by Brad Nelson 2/27/16
First off, I hope you like the new banner at the top. If you hate it, you won’t hurt my feeling for saying so. Being in the world of graphic design, you have to live with a certain amount of rejection and try to make the best of it. But I wanted to do something a little more basic and elegant. I may still fiddle with it in the days ahead. But what it was lacking was an “at a glance” description of what we are all about. We are indeed about the best (even when commenting upon the worst) of culture, politics, and entertainment. We strive every day, not to be perfect, but for subtle refinement.
Which brings us to The Donald. The latest poll says that 81% of GOP voters see Trump getting the nomination. Count me amongst them.
First off, I have not come here to insult Trump supporters, no matter how much Kool-aid they may have drunk. We understand that, much like Barack Obama, he is sort of a blank slate upon which you may write your own hopes and dreams. And I agree completely with what I heard on the radio last night from a prognosticator: Trump doesn’t have policy, he has opinions.
When does confidence range into over-confidence and even megalomania? That’s for you to decide. But clearly there is a “type” out there who are very comfortable with their pronouncements being sacred. You can understand the idea seen in The Ten Commandments when Yul Brynner as Pharaoh would often say, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Napoleon perhaps was the best example of this in recent memory. He was a totalitarian administrator whose word was the law, and he had a lot of laws.
So without trying to insult anyone, let’s first agree that Trump’s grounding is in his own self and his own sense of omniscient wisdom, not in any traditional American principles we would recognize as adherence to the Founders’ intent, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or the general principles of liberty in creative tension with societal order, all backed by a generally Judeo-Christian moral system.
Forget all that. Trump, if elected, will likely govern as he is campaigning: by the seat of his pants, making it up as he goes along, and putting up a wall of intimidation and bluster when he is opposed and his weaknesses exposed. That might make you pine for Napoleon who was at least an able administrator with a solid idea of where he wanted to go, even if he was an extremely authoritarian one. I expect Trump will be something like FDR but without the manners. Expect an alphabet-soup plethora of agencies and 3-year-plans, much like Roosevelt had.
But we’ve got what we’ve got. We could analyze the “whys” of it all until the cows come home and it wouldn’t change the reality that Trump will likely be the GOP nominee and thus a very good chance of being the next president. And the good news is that he won’t fold like a cheap tent in any debate with Hillary or Bernie. We would have someone willing to fight. Whether he is on “our side” or not is what causes so much consternation, for I don’t believe there’s any reason to believe that he has anything other than general liberal/Progressive (aka “New York”) values. And if you are a conservative trying to squint just right and see Trump as a fellow traveler, then good luck with the cognitive dissonance.
Perhaps the reason he is running as a Republican rather than a Democrat (where he would be a better fit) is his inherent love for America. The Democrats and the Left are a bunch of bed-wetting America-haters whose calling card is grievance and whose identity is victimhood. Trump is not a victim, and if he grieves for anything it is seeing America torn apart by the jackals of anti-Americanism. Whether or not he understands the source of this is doubtful. Trump is an “intuitive” person (read: impulsive) and it’s not likely he’s able to stop and take a look at what we here see as the core poison of our culture: The Left.
Trump, much like Establishment Republicans, accepts (knowingly or unknowingly) many of the premises of the Left even while (in Trump’s case) claiming to hate political correctness. What a Trump nomination would do would be, ironically, what the Establishment Republicans have been trying to do — redefine the center (moving it leftward). The GOP Establishment, through the sheer alchemy of political will, wants to redefine what it is to be a Republican and a conservative so that it meshes with at least a solid majority of the American people (or what they think that majority is or should be). And here’s where the similarity ends, for with the GOP it’s probably worse than even that, for the GOP has lost faith in the American people as Angela Merkel has in Germans and Europe. Gilbert T. Sewall writes in an article you should all read:
Globalists embrace cheap labor and expanding markets. Migrants are, they say, essential ingredients of Europe’s population growth, economic welfare, and healthy future. Older Europeans should count on newcomers to fund their future old-age benefits. In their dreams EU officials and employers perceive the migrants as a reservoir of talent able to “rescue” economies.
Perhaps this explains Trump voters. On an intuitive level they know the fix is in against them. They know that the Ruling Class does not (as Rush Limbaugh has often noted) have their best interests in mind. Average Americans are being dismissed just as the native populations of Europe are being dismissed. The issue of illegal (or legal Muslim) immigration is the focal point of this, but by no means the totality of this issue. But it is one we can all put our finger on and understand.
One of the creepiest things about Marco Rubio — and this includes Ted Cruz to some extent — is this recent GOP emphasis of The American Dream equating to the immigrant, against all odds, coming to America and achieving success. And that’s a fine paradigm. But I think it’s obvious now that the emphasis on the paradigm betrays the Ruling Class’s dismissal of ordinary Americans. Who is championing their cause, their ability to rise and prosper?
Well, although Cruz is certainly not against this, it’s Trump who is rightly seen as the champion of average Americans. He may be a bull in a China shop regarding the details, but his general emphasis is clear. Perhaps that’s why there is such sting (and persuasive power) in trying to cast Cruz as a Canadian. This may be unfair, but good god, aren’t we all tired of putting foreigners first, of blaming America first?
This is why the nitty gritty of Trump’s various own lies and transgressions don’t matter to his supporters. They’re not interested in electing a Pious-in-Chief. They want a fighter, someone who will finally put average Americans first, and not in the lying way of Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton who feign respect for “the little guy” but for whom power is their game. And although I think Ted Cruz would be a better president, perhaps ultimate justice will be done and Trump will nominate him to the Supreme Court.
Yes, I realize just now I was seeing Trump in the way I wanted to see him, as this year’s open-ended “hope and change” candidate. You can read into him what you want. But reality reminds me that this is the fellow who thinks his partial-birth-abortion-loving sister would be a great justice. When push comes to shove, at least regarding Supreme Court nominees, we may think GWB’s Harriet Miers was a sane choice compared to whatever Trump comes up with.
But for now we have our little Napoleon who we hope will, if elected, use the vast powers of the state in our interest while sticking it to the powers that be. We just hope that the Constitution and the rational rule-of-law-guided-by-wisdom isn’t one of those “powers that be” this is also a casualty.
Trump’s election to the presidency would be something to watch…perhaps morphing the presidency into the largest Reality TV show on the planet. I guess that’s better than Hillary.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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