Cult of Trump

Kunk Fu Zoby Kung Fu Zu3/26/16
The American political system is deathly ill. And although Donald Trump is not responsible for the sickness, his campaign is an unmistakable sign of national degeneration. It is a cancerous carbuncle which has finally surfaced due to the years of untreated corruption in the body politic.

This carbuncle consists of not only Trump and those running his immediate campaign operations. If it were only those people, the country would not be in such dire straits. Worse than those opportunists are many of Trump’s supporters who are dishonest, extremely vulgar, and ill-informed, yet they act like vicious sheep. They have no sense of honor, much less honor itself. They latch on to every rumor and lie about Trump’s opponents but ignore true criticisms of the Donald. They hold Trump’s opponents to a benchmark of perfection, yet turn a blind eye to Trump’s many moral and ethical faults. They claim Trump’s opponents are liars yet swallow, in amazing quantities, the dishonest ordure which Trump shovels down their throats.

Many claim to be Christians, but the amount of vile language, dishonest filth, and out-right lies which are part and parcel of this campaign, would offend true Christians enormously. Yet no one hears a peep from Trump’s Christian supporters.

Have you ever heard these Trump supporters suggest that he focus more on issues in order to improve himself as a candidate? Have you ever heard these Trump supporters admit that something Trump said might not be true? Have you ever heard these Trump supporters suggest that other candidates might have honest disagreements with Trump and are not corrupt? Have any of you ever heard these Trump supporters call him out on anything? No!!! In fact, too many of them are willing tools in spreading his dishonesty.

The actions of these people remind me of nothing so much as the mass insanity which developed around cults-of-personality in the last century. The Great Leader can be excused of anything. We must damn those who dare question him! When Trump stated he could shoot someone in the street and his supporters wouldn’t forsake him, he made it clear to everyone that there was something not quite right about these people. He knows the caliber of many of his adherents. One suspects he holds them in contempt, seeing them as useful idiots.

That a large portion of this country’s electorate could sink to such a level is shocking and a frightening manifestation of the sickness now upon us. What exactly gives Trump’s supporters the confidence that he would do anything he has promised?

He promises to build a wall and get immigration under control, yet has used foreign workers in his businesses for years. Do his acolytes really believe he is going to go after Wall Street in order to make things fairer? The man has huge real estate holdings in New York City, which would drop in value “big-time” should the financial sector be attacked.

Do Christians think he will support religious freedom or the right to life? The man has contributed money to LGTB causes including homosexual marriage. He has been, and still is, a big supporter of Planned Parenthood, the company which hawks baby parts.

Do workers really think he can bring back all those jobs to the United States? How can he do it? Sadly, a large percentage of those lost jobs have nothing to do with overseas labor. Rather they have to do with advancing technology. Those jobs are never coming back. Do people seriously think Trump can force American companies to stop building plants overseas and move all their production back to the USA? He cannot do this legally or practically. More and more U.S. based companies have large overseas markets which are very profitable for them. They are not going to give up these markets for the whims of Donald Trump. And by the way, isn’t Trump’s clothing line produced overseas?

More importantly, is Donald Trump going to tackle two huge problems which, unless solved, will continue to hold back the economy and keep a damper on employment. First, will he take on the welfare system which, in its present form, is a work-disincentive for many as well as a huge financial drain on the country? Will he take on the education establishment, which churns out millions of semi-educated graduates who are not fit for a job, certainly not for a job with any responsibility? I see no indication that Trump is willing to put the requisite energy into such ventures. I haven’t even heard him speak about these problems.

The country is at a crossroads. Our choices for the country’s leadership have come down to a communist, a criminal socialist, a disliked conservative outsider, and Trump. In the end, it might be understandable that one supports Trump, particularly against the communist and criminal socialist. What is not understandable is the complacent acceptance — No! the active praise — of the often dishonest, and frequently vile behavior which permeates Trump’s campaign, and which is on display by so many of those who back him.

Kung Fu Zu is a conservative prognosticator who has traveled widely and lived outside the United States. • (2301 views)

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80 Responses to Cult of Trump

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Some Trump supporters have shown themselves not to be cultists. Michael Savage, for example, was very critical of the latest smear of Cruz, saying he knows for certain it’s false, and called on Trump to condemn it. Trump won’t, of course, even though his own spokesman was one of the supposed mistresses (and has denied it completely). It will be interesting to see how Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, and Savage respond.

    As for his vile behavior, it gets harder and harder to say that at worst he’s still better than the Fire Witch. But at present, he probably still is. If nothing else, he might not be a pure leftist, and she will be.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Some Trump supporters have shown themselves not to be cultists.

    I agree and that is why I used “many” as a modifier. That being said, I have never seen the type of vile behavior and dishonesty as displayed by many of his supporters, in any other campaign.

    Perhaps the zombie-like behavior seen in some previous Democrat campaigns might come close. But I expect insanity from the Left. I don’t expect it from the right. Thus I am inclined to believe that many Trump supporters are simply Leftists who are not happy with the candidates their party has on offer.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Remember that a lot of Trump supporters are Democrats. It would be no surprise that those would act like Democrats because that’s who they are. What’s so disappointing is that at least some conservative Republicans are doing so too, though it’s hard to say how many. No doubt some white supremacists (who really aren’t welcome in either party) are also involved.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I even try to take into account that some of the really obnoxious Trump supporters are actually DNC plants and trying to put off reasonable people.

        But the number of his vicious supporters is simply too large for them all to be plants/trolls.

  3. GHG says:

    The dilemma I face, as a Christian, is whether to play nice and watch the country like a sheep be led to the slaughter or to align myself with a guy like Trump who has a chance to break the PC hold that neuters anyone who would be chaste enough for Christians to feel good about voting for them.

    And not to excuse Trump’s failings, I submit Obama as proof the country has already gone down the toilet long before Trump threw his red hat in the ring. And then there is Hillary who is the only one on the national stage who could possibly be a worse president than Obama.

    Yes, I prefer Cruz, even if the story about him having mistresses is true, but I truly believe the only one that has a chance to stop Hillary is Trump. I could be wrong but I just can’t see how anyone else on the GOP ticket has a chance to cancel the Hillary coronation. My vote isn’t “for Trump”, it will be “against Hillary”, and I suspect I won’t be alone in that thinking.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Understandable, but the polls (such as they’re worth at this stage) consistently show Trump faring far worse against the Fire Witch than Cruz. The latter tends to run about even, the former trails badly, no doubt due partly to his extremely high negatives. Of course, we don’t know how much of that is Republican who, faced with the choice of Trump or Slick Hilly, hold their nose and vote the former.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I could be wrong but I just can’t see how anyone else on the GOP ticket has a chance to derail the Hillary coronation.

      I have been inclined to that way of thinking, but now I find myself questioning it.

      First, there are numerous polls showing Hillary trouncing Trump in a general election. And there are almost as many showing Cruz level with or beating Hillary.

      I have questioned these polls, but wonder if they could all be so wrong.

      More importantly, I think the Trump mystic is beginning to crumble. Over time, his obnoxious and capricious personality is beginning to wear thin. This will only get worse in the coming months. Furthermore, with such a flawed grandiosity at his core, he will make bigger and bigger mistakes like the one he made attacking Cruz’s wife and implicitly accusing Cruz of various affairs. (Yes I know he claims he had nothing to do with the NE story, but even if he didn’t, which I don’t believe for one minute, read what he said about it and Cruz)

      In any case, I am confident the vainglorious man has hurt himself badly with both stories. Millions of women across the USA are not going to take kindly to the way he has acted in both cases. Even some men, like myself, will no longer let him slide as regards his despicable and dishonest behavior. I have always used the analogy of rather having pneumonia than lung cancer when picking parties. (The Democrats being cancer) But as far as Trump goes, I am being to see the choice as between cancer and cancer.

      Unless he comes out now and apologizes I do not think he can overcome the damage.

      I am beginning to see him and his campaign as the “Titanic.” Everyone thinks it is the place to be, but it has major flaws in its construction and is heading into icy waters.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think a solid case of cognitive dissonance is why a lot of Trump supporters must exaggerate (or just plain fabricate) the faults of Ted Cruz. They know they are dancing with the devil and thus must try to erase this fact.

    In my view, there is no reason to believe that Trump will follow through even on the few things I agree with. The evil of the Establishment Republicans and their corruption of the party has a lot to answer for. But in the end, we have a clear choice between Trump and Cruz. And it will be increasingly difficult for supposed conservatives to look themselves in the mirror as we continue to peal back the layers of this awful onion called Trump.

    Mr. Kung, you perhaps think you were being too harsh. But I think you struck the right reality-check tone.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Here is an excellent article published by PJ Media which lays out some truths about what is facing this country. The writer makes some very good observations about why Trump is not the man to turn the country around.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Yes, I’d read that (probably linked to at Hot Air). The best that can be said of Trump (with his campaign visible only to Arne Saknussem at the center of the Earth) is that he’s not as bad as Slick Hilly. And when we add in his attacks on Heidi Cruz (sparked by his refusal to be aware that Liz Mair’s PAC has nothing to do with Cruz), his threat to sue over unbound Louisiana delegates supporting Cruz, and now his “threat” to charge Michelle Fields with assault after his campaign manager was charged with battery against her (I referred to him as the Clown Prince of Barratry in a Town Hall posting in response), I’m beginning to wonder if even that can possibly be true.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Was this what Cruz was taking about when he mentioned, “New York Values”?

          As I said before, I really do believe the man is getting worse as time goes on. The more he is exposed to the public the more one wished him to get off the stage. Yet many of his more rabid supporters refuse to acknowledge his failings. They are beginning to remind me of Moonies.

          At this rate, he will succeed in getting Hillary elected to the White House.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            On the other hand, Ann Coulter complained that Trump was going “mental”, and it was getting to be like cleaning up after a spoiled brat. But she still supports him because of immigration.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              His position on immigration is, by far, the best reason to support him. But I wonder if he would do what he promises.

              The man has no problem saying anything which he believes will benefit him in any given situation. He is either a super-liar or deludes himself, big-time.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Not a chance he will do what he promises. I say the same thing about Ted Cruz. Not a chance. Doing anything about it is too controversial and would bog down any presidency. I think Trump is simply pandering. I think Cruz knows the seriousness of it. But politically it’s a hot potato, no matter that Trump shot to the top on this one issue. But neither will do anything substantive about it. As Rush would say. Don’t doubt me.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              On CNN Trump said the top functions of the U.S. Government are;

              1. Security
              2. Healthcare
              3. Education

              What constitution is he reading? I guess one out three is not bad.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Sadly, I suspect a large percentage of the population would agree with him. Partly this reflects the woeful state of education in civics in America. And partly this reflects the lack of interest too many people have in the subject, or political issues in general.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Oy boy. This isn’t even cause for “I told you so” because it’s pretty obvious that Trump is a big government liberal. But…I told you so. Not Mr. Kung. He already knew.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Trump is merely this year’s Obama. People see the kind of “hope and change” that they want to see. It’s willful blindness.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Oh where, oh where
              Has my Donald gone?
              Oh where, oh where can he be?
              With his lies called out
              And his nose grown long
              Oh where, oh where can he be?
              I think he went down
              To the building site
              To see what he could see
              And in his mouth
              Was a ball so bright
              I wonder what could it be

              Oh where, oh where
              Has my Donald gone?
              Oh where, oh where can he be?
              With his lies called out
              And his nose grown long
              Oh where, oh where can he be?
              I last saw him by the bulldozer
              Playing and running around
              But I just can’t see him there anymore
              He just can’t seem to be found
              Perhaps the man at Trump Tower will know
              He may have seen him go by
              Who knows where
              He might have decided to go
              But we’ve got to give it a try

              Oh where, oh where
              Has my Donald gone?
              Oh where, oh where can he be?
              With his lies called out
              And his nose grown long
              Oh where, oh where can he be?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        We find it oppressive to admire anything that is better than us. Instead, we identify with what is like us. That’s why we listen to singers who sound like an average drunk with a karaoke machine instead of Frank Sinatra.

        Oh, geezus. Greater truths have never been spoken. Sounds like Dalrymple. Or Mr. Kung.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most like us, of them all?


          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            His analogy couldn’t have been better. The inclusion of Sinatra was brilliant, of course.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I agree.

              And the problem arises from the cult of self-esteem which has been foisted on the country. As I have said before, there are a lot of little monsters out there, and worse yet, they have no taste and less talent.

              Or as my ole’ daddy would sometimes say, “they can’t tell the difference between chicken salad and chicken shit.”

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, I suppose they could be made to look a lot alike, and I certainly couldn’t smell the difference due to my chronic sinusitis. I’d have to rely on basic taste.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Mr. Kung, I think there’s a common theme here…one that intersects with Mr. Norris’ latest movie review. To some extent, we are a civilization that refuses to grow up. Our highest form of art isn’t Shakespeare; it’s a comic book movie.

                Partly this is due to the Youth Forever vibe. But I think partly it is due to the Progressive vibe, the idea that We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, which certainly intersects on the creepy self-esteem movement.

                But the opposite of “self-esteem” isn’t self-hate. It’s an appreciation for others. And that’s something our culture has trouble dealing with, specifically as depicted in many movies. It used to be we’d go to the movies (or books, or whatever) for a little escapism, to be transported to exotic places — real or imagined — that we have never been.

                But I look at the remake of the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. as a near perfect example of what I’m talking about. The yutes of today demand that their every conceit be portrayed and reflected back at them. In the case of Sherlock Holmes, it was to turn him into a trash-talking, ass-kicking, super-hero type of character, far from his cerebral self as portrayed in the Conan Doyle stories.

                The modern yute seems to have no desire to imagine how other people might think and feel and live — quite despite the raging (and utterly dishonest) multiculturalist vibe permeating the culture which supposes that appreciating how others think, feel, and live is the height of sophistication. In reality, “the other” is turned into a mere caricature, twisted to feed the “Aren’t I a nice person” narcissistic “self-esteem” yearnings. This is one reason, despite how many people it has murdered through the centuries, Islam must remain a “religion of peace,” for this is about reflecting nice on the multiculturalist, not obtaining reality.

                I think Trump to a large extent is about this. And I can’t improve on the words of David Goldman who said:

                We find it oppressive to admire anything that is better than us. Instead, we identify with what is like us. That’s why we listen to singers who sound like an average drunk with a karaoke machine instead of Frank Sinatra.

                Directly before the above, he also wrote:

                Donald Trump’s popularity rests on his knack for handling politics as reality television. Americans always have distrusted elites, but today’s popular culture takes this to a pathological extreme.

                This guy gets it. And…

                We like to watch ourselves in the mirror. This blend of narcissism and resentment is toxic. Trump’s bling-and-babes lifestyle has become a national paradigm for success. We’re not Trump’s constituents; we’re a virtual posse.

                Indeed, Trump is a sign of America reduced to a virtual posse. Love that encapsulation. This is terrific as well:

                Unless Hitler or Goebbels were to rise from the grave and run for president, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton; in a Trump-Clinton race, I will vote for Trump without a second’s hesitation. One can’t exclude the possibility that Trump might be a good president; he knows little and makes things up as he goes along, and might conceivably stumble on good solutions. But it is much more likely that he will preside over America’s continuing decline while saturating us with self-consoling rhetoric.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I will point out that the original Holmes was physically capable when needed, though Doyle rarely chose to show this. Recall that the boxer at the Sholtos respected Holmes as a fellow boxer. And Watson certainly was handy with his gun.

                Nor is any of this new; there has always been high and low culture, and the latter has always been much more popular. In Mark Clifton’s When They Come From Space (a rather amusing parody of an alien contact novel), there’s a brief reference to this — and that was 60 years ago.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                While Holmes, as created by Conan-Doyle, was a good boxer and able to defend himself, the Robert Downey Jr. Holmes is a cartoonish type of super-hero. Intellect is not his preeminent characteristic. Furthermore, the original books did not deal in any of the nonsensical over-the-top things like Holmes outrunning and surviving explosions which take place next to the him, etc.

                The two Holmes appeal to very different audiences.

                It is true that there has always been a high and a low culture. Democracy seems to lead inexorably to the expansion of the later. But I do believe America had a golden era during which the culture moved to a “middle-class” culture which tried to jettison the snobbery of the high culture yet maintain certain standards and raise the crudity of the low culture.

                This appears to be dead as Caesar’s ghost.

  5. rechill says:

    “they act like vicious sheep”

    I believe they’re called “dogs”.

  6. Lucia says:

    Keep in mind that come the Republican Convention in mid-July, if neither the front runner doesn’t have at least 1264 delegates, there will be a contested/brokered convention. Then all the hand-wringing about Trump and Cruz will be over. The GOP establishment will have their man on the ticket. What will conservatives do then? Get out the whiskey? Refuse to vote? Hold their nose and vote for the party? I for one will vote the party, after I’ve emptied the whiskey bottle, after I’ve taken up drinking.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That;s 1237, not 1264. (At least you’re closer than O’Reilly was recently; he had it as 1275.) One must remember that there will be a few hundred unbound first-ballot delegates, and not all of them will necessarily vote for the Establishment. (For example, Cruz is expected to pick up 10 delegates in Louisiana.) That total will increase on later ballots. But unbound doesn’t mean that they don’t favor a candidate, and if Cruz and Trump come in with close to 2000 between them, it may be very difficult for the insiders to grab the nomination (and it would be most unwise). But I can certainly understand your reaction if they do!

      • Lucia says:

        Thank you, Timothy. My husband said that if I started drinking I wouldn’t get very far anyway. One jigger would put me on the floor.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          This could also be a problem for Elizabeth and me, since we’re both teetotalers. But she does have those nose clamps (for nose-bleeding), which could come in handy this November.

  7. Timothy Lane says:

    A friend from SF fandom (a long-time FOSFAX contributor) sent me an e-mail with his suggestion that Trump’s success illustrates two quotes from Cousin Abe: “You can fool some of the people all of the time” (which he certainly has) and (of Grant), “I can’t spare this man — he fights.” Both play key roles in explaining his appeal.

    I will also mention here Hugh Hewitt’s interesting scenario for a Kasich-Cruz ticket coming out of Cleveland. His suggestion is that Kasich would argue that their ticket was as sure a thing (and a landslide possibility) as one can get politically, whereas Cruz would have no chance without him (a bit of an exaggeration, but Hewitt is probably right overall). Of particular interest, there would be a guarantee (not truly enforceable, but announced in public) that Cruz would be VP throughout Kasich’s term, would have Kasich’s support for the presidency after that, and would be put pretty much in charge of judicial appointments. This might almost make it worth putting up with Kasich’s liberal sanctimony. The link is:

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      An interesting piece, but unless Kasich wins another big blue or purple state, I doubt it could happen. It will be even less likely if Cruz wins Wisconsin.

      Any Republican ticket will need to win more than just Ohio in the midwest or northeast, and that is Kasich’s big chip. Let’s see what happens in Pennsylvania.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Yes, I think Mr. Kung summed things up well.

    The point was not that Sherlock Holmes couldn’t now and again defended himself. He did. But if memory serves, he was still overpowered by Moriarty’s henchmen.

    The salient point regarding Holmes is not that he could occasionally defend himself. The point is that he was approaching crime via the powers of his mind.

    Living as he often did by doing undercover, it was no doubt useful that he could defend himself if need be. But his muscle of choice was always Dr. Watson and his service revolver.

    What the producers of the Downey series did was to completely redefine who Holmes was. I mean, what’s the point other than leeching off of the Holmes name for marketing purposes? You might as well just create a new character and be done with it.

    Another interesting thing about the mindlessness of the comic universe is it is so ledge-centric. Holmes was actually multi-talented…including, on rare occasion, being able to throw a punch. But consider that the heroes of the comic book universe tend to be ledge-walkers. They spend much of their time jumping from building to building as the essential means to solve cases. It’s really stupid if you stop and think about it which, of course, is rarely done.

    Batman and Spider-man are basically dumb characters. Perhaps that’s one reason I never read them. But Superman, on the other hand, is a plausible character given the presuppositions of the character (coming from another planet, naturally strong, etc.) Plus, despite coming from another planet, it was the best of humanity we saw in him. He was a stand-in for that superman lurking (or so we hoped) inside of each of us. He would do the right thing. He would struggle against all odds. And, especially, he would protect the innocent from the thugs.

    His upbringing by good parents in Smallville, Kansas, underscores the fact that it was the strength of decent humanity that was combining with his special abilities. But it was the abilities themselves that had to bend to the teaching of Jonathan and Martha Kent. Super powers were a mere tool to an end. This was probably the last time that good values were ever associated with what the evil types such as Obama dismiss as the land of the “bitter clingers.”

    Holmes was interesting in that he had similar ethics, although his racing mind, in need of stimulation, often gave way to the seven percent solution. And it was with great care that he sometimes played judge, jury, and executioner. On more than one case did he decide whether or not to turn the criminal over to the police. But it was not because he was full of himself. He simply believe that there were times when justice was better served by the cops remaining in the dark on some subject.

    Many of the comic book characters we have are little more than various incarnations of wall-walkers. Ironman is probably one of the most boring of all. Okay, he’s got a suit. But so what? I’m assuming the comics were better because the movies were quite awful. And to turn Holmes into yet another wall-walker was supremely stupid.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Incidentally, there was actually a Superman story in which he encountered Holmes, even though the latter was fictional in Superman’s universe as well as ours. He was puzzled and wished he had Holmes’s help — and he got it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think Vlad has just encountered Sigmund Freud in “The Dracula Tape.” I’m at the point in the novel.

        Holmes, like a lot of fictional detectives, was good at what he did because he had such intimate knowledge of the dark side of human nature. He knew how criminals thought. Columbo shared this trait as well. Neither was naive about human nature.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Holmes, like a lot of fictional detectives, was good at what he did because he had such intimate knowledge of the dark side of human nature. He knew how criminals thought. Columbo shared this trait as well. Neither was naive about human nature.

          The same can be said of Miss Jane Marple whose frame of reference was the village of “St. Mary Mead”. In this small place, she was able to observe the full range of human character.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Oh, you betcha. Jane Marple had a very realistic view of criminal behavior. She was not at all surprised when she found it. It was expected.She was very good at thinking as a criminal would think, probably much more so than Holmes who relied more on the powers of evidence and deduction. Marple was more an intuitive.

            Now, what works in the real world, I have no idea. I get the impression that crime labs have taken over the detective work to the extent that perhaps very little mind power is used these days.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And Vlad encounters Holmes in the next book in that series, The Holmes-Dracula Files. Saberhagen argues that descriptions of the two were similar.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Kevin Williamson has a good article blasting Trump:

    Trump, who has no noblesse to oblige him, is constrained by no philosophy, no principle, and no real knowledge of our constitutional order. To admit that there is something that the federal government under Trump cannot do well is to admit that there is something Trump cannot do well, and Trump cannot endure the thought.

    Here’s an interesting article by Cooke:

    To his apologists, this malleability has suggested that Trump is willing to do “what needs to be done.” To those of us who value truth, however, it has demonstrated just how readily the man will abandon evidence and virtue if he believes that it will help him in the moment. One expects dishonesty from politicians; mendacity, sadly, is a part of how the game has always been played. But at this late stage in the proceedings, one is left wondering less whether Trump is lying routinely in an attempt to get ahead, and more whether he is in fact capable of comprehending the difference between fiction and reality.

    I’ve never read Richmal Crompton’s “Just William” books. But Cooke makes a good analogy regarding that juvenile character.

    Alas, it seems that a substantial portion of the Republican electorate considers this approach to be cute — or, at least, necessary. I do not. When William Brown believes that he is Blackbeard because he has a fencepost in his hand and some soil smushed into his face, it is endearing; when Donald Trump believes that he can will himself into Lincoln’s shoes simply by mentioning his name, it is scary. When William Brown offers up whatever expedient lies will help him escape the scrape he’s got himself into, it is diverting and funny; when Donald Trump demonstrates his willingness to say anything so that he can live another day, it is an alarming preview of the manner in which he would wield power. 

    Grain of salt: Neither of these gentlemen to my recollection have turned their considerable powers upon the GOP Establishment who is partly responsible for Trump. So buyer beware.

  10. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I really do believe the man is getting worse as time goes on. The more he is exposed to the public the more one wished him to get off the stage. Yet many of his more rabid supporters refuse to acknowledge his failings. They are beginning to remind me of Moonies.

    At this rate, he will succeed in getting Hillary elected to the White House.

    Trump’s reply to Chris Matthews yesterday is further proof of my above observation. The man has no political discipline and appears to be flying be the seat of his pants. No doubt there is more nonsense to come.

    This man is doing tremendous damage to the “Defeat the Democrats” cause. He should either bone-up on the subjects or shut-up. His stream-of-consciousness babbling ain’t cuttin’ it.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      A couple callers (rightfully so, in my opinion) got on Rush’s ass today for his “analysis” of Trump. I thought Rush gave a weak answer. He said his basic strategy was “Anyone but Hillary.” But Trump could arguably be as bad, if not worse. I’m losing some respect for Rush. I don’t think he’s being very objective.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        It would be possible for Trump to be as bad as Hillary, but hard to be worse. And he might not be as bad, whereas we know what we get with her. But every day he seems to make it harder. The problem for Rush is that he knows, and personally likes, Trump. This always makes it more difficult to view someone objectively (as does personal dislike).

  11. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Trump appears to have won all five primaries today, in some cases with substantial leads.

    At first glance this may seem impressive, but if one looks a little more closely, it is not.

    These “substantial” Trump wins, take place in States where the current Democrat turnout is about double the Republican. This held true for Trump’s win in New York as well.

    One of the supposed strengths of Trump was his ability to win States which Romney and McCain didn’t. From the numbers I have seen, this appears unlikely.

    So now we have a badly divided Republican Party, with a leading candidate whose great claim to put Democrat States in play is looking less and less likely and for whom probably 20-25% of the Republican base will not vote. Wonderful.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It was pointed out last week that Cruz got slightly more votes in Wisconsin than Trump did in New York. He thus shows no evidence of expanding the map into the blue states — though some polls show him in trouble not only in Utah (which voted heavily for Cruz) but Mississippi (which Trump won).

      Incidentally, John Hawkins had an excellent article on Town Hall today stating the case against Trump. The link is:

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’d say at this point that Trump is the nominee. He blew away Ted Cruz last night. Forget about how many more votes the Democrats had. That’s an irrelevant criticism of Trump in regards to trying to raise Cruz up…who, of course, got far far fewer votes.

        So we’re tethered to the Trump Express, like it or not. It’s arguable that Trump and Obama share one very important core attribute that doesn’t bode well for this nation: People see these candidates through the prism of the equivalent of their own “hope and change.”

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Trump hasn’t won quite yet. He was expected to do very well last night and last week, so he didn’t do that much better than expected. It reduces the margin for error, so that Cruz must win Indiana as well as all those states he was expected to win — and then he and Kasich have to hold Trump down to a very modest delegate total in California.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            …but I don’t recall ever hearing a Leftist running for office quoting Wright, Alinsky or Ayers.

            What does “expect” have to do with it? He won. He’s winning. Like Rush, I live in Realville. And I also agree with Rush that it is untenable for Cruz to come out on top through a second ballot (in case Trump is just short). Trump supporters would have at the very least a virtual meltdown. They’d stay home.

            It’s over. Now we just have to hope that this bomb-thrower throws them more toward ISIS than domestic conservatives or the Constitution. We can lament the fact that our nation will have a choice between Hillary (Communist) and Trump (god-knows-what). But this is who we have become. And my conservative friends can tie a bow around it and call it roses but that’s not going to change the reality that, once again, we are near to electing (or at least nominating) someone who’s strength is just pure, dishonest, manipulative rhetoric.

            We’ve learned nothing from Obama. And the shocking perversity of this “lying Ted Cruz” shtick shows how morally and intellectually bankrupt (or at least frivolous) we have become.

            Congrats to Trump. Now I just hope the hell he’s 1/4 as smart as he thinks he is.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Well, the Washington primary is May 24, and I hope you go ahead and vote for Cruz anyway.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              And I also agree with Rush that it is untenable for Cruz to come out on top through a second ballot (in case Trump is just short). Trump supporters would have at the very least a virtual meltdown. They’d stay home.

              I believe this has been clear for some time. I think that even if Cruz came into the convention with more delegates than Trump and won the nomination, a large percentage of Trumpkins wouldn’t vote for Cruz in the general election.

              I think that Trump has done himself tremendous damage with his disgusting and juvenile personal attacks on Cruz and Cruz’s wife.

              I am convinced this delayed his winning the nomination. And during this delay, many people became more disenchanted with Trump. The result of which is many Republicans and conservatives who might have voted for him will now stay home.

              Another point which interests me is how the more rabid kamikaze type Trumpkins, who revel in his vulgarity, will react if he actually does start to act “presidential”.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                If Trump doesn’t win, some of his voters (not all of whom are Republicans) will stay home. If he wins, some Republicans who would otherwise be reliable votes will stay home. I’d rather have the latter scenario. Even those extra votes Trump thinks he can get will probably vote for Demagogues at lower levels on the ballot. Overall, he costs more than he’s worth as a candidate.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I think that Trump has done himself tremendous damage with his disgusting and juvenile personal attacks on Cruz and Cruz’s wife.

                I am convinced this delayed his winning the nomination. And during this delay, many people became more disenchanted with Trump.

                Remember (for those out there lurking who might know that StubbornThings is a cut above), I don’t come at this from a sour grapes “my got lost” perspective. I don’t have a “guy” per se. I have an idea. America. As founded. Maybe without the slavery.

                But how the hell is Trump different from all the RINO candidates who marginalized, insulted, and otherwise lied to the conservative base? The stay-at-homes that Romney’s nomination caused could be dwarfed by the stay-at-home conservatives who see yet another Progressive Republican, no matter that this one has the vulgar touch instead of the “compassionate conservative” touch.

                Our culture has moved Left. You can put lipstick on a pig and call him a new type of “conservative,” but he’s still a Big Government pig. I’ll grant you that rolling back the influence of government and restoring some semblance of integrity will be difficult. But this is because it is so lacking in us. Thus we likely will have a Hillary/Trump matchup. And keep in mind the context of this: There are at least ten regulars here at StubbornThings who are more qualified to be president than either of these jerks who excel simply at demagoguery.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Timothy, I think Bernie voters will find it much easier to vote for Hillary than Cruz voters will for Trump. I could be wrong. But the “free stuff” mob doesn’t run deep. If Bernie can’t deliver free-everything-for-life, they know Hillary will deliver at least some of it.

                With the Cruz/Trump split, Cruz supporters have some idea that Trump is a fraud, another big-government, big-talking, deceitful politician. There’s no upside to voting for Trump other than as an anti-Hillary vote. And given the sheer spectacle of Trump’s unsuitability for any office outside of the city council of some podunk town, it’s no sure bet that he actually would be better than Hillary.

                It’s interesting that the rumor is that Cruz will announce Carly (not Simon) as his running mate. And according to CNN, he already has. To be honest with you, I’m not impressed.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                It’s interesting that the rumor is that Cruz will announce Carly (not Simon) as his running mate. And according to CNN, he already has. To be honest with you, I’m not impressed.

                I think the main reason for this announcement is to try and blunt the news that Trump swept the Northeast.

                I am also not so impressed. I think Carly’s main asset is that she is a woman. This is not enough.

                And I find it somewhat silly to announce your future V.P. when you have virtually no chance of winning the nomination. Hubris or desperation. Neither look good. And that has been one of Cruz’s biggest problems, he does not know how to create good optics. He may be the most conservative and smartest, but he either does not understand or doesn’t care about paying attention to optics.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Cruz was probably already looking at Fiorina as a VP choice, but the decision to announce it today represented an effort to make sure that the media chatter for the upcoming week is more than just “Trump the Inevitable” (as with Sean Hannity’s 2 hour Trumpomercial last night). He may not have much chance left, but he hasn’t quite lost and he isn’t giving up until he does. Nor should he.

                As for Fiorina, she has some useful government experience and has shown herself to be a capable attack dog (one of the main jobs for a VP candidate) against both Trump and HIllary.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Great points, Mr, Kung, about Cruz and optics. The Nelson & Kung political consultant agency should have been consulted. We’re for hire. There’s room for Timothy in there too.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                What was it Reagan said? To the best of my recollection is was something like,

                “I don’t know how anyone could be successful in this office and not be an actor.”

                He understood the need for optics in politics and that they are necessary if one wishes win the power to implement one’s policies.

                I think our recommendations would be too straightforward for most candidates.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              We’ve learned nothing from Obama. And the shocking perversity of this “lying Ted Cruz” shtick shows how morally and intellectually bankrupt (or at least frivolous) we have become.

              In 2008, many in this nation pledged themselves to a jackal. It looks like in 2016, many have pledged themselves to a polecat.

  12. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think our recommendations would be too straightforward for most candidates.

    I was just talking to a very fine (politician) man the other day, Mr. Kung. Names withheld to protect the innocent. But it’s clear that politicians are typically pulled in so many direction (everyone has an opinion…usually a mediocre one) that it’s easy to lose the pulse of America. And I think Trump has put his hand on the pulse of America. Unfortunately, it is an arrhythmic heart beat.

    The reality is that “conservatives,” by supporting Trump, have given away all the social issues because of a vague promise to “make America great again.” And although this slogan is 180 degrees in reverse of the Left which is always blaming America, no president can “make America great.” He or she can only set Americans free from the yoke of government and set a good intellectual and moral example of how an American conducts his life.

    Does that sound even remotely like Trump? His slogan might as well be “Re-making America great again.” That is, “fundamental transformation.” The aggregate of what he has said shows a strong desire not to get government out of your way but for government to lead the way.

    This is not a fix. This is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And it’s amazing to me to see so many conservatives — including especially Jeffrey Lord — go all goo-goo eyed over Trump. Proof that deep in the heart of human nature lurks the desire for an uplifting sort of transcendence. Orthodox and rational Christians say that this is something God put there and thus should be focused on the appropriate source. Orthodox and rational conservatives would then say that, although there’s nothing wrong with becoming enamored with a leader, we should be careful of willful blindness and asking more of our leaders than we have a right to.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I can understand why some conservatives prefer Trump given his strong stance on certain issues, especially immigration. After all, most GOP voters favor his temporary ban on Muslim immigration, which no other candidate supports even now. And he assures us how conservative he is now — and who knows, he might even mean it. (And most of his opponents were no more likely to mean it than he was an is.) But it’s sad to see how completely some idolize him despite all his gross and obvious character flaws (e.g., Ann Coulter).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think the most pertinent point in that Townhall article you linked to was #4:

        4) It’s almost impossible to know where he stands on any issue:
        Trump is like a used car salesman who’s quitting his job tomorrow and will tell you anything you want to get you to sign on the dotted line. You want a Muslim ban? Trump will provide it. How? No idea. Do you like Planned Parenthood? Good, Trump thinks they do great work. Oh, you hate Planned Parenthood? Well, he’s going to cut off their funding because they’re bad.


    As far as Cruz’s choice of Fiorina, I think it was a good one in that Fiorina could very effectively attack Hillary without paying any “likeableness” penalty as Cruz might. I always believed, even before she announced her candidacy, that Fiorina would enter the race for the Republican nomination for two reasons: she thought she might get the VP slot, and she thought she could do better against Hillary than against, say Joe Biden. And although I’m not really a Fiorina fan – think of her as a tougher-although-female version of Mitt Romney – I think she was right on both counts.

    There is that one little problem, though: before she can get at Hillary, she and Cruz have to get past Donald Trump. I think it somewhat more likely than Brad does that Cruz could get the nomination on the second (or third) ballot. And it is certainly true as Tim mentions that many of Trump’s supporters will never vote for Cruz, just as many Cruz supporters will never vote for Trump. The Republican Party was divided long before Trump made the scene, and that fact was always likely to imperil the chance for victory over the Democrats in 2016.

    As far as today’s results, I can’t say they were disappointing: the Republican Party in the Northeastern states is only slightly to the Right of the Democrats, so a guy like Cruz will always have a hard time selling his message there, and Trump’s sweep was predicted. It will be ironic if these states, plus California, put Trump over the top since he has no chance of winning any of them in November.

    All we can do at this point is continue to try to persuade Republican voters in the remaining primary states of the importance of voting for Cruz.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One minor correction: Pennsylvania has a significant conservative element and is at least more winnable than most northeastern states. There’s a sizable moderate conservative element among Maryland Republicans as well. But the reality is that Trump probably won about 20 more delegates than expected over the past 2 weeks. A big defeat in Indiana would cancel that.

  14. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Instead of getting caught up in the emotion of a cult of personality, our job here is to be as objective as possible in stating what is going on. With the election of Hillary or Bernie, what’s going on would be quite obvious: We would continue to be turning into a collectivist society where the mores of life derive from the dictates of a government class intent on power, grievance (based upon atheism), and building an earthly utopia.

    One can at least admire their gumption for this pipe dream. We’re all equal (any perversion is as good as another). We’re all loosy-goosy non-judgmental (except about the 1000-and-one Leftist core dogmas). We’re all “diverse.” (See previous point.) Etc., etc., etc. Most of us have a fairly good idea the kind of cold blandness of such a collectivist society. But it does offer a pleasing vision to the masses. And “masses” is what we become as we go leftward. Despite conceits of individualism and liberty in the Leftist vision, the individual is actually de-emphasized. You are who you are not in relation to your god, family, job, or friend. You are who you are in relation to the state. The state more and more becomes the culture. And for the state, individual ideas and choices become an inconvenience.

    Now, someone tell me how pop-culturalist Donald Trump is at all at odds with this. To me, the adoration of Trump is simply a tightening down of the screws after the ratchet has yet again clicked leftward. To adore Trump is to adore the kind of low, two-faced, shallow beings we become when low-pop-culture meets government culture. We are “the masses” yet again even as we fool ourselves that because Trump is supposedly politically incorrect (he is not…no one who supports gender-bending bathroom use is a maverick). It’s arguable that never again with the United States elect a president who is even marginally a decent and honest man.

    We don’t want decent and honest. And to be fair to the besotted masses, the many establishment men who have been posing as “decent and honest men” have been the biggest liars of all. So, yes, I understand at least part of the Trump phenomenon. Here is an outsider not supposedly cut from the same inside-government cloth. And yet what people miss is that Trump is tethered to little more than the vapid milieu of Progressive/PC culture that he, and most people now, have been steeped in. Even more powerful than this is the centrally of his ego. The man doesn’t talk about the greatness of America but the supposed greatness of himself.

    Perhaps because most of us have been stewing in this same awful brew of popular culture of self-love and mixed morals, we don’t notice Trump’s (to me) obvious low-lifeness. Perhaps we don’t want to notice it because it would expose our own conceits. And the really sad fact is that we need a straight-shooter. We need straight-shooters in all areas of our culture, not just government which is heavily populated by obsequious liars. But instead we keep electing liars of one sort or another. And I would say that we are “falling” for yet another one, but can you fall for something that you on some level desire?

    We have become “the masses,” bred on a vulgar popular culture which is heavily steeped in the unreality of Progressive dogma where even the bathroom you belong to is simply a matter of “feeling,” not reality. I think people have lost their bearings. We have work to do on ourselves first before there is any chance to elect politicians who won’t be the same old practiced liars and deceivers. They tell us stupid lies because we continue to want to believe those lies. There are many reasons for this. To some extent we are drowning in our own success in the marketplace where there are a couple dozen choices of toothpaste on the shelf. We want. We want. We want. And our every little precious-princess desire keeps getting fulfilled.

    This is the marketplace that politicians are now competing in. The idea of doing without, of biting the bullet, of making choices (instead of having it all), of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps — any idea of government as not a social provider of more comforts has gone completely out the window. And Trump is no different. He’s not going to in this case “lower the oceans and heal the planet.” But he’s going to “make America great again” which means…well…what? How can anyone know? We’ve reduced ourselves to a mere Pavlovian slavery to vague promises. Trump is simply the latest toothpaste on the shelf.

  15. Steve Lancaster says:

    You need to read the True Believer to understand Trump. Months ago I called this a genuine mass movement and that seems to be what it is. My prediction is that Trump will win with about 325 or more electoral college votes. The media will be shocked, Rush will say, “I knew it all along”, Mark Levin will say, “the country is doomed”.

    The only question about Trump is can he transform himself from a charismatic leader into a practical man of action capable of forming coalitions and governing? If he can do that, as Reagan did, then he will be a successful president.

    BHO, also is a charismatic leader but he failed to become a practical man of action. The evidence of this was his famous meeting with republican leaders over healthcare. Remember, “I won, you lost”. A leader who can build coalitions can be successful those who don’t or won’t are losers.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Steve, I’ll see if I can find some time to read True Believer by Eric Hoffer. But having gone through the phase in my late teens or early twenties when I thought Ted Kennedy would be a great president, I’m reasonably familiar with the idea of naive hero-worship.

      It will be interesting to see if your electoral college numbers work out. The conventional wisdom is that Trump’s negatives are the indicator that he will be repelled by the nation at large. My own thought is that anyone can trounce Hillary if they simply show themselves to be a safe and reasonable alternative. What “safe and reasonable” means translates to “liberal” in most quarters. But nobody except a hardcore man-hating/pajama-boy coalition actually likes Hillary. If Trump can present himself as a Progressive alternative (while fooling the rubes on the right who are gun-shy because of Establishment Republicans), he could certainly squeak out a victory.

      I think Trump is naturally a man of the Progressive left. Others think this is simply his marketing strategy and that the true ideology of Trump is Trump. Whatever the case may be, his next job will be to present himself to the populace at large who are not thoroughly disgusted with that political establishment as are typical Republican voters (so much so that they have lost their minds). That could be tougher than it looks. “Conservative” voters have been motivated to look past Trump’s many clear inconsistencies, if not lunacies. Will the potential “Reagan Democrat” type of voter do the same?

      I keep saying that Trump needs to tighten his game up a little, for if he doesn’t, people will catch on that he’s just a blow-hard like Obama. Lots of rhetoric, very little thoughtful expertise. Well, we’ll see. We’ll also see if Trump goes after Hillary with the same gumption that he took on conservatives. I have my doubts.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        I also, have doubts. By nature I distrust anyone who lives on a charismatic level. But, the anger over the drift over the last quarter century is so palpable among people who normally pay little attention to politics that unless the anti-Trump forces can build a real mass movement to oppose Trump and that does not seem to be happening; then Trump is on his way to the WH and nothing will stop it. Its going to be a rocky ride either way.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Steve, I’m of the general mindset that I think you are. I certainly don’t mind being inspired. But as we grow older, hopefully we grow wiser and at least run our emotions through a reality check filter from time to time.

          And it matters what we are inspired regarding. And I’m a little out of the mainstream as far as being pulled the by usual weepy emotionalism of this Progressive culture who shed Oprah tears over the most stupid and superficial things.

          Want to be inspired by Bruce Jenner the Olympic athlete? Go for it. Nothing could be healthier. But anyone who gets weepy-eyed over his mental illness that is being expressed as gender confusion needs an emotional readjustment. Be inspired by Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill, Michael Jordan, or Booker T. Washington. But don’t waste your time on what passes for “inspiration” these day in the Oprah culture. And I certainly am not inspired by Trump’s generally bombastic and trashy character.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Jenner went to Trump Tower and made sure to use the women’s room, noting that he didn’t see anyone get molested while he was in there. Of course, even if we do develop a serious problem, 99% of the time there would be no molestation going on, but Jenner (unsurprisingly) is a bit weak on logic.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Jenner is perhaps a pure expression of the therapeutic, self-centered, narcissistic culture. Hey, I know I have my own stuff to work on: Patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, being a good listener, and I could no doubt add a few more. But it’s not my mindset to expect there to be a separate “argument clinic”-like alternative room that I can step into when I’m feeling particularly belligerent.

              But this Monty Python sketch is exactly what we see playing out as people expect the bathrooms to bend to their psychological maladies or eccentricities. Where we used to look at such people and say “Get real” now we indulge this nonsense.

              Not here. Not me. And you can cross Trump off any conservative’s list for his lame answer to the bathroom gender-bending issue. Sorry, but guys (and he still is a guy) such a Bruce Jenner need counseling and prayer. They don’t need their weirdness to be treated as normal.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Allahpundit of Hot Air just presented an interesting theory, that the Trump media will continue behaving as they have even when he’s up against Slick Hilly (and not just Fox News). Trump is good for ratings, and a Trump presidency would be much better in that respect than a Clinton redux. The link is:

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        But nobody except a hardcore man-hating/pajama-boy coalition actually likes Hillary.

        I think this must have been pajama boy in drag.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Oy vey.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          In the end all he had was a fake bomb and “information” that turned out to be a rant about corrupt government. For that he got shot 3 times, and deserved every shot.

          By the way, it turns out that John Boehner has compared Cruz to Lucifer and evidently thinks he was harder to work with than Reid and Pelosi. That explains a lot (including why The Donald is doing so well).

  16. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Check out this piece by Rosslyn Smith. Oh, there are some wonderful pull-quotes from this: 2016, the year of idealism, nihilism and obliviousness

    The unintended consequences of America’s growing social welfare state were compounded by the Baby Boomers’ embrace of transgressive values in public, even as the more prosperous among them largely practiced the traditional bourgeois virtues in their own lives. The who am I to judge others? mentality slowly spread until today demented wishes are being treated as unalienable rights. People conditioned into accommodating those who claim to have either special rights or special insights because of a deep belief in their own private reality are a threat to both our liberty and our prosperity.

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