigy from Boston’s Liberty Tree; that night, his home was ransacked and his office demolished. On August 26, lieutenant governor Thomas Hutchinson’s home was destroyed by an angry crowd.

    Officials such as Governor Francis Bernard, believing that common people acted only under the direction of agitators, blamed the violence on Adams. This interpretation was revived by scholars in the early 20th century, who viewed Adams as a master of propaganda who manipulated mobs into doing his bidding. For example, in what became the standard biography of Adams, historian John C. Miller wrote in 1936 that Adams “controlled” Boston with his “trained mob”.Some modern scholars have argued that this interpretation is a myth, and that there’s no evidence that Adams had anything to do with the Stamp Act riots. After the fact, Adams did approve of the August 14 action because he saw no other legal options to resist what he viewed as an unconstitutional act by Parliament, but he condemned attacks on officials’ homes as “mobbish”. According to the modern scholarly interpretation of Adams, he supported legal methods of resisting parliamentary taxation—petitions, boycotts, and nonviolent demonstrations—but he opposed mob violence, which he saw as illegal, dangerous, and counterproductive…

    Adams was the primary author of a series of House resolutions against the Stamp Act, which were more radical than those passed by the Stamp Act Congress. Adams was one of the first colonial leaders to argue that mankind possessed certain natural rights that governments could not violate.

    It goes on and on and on, but I don’t see a word in it that corresponds to anything about Donald Trump. Adams was a serious, lifelong political person with a coherent and consistent political philosophy that he was extremely adept at articulating, held many offices and was extremely cognizant of defending liberty against tyranny. He also had no interest whatsoever in money, and was a paragon of moral rectitude (somewhat of a puritan, actually). His repetition as an advocator of mob violence was incorrect.

    Adams was also extremely wary of a strong central government. And how about this:

    Adams focused his political agenda on promoting virtue, which he considered essential in a republican government. If republican leaders lacked virtue, he believed, liberty was endangered. His major opponent in this campaign was his former protégé, John Hancock. The two men had had a falling out in the Continental Congress. Adams disapproved of what he viewed as Hancock’s vanity and extravagance, which Adams believed were inappropriate in a republican leader.

    Donald Trump should not be mentioned in the same breath as Sam Adams—unless, of course, your statement was ironic, and what you meant to emphasize was the “of our day” part.

  23. Cornflour Says:

    I know there’ve been one or two commenters who’ve regularly talked about the alt-right, and I know that Neo’s promised a longer piece on the alt-right, but maybe now’s a good time for somebody to flesh out some definitions and some causal arguments. Maybe even some data?

    All I know is that I’ve run into a lot of Trump supporters, but neither they nor I know anybody who’d call themselves part of the alt-right. Maybe they’re just too dumb to know that they’re being manipulated by this new clever clan.

    I live in a very remote part of the country, but I have access to Google and to a university library, and neither seemed to help much. According to a “Weekly Standard” article, “Taki’s Magazine” is a hot spot for these alt-right types. I read Taki’s pretty regularly. Maybe I’ve become alt-right without even knowing it? Clever bastards, I guess.

    Seriously, explanations anyone? I’m not convinced that Trump’s support is significantly derived from alt-right machinations. But then, I’m not even sure who the alt-right is, so maybe I’m wrong.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornflour:

    That Weekly Standard article explains somewhat:

    Known collectively as the “alternative right,” this amalgam includes neo-reactionaries, monarchists, nativists, populists, and even a few self-declared fascists. They mostly congregate online, with a large swath of blogs and websites dedicated to their concerns. As an example of how truly diverse the alt right is, major and proverbial watering holes for them include everything from Breitbart and the libertarian-leaning Taki Mag to Alternative Right—a blog that openly supports white nationalism.

    Yet as scattered and ideologically diffuse as it is, the alt right has had real success. “GamerGate,” along with the wildly successful Twitter hashtag #cuckservative, are apt displays of why the alternative right has often proven more effective at fighting progressive dogma than the traditional Republican party. How? The alt right taken the fight to the left in the best way possible—they’ve co-opted its tactics and deployed them against their bully makers. The end result: Trump, the darling of the populist alt right (and its cousin, conservative talk radio), is miles ahead of his challengers, while the right-wing blogosphere is everyday gaining ground against the left and converting plenty of American voters along the way.

    The alt right can cause some stomachs to churn: Even though the alt right loves to mix it up with Gawker and Salon types, it (like Trump) may enjoy picking on other conservatives even more. Republican hesitancy to accept the alt right into the fold therefore makes sense for several reasons, especially since it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the alt right couldn’t care less about the Republican party.

    What I have personally noticed is their dedication to comments sections and the amount of time they put into it, posting false facts, and basically trolling everyone till they have taken over the comments by frustrating everyone there into leaving. They are fighting the traditional right much more than the traditional left—conservatives of the ordinary sort are not their allies, they are their enemies. You can recognize them because they use exactly the techniques that leftists use, and they believe ends justify means. They support Trump, but as their “tool” and/or their “weapon” to destroy the GOP and replace it.

    And some of them are indeed neo-Nazis. I have no idea what percentage; certainly not all.

  25. Becky Says:

    If the term cuckservative is used, you are probably in alt-right land. Trump connects with voters I am told. Every candidate connects with voters. Trump is loud, boorish, ignorant and flamboyant. I feel like Bret Stephens when he wrote in the WSJ last year “If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling.” Rush Limbaugh took offense that supposedly offending these people was not a good idea. Offending the offensive is not a good idea. I’m embarrassed to say I have paid for a Rush subscription for years, and I think like Bernie supporters, free is better.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Becky:

    I find that I’m rather constantly appalled these days by so many things I don’t have time to list them all. But the entire Trump phenomenon is certainly one of them.

    Whenever I say something like that, a lot of people respond that well, it’s understandable, because people are angry, and I must not understand the depth of the anger or the reasons for the anger. Well, I’ve been here in the trenches for eleven years now, and I have gotten it, felt it to a certain extent, absorbed it. But there’s anger, and then there’s the response to the anger. One thing, anger, does not justify every possible response.

  27. boxty Says:

    Neo:

    Yes, I know historians have gone back and forth on Adams. But according to wikipedia:

    Peter Oliver, the exiled chief justice of Massachusetts, characterized Adams as devious Machiavellian with a “cloven Foot”. Thomas Hutchinson, Adams’s political foe… denounced Adams as a dishonest character assassin… In 1923, Ralph V. Harlow used a “Freudian” approach to characterize Adams as a “neurotic crank” driven by an “inferiority complex”. Harlow argued that because the masses were easily misled, Adams “manufactured public opinion” to produce the Revolution .

    Those first two people were Adam’s contemporaries and they speak of Adams pretty much the way you portray Trump and his supporters.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    boxty:

    No, actually, that bears no resemblance to what I’ve said about Trump. “Cloven foot”? ““’neurotic crank’ driven by an ‘inferiority complex'”? Could not be further from my descriptions.

    I don’t usually get into devil comparisons. And one thing Trump is not is neurotic—he has a character disorder in my opinion, which is not the least bit neurotic. “Inferiority complex”? That’s actually laughable. Let’s just say I’ve never once accused Trump of anything of the sort. If anything, he is deeply convinced of his own superiority.

    Nor has Trump “manufactured public opinon.” He has ridden public opinion and molded himself to it. Very very different.

    However, it’s all irrelevant. Even had I said those things about Trump (which I did not)—you are reporting contemporary propaganda about Sam Adams as though it were fact. And even were that propaganda true, saying Trump has certain characteristics of Adams (for example, if they both had inferiority complexes—a term I don’t use, by the way, for anyone)—would not make Donald Trump “the Sam Adams of our day.”

    Sam Adams was brought up by you because I had mentioned the Founders in my post, and what I was explicitly talking about was their belief about government, and leaders, not whether they had “inferiority complexes” or not. Your comparison of Trump to Adams was in that context, and as such I pointed out that they have virtually no attitudes towards politics or political history or money in common. In fact, you could almost call them opposites.

    Perhaps you are trying to be illogical, in order to troll.

  29. For some I guess this is a feature, not a bug – Out of the blue Says:

    […] As Neo writes: […]

  30. geokstr Says:

    One thing about Sam Adams is undeniable – he invented some really cool beers.

    🙂

  31. boxty Says:

    Sam Adams was called by Jefferson the father of the American Revolution. You may call it myth or propaganda, but he is known as the chief rabble rouser and instigator by his inflammatory rhetoric, the same way many view Trump.

    True, you don’t use the exact same insults as Adams’ political rivals of his day (do you have any evidence they are made up? Tell Wikipedia), but you’ve repeatedly insulted Trump and his supporters. And I can surley dig up quotes by many of his detractors calling Trump crazy, narcissistic, liar, etc. on this blog.

    No, I’m not trolling you, but maybe you are trolling me by being so literal.

    I don’t know if I responded to your previous comment in another thread, but I’ve been reading your blog for years. Trump is one of the few areas I disagree with you and feel the desire to comment on. I will also add that unlike most former leftist bloggers turned conservative, you are almost always polite and we’ll reasoned. But not with Trump, IMO.

  32. blert Says:

    Cornflour Says:
    February 23rd, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    I know there’ve been one or two commenters who’ve regularly talked about the alt-right, and I know that Neo’s promised a longer piece on the alt-right, but maybe now’s a good time for somebody to flesh out some definitions and some causal arguments. Maybe even some data?

    &&&&&&

    Start your hunt at the Chateau ( Roissy ) // Heartist…

    Carry on to Steve Sailor — often cross published at Taki…

    You’ll find many raving posters at ZeroHedge…

    ( Which HAS TO BE a Putin crony-organ. )

    Plenty of anti-Jewish vitriol to be slummed through.

    Especially at Putin’s mouthpiece.

    Tzar Putin, I should say.

    &&&&&&

    That this crowd is influenced by Moscow — is beyond their ken.

  33. Becky Says:

    Neo-neocon
    I’m with you. I think what is hard to understand is the sustained and seeminly growing level of anger. The energy to keep that up must be exhausting. I assume it is a combination of groups that are frustrated for differing reasons, but the most common denominator is anger combined with impatience. For me, it explains Trump’s ability to say one thing one day, the opposite the next. Trump is willing to be their stooge.

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    boxty:

    I have been very polite about Trump supporters.

    I have only told the truth as I see it about Trump, using his own words and deeds. That may be inherently insulting.

    As for Sam Adams, the comparison is just wrong in every way, including the supposed insults of mine being like the criticisms of Adams. There is simply no comparison between the two men, except that they are men, and controversial. Their principles and deeds are all different.

    So you’re saying that Trump is our Sam Adams just makes no sense at all, and it’s an insult to Sam Adams. The man, not the beer 🙂 .

  35. Ymarsakar Says:

    This should be a nice wake up call for all those arrogant Americans that thought “it wouldn’t happen here”.

    Sure, it could. Because it is.

    That’s what the Germans and Japanese thought about their own systems in the last century, and paid a dear price for that mistake.

    Only through suffering, do humans learn things they have rejected.

  36. Ymarsakar Says:

    https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/the-great-men-on-pussy-pedestalization/

    Trump is no Adams, because Trump is a follower, not a leader or originator of the Resistance in America.

    Generation wise, Trump is too old. The reverse engineering of America has been made by Leftists for decades now. And the resistance has only cropped up recently, due to the internet.

    Trump is merely riding the wave of popularity, as he has always done. If he was engaged in social engineering, it would have been on the side of the Leftist alliance, not on the side of the Red Pill or the Alt Right.

    As for people wanting information on the Alternative Right, they should check the blogs and the culture. Learning the culture, will allow them to understand the politics, which will also allow them to understand why the Alt Right supports Trump as President.

    http://www.rooshv.com/bio

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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