The Donald’s Shaky Foundation

AngryChildby Deana Chadwell2/20/16
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who, deep in their core, are bolted to bedrock, and those who are loaded on wheels, on pontoons, on hang gliders, on whatever will allow them to roll downhill or to float with the winds whenever they come flying.

True, some flexibility is necessary; think how skyscrapers are designed to sway with the gusts, which is disconcerting to think about, but it beats the thought of the building snapping off in a gale, and we admire grace and a willingness to give a little. That giving stance however can only happen if one’s roots are deeply planted. Unless it is firmly and profoundly wedded to a holy foundation, the skyscraper can’t play willow in the breeze.

Neither can politicians. One of the many reasons conservatives have been so perturbed by our current president is his total lack of underpinnings – he’ll do whatever he thinks he can get away with. No limits, no law, and an ideology that’s completely divorced from reality. This has made us all very anxious, and when people live long in fear, anger eventually emerges.

Enter the Donald. I, too, have enjoyed listening to his bombast, his insults, his belligerent promises. It’s been a relief to hear our national anger voiced. But we’re at the point in this election where we need to be looking at him not as a spokesperson, as a safety valve, but as a job applicant, and job applicants have resumés; they have concrete, doable plans, and clear policies. I’m afraid that Trump’s platform can be (if I can mince the oath here) summed up thus: “Forget them!”[pullquote]Trump is like mercury; try to corral him and he scoots deftly out of the way.[/pullquote]

That does strike a nerve. People who would gladly give up our freedom for a rent check don’t deserve anything any better. Yes – F them. I agree; middle finger up. I’ve had all I can take of being called a racist, bigoted homophobe. I’ve had all I can handle of irrational conversations, whining demands, and starry-eyed utopians. I’m tired of being told that I have to feel guilty and hate my country. I’m done.

But I can’t tell if the Don is for or against the activities of Planned Parenthood. I can’t imagine how he’s going to make Mexico pay for the border wall. His stance on healthcare jangles all my neurons – how can anyone want single-payer health care and claim to be a conservative? Trump is like mercury; try to corral him and he scoots deftly out of the way.

Where are this man’s foundations? They don’t seem very deep and he doesn’t seem to be connected to them in any earthquake-proof manner. He’s really attached to the idea of “making deals,” which makes sense; that’s what he good at. But is that the job we have open right now? I don’t think so. America isn’t up for negotiations; we’ve had unstable – been there, done that – and it made us mad.

And, only addicts fight a hangover with the same liquor that got them there in the first place. Obama promised “hope and change,” whatever that meant. The Don says he wants to “make America great again,” but he’s not going to do that with liberal causes emblazoned on his banner. He isn’t going to do that “doing deals.” America made the mistake of buying Obama’s hope-n-change mantra without even asking, what he meant by change. Over half of America’s voters were not at all bothered by his promise to “radically transform America,” no one asked him how, let alone why. Folks swooned when he spoke in grandiose and messianic terms – “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!” Really?[pullquote]. . . we’ve had unstable – been there, done that – and it made us mad . . . only addicts fight a hangover with the same liquor that got them there in the first place.[/pullquote]

Obama had tapped into the media-induced Bush-hatred. The Donald knows this and he’s upping the ante – he’s tapping into that and to the vast right-wing Obama- hatred, but his official site only lists policy statements on five issues. He says nothing about education, about free speech, about how he’ll handle ISIS, about auditing the Fed, about the brewing pre-war mess in the Middle East, about Israel.

On the other hand, there’s Ted Cruz, who not only lists clear positions on nine different issues, but also links to information about what he’s already done in those areas and to articles he’s written on those issues. He not only stands, as does Trump, for the Second Amendment, but also for the First. He has policy statements on Israel and on foreign policy in general, not just on China and trade issues. And none of his ideas are radically different from anything he’s said in the past. This man is bedrock. Trump is a can rolling down the street; he makes a lot of noise, but he won’t stop rolling long enough for us to read the fine print on the label.

We all know in our gut that this election will make or break this nation; we’ll either trot along after failed European countries or the American people will prove how viable our system is and how fixable our problems are. Either/or – and I can’t tell if Trump is really aware of that stark contrast, or has the ability to do anything about it.

I also can’t tell if the Donald is operating on anything but human energy, or if he has a relationship with God that will give him access to divine assistance as he faces a multitude of frightening, existential decisions. Cruz was raised with that connection to the Almighty; it’s deeply ingrained in his psyche. I don’t think it is for Trump and the problems that face this country are going to need more than human solutions. We don’t need a preacher-in-chief; we don’t need to all shape up and be Baptists, but we do need to know that the most powerful man in the world can talk comfortably with the Father when he needs to.[pullquote]Trump is a can rolling down the street; he makes a lot of noise, but he won’t stop rolling long enough for us to read the fine print on the label.[/pullquote]

It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion. The Donald has the advantage of his flash-and-dazzle bravado, and the heart of America was formed with goodly dash of that of that Wild Bill Hickock showmanship – it resonates with most of us, and it may take that to grab the shallow, angry vote. But Ted Cruz is solid; with him at the helm the Ship of State will be able to slice through the storms that are forming just over the horizon.

Also deep in the heart of America is that reliance on the God of the Bible, on the importance of freedom and the rule of law, on integrity and determination, on courage and truth. Remember that Superman, in his everyday life was a “mild-mannered reporter.” Little by little people are beginning to realize that Cruz will, when the time is right, loosen his tie in a phone booth and fly to the rescue. I can hardly wait.

Deana Chadwell blogs at and is a writing and speech professor at Pacific Bible College in Southern Oregon.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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36 Responses to The Donald’s Shaky Foundation

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Deana, your points are terrific and I can’t improve on them. Several similar thoughts have been rolling around my head but you actually put them down on paper and articulated them well.

    I read Ann Coulter’s lastest column that is highly supportive of Donald Trump tonight. She makes some good points.

    But I couldn’t help thinking that she missed something basic. I’m pretty sure it has to do with being rooted, as you said. He is mercurial, as I’ve written before, so your use of the same analogy gave me a chuckle.

    He can bluster with the best of them. His “Make America Great” is indeed synonymous with an undefined “Hope and change.” Sure, Reagan had “Morning in America.” But he also had words, policies, and a very coherent political philosophy behind that.

    Trump is indeed Mr. Mercury. I’ve seen hip-shooters like this before. And they almost always make any situation worse.

    And what really sat in the back of my mind as the deal-breaker was the realization that Trump is not a good man.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Cruz did not win the evangelicals in the numbers people expected.

    Surprisingly, it appears that Trump won a fair percentage of evangelicals.

    This only strengthens my belief that a large percentage of those who call themselves Christians in this country are really anything but. Saying, “praise the Lord and thank you Jesus” does not a grounded Christian make.

    Trump lets people indulge in their more common inclinations and pretend that vulgarity is straight-talking, lack of a program is flexibility and lying is only lying when others do it as we all know Trump “exaggerates”, he’s just being Trump.

    That being said, like W gave birth to Obama, Obama and the GOPe gave birth to Trump.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Trump lets people indulge in their more common inclinations and pretend that vulgarity is straight-talking, lack of a program is flexibility and lying is only lying when others do it as we all know Trump “exaggerates”, he’s just being Trump.

      See my comment below Timothy’s, Mr. Kung. I do think Trump, much like libertarian ideology, represents an escape from any truly higher calling or purpose. Libertarians disguise their desire to have their personal sins sanctified by calling it a sincere regard for liberty and the Constitution. But it’s legalized drugs, prostitution, and anarchy that motivates them…the survival of the fittest. And these “brites” do think they are the fittest.

      Braggadocio and bluster disguise the fact that with Trump we would be electing a Juvenile in Chief, just as Obama was an Agitator in Chief. We’ll easily call Trump’s vulgarity “straight-talking.” And given the assembly-line of lies that the eGOP has fed us, there is much cover for pretending that someone who is opposed to the liars is therefore himself a truth-teller. But as Deana noted in her article, “only addicts fight a hangover with the same liquor that got them there in the first place.” And I do believe we are addicted to entitlements, grievance, forever juvenilism, and just plain life-as-nonstop-entertainment.

      Trump represents at least two things, and I think these are huge things: One, the primacy of entertainment in our culture. Two, that the hand-outs and bureaucracy in American are now so thick and intractable — approaching European levels — that it really doesn’t matter who we vote for president. The fix is in. Therefore all we have left is to be entertained — or even to throw a monkey-wrench like Trump into the works, if only out of sheer frustration. Even so, I’ll be the first to admit that it would be entertaining, the office of the president finally being turned into a reality show.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      This only strengthens my belief that a large percentage of those who call themselves Christians in this country are really anything but. Saying, “praise the Lord and thank you Jesus” does not a grounded Christian make.

      I think there’s little doubt of that, Mr. Kung. Still, one of the projects on my back burner is to do a circuit of visits to various churches (incognito, if you will) and report back on what I see.

      I can guarantee you in advance that all of the people will be “nice.” Of that I have no doubt. But I offhand don’t remember one of the Commandments being “Thou shalt be nice.” This is highly problematic because “nice” means never having to say no to anyone. It’s the pretense of kumbaya where everyone is accepted. But the reality is that no good standards are upheld. It’s religious narcissism, the complete opposite of the other evil, religious fundamentalism (although I would say these folk are very fundamentalistic in their religious narcissism).

    • Cruz lost the majority of the evangelical vote in both Iowa and SC because of his dishonesty. One thing that a true Christian will detest in someone claiming to be a Christian is their propensity to lie. Cruz lost all creditability with me once he and his campaign engaged in tricks and lies with the fraudulent campaign mailers in Iowa (and currently in Ohio) and what they did to Carson. Cruz has repeatedly (even as we speak) lied about Trump’s stance on the second amendment. Cruz claims that Trump would appoint someone to the Supreme Court who would take away our 2nd Amendment. Trump has consistently stated that he was pro 2nd Amendment. He says he even carries a weapon on him and is a member of the NRA. So where is Cruz getting his claims? This morning on one of the Sunday shows, Cruz claimed that Trump supported Carter, Clinton and Kerry. Where is his proof of that? Trump has admitted to donating to both Republican and Democrat campaigns. Any true Christian knows that Trump is not a Christian (although he claims to be a member of a Presbyterian Church) . Evangelicals that are voting for Trump are doing so because of his stance on illegal immigration as well his promise to bring back jobs from overseas. Those are the things that are most important to most hard working Americans. No other candidate including Cruz has touched on those things. As far as his profanity, Christian are not shielded from hearing profanity. I spent twenty-one years in the military and heard profanity all day long everyday. In addition, Cruz has no experience creating jobs nor making payroll. Trump has created thousands of jobs. In fact, building a wall around our border will create thousands of jobs. What is Cruz’s plan for creating jobs?

      As for the often repeated claim that Trump has not given any specifics, I would suggest that people read his website where he has outlined detailed specifics about his plans.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Basically, as far as I can tell, Trump claims that he has changed his views since he (for example) identified himself as pro-choice in 2000 or so. Cruz believes that the changes are insincere, and that once elected Trump will go back to his past liberalism (his New York values — a term he used himself back then). Who really knows? It certainly isn’t dishonest to be skeptical about Trump, as many of us here are. But given the way the nomination is shaping up, I sure hope you’re right about him.

        • Patricia L. Dickson says:

          What does Pro-Choice have to do with the 2nd Amendment? Also, Cruz has no room to question anyone’s sincerity after the questionable campaign tricks he’s been engaging in (the recent fake photoshop of Rubio and Obama). The Bible says that Christians are to avoid the very appearance of evil.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            The photoshop was a very bad move, a gross unforced blunder. It reminds me too much of the notorious 1950 smear photo of Millard Tydings. But none of these are perfect candidates. (I’ve lost a good bit of sympathy for Carson over his repeated whining over Iowa, given that neither he nor anyone else has cited any voters who switched away from him. That applies to Trump as well. They’re all politicians now, as KFZ has rightly pointed out.)

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Cruz lost all creditability with me once he and his campaign engaged in tricks and lies with the fraudulent campaign mailers in Iowa

        How were the fliers sent out by the Cruz campaign fraudulent? If one read the thing one would note it was from the Cruz campaign and not any type of official notice. What they were was a ham-fisted get-out-the-vote tool.

        Cruz claims that Trump would appoint someone to the Supreme Court who would take away our 2nd Amendment.

        Cruz is basing this claim, at least partially, on Trump’s saying his sister would make a great Supreme Court Justice. It should be remembered that his sister wrote a very strongly worded opinion supporting partial-birth abortion. Now, there has been some strong positive correlation between judges who rule that partial-birth abortion is a right and those who believe the 2nd amendment is not a right i.e. such judges are leftists and would swing the balance of the court for the negative. At least conservatives would believe the swing would be negative.

        This morning on one of the Sunday shows, Cruz claimed that Trump supported Carter, Clinton and Kerry. Where is his proof of that?

        Trump has gone on TV and said Clinton was his favorite president. Of course, now Clinton isn’t his favorite president. But this type of thing is quite normal for Trump. He says everyone is great until he decides they aren’t. One strongly suspects their greatness or non-greatness is in direct proportion to their use or non-use to Trump at any given moment.

        Until 1987 Trump was a registered Democrat.
        From 1987-1999 he was a registered Republican
        From 1999-2001 he was with the Reform Party
        From 2001 to 2009 he was again a Democrat
        From 2009-2011 he was again a Republican
        From 2011-2012 he was an Independent
        From 2012 to now he is again a Republican

        With the best will in the world, I do not see how anyone can interpret this frequent party change as anything but opportunistic.

        Donald Trump is clearly someone who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Anyone who does not see this is being willfully blind.

        That does not mean I will not support Trump if he wins the Republican party nomination. As things now stand, I will. But I am not naive’ enough to believe very much which comes out Trump’s mouth. He main advantage is that although he is a liar just like the rest of them, we can hope he may just keep a couple of his promises which is more than we can expect from the GOPe.

        If he built a wall, cut back on immigration and did not appoint a leftist to the Supreme Court I would be more than happy. But I will not hold my breath waiting for these things.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Any true Christian knows that Trump is not a Christian (although he claims to be a member of a Presbyterian Church)

        He not only said he is a member of the Presbyterian Church, but that he is a Christian, which are not necessarily the same thing, particularly today.

        So you cut Trump slack for being a liar, but not Cruz. This reconfirms my earlier observation,

        Trump lets people indulge in their more common inclinations and pretend that vulgarity is straight-talking, lack of a program is flexibility and lying is only lying when others do it as we all know Trump “exaggerates”, he’s just being Trump.

        One must admit that the man knows how to play the audience.

        • Patricia L. Dickson says:

          I do not cut Cruz any slack for lying because he courts the evangelical vote based on his supposedly deep Christian faith. I don’t vote for politicians based solely on their faith (I didn’t suppoert Hucklebee). I choose candidates based on their resume and experience. Cruz does not have any executive experience. He is a lawyer. We have had enough lawyers and senators as president. In addition, you can not lie on people based on some correlation. Yes Trump has flipped flopped, however; he has been consistent since the 1980s on immigration and foreign trade. There are youtube videos of him saying the exact things he is saying today. One thing that is certain about Trump. He loves America and always has.

          The flyers were tricky and deceptive because they caused citizens to be confused. True Christians should never attempt to deceive people. The flyers he sent out in Ohio were even more deceptive. The citizens thought they were getting a check but instead the Cruz campaign was asking for a donation. There is no need for this kind of activity in a Christian campaign.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            What you seem to be doing here is similar to what the Democrats (and especially the synoptic media) do when they say that conservatives should be judged on their fidelity to standards such as sexual morality, whereas liberals (being amoral) should not be. In other words, it’s the hypocrisy that really counts.

            This is fair within its limits, but one should note that a candidate should be judged by his own standards. So liberals who attack greed should be attacked for their greed in a way Republicans shouldn’t be, and Trump should be judged on the basis of the standards he uses to criticize Cruz and others. I doubt he passes the test of hypocrisy any better than Cruz does. I will admit he may not be any worse than Cruz either.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I have never said or intimated that Christians should support Christians simply for being Christians.

            I did not say you should cut Cruz any slack for his perceived transgressions simply because he his a Christian.

            What I have been clear about is that one should be consistent in one’s judgements, i.e. if one is offended by lies from one candidate then one should be equally offended by the lies of another candidate.

            But you are not doing this and are clearly cutting Trump a lot of slack as regards his lies.

            Perhaps this is because you like other things about Trump. The question of executive experience is a valid one. The point of Cruz being a lawyer is of course something which should be considered. But lies are lies regardless whether you support the one liar over the other.

            And by the way, according to your standards, a Christian can never seriously run for or be elected to the presidency. You are demanding near perfection from a Christian candidate, whereas you clearly do not demand anything like this for a non-Christian candidate like Trump. Do you think maybe you are spotting the non-Christian candidate a couple of points in the game?

            • Timothy Lane says:

              To be fair, I think Patricia is arguing on the basis that Cruz is running openly on the basis of his Christianity, and therefore she judges him on that basis. This would not apply to candidates who don’t run on their religion (as Rubio, Kasich, and Carson all do in varying ways). But even non-Christians (or those who don’t run on their religion, like Trump) should be judged on their own professed standards. For example, Trump criticized the Peron pope for questioning his Christianity, saying one shouldn’t do that — after having made similar attacks on Carson and Cruz.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                To be fair, I think Patricia is arguing on the basis that Cruz is running openly on the basis of his Christianity, and therefore she judges him on that basis.

                Even if that is the case, it appears to me that she is holding Cruz to an artificially higher standard than Trump. I do not find the fliers which Patricia is so upset about nearly as worrying as Trump’s well known and documented characteristic to take virtually every side of a question at one time or another. (OK a little hyperbole there.)

                I find it amazing that anyone could get so worked up about fliers which were clearly meant to grab the recipient’s attention in a hyperbolic fashion. Who could expect someone to send them a check in the mail for no reason? Who could believe the government grades citizens on their voting records? This is truly a tempest in a teapot which was used by both the Trump and Carson campaigns to arouse passion against Cruz. I have no problem with them doing this.

                But even non-Christians (or those who don’t run on their religion, like Trump) should be judged on their own professed standards.

                I think voters should hold all candidates to the same standard.

                If voters are going to hold Christian politicians to a higher standard then they are almost never going to get Christian politicians in office. By doing this, such people are falling into a trap set for them by the Left, i.e. have no standards for the Leftists, but hold Christians up to non-attainable standards. This is called ceding the game to the Left.

                Nobody, including the most devote Christian who ever lived can live up to Christian standards. That is why Christ came and died for the sins of humanity. At least that is what my Bible says.

                And as a side thought, I have met and heard Cruz speak in person and he did not spend a lot of time on his being a Christian. He spent more time on issues and the problems of the country. So I am not convinced he has been playing the religious card nearly as much as the media would have us believe. They are, of course, his biggest enemies and will do or say anything to make him look bad or hypocritical. That’s their old game.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Yes, one must ALWAYS be careful not to place any trust in synoptic media reports, given that their purpose is to push their political agenda while pretending (though less adeptly as their bias becomes ever more obvious) to be objective.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            you can not lie on people based on some correlation

            What was Trump doing after the Iowa campaign by claiming that Cruz stole the caucus? There is no objective truth to what Trump said or claimed. Not a single person has come out and said they changed their vote from Carson because of the Cruz campaign Tweet.

            Is that not lying on basis of some correlation?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Patricia, I’ve noted your objections and opinions. I’m of the mind that we have no idea what Trump will do, but if he at least secures the border, deports illegal aliens, and stops Muslim immigration, that will be a lot.

        But we have no idea what he will do in this regard. Promises are easy. He has no track record (not being a politician) so there’s a very large “hope and change” blank-slate element to Trump. Maybe he will. Maybe he won’t.

        From my perspective, there’s every reason to believe that Trump is a New York liberal who, at least rhetorically, is correct on one very important topic: immigration. But I believe he is merely pandering to us in regards to everything else. Once he gets the presidency (which I believe is a better than even chance), I would expect him to look little different than Bill Clinton. This is what “New York values” actually mean.

        Aside from immigration, the other major issue is nominating Supreme Court justices. And flying by the seat of your pants isn’t good enough. Trump, other than his New York Values, seems grounded in little more than his ego. He has said that his very liberal sister would be a good Justice (who apparently is very much pro-partial-birth-abortion, which means she is hard-Left). This is where Cruz’s principled conservatism and Constitutionalism would count for far more.

        Plus, despite whatever your misgiving are to Cruz’s honesty, I think he’s Mr. Squeaky Clean compared to Trump whose track record shows that he’s been on two sides of every issue. He’s a crude, vulgar man. Now, I don’t count that against him, per se. If he was crude and vulgar in the midst of doing the right thing, I could give a rat’s behind about putting style over substance.

        But I’ve known the type. They are big, loud, “movers and shakers” who have no art for the hard work of reform. And if Trump is to reform anything and not simply rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic (or, god forbid, add even more chairs), he will have to be grounded in something more substantial than New York Values. And I just haven’t seen it. To me Ted Cruz is the easy and obvious choice in this regard, despite whatever flakey things Glenn Beck may be up to.

  3. Billiam says:

    I often wonder if Obama/Trump/Sanders/Clinton could be possible without a seriously corrupt and un-discerning public. Have people lost the ability to look at someone’s life, and connect the dots as to whether or not they are blowing smoke? One look at Trump, and it’s obvious he’s so full of crap that his eyes are brown. None of those I’ve mentioned should even be, or have been, considered, yet, this is what we’ve gotten. I know not how one can have any optimism about the Nations future, when so many act like lemmings headed for a cliff.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Have people lost the ability to look at someone’s life, and connect the dots as to whether or not they are blowing smoke?

      We might well have indeed lost that ability. My own thought on this, Billiam, is that — if this is true, and it certainly is to some extent — it’s mixed in with our desire not to back any politician who is telling us to take on adult-like responsibilities. For all intents and purposes, Cruz is calling us to Valley Forge while Trump is promising us an extended escape from reality.

      Most of his bluster and bluff is highly non-specific. He’s going to make deals. He’s going to take care of everyone. He’s going to do it better (in regards to whatever the problem is). To me this non-specificity might mean megalomania from the standpoint of Trump personally. Could be. But from the standpoint of the electorate, it is this election cycle’s equivalent of “hope and change.” You can read into it what you will. But the reading will never challenge *you* to mend your ways or feel any pain.

      And the final corrupting influence — arguably the one that drove us to this point — is the Establishment Republicans and their pseudo-conservative lackeys in the pseudo-conservative press who feign seriousness and adulthood while either lying to us or just bamboozling themselves by high-sounding rhetoric while they rake in the money and power.

      Ted Cruz is arguably the one adult in the race on either side (not counting Ben Carson who is not a serious candidate). And that’s not to paint Cruz as a political messiah. He’s not perfect. But he’s the best we have at the moment.

  4. Timothy Lane says:

    An excellent article and responses. As I point out elsewhere, Trump can be seen as a protest candidate, like George Wallace in 1968. As such, the specifics don’t really matter much; he’s just there to enable everyone to shout, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Mad about what? There’s plenty to choose from, and the details may vary from person to person. The problem is that at some point, as Deana said, we have to decide not who will express our righteous indignation, but who will best serve to solve the problems that cause it.

    For the GOP, the danger is that this may only finally happen in November. There will be much understandable anger at Trump if this happens, and no doubt at the voters who chose him (though they cross the entire spectrum of the party). Naturally, they will refuse to consider how much of the blame falls on the leadership for their repeated failures to stand up to the Fascist Messiah. Any number of candidates can express the rage against Obama; many think only Trump can also express their rage against the GOP Beltway Bandits.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Ditto, Timothy. I think the StubbornThings braintrust has shined brightly on this issue.

      One quibble: I wouldn’t myself put Trump in such a tight little ball as a “protest candidate” as if that was some obscure category. I would say that label describes about every Democrat president of late. They are always protesting this or that, telling us how outraged we should be by the state of America.

      Every candidate lives in his own particular time and has his own particular qualities. Let’s imagine Trump had never entered the race. Who would be leading now? Possibly Cruz given the dissatisfaction with the Establishment status quo. I think Cruz has solid support but his is not a widespread appeal because, for the most part, Cruz isn’t blithely promising to just continue the party.

      I think that is Trump’s appeal. Much of the anger over “Bush lied, people died” isn’t that people died. It’s that money was spent that could have been spent on “free stuff.”

      I think this nation has long passed the tipping point of even wanting to preserve itself. Look at Europe. This attitude is real. There are those concerned about illegal immigration. But how many are simply worried about their jobs rather than lawlessness and the integrity of the country?

      The Cruz faction consists of those who are concerned for the integrity of the country. That faction is a distinct minority. They are concerned about the Constitution and the rule of law. I can’t be sure who would be leading the Republican field if Trump was not in it. I suspect Rubio. And I suspect he would then go on to be roundly trounced by a candidate (Hillary) that people correctly understood was for “free stuff,” not preserving the vitality and integrity of this country.

      Trump is very hard to analyze because he is a mercurial mix of various elements. With his stance on illegal immigration, he appeals to those “values voter” for whom preserving and protecting the basic good of this country is paramount. And certainly he has votes from the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” crowd who are willing to overlook the plethora of specifics about Trump, all of which suggest he would be little better than Obama.

      But I think his defining appeal is that Trump represents a continued vacation from reality. For purposes of this election, he is known as an entertainer, a cultural icon. He is “cool” in a way none of the other GOP candidates are, and that is almost decisive in a general election and is why he would likely wipe the floor with either Hillary or Sanders. Plus, as with Hillary or Sanders, he is promising to take care of all of us.

      Entertainment. Forever juvenilism. Hatred of the good (which is the true point of his “Bush is responsible for 9/11” shtick, to disguise the dark deal one has made with the devil and thus relieve one of the responsibility of any higher calling or purpose). What’s not to like?

      But what of our great republic? Deana wrote, “only addicts fight a hangover with the same liquor that got them there in the first place.” And that is what I think is the prime dynamic of this election if Trump, Sanders, or Hillary wins it all. (Note: I don’t think Rubio has a chance in hell.)

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Entertainment is undoubtedly much of Trump’s appeal; he is an expert showman, after all. And the desire for “free stuff” is always there even if he doesn’t explicitly call for it himself (and he doesn’t make any effort to discuss entitlement reform — though neither did anyone else except Christie, and we saw how that worked out for him). But I think the protest aspect is crucial, and explains why Carson failed in the end. People wanted an outsider to express their anger at the insiders. Carson is an outsider, but he didn’t express that anger.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’ll admit that it’s entertaining. Trump is much more entertaining than listening to the vacuous “compassionate” blather from either Bush or Kasich, or the robotic nostrums emanating from Eddie Haskel. I don’t believe that any of these three are sincere. I believe they’re just harvesting the electorate as they see it. And the electorate is in permanent party mode. The idea of “Ask not what your country can do for you” is a laughable idea. This bizarre kabuki theatre in which leading candidates talk about how damn compassionate it is to steal across the border laid much of the groundwork for Trump.

          And I’m not saying that Trump is in any way unserious because he is part of the same entertainment/political culture. Reagan sprang from that culture and generally did a pretty good job. It’s not impossible that Trump could do the right thing despite what appears on the surface to be an ideology driven by little more than megalomania combined with the heady conceit of “New York Values.”

          But I’ll be damned surprised if his presidency isn’t a real mess. And, frankly, most of it won’t be his fault. It’s been my view that one day soon a Republican president will be in office when the shit hits the fan and he will be blamed for it. Trump is very likely our next Herbert Hoover. Not a bad guy, but blamed for a lot of stuff that he probably shouldn’t have been blamed for.

          There are a whole bunch of chickens coming home to roost. On the brighter side, if, say, black anarchy and violence become a routine thing, a “strong man” is just who we would need to put things right. If shit hits said fan, I wouldn’t expect Trump to be a passive spectator even if the problems run so deep there really isn’t much he could do.

          This is why I refer to Trump as FDR without the good manners. If the shit hits the fan — economically and culturally — you could fully expect an alphabet-soup plethora of FDR-like programs to emanate from Trump as he uses the Federal government to try to fix what, in most respects, the Federal government screwed up in the first place.

 should be fun to watch, even if we are living in the middle of it.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Cruz has asked his communications director to resign, i.e. he fired him. I believe this was smart and justified. Clearly the communications director had made previous mistakes and Cruz gave him another chance. But after the latest gaffe, the man had to go.

  6. Patricia L. Dickson says:

    A Christian’s number one job as commissioned by Jesus our Lord and Savior is to win souls for the kingdom of God. Nothing else should interfere with that mission. If we live our lives in ANY way that might hinder that mission (engaging in questionable conduct), we are useless to God. Regardless to how intelligent and talented we are, we will be of no use to God our Father. Our Christian faith should not be used as some kind of tool in securing anything except souls. Not a career, a spouse, nor a political office. I do not see anything wrong with anyone running for office mentioning their faith. However, they should not use their faith as a means to secure votes. Besides, people should be able to discern whether or not an individual is a Christian by the way one lives his or her life. When someone in the national spotlight runs on his or her faith and integrity ( trusTed), the public is going to expect near perfection.

    My problem with Cruz (and his buddy Glen Beck) is how they are courting Evangelicals and bringing up God in the discussion. Cruz’s father is claiming his son (Cruz) is God’s chosen one. Beck is claiming that God killed Scalia to send a message to America to vote for Cruz. He is now asking Evangelical voters to go on a fast with him. Now that Cruz lost the Evangelical vote in SC, Beck is out there questioning SC Evangelical voter’s faith. They are making a mockery out of the Christian faith for their own personal gain. The last thing the Church and Christians need is someone in the national spotlight professing to be a Christian while engaging in what some interpret as tricky political tactics and lying.

    The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    My support of Trump has nothing to do with his faith. I have never supported a political candidate based on his or her faith. I examine a candidate’s resume to determine their level of experience. I supported Romney in the 2008 primaries because of his resume. I felt that he was the best qualified candidate in 2008 and was disappointed when McCain won the nomination (although I did vote for him). I know that Trump is more liberal than conservative. However, it is my belief that he is the only one with the experience to fix our economy. No one else (other than Carson) has any private industry experience. Both Cruz and Rubio have spent the majority (if not all) of their careers in government. And both Cruz and Rubio are owned by donors. I am also curious to why no serving senator has endorsed Cruz (even Mike Lee has not endorsed him although he claims to be his friend). I also do not believe that any other candidate on our side will win the general election against Hillary except Trump because of his crossover appeal. As for as Trump’s flip flopping on abortion, what difference does his stance on abortion matter? A Republican majority congress just voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood after they were exposed selling baby parts. Not to mention that they are getting ready to cave on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. No one in the Republican Party has any room to criticize Trump.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, we shall see if the cave on the Supreme Court. It will cost them badly if they do, but to realize that one has to listen to grassroots voters rather than donors. But your ending does illustrate the strong appeal of Trump, and why McConnell and Boehner (and now Ryan) enabled his ascent with their feckless and craven refusal to challenge the Fascist Messiah.

      Trump does have some crossover appeal, though not much more than Cruz and Rubio according to South Carolina exit polls. (The situation could be different in the north, of course.) He also has reverse crossover appeal, though this might change if he wins the nomination (and right now he has to be a strong favorite to do so). For what it’s worth, general-election polls consistently show him doing far worse than Cruz and Rubio. But I can also remember how eager the Democrats were to face Reagan rather than Bush in 1980.

      It’s nice having candidates who aren’t beholden to big donors. This either means that only the super-rich can run, or only those who can draw as much from small donors as others do from large ones.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      No one in the Republican Party has any room to criticize Trump.

      Not so. There are millions in the Republican party who have been fighting against the GOPe Beltway Bandits. But the RINOs and careerist insiders have screwed the base for years. This is, in my opinion, the reason for Trump’s rise.

      And the corollary which may be taken from that is, for those millions of disappointed voters, one of Trump’s biggest attractions is that his mere presence in the primary contests has proven to be destructive of the GOPe. And should he prove successful in his pursuit of the nomination he might really do some damage to those bastards.

      I find there is a certain Goetterdaemmerung aspect to this whole thing.

  7. Anniel says:

    Why is no one discussing the ICE Union President’s revelations about how Rubio especially, and the whole Gang of Eight treated and lied to him at Congressional Hearings? Reading his account leaves me shaking all over, especially after Mark Steyn told about his appearance before a similar hearing. And Rubio’s defense that it’s a “conspiracy theory” is absolutely nonsensical. Liar anyone? Makes me distrust him even more.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Rubio has a pro-amnesty past, though he supposedly gave that up when he ran for the Senate. Then he reverted to his past, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t do the same thing if elected this year. In addition to the one issue, this makes it difficult to trust him on anything else.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Rubio’s record as a pro-amnesty trooper is clear. Yet he continues to deny it. Rubio’s utter lack of honesty and willingness to bend with the wind is, no doubt, the reason the GOPe now supports him. A typical immoral machine politician.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I watched both, but believe the first clip is much more useful to Trump than the BBC show.

      One of the things about Trump, which is reason to have some hope, is that he has been a businessman all his life and sees things through a completely different prism than politicians. He understands and is interested in a P and L statement as well as a Balance Sheet. So there is a chance that he will be able to bring a new and sane view to the business of running government agencies. Politicians and bureaucrats couldn’t care less about such things.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      If Trump’s taste in women can be transferred figuratively to Lady Liberty, that would be nice. 🙂

  8. Timothy Lane says:

    There’s a Caleb Howe piece at RedState that reports on an internet song parody about Donald Trump, “I Would Do Anything for Trump (But I Won’t Do Facts)”. The link is:

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