The Two Donald Trumps

by N. A. Halkides10/22/16

That Donald Trump is a divisive figure is a truism that would have no need of utterance except that it matters very much exactly what groups are divided about him. The electorate is divided over him, which was inevitable; the Republican Party, already undergoing a civil war before he showed up on the scene, is divided over him, which is a positive good; the Conservative movement is divided over him, and that spells real trouble for the movement’s future. It is this last division that concerns us here, and I would like to enquire as to its precise cause and likely consequences. (More on the GOP Civil War here; some comments from the ST regulars on Trump’s potential damage to party and country here).

The Conservative division appears to arise from vastly different assessments of Trump’s moral stature and finds expression in equally different assessments of his likely brand of politics (for no one can state with certainty exactly what Trump would do if elected). It’s not simply his overt behavior: all of us are disturbed by his crude descriptions of women and some of his sexual escapades. It goes deeper than that, with one group seeing him as a decent man who means to fix what’s wrong with America even if he doesn’t know exactly what to do and who are going to vote for him with at least a modicum of enthusiasm (we’ll call them “supporters”), and another group (we’ll call them “detractors”) seeing him as the worst Republican candidate of all time, perhaps even a Democratic stalking horse trying to throw the election to Hillary Clinton, morally repugnant and almost the antichrist. (Indeed, there have been some actual discussions about whether Trump really is the antichrist, although not at ST). It’s as if there are two different Donald Trumps walking the earth.

Although I think I can be objective, I’m not going to pretend to be neutral and I will disclose at the outset I have my feet planted firmly in the first camp. I’ve donated to the Trump campaign (money I could ill afford thanks to “Obamanomics”) and will pull the lever for him in November without the least reservation or holding my nose. Now let’s see if we can explain the two Trumps.

From the beginning, Trump has aroused an almost visceral hatred in many, but I have considered most of this group to be pure Establishment or unorthodox Libertarian and suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Many of the NRO staff fall into this category. To maintain that Trump is some sort of incipient führer or even that he would be somehow worse in office than Hillary Clinton (in terms of what he would actually do, not his future effect on the Republican Party or the Conservative movement) seems to me to require an actual break with the facts of reality disturbingly close to the degree where psychiatric care is needed. And yet perhaps Trump’s Conservative detractors see Trump the same way the GOPe does. When I began writing this, I was sure I could eventually see the (Conservative) detractors’ point of view even though I didn’t agree with it, but now I don’t know. Let me explain what I see when I look at Trump, and then pose a question for his detractors.

To begin with, I didn’t start out with any pro-Trump bias. I hate reality TV and the culture of celebrity, never watched his show, and considered his occasionally-expressed opinions on the economy of little value since I figured he knew the New York real estate market but not much else about economics (this is probably still true, but beside the point now). But as the campaign season progressed, I saw no real ambition in the man, no lust for power so characteristic of the Democrats, no desire to bask in the perks of office so characteristic of the Republicans. It seemed to me that a very wealthy man at the age of seventy, if not corrupted by personal ambition (as the equally-aged Hillary Clinton most certainly is), seeking public office must at least intend to do good. If Trump had some base motive in running for President, what could it possibly be? No doubt some ego is involved here, or that Trump overestimates his limited capabilities, or that good intentions are not enough to be a good President, but that he intends to be a champion of America and her people I have no doubt. It would be some ego that would prefer in old age the stresses of the Presidency to a quiet life of luxury!

What do I see when I look out onto the political battlefield? Trump is beset on all sides with the Democratic media and now even a good part of the GOPe (which earlier had mostly decided it would simply cut a deal with him) eager to stab him in the back. It’s rather ridiculous to say that “Trump brought all this on himself” with some crude comments made over a decade earlier, when if Republicans were not so spineless and not so willing to lose the Presidency in November they could have simply refused to comment on this piffle of a “scandal” and it would probably have died out in two or three days. The house is on fire and they’re complaining about some crude remarks the fireman who’s coming to their rescue made over ten years ago while sitting around the firehouse? Instead of keeping quiet, many fueled the flames by being quick to publicly disown him, thus aiding the enemy by keeping the story alive – and still Trump battles on, against them, against millions of government dependents who will automatically pull the “D” lever no matter what, against a culture corrupted by Leftism, against Democratic vote fraud.

I would not have chosen Trump as my champion. Without a consistent Conservative philosophy he has no reliable guide to policy, and yes, I would have preferred someone whose view of women was not at about the level of a fourteen-year-old’s. And yet Trump understands, however imperfectly, that the American people are plagued with a ruling class that seeks wealth and power for themselves and that has betrayed their trust. In the end, Trump is not part of that ruling class; he’s on our side and is fighting for us in a way no other candidate except possibly Cruz would have. If elected, his policies will be a mixed bag, but if he avoids an amnesty for illegal immigrants he will do no permanent damage to Conservatism, for there is no such movement as “Trumpism” to be afraid of.

It seems to me that Trump detractors have allowed their personal loathing of Trump to cloud their judgment so that some apparently consensual groping is now inflated into “sexual assault”; so that Trump’s unfortunate support of eminent domain abuse (you think Hillary is better?) makes him a fascist; so that every misstep is held to be the product of a reprobate soul; so that Trump’s primary season voters, who objectively did no worse than make an innocent error in preferring Trump over Cruz, must in their view be either morons or degenerates.

And so my questions to the Trump detractors: If your judgment is not beclouded, how can your Donald Trump be so different from ours? How is it that we, his supporters, can see quite clearly the man’s many failings, yet you can detect no trace of valor in him as he fights against the malignant evil of the Clintons and the rest of the Democratic Left? Is your view of the man as all bad really more likely to be true than ours of him as a sadly mixed lot of good and bad?

Win or lose in November there will still be a Conservative movement. Many forces will be arrayed against it, and it is possible that even a united front won’t be enough to win against them. But most assuredly if Conservatives remain significantly divided over Trump and what he represents – if there remain any large number of Trump detractors bent on avenging not Trump’s defeat but his victory in winning the Republican nomination – then we are all lost. I do not think you Trump detractors can convince us Trump supporters that he was the antichrist; for all our sakes, I hope we can persuade you that he wasn’t as bad as you thought.


Nik is a freelance writer, former professor, and has written for FrontPage Magazine.
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183 Responses to The Two Donald Trumps

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m publishing this even though it is not in accord with the New Submission Rules regarding political articles. I don’t think Nik was aware of them. (And see my Point #4.)

    And it’s also a leaping-off point for something that’s been on my mind: I think Trump and his supporters have been a plague on the political process, ever much so as the various Alinskyites out there. Read this David French article (The Price I’ve Paid for Opposing Donald Trump) for a taste of it, although this isn’t new to people such as Mr. Kung who have not taken a prolonged vacation down the river of Denial.

    I’d also like you to read this article by Nathan Schlueter: Constitution 101: A Lesson for Donald Trump. (Hillary, of course, should read it as well.)

    Here’s the salient point from that latter article:

    Clearly, the authors shared a common conviction that human reason is fragile and requires support for its proper exercise. This conviction is reflected in the opening paragraph of the Federalist Papers:

    It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.

    And the real money quote relevant to the ascendency of both Trump and Hillary:

    But the mainspring for our Constitution rests beneath the surface. It is something that no written constitution can provide, but something on which every free government depends: virtue. When Publius asks what will prevent citizens from manipulating the constitutional rigging for their own private advantage, Publius answers (in Federalist 57): “Above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America; a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.” If this spirit ever becomes “debased,” he writes, “the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.”

    The Founders knew that free government is impossible without sufficient virtue in the people and in the rulers. Those necessary virtues include prudence, moderation, courage, and justice. They also involve self-knowledge and self-restraint. And it is one of the most important tasks of the statesman to exemplify those virtues and to instruct others in their practice, as the Founders did to an exemplary degree.

    What I think Trump’s ascendancy means is that the right has become just another grievance group. They have learned those lessons well having long basted in them. The spirit of enlightened republicanism does not intersect either Trumpism or corrupt Hillaryism. There is only narrow factional grievances, which means the call is to tear apart something by the power of a displaced popular “will” as embodied in a cult of personality.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Read this David French article (The Price I’ve Paid for Opposing Donald Trump) for a taste of it, although this isn’t new to people such as Mr. Kung who have not taken a prolonged vacation down the river of Denial.

      French notes the absolute depravity of much of Trump’s base. Supposedly supporting the more conservative candidate, this group’s behavior has done significant damage to the American political process, particularly to the conservative brand. In the past, conservatives did not act as badly as the Left. With the rise of the Trumpkins, this is no longer the case.

      Yes, every campaign has its share of scum, but conservative candidates used to disavow the most scurrilous and degenerate types. Not so Trump. Instead of asking his acolytes to ease off their vicious campaigns of hate, he incites them to further baseness with his words and actions. He spreads vicious lies about others. He attacks when silence would be the reaction of a decent person. He invents fables about those who do not bow down to him. And these actions are against potential supporters.

      Given the horrible state of things, the longing to get rid of the stench of Obama and Hillary from all things government, can you imagine the support the man would have if he were not an egomaniac. But by his own actions, he has driven away a significant number of people who would have voted for him. And I am not talking about “never Trumpers.” Even Gingrich has pointed out that the man has to decide who he wants to be. The President or Donald Trump? It appears that he is only interested in being the latter. What an idiot.

      One can make the argument that Trump is less bad than Hillary, but for any thinking person to praise the man is simply irrational, to my mind.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Read Jonah’s Bursting ‘Beltway Bubbles’ article. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        People spend hundreds of words trying to normalize Trump or somehow disguise the fact that the plausible (but by no means ironclad) scenario is to hold your nose and vote against Hillary as the lesser of two evils.

        But I think Trump is his own brand of bad (the right’s Hillary, for all intents and purposes). Just because he has an ‘R’ next to his name means nothing. He’s not a Republican in any sense of the word nor does he have any intention of working for the party. He is his own toxic brew of dishonesty mixed with ego and Nixonian paranoia and pettiness.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I added to my previous post, but in case you don’t go back to read it, let me repeat myself.

          Given the horrible state of things, the longing to get rid of the stench of Obama and Hillary from all things government, can you imagine the support the man would have if he were not an egomaniac? But by his own actions, he has driven away a significant number of people who would have voted for him. And I am not talking about “never Trumpers.” Even Gingrich has pointed out that the man has to decide who he wants to be. The President or Donald Trump? It appears that he is only interested in being the latter. What an idiot.

          I still have a slight preference for him over Hillary. But how bad is it that someone as conservative as myself, finds that my choices come down to Hillary and Trump? It is disgusting. Both are merely symptoms of a very sick system.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            can you imagine the support the man would have if he were not an egomaniac? But by his own actions, he has driven away a significant number of people who would have voted for him. And I am not talking about “never Trumpers.” Even Gingrich has pointed out that the man has to decide who he wants to be.

            Well said, Mr. Kung. It’s been pretty obvious for quite a while that, at least politically and philosophically, Trump is a shallow man.

            And he’s a psychological train wreck. He will not lower himself to actually learn what he needs to learn. I think Jonah has him pegged in regards to Trump’s answer to Chris Wallace about what he thinks the role of the Supreme Court should be:

            Well, first of all, it’s so great to be with you and thank you, everybody. The Supreme Court, it is what it is all about. Our country is so, so, it is just so imperative that we have the right justices. Something happened recently where Justice Ginsburg made some very inappropriate statements toward me and toward a tremendous number of people. Many, many millions of people that I represent and she was forced to apologize. And apologize she did. But these were statements that should never, ever have been made.

            Jonah notes about this strange answer:

            Read it again. He started out okay, not great, but okay. But before he could explain why it is imperative that we have the right justices, he had to make the issue about him and about how Ruther Bader Ginsburg had to apologize. His ego, his sense of power, strength, and importance is for him the only way he can feel emotionally invested in the topic.

            There are countless signs like this that show that Trump isn’t just soft on policy. He’s got a screw loose.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I find Trump’s answer to this question in both the 2nd and 3rd debates telling. It is clear that he has either given the question very little thought as it is not part of his philosophical makeup, or he is obfuscating.

              How simple would it be to say something like,

              “Chris,

              That is very simple. The Supreme Court should be there to interpret the “LAWS” of the land. Let me repeat that, to interpret, not write or change laws. This is what Justice Scalia did.

              If people are not happy with an existing law, then they should go about getting their elected representatives to change the law.

              And let me make one other comment about this, the People’s representatives are to a large degree responsible for the growth of judicial power that is not in our Constitution. They are often too cowardly to write clear laws as if they did, the people could hold them responsible for their actions. And elected officials don’t like being held responsible for much of anything except spreading other people’s money.

              I was thinking something like this the minute Wallace asked the question. It is not that hard.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Mr. Kung (partner in Kung & Nelson Political Consultants), I really can’t pat you on the back for stating the obvious, as eloquently and clearly as you indeed said it. The purpose is to interpret the laws as originally intended, not to filter them through some murky “social justice” engine in order to try to achieve political or narrow ideological ends.

                You’re right. The question is not that hard. Everyone here should write a couple sentences about it and prove it. That Trump could not tells you all you need to know about his promises to nominate “good” justices to the Supreme Court. The man is a demagogue and liar. I don’t think it’s so much that he’s not informed (he is not), but that such details are considered beneath a man of such self-described omniscience. (His supporters ascribe that trait to him as well in so many words.)

              • Rosalys says:

                “The Supreme Court should be there to interpret the “LAWS” of the land.”

                No. The purpose of the Supreme Court is to uphold the law. There is a difference, and it isn’t subtle.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                To be precise, SCOTUS has the highest appellate authority. Technically, it has no power to invalidate laws other than that, though unfortunately everyone has let it take that power. Regarding homosexual marriage, the Court could have refused to enforce any punishments for it, including refusal to grant tax status as married, but it doesn’t have the power (legally) to impose its recognition.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                As I understand it, the Supreme Court interprets the law, particularly as it applies to the many difficult and fuzzy cases put before it. But “upholding” the law is the province of the Executive branch.

                The men in black have the prestige of the gavel. That’s all. They could try beating someone with it. But other than that, I do not think they have any powers to enforce their rulings other than a general respect for law of the other branches of government and the people themselves (a respect that the the Justices have done much to erode).

                And so we see one of the checks-and-balances. The Founders understood that the very definition of tyranny is having judicial, executive, and legislative powers combined in one person, committee, or oligarchy.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Jefferson was worried about excessive judicial power nearly 200 years ago, at a time when there had been in fact very few laws declared unconstitutional.

      • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

        No candidate is responsible for the actions of those who claim to be his followers. That some small number of neo-nazis might support Trump reflects badly on neither Trump himself nor the vast majority of his supporters. French, then, is mistaken to impute depravity to Trump’s base, which emphatically does not consist of the kind of people who threatened French’s family.

        On the other hand, the anti-Trump articles French and others have written for NR since the nomination serve no constructive purpose. They serve only to vent the rage of the TDS crowd and to aid Hillary Clinton, which is truly unforgivable. The time to be anti-Trump was before the nomination, not after. Those who simply could not accept the fact of Trump’s victory (including French) should have been ignored, not encouraged.

        If we are not careful, we will find ourselves divided into those who seek to avenge Trump’s (preventable) loss, if such it is, and those who seek to avenge his victory in the primaries by venting their wrath on his early supporters and scuttling his general election campaign, which is unforgivable.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, it is sometimes necessary for a candidate to confront the misbehavior of those acting in his name. The liberals like to point this out whenever there’s another abortionist getting killed, and they’re right. (And this is why pro-lifers do in fact oppose and denounce such crimes.) Naturally, they ignore this rule when their own supporters act up (often in the form of riots).

          Trump has never denounced misbehavior by his own supporters, and has occasionally at least sort of encouraged it (though not the antics of alt-right trolls).

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          No candidate is responsible for the actions of those who claim to be his followers.

          But a candidate can try to dampen down his more insane followers. And if it comes to it, disavow them.

          If we are not careful, we will find ourselves divided into those who seek to avenge Trump’s (preventable) loss, if such it is, and those who seek to avenge his victory in the primaries by venting their wrath on his early supporters and scuttling his general election campaign, which is unforgivable.

          I find this statement amazing. Who do you think is more responsible for the present screwed up state of the Trump campaign, Trump or people like myself who do not pretend the man is Jesus? Let’s forget the man’s political, ethical and moral failings. When is the jerk going to start acting like a serious candidate and think about what he says, before he opens his yap? You seem to expect no professionalism and little serious reflection from him, yet you expect those of us who find the man less than impressive to simply drop into lock step.

          I assure you, if Trump loses this election, it will be due to his manifold failings as a candidate, not because I and others will not call chicken shit chicken salad. At the risk of being redundant, pointing out the man’s failings is not the same as trying to scuttle his campaign.

          If Trump loses perhaps Trumpkins should consider the true cause of the lose and vent their anger on him, not on people like myself.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          On the other hand, the anti-Trump articles French and others have written for NR since the nomination serve no constructive purpose. They serve only to vent the rage of the TDS crowd and to aid Hillary Clinton, which is truly unforgivable. The time to be anti-Trump was before the nomination, not after.

          It ought to be a constructive purpose to remind ourselves of the severe shortcomings of either candidate or else we’ll be right back here in another four years. We need a blueprint for reform not just a dartboard that you throw darts at after having had one too many. Ideas matter…unless we have devolved to the point of a cult of personality, hero worship, the politics of Mussolini, etc.

          It’s certainly true that much of the conservative press in past years lied about how supposedly conservative previous candidates were as they circled the establishment tent (their own particular bubble).

          But that should not be license for Trump supporters, inside their own bubble, to close ranks try to squelch opinion about how much the current “non-establishment” candidate is not conservative (let alone just plain literate in Americanism).

          Many Trump supporters seem to be of the belief that a few conservatives (pundits or whomever) hold extraordinary power to sway this election. This is a bubble that Trump supporters are living in. Instead of expanding his support, his rabid supporters believe the fault lies in a few recalcitrant conservatives (derisively and stupidly called “never Trumpers” to mask the real problem: Trump). Jonah Goldberg writes:

          The whole Trump phenomenon is like a massive dollop of foam, a grand constellation of ideological and psychological bubbles. It’s been based from the beginning on the idea that there is some silent super-majority of like-minded people out there who will carry Trump to victory if only they are sufficiently roused. That’s the theory for why Trump must keep doubling down on his trumpiness. Those wanting to explain the method behind his madness will tell you that he doesn’t need to add anyone to his coalition, he just needs to energize his base.

          Trump doesn’t need to sway Jonah Goldberg (who I believe is simply reporting reality in regards to Trump). His job is to sway the electorate. And I don’t have a crystal ball giving the formula, issues, and attitudes that would make for a winning candidate against Hillary. But he ought to have a consistent theme and spend 99% of his time on that and 1% (if that) on his various petty grievances that show him to be an unserious and petty-minded person.

          • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

            I guess we’ve all said pretty much all that can be said here. But Brad, it is not constructive to keep focusing on Trump’s shortcomings when it should be obvious that he was nominated in spite of them, not because of them! Trump filled a vacuum; therefore, the problem was and still is the vacuum, not Trump. Why didn’t we have four or five good-quality Conservative candidates to choose from? That’s where the emphasis needs to be, not on continued hectoring of those who chose Trump.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              But Brad, it is not constructive to keep focusing on Trump’s shortcomings when it should be obvious that he was nominated in spite of them, not because of them!

              Why isn’t it constructive to point out that people went off half-cocked in nominating Trump and thus they need to get a grip? By all means, as I’ve repeated over and over and over again, vote against-Hillary with a Trump vote.

              But anyone who cannot see that Trump is a poison pill, an unserious candidate, and a man who is a bit unhinged, is in no position to bitch about the “Establishment Republicans.” When one shows one doesn’t have a grip on reality (or is just destructively petulant), the pot ought not to be calling the Establishment kettle black.

              People need to read a book or something because they have charged full-in with a purely emotional reaction to this guy.

    • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

      Brad – I actually had read the new submission rules a while back, but I figured with all the back-and-forth we’ve been doing on Trump lately, one more piece wouldn’t hurt, especially one whose broad purpose was to lay some kind of basis for a reconciliation between opposing groups of Conservatives. I’m not concerned about reconciling with the bulk of the #NeverTrump movement because they’re part of the Establishment, as their stubborn refusal to change their unpopular immigration and trade positions or support Ted Cruz when it might have made a difference would indicate. But the division between the two Conservative sides over the worth of Trump and the nature of his primary supporters (I’ll just call them “supporters” after this) is bad news, for if Trump loses (and maybe even if he wins) we cannot afford to be at one another’s throats – the ascension of Hillary will mean not just that the country is in a bad way but that fundamental liberty is in immediate danger.

      I read French’s article and all I can say is that I was right about the cause of his TDS – the threats against his family made by alleged Trump supporters. But French was wrong to blame Trump or the millions of good people who support him, and because of his inability to treat Trump fairly and his total loss of objectivity, a competent editor would have refused to publish his anti-Trump diatribes. The fact is, neither Trump or “Trumpism” – whatever that might be – is to blame for some small number of neo-nazis threatening the French family, and French erred yet again in referring to them variously as the “alt-right” and “white nationalists”. French has gone completely around the bend on Trump, and is the last writer to look to for reasoned analysis on the subject.

      You see Trump’s supporters as “a plague on the political process”; I see them as people who were justly enraged over repeated betrayals by the GOPe ruling class and who, faced with a choice of Trump, Cruz, and bunch of E-men (let’s leave Walker and Jindal out of this for now since they exited the primaries early on) made what I consider the slight and understandable error of choosing the second-best man. I don’t think it matters that they were mistaken or even if they were mistaken; they were trying to strike back at a thoroughly corrupt GOP as well they should have. Better – and far better – they should have chosen an unwieldy blunt instrument in the person of Donald J. Trump than that they should have gone quietly into serfdom by supporting the likes of Jeb!, Rubio, or Kasich.

      This point bears repetition: too many of the anti-Trump Conservatives behave as if we had a dozen great Conservative choices, passed them over, and then reached down to the bottom of the barrel to that rotten apple DJT. That would be the view of, for example, Rich Lowry at NR whom you quoted the other day. But he’s badly mistaken. We didn’t have a wealth of choices, we had one Conservative (Cruz) who did fail rather badly to distance himself from the GOPe early on, and then a bunch of E-men. To choose Trump under such circumstances reflects badly not on his supporters but on the truly crappy alternatives they were given.

      They are not, then, just another “grievance group,” nor are they a “faction,” as Publius (referenced by Schlueter) defines it:

      “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of the other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

      I also think Schlueter misunderstands the meaning of “government by consent” and I see lurking just below the surface of his essay the same arrogant elitism – the same idea that a few men of superior wisdom should rule the many – that we fought about here on ST when it became apparent that Republican voters were going to choose Trump and the question of binding the delegates arose. In fact Schlueter is pretty obviously on the side of those who want to go back to the bad old days when the few and powerful chose the President. The great irony is he cannot see that it is the failure of the few and powerful – the GOP Establishment – to serve not only the will but the obviously legitimate interests of the people which created and nourished the Trump candidacy he now so deplores!

      As for the need of virtue in the people – we all agree on that. But again Schlueter is badly mistaken in exculpating big government, when such government (with its attendant redistribution of property) is inherently corrupt and must over time corrupt the people, since elections become tests of strength between “factions” to see whose property is stolen and who is to receive it. He laments unlimited democracy when the real problem is unlimited government in any form – such as a government that redistributes property instead of protecting it. I can see no objection, in theory, to a direct democracy as existed in ancient Athens provided that democracy is limited to the proper scope of government. In other words, the problem we face in American is not too much democracy, and our drift toward statism will not be corrected by repealing the 17th Amendment (one of those nutty ideas that crops up now and then from aristocratic pseudo-conservatives).

      That brings us to Publius. I note in passing that as a democracy matures, it should become more democratic, not less. As experience was gained and communications improved, it was right for the people to insist on electing their own Senators and on choosing their parties’ nominees. I think I made that case pretty well in the aftermath of the GOP convention, but I will repeat my warning to those who want the bad old days back again: too many of us are not going to permit that to happen with the GOP or with any party of freedom that arises to replace it. If the few rule the many in our future it will be because the light of freedom has been extinguished, not because a handful of the wealthy are in permanent control the GOP and can ignore the wishes of the voters.

      There seems to me more of Hamilton than Madison or Jay in the passages Schlueter quotes. Without launching into a comparative essay, the fact is that Hamilton was too concerned with effective national government and not concerned enough with protecting the people against that government. Right now we could use a lot less of Hamilton and a lot more of Madison and Jefferson.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        one more piece wouldn’t hurt, especially one whose broad purpose was to lay some kind of basis for a reconciliation between opposing groups of Conservatives.

        Reconciliation is possible only to the extent that the Trumpbots actually uphold conservative values and work for conservative goals in their own community. It’s not my damn fault that so many so-called conservatives went off half-cocked in support of possibly the only prominent person in America who could have made Hillary look sane.

        But Trumpbots are in it for grievance, not the principles of conservatism. They have Thelma-and-Louised themselves off the conservative reservation. Let them reconcile themselves first to their own emotional binging.

        Granted, I agree with those who say that conservatism is now an irrelevant political philosophy. Still, I’ll honestly say so, and admit defeat, instead of trying to paint lipstick on a pig (which makes it all the more ironic that Sarah Palin also threw away whatever conservative bona-fides she had in her support of Trump).

        But French was wrong to blame Trump or the millions of good people who support him,

        Good people might hold their nose and vote against Hillary. I’m not so sure about those who deluded themselves about Trump. I’m not running for office and I’m under no obligation to suppose that these were “good people” who supported this bozo. Trump is so self-evidently a creep that the “good people” who supported him vociferously might not be as good as they suppose they are.

        You see Trump’s supporters as “a plague on the political process”; I see them as people who were justly enraged over repeated betrayals by the GOPe ruling class and who, faced with a choice of Trump, Cruz, and bunch of E-men

        That’s an old narrative, Nik. It had some purchase perhaps a half year ago. I certainly was pissed off enough at the Establishment Republicans to give Trump a fair look. And a fair look showed him to be a dishonest, uninformed, Progressive bum.

        I admit I was myself over-the-top in my condemnation of the Establishment. I wish we could wind the clock back, because I would be quite happy with Rubio, Kasich, or even Jeb! Bush compared to the political cancer of Donald Trump.

        I believe if people actually want to change the country for the better, they need to do more than throw a hissy fit. It should be obvious to one and all that Trump in no way forwards American constitutionalism. And it is now not at all clear that he would be better than Hillary.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Reconciliation is possible only to the extent that the Trumpbots actually uphold conservative values and work for conservative goals in their own community.

          Hell, it has been my experience that too many of the Trumpkins become more obnoxious when you try to find common ground with them.

          Of course, I try to take into consideration the possibility of Leftist trolls acting as Trumpkins, as well as the fact that many who comment on the internet are somewhat deranged to begin with. But even taking into account such things, too many Trumpkins would appear to be trash and nihilistic. (And no, I am not saying all Trumpkins are trash.)

          But throughout history, such types have always risen like scum on a pond, when the right conditions present themselves. So I am not surprised. I just don’t have to pretend that such scum is whipped cream.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            It would appear, judging from French’s comments, that the worst of the Trump supporters’ comments come from the racist fringe. Many of these Aryan Nation types don’t vote because they aren’t conservatives, they’re racial separatists (or worse). They’re the sort worried about UN troops in black helicopters and the Zionist Occupied Government. (I once did a short bit in FOSFAX about one of these groups giving a posthumous award to Benito Mussolini for being one of the first to fight ZOG.)

            • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

              Exactly. Such people hardly form the base of Trump’s support, and it’s insane of French and others to pretend that they do. French actually tried to justify his irrational hatred of Trump, but his attempt was ludicrous.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I suspect and hope that is the case. But may experience with Trumpkins has had nothing to do with racism.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              It would appear, judging from French’s comments, that the worst of the Trump supporters’ comments come from the racist fringe.

              I have yet to run into a Trump supporter who doesn’t use Trump as their own personal Rorschach inkblot test and see in him what they want.

              I really wasn’t aware of the so-called “alt-right” segment of his support until I started reading about it a month or so ago. I don’t know how large it is or how real it is. But I don’t think French is making it up. And the preponderance of comments from Trump supporters that I’ve read online typically range from the delusional to the acrid.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, what French reports is beyond even acrid, and is heavily oriented toward anti-black and anti-Semitic sentiments. As for the term “alt-right”, I heard about it probably the same time you did; but there were already indications that a lot of the racist fringe liked Trump — though there’s no indication that Trump is himself a racist, nor did he encourage this support. But when it came, he didn’t discourage it either.

                That inkblot aspect, as you may recall, is another similarity between Trump 2016 and Obama 2008. Trump isn’t our Hillary; he’s our Obama. Either way, this is why any conservative who decides to vote for him should do so very glumly.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I largely agree with Nik here, though I’m closer to the NeverTrump position than he is. I do consider him less bad than the Fire Witch and her consort, and in fact have observed that there is no way in which he’s actually worse than the Clintons. I particularly tend to agree with the notion that the accusations against Trump’s behavior, even if true (and I suspect many aren’t), amount to Trump being “fresh” (as they would have described it a few decades ago) rather than a significant sexual assault. I may even vote for him — though if he needs my vote to win Kentucky, he doesn’t stand a chance overall.

    It’s worth noting the price Trump has paid for his race even aside from whatever he has donated to it. His “brand” (which is a great deal of his self-estimate of his net worth) has no doubt been hurt, and will remain so; the leftist hate machine, once activated, can go on for a long time even without anyone actively running it. This is one reason why, like Nik, I think he does wish this country well (which I no longer say of any liberal Plunderbunder). Unfortunately, at age 70 he has been very slow to learn how to campaign on the job — and the synoptic media are eager to pounce on every mistake he makes rather than honestly report Slick Hilly’s gross flaws. Still, we shall see come November 8 which set of polls is right. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, after all.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Whether of not one believes the things Trump says, at least some of what he says is rational and could be considered conservative. In a recent speech, Trump mentioned two laws which he would push should he become president.

    1. No one who has ever worked in the executive branch would be able to lobby for a foreign country.

    2. Anyone who has worked for the federal government would not be allowed to lobby for a period of five years.

    If these were passed into law, that would go a long way to weakening the power-clique which has ruled D.C. (our country) for decades.

    Think how Saudi money would not have been able to corrupt our system i.e. it is unlikely the Bushes and their circle would have had near the money and influence they have had for years without Saudi money.

    Think how the opportunity to bribe politicians, soldiers and bureaucrats would shrink if they did not have the opportunity to slip into a comfortable, high-paying job once out of office. Any bribes would have to be more straightforward, i.e. illegal.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Although Trump’s speeches are pointless (because he no doubt did not write them and likely, much like a 3-year-old, doesn’t have the attention span to follow the policies through even if he believed in them), these particular points show the one trump card (and consistent theme) he should have played: integrity in government.

      But this sleaze-ball does not evoke a sense of integrity. His bizarre talk and behavior has prevented him from being a counterpoint to Hillary’s corruption. There’s no telling if the Democrat constituency groups are now so entrenched that there’s no way for a Republican to win the presidency.

      But assuming that there are enough people for whom government is not their religion or their feeding trough, a man (or woman) with a theme of integrity, respect, knowledge, fairness, even-handedness, good humor, and vitality could have wiped the floor with this corrupt bitch. But instead the fucktards who voted for Trump gave us the equivalent of a soft-focus lens that had the effect of blurring Hillary’s many sins.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        But assuming that there are enough people for whom government is not their religion or their feeding trough, a man (or woman) with a theme of integrity, respect, knowledge, fairness, even-handedness, good humor, and vitality could have wiped the floor with this corrupt bitch

        There comes a point where government is so large that in one way or another it corrupts just about every segment of society. We may be at that point.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        these particular points show the one trump card (and consistent theme) he should have played: integrity in government.

        I completely agree. At the end of the last debate, I hoped he was going to hit this theme. He whiffed it.

        How difficult would it have been to point to Hillary, who had just finished her wrap-up and say,

        “Friends, did you listen to Hillary? How polished and sweet sounding her words were? Those are the practiced lies of a politician. Never forget that.

        We all know that much of our government is corrupt. Hillary, Obama and their type have corrupted it. They have corrupted the IRS sending it after conservative groups. They have corrupted the State Department having it make deals with Iran which damage American interests. They have corrupted the EPA which is doing its best to close down our coal industry and any fossil fuel production it can. Do I need to go on? These people are corrupt and in the pockets of special interests.

        If you vote for me, I will sweep this corruption out of government. That is why the establishment from Wall Street to K Street in D.C. fear me.

        Again, it is not difficult.

  4. GHG says:

    WOW!

    It’s tough to stomach that people on my side of the political spectrum think so poorly of me. It seems that it isn’t only Hillary who thinks I’m deplorable, irredeemable, a knuckle dragging nincompoop. And all just because I support the GOP nominee. By doing so it apparently proves that I blindly put my faith in Trump and have the mental acuity of a 3rd grader.

    I know I shouldn’t post my true thoughts on this topic because it isn’t appreciated here. I like ST and don’t want to leave forever but it comes down to a choice of either lashing out when I’m insulted or leaving. You see, my 3rd grader intellect is having a difficult time deciding what I should do. I look to my betters for advice. What say ye?

    It’s a rhetorical question. I’ll miss Annie and a couple others. It’s been nice until we arrived at this contentious political season. May God bless you all and may God bless our country.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Lesser, I think Trump was so obviously a lightweight fraud, it does not reflect well on anyone who supported him other than in the “hold your nose and vote against Hillary” fashion. Live and learn.

      As I have often relented, in my 20’s (or earlier), I thought it would be a good idea for Ted Kennedy to be president. I was young, stupid, naive, and parsed politics merely in terms of pop culture appeal. I probably should have been made to pass some test before I voted.

      I have since learned that ideas matter far more than media gloss or cults of personality (or hero worship via politicians who are, as a species, probably the worst species to ever put on a pedestal).

      Heck, I could even whitewash over Trump’s character afflictions if his ideas were consistent, good, and articulated well. None of these are true. When a good idea does come out of his mouth, it’s likely been written for him and there’s little reason to believe he has the attention span to pursue anything in any way other than in the Trump ego/grievance mode.

      Sorry that you can’t stand to see written reality about this man. But it is what it is. Peter Wehner over at NRO takes a stab at asking some questions about the future of the Republican Party. I think his questions are a little obscure, but it’s a good place to start.

      Here at StubbornThings, we call it like we see it. At least I do, and without care whether this attracts or chases off people. I think the candidacy of Trump (and Hillary, for that matter) is so absurd, it is cause for 3-alarm fire bells to go off. I won’t walk through the smoke with a gas mask and pretend the view is clear and beautiful.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One can be for Donald Trump without being a “deplorable” (in fact, I suspect most of his voting base is not the racist fringe, who probably are a lot more obvious in internet trolling than at the ballot box). I don’t think anyone here tars all Trump supporters with that broad brush. One reason for the hostility to Trump, I suspect, is precisely that many hoped, early on, that he might be a respectable choice to lead the anti-Establishment element of the GOP. Sadly, he hasn’t been, due to his lack of self-discipline. Still, he has the advantage that he isn’t Hillary.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I don’t think anyone here tars all Trump supporters with that broad brush.

        I know Brad and I are the most vocal regards Trump’s failings and some of his followers. Yet, I don’t think Brad or I have come close to saying all Trump’s supporters are deplorables or other such things, although there is no denying that some very significant number of his supporters are less than savory.

        What we have done is not try to make believe that Trump is some type of ideal, moral, disciplined candidate who is a conservative and who is consistent in his political philosophy. (If he is consistent in anything, it is that he is actually a New York liberal.)

        Some of those at ST, who understood that Trump was less than an ideal candidate, previously thought it was a good idea to keep reminding Trump of what the people wanted in the hopes that this constant pressure on Trump might point and keep him on the right path. That idea seems to have gone out the window and it is simply “Support Trump and keep your mouth shut.” Sorry, no can do.

        One reason for the hostility to Trump, I suspect, is precisely that many hoped, early on, that he might be a respectable choice to lead the anti-Establishment element of the GOP. Sadly, he hasn’t been, due to his lack of self-discipline.

        Absolutely!

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I know Brad and I are the most vocal regards Trump’s failings and some of his followers. Yet, I don’t think Brad or I have come close to saying all Trump’s supporters are deplorables or other such things, although there is no denying that some very significant number of his supporters are less than savory.

          The way I see this, Mr. Kung, is that Trump (and Hillary) are so self-evidently unsuitable to be president, we must delve into the reasons so many voters think them suitable. Who is that ever going to please? But an operation to remove a tumor is going to require some pain. I don’t have the words for the political anesthesia to make it easier.

          The practical result of Trump (particularly in defeat) will be that the rank-and-file will be further marginalized. And you can’t blame Establishment Republicans for thinking, “We must to some extent protect voters from themselves.” What lessons will the rank-and-file draw from this? I doubt many productive answers will come. But we should learn something from this.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        One can be for Donald Trump without being a “deplorable” (in fact, I suspect most of his voting base is not the racist fringe, who probably are a lot more obvious in internet trolling than at the ballot box).

        Here’s what I think, Timothy. And I’m not speaking specifically of Mr. Lesser:

        Instead of staying surface-level (and making the rest of us scratch our heads as to why anyone in their right mind would support this guy…not just hold their nose and vote anti-Hilary), I would prefer that these Trump supporters would tell their personal stories on how and why they feels so alienated from the mainstream and thus are so emotionally invested in getting revenge. I would print that and even be sympathetic.

        The same goes to libertarians. What do you specifically want? What bugs you? And don’t give me the BS line of “conservative Supreme Court justices.” That’s nothing new and is a bugaboo no matter what Republican is president. No sound bytes. This site exist to get beyond the surface level.

        • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

          I don’t know that I’d have said Trump’s primary supporters were “emotionally invested in getting revenge” although if they were they had ample justification. Certainly they were angry and determined to strike back against the GOPe, and we can call that “revenge” if we want, but we should be cheering the avengers on at the same time. Anyway, I’m going to try to explicate their position even though as a Cruz supporter I wasn’t exactly one of them.

          One of the points I tried to made in the article was that Trump, despite his enormous failings, was in the end on our side. By “our” I mean the plain people of this country, not the power-seekers and not wealthy business interests. But I didn’t go too deeply into this because I mistakenly thought it was obvious.

          One reason so many of you didn’t understand how Trump’s supporters could simply ignore his various heresies – those that weren’t ancient history (some progressive position he held back in the 70’s) or simply made up (that Trump was encouraging his supporters to engage in violence), like his recent support of eminent domain abuse – was that they were irrelevant to his central appeal. This appeal was sometimes described as his “outsider” status, which is correct, but we must understand exactly what Trump was seen as being on the “outside” of.

          Here I’m going to suggest without an attempt at flattery that you and KFZ and Conservative NeverTrump-ers generally were the victims of your own intellectual acuity. Trump was clearly not a consistent Conservative and not even of a philosophical disposition, therefore even putting aside his personal vulgarity, surely, you thought, he could not merit Conservative support. Yet many millions of Conservative voters (as well as more “centrist” voters) did support him – and how! You took this to mean that Conservatives had abandoned their principles and the centrists had gone mad, but that’s not what happened. Too see that, you would have had to continue to look at the problem longer instead of stopping at “Trump is not a Conservative” and you’d have to have gotten past your extreme dislike for the man (another point of divergence).

          What happened was this: it had became obvious to those who would become Trump supporters (both Conservative and centrist) and in fact many Cruz supporters that the GOPe was not simply in error, it had engaged in a pattern of betrayal and abuse of the public trust so massive as to beggar description. (I did describe some of it in The GOP Civil War). Men like John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell were revealed to have sought public office not to work the will of the electorate, not to achieve Conservative policy goals, but for the pleasure of being big shots in Washington and serving their big money donors, all the while disrespecting the voters who put them there and lying about what they were up to. They together with the Democrats they got along so well with were as corrupt a ruling class as has ever existed in this world, and Jeb!, Rubio, and Kasich were all part of that group. The stage was now set, and the first Republican candidate who made it clear he stood with the people and against the large business interests and the Republicans they owned was going to win their votes, and quite understandably, too. Immigration was the issue that was tailor-made for this as yet unknown candidate.

          There are only three reasons to be in favor of mass-immigration: (1) You want the Democratic Party to have one-party rule in this country; (2) You subscribe to asinine and/or insane Libertarian theories that people and goods should be able to move across international borders at will; (3) You want to drive American wages down. Obviously the GOPe was with #3 because that’s what the Chamber of Commerce wanted.

          It’s important to realize that Jeb!, Rubio, and Kasich (and Fiorina for that matter) were completely disqualified because of their support for amnesty and/or continued legal mass-immigration. They were rightly seen as unworthy of serious consideration. The immigration issue allowed Trump to establish himself as the outsider – and he was an outsider, no matter how many Democrats he himself had paid off (i.e. contributed money to) years before.

          That left only Ted Cruz, and as a matter of fact Cruz benefited greatly from the same spirit that animated most Trump voters. But too many ultimately pegged Cruz as being part of the GOPe – mistakenly in my view – and he came up second behind Trump. Not a bad showing and in fact something Conservatives should have cheered. To me, all that happened in 2016 is that Republican voters switched the first and second best candidates around. (I don’t want to make this any longer by going into the merits of Walker and Jindal, who left the race early. But to me, once they were gone, Trump was definitely #2).

          And this is the simplest test of which side, Conservative NeverTrump or Conservative Vote-For-Trump, someone is on. Those who think we had 10 better candidates than Trump (we had one – Cruz), or that we’d be much better off right now if only Jeb! or Rubio had won the nomination are dreaming, in my view, and make up most or all of the former group. Trump is, even now, objectively better than the E-men, and those who see that are in the latter group.

          Trump understands that America is in trouble and is on the wrong course. Jeb! and the other E-men think the only problem the country has is that they’re not in charge of it. No, Trump doesn’t really understand the cause (statism), nor does he fully understand what to do about it, but then, neither do they. Trump is on our side. They are not. Trump would try to help – they wouldn’t. That’s the difference between them, and seeing that is the difference between the pro and anti-Trump sides.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Nik,

            That the GOPe men have betrayed the base has been clear to me since 2006 or 7 at the latest. That was when W and McCain tried to push through their amnesty, but people like myself fought them every step of the way. I personally visited my Senator’s office and spoke with her chief of staff for at least half an hour. I wrote lots of letters and made many phone calls. In the end, we stopped the betrayal, at least temporarily.

            The perfidy of the GOPe became more obvious after both the 2010 and 2012 elections. It was clear that the party had to be taken over or destroyed. But these options beg the question, who and how to take over the party or how to destroy it without destroying ourselves.

            Due to his history, I am not convinced Trump is the person who will take over the party and put it on a better path. I simply do not trust the man to follow up on much, if anything, of what he promises. Nothing would make me happier if he did. I am more inclined to believe he will revert to type, i.e. New York liberal, which will help neither the party nor the country.

            And this leads to the question of destroying the party. One hears this mantra too often, but it is not wise to destroy something unless one has something reasonable to replace it with.

            As I have said for months, I believe the nomination of Trump has done tremendous damage to the party. In fact, I think he has potentially done so much damage that the Dems will walk away with the election. I hope I am wrong. But even if Trump is elected, the only way he can mitigate the damage done would be to actually follow through on a good number of the conservative policies which he claims he supports. And the protection of freedom of religion had better be high on his list. Again, I have no particular reason to believe he will do this.

            I will be voting shortly and will likely vote for Trump not only because he might be, maybe, hopefully will be a little better than Clinton. But I don’t want Republicans to lose a lot of down-ballot races all the way down to dog-catcher. I believe a straight Republican ticket, as bad as it may be, is the only rational way to vote, if one wishes to vote at all.

            I have never been so unhappy with an election in my life. There is no doubt in my mind that Clinton and Trump are merely the symptom of a much greater illness effecting this country. I personally believe we have already gone off the cliff, we just didn’t realize how far down the pit was. A Trump election would be analogous to the tree branch which Wylie Coyote tries to grab after he has gone over the cliff. Even if we grab it, what then?

            But one must never give in or give up. Remember the Alamo!!!

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I’m not happy either, but I will note that in both 1992 and 1996 I didn’t finally decide to vote for the GOP presidential candidate (as opposed to some third-party option) until I voted.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              One of the realities about Trump is that people have turned into savages of sorts, unable (or unwilling) to articulate what it is they want.

              After this whole Trump experience, I’ve gained a new understanding of Establishment Republicans. First, understand that no politician ever made a living by telling the truth. Their job is to tell you what you want to hear so that they can get elected. One wonders why the fathers (and mothers) of daughters who would (one would hope) obviously caution their daughters about falling for some smooth line from some glib and calculating horny guy would then not apply those safeguards to himself regarding politics.

              Not only is Trump further confirmation of our folly as voters, but it is even more absurd considering it follows the serial lying of Establishment Republicans. We learned nothing except how to try to throw a hail mary — either out of frustration or just as a willful act of destruction.

              Establishment Republicans are not going to look you in the eye and say, “Because we have fooled you so many times now, and see you going big-time for Trump’s charade, don’t expect us to do much more than pander to you and then do what we will to stay in power once in power.”

              The politicians must look at the masses really as “masses.” Have we proven to them that they are our servent by sending them packing? No. We simply keep re-electing them.

              One of the hard truths for conservatives to swallow (real conservatives, not the apparently legions of identity-conservatives), is that you’re not going to be getting your way for the foreseeable future. This is a predominantly Progressive culture now, and will be no matter who becomes the next president.

              Unfortunately, the writers here (including myself) have lacked imagination and have not fulfilled the mission of this site, although it has happened a time or two. How many thoughtful articles have we had detailing someone’s exasperating experience — in real life, not internet life — with Progressives and government? Has anyone had experience with getting permits to build something? To change your landscaping if you are in a supposed “sensitive” shoreline area?

              Have you undergone indoctrination in the form of orientation training at some corporation? Have you had fall-outs with family members over politics? Hell, have you written positively about the greatness of America, perhaps writing some kind of travel journal about your visit to a Civil War battlefield or some other important site?

              The universe of writing ideas is out there. But look at us now, condensed down to trying to put lipstick on a pig (Trump). We can do better. Can this be the kind of site (at least regarding politics) that people actually want to read because they will learn something or be moved?

              Well, that’s up to you. That’s up to all of you. And kudos to those (such as Annie and Mr. Kung) who have broken out of the boring sameness of internet bitching and analysis and done something different and interesting. Others have as well, especially with their book and movie reviews. Thank you for that as well. It’s contributing to a valuable resource for others.

            • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

              KFZ – it may surprise you to know that I agree with just about everything you said. I only disagree about the damage Trump has done to the GOP, which was already undergoing a civil war before he showed up. And I hope you’ll take heart from the fact we came close – very close – to getting Ted Cruz nominated. And I will repeat that today’s Trump voter may very well be induced to support Cruz (or some Conservative more politically gifted than Cruz) next time around – provided he distances himself from the GOPe.

              Remember the Alamo! – indeed. And we won’t give up.

              – Nik

              • Anniel says:

                Nik,

                I tried to like Cruz, I even wrote about his great speech about running, but I was so put off when he allied himself with Glenn Beck and the Teddy Bears at the border that I could no longer stand either one of them. I knew those children were facing evil once they were settled. Do we even know where any of them are? Build the wall!

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Annie,

                I am curious what particularly about Cruz’s trip to the border to give children Teddy Bears, riled you so much. Did you believe it was just a political stunt?

                I couldn’t help but feel sorry for those kids, who were pawns in a very dirty game being played by the scoundrel in the White House and his accomplices in high crimes and misdemeanors. .

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Handing out Teddy bears to children “puts you off” but the myriad really outrageous and stupid things that Trump has said and done does not?

                Mr. Kung and I have not been shy about criticizing Cruz when we saw missteps. But it seems odd to disparage people for handing out Teddy bears to children who are the pawns in someone else’s bigger game. Whether that was a scripted and dumb political stunt by Beck and Cruz or if it came from true compassion for these children, I do not know. But I’ll save my ire for more substantive things.

                And it could easily be argued in the realm of “What would Jesus do?” that he would indeed hand out Teddy bears to the children being yanked from their familiar world by their parents to an unfamiliar one. Again, your sense of proportion about what “puts you off” seems strange.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            By “our” I mean the plain people of this country, not the power-seekers and not wealthy business interests.

            Demagogues the world over have made their living making the “plain people” feel as if their interests were finally being addressed.

            Trump understands that America is in trouble and is on the wrong course. Jeb! and the other E-men think the only problem the country has is that they’re not in charge of it.

            The problem with that is that Trump’s entire life is him wadding up to his waste in the culture of the wrong course. I just don’t believe the man. And, again, even if he means some of the things he says, I see little reason to believe he as the attention span to carry any of them out. If he can’t stay focused during a campaign, how in the world can anyone expect him to stay focused as president when things become much more difficult because of real responsibility and events that pull you in a dozen directions?

            Neither candidate major-party is suitable to be president. And I think it’s a toss-up in regards to who would be worse.

            • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

              Well no, Brad, it’s hardly a “toss-up in regards to who would be worse”. Trump has only to follow through on one or two of his many stated positions to be far, far better than Hillary, and he’s sure to do at least that much if elected.

              As to demagoguery, it certainly exists, but there’s no reason to see Trump’s promise to control immigration and negotiate better trade deals as mere demagoguery. As I have pointed out, his age and position combined with a lack of power-lust would lead a dispassionate observer to conclude that Trump’s intentions are good. No need to point out where many roads paved with good intentions have led – I know, and so do Trump’s more enthusiastic supporters. That still puts Trump miles ahead of those (Hillary, Jeb!, etc.) with bad intentions, does it not?

              Which reminds me – do you really think that the common people should have preferred those who definitely were not going to address their interests? Who were going to stubbornly insist on pursuing policies actively destructive to those interests? The fact is – and I know this is a sticking point with you – that every voter who compared Trump to the E-men (Kasich, Rubio, and of course Mr. Establishment himself, ¡Jeb!) and chose Trump over them was right. If they were wrong in choosing Trump over Cruz, that is both understandable and forgivable if we have the wisdom to see that above all else, the GOPe had to be stopped from once more choosing one of their own as nominee, and the sympathy to understand that Trump’s voters were people pushed past all endurance.

          • Rosalys says:

            “There are only three reasons to be in favor of mass-immigration:”

            Add to that a fourth – a desire to completely destroy the American culture. When people from a completely different culture arrive en mass, in the numbers that they do, they do not assimilate, they displace. This is clearly what the ruling class is working towards.

            • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

              Quite true, Rosalys, and I forgot to add #4 although I know it well. I would only add that destroying American culture is the object of the Democratic Left, while the Republican Establishment is more interested in destroying the American middle class because their masters in the Chamber of Commerce have demanded they do so. (The Democrats want to destroy the middle class because it is an obstacle to their seizure of absolute power).

    • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

      GHG – I didn’t mean to make trouble or widen divisions between the ST family when I penned this article, so let me make a personal plea, as a Trump supporter-defender, that you stick with ST. It’s unfortunate in many ways that we’re divided over Trump, and trying to find some way to bridge that divide was my chief reason for writing the piece, although I think by the time I finished it I realized I had already failed. I simply could not understand the (Conservative) NeverTrump point of view. Since then, I will say that Brad and KFZ have helped me somewhat with their pointed disagreements. They haven’t won me over or even budged me in the slightest, but I think I’m a little closer now to pinpointing where we’re parting company – a subject I’ll take up in response to Brad’s query above.

      I don’t think I can bridge the gap, but perhaps I can bring us just an inch closer to understanding one another. And that is important, because as Conservatives we need to stick together. We are finding out that CINOs (Conservatives in Name Only) are more numerous than previously thought and that the GOP Establishment is positively welded to large business interests – I don’t want to explain how Republican attacks on Trump have made that clear because I don’t want to start any more trouble here – and assuming Hillary is elected, the Left will declare open season on us.

      Putting aside the question of political analysis since Brad wants ST to move away from that kind of content, ST is going to remain a bastion of Conservative thought, and I think you might want to stick around.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There has been a lot of division in conservative ranks, and I’ve read of such things as friendships breaking up, not to mention the many disputes between publications. I find that sort of thing regrettable. No political leader is worth such personal splits.

        • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

          Indeed, Tim, and I think it’s really the worst thing about Donald Trump, or at least the next-to-worst thing after depriving us of the opportunity to see if a good Conservative like Cruz could defeat the Democratic machine.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Nik,

            Just to let you know that I have not taken umbrage at anything you or GHG have written. For that matter, I try not to take much of anything personally when discussing these matters. If I did, I don’t think I would have a friend in the world because I have never met anyone who has had the perspicacity to agree with everything I say.

            • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

              I’m very glad to hear that, KFZ, and I thank you for taking the time to let me know. I feel the same way about what you have written, and agree with most of it.
              Nik

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                and agree with most of it.

                I am still searching for that uniquely perspicacious individual who agrees with everything I say. I can’t even find him in the mirror.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Oh, I agree with that, Mr. Kung.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Putting aside the question of political analysis since Brad wants ST to move away from that kind of content, ST is going to remain a bastion of Conservative thought, and I think you might want to stick around.

        Regarding politics, my “rigging” of the site (a necessary thing) is to have articles that describe either what one is doing materially to beat back the Left or what someone else is doing. Aside from extraordinary or special events (this bizarre presidential race being one of them), I do not wish StubbornThings to get lost in the Kultursmog of a Möbius strip-like bubble wherein we mistake endless analysis and opinionating for actually doing something.

        I would love to read articles by any of you guys (or gals) talking about what you are doing to try to change the culture for the better. Or at least reporting on what others are doing to combat the Left and spread conservatism. Or reporting on how Progressivism has adversely affected you, and doing so in a way that might evoke sympathy from those who otherwise reflexively support these Leftist policies (aka: writing something influential and educational). Or, at the very least, playing journalist and asking other people what they think.

        But this endless parsing of events, politics, and principles becomes utterly pointless…and I would say counter-productive, which I think it is.

        What a waste the conservative media has become. Even if some of the writers are brilliantly right, it’s little more than mental masturbation. Conservatism has relegated itself to little more than a book club. Conservatism has become more of a mere identity than an active political program.

        So I won’t sit here and play-pretend. We are adults now. We shouldn’t be playing in the sandbox and going “vroom vroom” with the Tonka trucks (as much as I enjoyed doing that as a child) and believe we are excavating roads and building bridges.

        We have two very bad choices for president. Staying inside this bubble and simply rationalizing Trump is not for me. By all means, hold your nose and vote against Hillary. But I think reading more into Trump borders on the delusional.

        • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

          I understand your desire regarding the editorial direction of ST, Brad, and it is of course entirely your prerogative. You’re the guy doing the editorial work around here, not to mention ST’s founder. The problem for me as a writer is that most of what I want to do doesn’t fit your description, and in fact it would be impossible for me to do much that does fit that description.

          I came very close to being the local Precinct Committeeman, but I can describe that in one sentence. I have toyed with the idea of founding a new conservative party, provisionally named the New Freedom Party, but I haven’t done so because of the difficulty involved, and realistically it’s not very likely that any of ST’s other writers are going to do so either.

          I agree that we need action as well as talk. Indeed, one of my first articles here was Mission: Take the GOP in which I advocated action starting at the local level to replace Establishment GOP officials with Conservative ones. But I think you’re going to have trouble finding people to write very many articles on concrete actions they are taking to fight the Left, because with the exceptions of running for office or attacking the Left intellectually, there isn’t much we can do. The first is extremely limited – get elected or appointed to office as I (almost) did – and the second is what you’ve ruled out of bounds.

          The Left is vulnerable primarily in its bankrupt philosophy of statism, and at the same time, the so-called “Conservative” organs have shown themselves to be largely more Republican Establishment than Conservative (see National Review as Exhibit “A”). I don’t think there has been too much intellectual ammunition fired at the Left, I think there has been far too little. And to the extent there have been solid Conservative political analyses at sites like ST, Front Page Magazine, and perhaps The American Thinker (I don’t have the time to visit that one too often), the real problem is that they haven’t been seen and read by more people. I don’t see how we can win the battle of ideas if we aren’t fighting it, and that means intellectually on all levels, political and otherwise.

          My own view, then, is that we need more analysis and especially a means to get it out there where people can see it. Much of this analysis is going to have to be political in nature. That’s where my own focus will be, out of both conviction and necessity. But when not busy with that, I will be happy to write articles of a less overtly political character for ST.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            The problem for me as a writer is that most of what I want to do doesn’t fit your description, and in fact it would be impossible for me to do much that does fit that description.

            Nik, I simply won’t waste another moment of my time either reading what typically passes for conservative articles, writing them, or posting them. I don’t mind setting the bar high. We really need to come up for air and see the dead-end that the conservative media has become in it present form.

            And if one wants to engage in endless opinionating and analysis, one can still do that in a book review. There are no restrictions on such things.

            But here we are on the cutting edge. It may be a small knife (a very small knife). But I’d rather encourage good, originally, meaningful, and most of all, readable articles then continue the same-old, same-old.

            My own view, then, is that we need more analysis and especially a means to get it out there where people can see it.

            No, no, and no. You will change zero minds via the same-old, same-old analysis. Again, re-read what I wrote. There is plenty of room to do meaningful and persuasive articles. But you have to step outside the bubble to do so.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Just out of curiosity, what about book reviews of books analyzing politics or policy issues?

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Absotively. Book reviews are exempt. I just want people to understand that the horror of horrors to me are the same-old same-old rants dressed up like articles that appear daily at American Thinker. I always scan their headlines and occasionally (very occasionally these days) find an article of interest. But it is rare these days. It’s all just white noise to me now. There’s very little elegance or relevance to what people are yapping about. They don’t connect it to reality. It’s just a chatterbox bubble.

                The impression I’m left with is of a bunch of unhappy people who think getting online and bitching about this stuff is some kind of positive act. It’s not. Go out there in your community and either report first-hand on matters of importance or forget all the endless disembodied opinionating.

            • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

              Funny – I never thought of my work as being “same-old, same-old”. If I had, I wouldn’t have bothered writing it. You don’t want political analysis, even of a very high caliber, o.k. – like I said, that’s your prerogative. I read what you wrote and I explained how limited I think the possibilities are there. Exactly what it is you’re looking for or what you think you’re going to get, other than reviews of books, movies, etc. I have no idea. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see what you publish.

    • Rosalys says:

      I too am tired of being regarded as a mindless “Trumpkin.”

      There is another reason to vote for Trump, even if you despise the man. A victory for Hillary is a victory for the machine, which will keep on running without a glitch. There will be no opposition. Hillary and her successors may as well declare themselves emperor. If Trump wins, he will not be able to rule dictatorially. He is hated by the ruling class (and that includes a great number of Republicans and so called conservatives,) and will be opposed.

      I am thoroughly disgusted with the Republican Party. I still think I am a conservative, but I’m not so sure I even know what that means anymore.

      Hillary may be so horrible that (and my opinion is that nasty woman [and Trump was correct – she is a nasty woman!] is evil, evil evil!) you think you are justified to vote for Trump on that basis alone. Well, let me ask you this; if the candidate were Bernie, would you still feel that way? What if it were Joe Biden? Elizabeth Warren? How about another go with Algore? I still think that Trump is infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrat Party could dredge up!

      There are things I don’t like about Trump. There are many things I do like about Trump. In fact I like Trump more that I used to. I was pleasantly surprised hear him denounce the practice of partial birth abortion, in the last debate! (And he has the correct, constitutional, position on this!) He isn’t going to further erode my right to be, and behave (as best I am able) as, a Christian. Hillary has stated that Christians are just going to have to change their positions to be more in line with state policy! My Christianity, under Hillary- or any democrat – will necessarily take a back seat to many “lifestyles” which are not constitutionally recognized. He has the more correct position on immigration. He has the more correct position on ObamaCare, which is to repeal it, and replace it with Health Savings Accounts, and to allow for people to purchase health insurance across state lines. These all seem to me to be pretty conservative positions!

      I will not hold my nose while I vote for Mr. Trump. In fact I will cast my ballot without any reservations, whatsoever! I’ll take a wait and see attitude. If he does a 180 on all his stated positions after winning, then I will eat crow.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I will not hold my nose while I vote for Mr. Trump. In fact I will cast my ballot without any reservations, whatsoever!

        Yikes. After seeing what you’ve seen from this guy, no reservations? Hey, I thought we on the right were not the kool-aid drinkers.

        He isn’t going to further erode my right to be, and behave (as best I am able) as, a Christian. Hillary has stated that Christians are just going to have to change their positions to be more in line with state policy!

        Says the guy who lets Bruce Jenner use the women’s room in his building and won’t condemn Planned Parenthood. Rosalys, it’s not a matter of eating crow. It’s a matter of hoping to find a few feathers that do not have lice on them. Should Trump win, I hope to hope he will:

        1) Clamp down on illegal immigration

        2) Submit legislation the deals with voter fraud, including a voter ID card

        3) Drill, baby, drill

        4) Harsh screening of any Muslims trying to enter the country

        5) Reduce taxes and regulation…particularly emasculating the various semi-autonomous regulatory boards and bureaus.

        6) Reduce Federal spending, including promoting the elimination of entire departments (such as the Dept. of Education) which have no Constitutional business even existing

        7) Reduce the deficit and debt

        8) Reform entitlements, eliminating some, if necessary (including Obamacare)

        9) Have a rational foreign policy in regards to Islam (ISIS, etc.) that is not politically correct.

        10) Bring back integrity, thoughtfulness, and class to the presidency

        I don’t offhand give a flying fig how many pussies he has grabbed. I don’t expect Trump or anyone else to be an angel. However, given the totality of what I’ve seen from this man, it’s hard to believe he has what it takes to proceed with an agenda like this and not get distracted by some personal insult which will come in bunches if he is president.

        Most of the things above are not “gimme gimme” things that are easy to promise a marshmallow populace who is acclimated to free stuff. Trump’s entire background is in Progressivism. Yes, a caterpillar might turn into a butterfly. But there is every reason to believe that Trump would remain Trump — which means no one can possibly believe this man’s promises.

        By all means, hold your nose. But do not close your eyes or ears….for either Hillary or Trump.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I still think I am a conservative, but I’m not so sure I even know what that means anymore.

        I find that observation a bit worrying. Is it a sign that the constant cultural propaganda is beginning to take effect? Or is it that you are willing to compromise beliefs simply for a win? This is a serious question as we need as little confusion over our philosophy as possible.

        Human nature does not change over the years. There are constants which must be acknowledged. Thus conservatism does not change over the years. I believe it was Brad who wrote a sort-of conservative manifesto a year or two back. As I recall, it did a good job of defining what it meant to be a conservative.

        I was pleasantly surprised hear him denounce the practice of partial birth abortion, in the last debate! (And he has the correct, constitutional, position on this!)

        I, too, was glad to hear his comments on partial birth abortion. But one must realize this is a position which is at odds with his year-long and continued support for Planned Parenthood, which is a place where partial-birth abortions are performed.

        One can say Trump has evolved and I hope he has, but too often when a politician “evolves” it simply means he lies well.

        He isn’t going to further erode my right to be, and behave (as best I am able) as, a Christian.

        On what do you base this assumption? He is the man who said Bruce, I forgot his female name, Jenner would be welcome to use the female restrooms at Trump Tower. It is not a stretch to believe that those pushing for gender equality (whatever that means) will eventually demand your Christianity step aside for their rights. Do you believe Trump will side with Christians on this? I have seen no indication that he will. In fact, his whole life till now would indicate that he won’t. He is a New York liberal.

        I hope my fears are wrong and that Trump is elected and does all the things which you believe. Nothing would make me happier to eat crow. Either Peking Crow or Crow a l’Orange would be nice.

        We will have to wait and see.

        • Rosalys says:

          “Is it a sign that the constant cultural propaganda is beginning to take effect? Or is it that you are willing to compromise beliefs simply for a win?”

          Neither. It is because the concept of conservatism has been so eroded by the very people who claim to be so, get elected on that basis, and then do diddly squat about changing the direction of this great ship of state! I think that being a conservative means that I believe that I should be left alone, to go about my own business, and to pursue my own definition of happiness (aside from public immorality,) as long as I pursue it on my own dime, don’t step on anyone else’s territory. I don’t believe in supermen. I believe in a clear set of rules that applies to everyone, and that may not be changed on the whim of five black robed men, who refuse to do the job they were appointed to do – that job being to uphold the law, not interpret it. I believe that our Constitution is a pretty good document, and we should not toss it away lightly, or allow it to be destroyed through misuse and abuse.

          If all those “conservatives” in Congress are really conservative, why the hell are we further along on the road to perdition than we were before the election of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate? They may have slowed the destruction somewhat; but if you’re speeding toward the cliff’s edge at a hundred miles per hour, and you slow down to fifty, you are still going to go off the edge. What you need to do, at the very least, is to STOP! Hopefully then you will realize the necessity to turn around. I just haven’t seen this happening.

          On what do you base this assumption?” (that he will not further erode my right to be a Christian)

          I base it on him saying he is in favor repealing Lyndon Johnson’s law, prohibiting any church from getting involved in politics, on pain of loosing their tax exempt status.

          Rumor has it, from a source I normally would trust, that Trump has recently become a Christian. I know, I know… Many times Christians can be hornswoggled, too ready to believe what they want to believe. If Trump has made a profession, it still remains to be seen what kind of soil the seed has landed on. (see Matthew 13:18-23 and Mark 4:3-8) I hope the seed has landed on good soil, and taken root in Trump’s heart, and that it will bear a good crop. I pray for him daily. I also realize that it could be a con, or that it was a profession made on bad soil that will not take root, or be snatched away by the devil, or be trampled under foot by the cares of this world.

          So please, please, PLEEZ! I am not going flaky on you! My eyes are open! I have already just about given up on the good old US of A; but I see a glimmer of hope with a Trump presidency that I’m just not seeing anywhere else. I accept that it may be a sham – or even that if Trump turns out to be the next George Washington (which I’m not anticipating,) that he may be sabotaged by the left, who will still hold considerable power, and are not going away without a big, bloody fight.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            So it seems you do have a good idea of what conservatism means, after all.

            I feel better now.

            The problem is simply that you, like the rest of us, have been betrayed by too many who have called themselves conservatives. And having been betrayed we sometimes lose heart. It is understandable, but after a good night’s sleep, we must start again.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Exactly. The problem hasn’t been conservatism per se, but politicians who claim to be (and in many cases probably mean it, at least initially) conservative and fail to live up to it. “To get along, you have to go along.”

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Exactly. The problem hasn’t been conservatism per se, but politicians who claim to be (and in many cases probably mean it, at least initially) conservative and fail to live up to it. “To get along, you have to go along.”

                Let me play contrarian…or at least reality-checker: I think the big part of the problem is we phoned it in. Oh, sure, we may have been all outraged after-the-fact that Politician X was not a conservative (or sold out once in Washington or in the state house). But because this went on for decades, there is much more to it then meets the eye. Fool me once, shame on you, and all that.

                I think we didn’t want to take too sharp of a look at these guys. We were rope-a-doped (as people are being by Trump) because all you needed to know was that there was an ‘R’ next to the name and the candidate expressed fealty to god, guns, and gas-guzzlers — the very definition of Identity Conservatives (or just lazy conservatives).

                In an era where everything is marketed (and thus reality becomes whatever the marketers say it is), we either forget to ask the pertinent questions or had forgotten the basics of being a citizen of a great republic which is to peek behind the curtain to see what switches and levers the man might be pulling.

                Trump supporters don’t seem to be bothered by the concept of switches and levers and those who seek to pull the curtain back are cast off as being “unproductive,” at best.

                We can’t throw a hail mary pass and expect all this to get fix. You all need to get involved on some level. Even if another Ronald Reagan became president, it wouldn’t fix things.

                In other words, you can’t have self-government without the self.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        When it comes to the question of what is a conservative, the problem is that there is no official definition, nor can there be. No one has the authority to define who is a conservative. One meaning is caution about change — a conservative does not reject change reflexively, but is very cautious (especially major societal changes such as redefining marriage). This also includes as a corollary a respect for tradition, and an awareness that traditions usually have some good reason for existing. Another meaning is “right wing” — which basically refers to a set of political views. Those whose views are largely congruent with those that are called rightist are themselves right-wing and thus conservative.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          American conservative can indeed be roughly defined. It’s not “conservatism” in the sense of maintaining the status quo. The quo may be pushed forward or backward depending on the corrections needed.

          American conservative is based upon the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and basic biblical and English common law ideas. Man will live as freely and productively as possible, with restraints both on personal behavior and on government needed to ensure that.

          In a general sense, American conservatism is based on good-faith processes and ideas based not only on what man can, and should, do for his own safety, progress, and justice, but on what man should not do.

          American conservatism is not specifically going to tell you whether or not to build this bridge here or go with light rail. But it will be honest about the costs. It will try to eek out the various motivations that go into such decisions so that above-board and rational decisions can be made.

          This is the primary disturbing element about both Trump and Hillary. Due to either incompetence or just plain mercurialism, there is no way to really know the consequences of either as president. And both regularly engage in the unreality that is sweeping our culture. I’m disturbed to see so many people get caught up in this unreality when what we need are more gatekeepers and shepherds.

          • Rosalys says:

            I like and accept this definition of Conservatism.

            “…there is no way to really know the consequences of either as president.”

            I think that is true about Trump. Not so about Hillary. I think we all know what we will get with Hillary!

            • Anniel says:

              Rosalys,

              I could hug and kiss you for everyone of your great posts. I give you a thousand thumbs up for your spirit and intelligence in defending yourself and Mr. Trump. I am still there for the man. I think James OKeefe and his Project Veritas deserve kudos from everyone on the planet who loves liberty, and so does Wikileaks.

              I don’t feel so lonely anymore and I pray Mr. Lesser is still here to read all of this.

              Bear sends you his love and greetings, too.

              • Rosalys says:

                I too pray Mr. Lesser stays around. I want us all to stick around. This is one of the few sites where you can speak your mind. You may catch heck for your opinions from the editor, but he won’t toss you out. I’ve had comments REMOVED from sites because I’ve a different point of view. One that really hurt was a perfectly reasonable, albeit passionate comment, concerning Rick Santorum’s declaration, “If Bruce Jenner says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman.” This was at Truth Revolt, a conservative site, and they removed my conservative comment! And don’t get me started on American Thinker!

                So for all Brad’s faults, he is infinitely better than so many others! 😉

                I’m honored that your Bear sends me his love and greetings. Love to you both, too, Annie!

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a pretty good post from one guy at NRO. I particularly liked his last point about government.

    I am a recovering Democrat who votes Republican because:

    1) I realized historically that Supply-side economics works,

    2) I believe in individual freedom and in exercising my Constitutional liberties (including seeing the entire United States as a “free speech zone”) and in freedom to choose what to do with the little money I have dribbling in,

    3) I see freedom as possible only by keeping the Constitutional roles in Washington limited and Constitutional (for instance, the Supreme Court is not a legislative body) on a strict system of checks and balances,

    4) I am an Originalist, which simply means that while the Constituion must change (and you fools who believe Originalists don’t want the Constitution to change, read the darn think and see there’s an Amendment process, you dishonest chowderheads!) but before changing it willy-nilly we need to come to some agreement on what is SAYS…

    ERGO, I will continue voting Republican because, Trump or no Trump, the Republican Party is still, after more than two hundred years, the Party closest to these ideals.

    In brief, more tongue-in-cheek, I believe government is a necessary evil. The Libertarians don’t see it as necessary and the Democrats don’t see it as evil.

  6. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Yesterday, I went for a walk through my neighborhood. In about thirty minutes I saw only one political sign and it was “Vote Clinton/Kaine.”

    As I live in one of the most conservative counties in the country, I was a little surprised that I did not see one “Trump” sign. I do know one house that has a “Trump” sign in front, but it belongs to the Republican precinct chair and was not on my route.

    In 2012, there were many “Romney” and a few “Obama” signs in those front yards.

    I would surmise that both sides are less than thrilled about the state of things.

    (That’s my man-on-the-beat report for the day.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The “Bradley Effect” is Trump’s best chance. What you describe, Mr. Kung, is that the normal Texan (and rightfully so) would be embarrassed to have a Trump sign on their front lawn. Still, they might vote for him as an alternative to Hillary.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Another possibility is that in a violent election year, few Trump supporters want to go to the hassle of having a Trump sign and then getting vandalized by Obama Gang and Clinton Gang thugs.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          That could be true, but I don’t think this the case in a city which, some years back, had the highest per house income of large cities in the USA. (Large cities=populations over 2oo,000 or 250,000.I don’t recall which.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I read Mr. Kung’s answer and it seems like a likely answer. But surely many people refrain from putting Republican bumper stickers on their cars (I had a Cruz one) because of the frequency of keying by the thugs.

          What is disconcerting is to see, at least verbally, that thuggishness being expressed by some Trump supporters. They scare me just as BLM scares me.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        In 2012, I had two “Romney” signs in my front yard.

  7. pst4usa says:

    See now I was told by the state Trump leadership team, I was the reason we can’t get any Trump signs in Mason County? Your other ideas sound a little more viable though.
    I have to say I felt really bad about my role until you guys helped alleviate my guilt, thank you so very much.

  8. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    It appears there are something like 2 million more voters registered in Texas for this election than in 2012 or 2008.

    I am not sure what this means. But since it is a truism that the higher the turnout, the more likely a Democrat will win the presidency, I am afraid this number portends bad news for Trump and Republicans down the line.

    I hope I am wrong and that the new registrations are for Republicans, but I ain’t so sure. Polls show that Trump is leading in Texas by only 3-4%. If this is true, it is a disaster. Normally, a Republican would be about 15% points ahead.

    I did a quick check and both Romney and McCain won Texas by about 12% or 13%. W won by 21% and 22%, but since he was the governor of Texas I believe the no. was higher than it would have been for a generic Republican. His father won Texas in 1988 by 11% or 12%, but only by about 3% in 1992. That was unusual because of Perot who was also from Texas.

  9. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Another interesting thing about this election is that I have not seen one political commercial on TV for or against either Trump or Hillary. Normally, several would have been aired by this date.

    I don’t know what this means.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I wouldn’t think Texas usually gets many presidential campaign ads. Certainly as more emphasis is placed on swing states. To be sure, there are polls showing Texas close this year, but the Clinton Gang response is apparently to work on increasing minority turnout, especially South Texas Hispanics.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        It is true that Texas doesn’t get many presidential campaign ads, but we generally do get a few. To-date; nada, nil, zilch. That is unusual.

        As to minority voters. There are three high population counties in Texas which vote Democrat. All three have a large number of minorities. They are Dallas, Harris and Travis counties. Travis has the state capital, Austin, and UT so it is doubly left-leaning. A few less populous Dem counties border Mexico, but they do not come close to having the voting power of the above-mentioned three.

        It appears Dallas county has opened the most early-voting spots in history. This was not done to help Trump.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I saw my first presidential campaign ad today and it was anti-Hillary. It was paid for by some PAC which I had never heard of. I suppose I will start hearing more till the election date.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I saw a good pro-Trump ad during the World Series. A pity he couldn’t have started off with that kind of professional stage-crafting and stuck with it.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            That is a serious gripe I have about him. He couldn’t even pretend to be willing to be disciplined and stick to a plan. He couldn’t even pretend to be focused and articulate. It has been like he is a bad imitation of Robin Williams doing Mork.

            He clearly has difficulty listening to others and controlling his ego. This is very worrisome.

  10. Anniel says:

    I have considered this article, and it’s fallout, for many days before commenting.

    I would like to thank Nic for his thoughts. I’ve missed the input of many people, especially since Wikileaks and James O’Keefe have exposed so much PROVEABLE corruption at all levels, particularly the highest, of our government. And the confessions that have come out about rigged voting make me weep, as do the leaks that prove the hiring of rent-a-mobs to disrupt Trump events and make it appear that the problems were started by the Trump supporters.

    It saddens me not to have up-to-date conservative thinking by my friends at ST on some of these matters. Just my feelings. I listen to Seth Leibsohm to soothe myself with truth in those areas.

    I do hope that two of my favorite people, Nic and Mr. Lesser, stick around, or at least drop by to visit. I would miss their many kindnesses if they did not.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’ve commented extensively on many of these topics at Town Hall, where they come up in articles. At this stage, I still consider Trump less bad than the Fire Witch (or any other Demagogue, for that matter). Basically, he’s vulgar in a way that Slick Barry and Slick Hilly aren’t known to be (though the Yellow Jester and Slick Willy are another matter). I’m skeptical about the sexual charges against him, but in any case they’re no worse than the behavior of the Yellow Jester, much less Slick Willie. In terms of political/business ethics (lying, corruption), he is at worst little better than the Demagogues.

      And in policy terms, again, he is at worst little better than the Demagogues. If he lives up to at least some of those promises (and I think he’ll at least try), he’s a big improvement over them (and for that matter many GOP Beltway Bandits).

    • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

      Thanks, Annie, and don’t worry – I don’t plan to leave, it’s just that I’m only rarely going to have time to write on non-political subjects.

  11. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Will Trump stand up against this type of thing?

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/10/25/editor-of-austrias-largest-paper-charged-with-hate-speech-over-migrant-article/

    This is exactly why we cannot have “hate” laws. By bringing in more foreigners, the Left uses such laws as a club to dampen down free speech.

  12. Timothy Lane says:

    John Stossel has a nice article on Town Hall detailing some of the media falsehoods about Trump that he only learned by happening to look into them. For example, he discovered (as Ann Coulter had before him), that Trump really didn’t mock a handicapped reporter. Since Stossel remains a Trump critic, his argument is especially believable. The link is:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2016/10/26/the-ruling-class-n2236923

    • Rosalys says:

      Stefan Molyneaux has a number of youtube videos that removes the left spin out of much of what is reported on Trump.

  13. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Let me try to put things in a little perspective with a quote about Scipio Africanus (the Roman who defeated Hannibal at Zama) from “The Decisive Battles of the Western World”. It contains a further quote which Polybius attributes to Scipio himself.

    “His most remarkable gift was his insight to crowd psychology. When in Spain his men mutinied, he commented on this mishap as follows: ‘…a crowd is ever easily misled and easily induced to any error. Therefore, it is that crowds are like the sea, which in its own nature is safe and quiet; but, when the winds fall violently upon it, assumes the character of the blasts which lash it into furry; thus a multitude is ever found to be what its leaders and counsellors are.’

    This was said around 210-205 B.C.

    Good men can lift up a crowd, bad men can use crowds for evil. Our founding fathers understood this very well. That is why they formed a republic and laid great value on good leaders and an informed populous.

    Whether one is good or bad, understanding Scipio’s insight, i.e. acknowledging human nature, and having the willingness to act upon this knowledge will go a long way to making a successful politician. This is why it is essential to try and find and promote good leaders.

    And to be redundant, Scipio’s quote shows why the character of leaders is so important. And that is one reason why I see Trump as having done great damage to the Republic.

    After all, we are just another crowd joined by electricity.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      That’s a great quote, Mr. Kung. Timeless wisdom from Scipio.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        We can all learn much from the study of history. That is why the Left does not want it taught. Unfortunately, I am afraid many on the Right have neglected its study as well.

  14. Timothy Lane says:

    Kurt Schlichter has a delightful column on TownHall today, a satirical advice column for the politically troubled. Most are liberals, but not all; the best features a woman who’s concerned about her husband buying a number of guns to be ready if the election goes wrong — she thinks he doesn’t have enough guns and ammunition yet. The link is:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2016/10/27/dear-kurt-i-cant-believe-someone-with-such-a-terrible-record-on-women-is-running-for-president-n2237296

  15. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Yesterday, I performed my civic duty and voted. Although this was the fourth day of early voting in Texas, the number of people who showed up appeared to be somewhat greater than I have seen in previous years.

    If the attached link is any indication, it would seem that more people are voting than ever before and will continue to do so for years to come.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/10/27/2-investigators-chicago-voters-cast-ballots-from-beyond-the-grave/

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I suspect some vote fraudsters wait until someone hasn’t voted in several consecutive elections, and then treat that as an available vote — no matter what the reason (death, moving out of state, whatever).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It would be impolite, Mr. Kung, to ask for whom you voted. But if the narrative of the Trumpkins holds true, an Establishment Republican such as yourself, with no reverence for America or her institutions…well…you obviously must have vote for Hillary. 😀

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        “I zee nozing, I hear nozing”

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Watched a couple episodes of that on free TV last night. But I was so tired I couldn’t stay awake during the later 11:30 Perry Mason episode. That’s become a late-night fixture for me of late. Funny how the innocent clients seem to gravitate toward Mason. But that’s just the way it works out. And Hamilton Burger and Lt. Tragg normally come out on the losing end, although last night’s episode was set outside of their jurisdiction, so some other district attorney had to get it wrong.

          And, yes, Trumpbots, these episodes are definitely “rigged.”

          • Timothy Lane says:

            A friend of mine once said that Burger should see who goes to Mason and let him do the job of solving the crime — though it didn’t always work out that way in the books. (That last minute confession was very rare, for example; I only recall one instance of it, in The Case of the Waylaid Wolf.)

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              If I remember my Masonian history correctly, there are at least a couple episodes where Hamilton Burger wins in court. I don’t offhand recall if that is because Mason’s client is guilty or he just couldn’t overcome the evidence.

              The formula is so laughably (laughing with them, not at them) formulaic that it’s a wonder they could get away with that for so many years. But I guess if you have a good formula.

              This is a generally smart, well-directed series. The scripts, as I said, are formulaic but it’s well acted, photographed, etc. And it’s fun to peek a little into the times before it was deemed criminal to notice that women were women.

              Paul Drake, for instance (who has a splendid and congenial working arrangement with both Mason and Della), will often greet Della with, “Hello, beautiful.” And it’s all taken in good humor. He’s not treating her as a sex object nor trying to “keep the woman down.” It’s a little friendly banter between human beings who have respect for each other and thus don’t need to police words like a Feminist Gestapo.

              This is one reason I enjoy these old series. Today’s shows are either so politically correct or so vulgar (or both) that it feels as if you’re being degraded just watching them.

              Sounds as if the books are different from the formulaic TV show where, indeed, many cases are solved by someone in the gallery or on the stand saying, “Yes…I killed him…and I’m glad I did.” Wonder if the books are worth reading.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                A lot of them certainly are. I have a complete collection (my father was also a big fan, though his copies probably all disappeared over the years).

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                At the moment, I’m very much enjoying one of the Dr. Thorndyke detective novels. I may try my hand at an Erle Stanley Gardner one with Perry Mason. Here’s what one reviewer says of the novels:

                The Perry Mason books, which predated the TV show, almost never made it to trial. Perry solved the crime, the perpetrators got arrested and that was the end of the book. On the TV show, they most always spend the last 15-20 minutes of the show at the trial. Though these books do take liberties that the TV show couldn’t. This was a good read.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                This is one reason I enjoy these old series. Today’s shows are either so politically correct or so vulgar (or both) that it feels as if you’re being degraded just watching them.

                There must be millions who agree with you. “Perry Mason” re-runs have been on continuously for decades.

                MeTV shows two every week day, one in the morning and one at night. I believe I have seen every episode at least twice and some of them three times. They are done so well that even if one knows exactly what is going to happen and how it will happen, they are still easy to watch.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Oooo. Oooo. Oooo. I didn’t know there was one on in the morning. Is it the same one? Better not tell me because I really should be working in the morning, not watching Perry Mason. But maybe if I locked the door.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Sorry to tell you, the morning and night episodes are different.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Rats. What time does the morning episode come on?

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I believe they are now at 8:00am. They were previously at 9:00am. I am in the Central Time Zone.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Oh…geez. Thanks. 8:00 would work.

              • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

                No time for research, so this is all from memory. I do remember one episode in which Burger won and Mason’s client, Julie Adams (she who was menaced by The Creature from the Black Lagoon a few years earlier) was convicted of murder. No courtroom confession in that one, but there was a rather suspenseful ending in which the murderer comes back to a large, quiet house at night to try a second killing.

                Normally, though, Mason made HAM(ilton)BURGER out of Burger every time. Silly joke, but I believe it was intentional on Earle Stanley Gardner’s part.

                In discussing the pre-PC nature of the series, you forgot to mention that Drake (William Hopper, who was almost cast as Mason) is often seen (gasp!) smoking a cigarette!

                As for the books, I read a couple of them back when I was 18 or 20. Earle Stanley Gardner was a skilled lawyer but a rotten writer. If you read one, you’ve read them all, but that’s no reason not to read just one.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                By the way, I found out that the early weekday episode of Perry Mason starts at 9:00 am on the Left Coast. Frankly, I doubt I have it in me to watch two of them in a day. Last night’s wasn’t bad. It was about some guy making off with $130.000 and jumping out of a plane to make it look like someone else did it. Lots of double-crosses involved. Frankly again, I couldn’t quite keep up with them all. But Mason figured it out in the end. Surprise Surprise.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I would buy either a nice string of pearls. June Cleaver died just a couple of years back and also was in her nineties. Must be something about clean living in 1950’s-1960’s TV.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              In one of the books, the bio note on Drake noted that he wasn’t sure which burgers he disliked more — the ones he ate on stake-out, or the prosecutor.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I love the guy who plays Drake — William Hopper. I don’t know that he could have ever anchored his own “Paul Drake Detective” spin-off show. But he’s nice member of this cast. And Barbara Hale is my definition of knock-out beautiful. I wish sweaters would make a comeback. She was an artist and had an orchid named after her (one cultivated by Raymond Burr). Voted “May Queen” her senior years in high school (you’d have to be blind not to do that). She is apparently still alive at the age of 94.

                And who do you think wears the pearl necklace better, her or June Cleaver?

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      More voter fraud.

      If you read the article, you will note that it has to do with local elections/referenda. I have long said that voter fraud is most common in local elections, because a few votes here or there can generally make a much greater difference that in national elections.

  16. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a rant I like from this article:

    Remember when all the Trumpsters said Trump would pivot and become more presidential after the primaries? He’s still a petulant little three year old stomping his feet when somebody says something bad about him. He still throws his food on the floor. In short, he can’t stop being himself.

    It’s a very sad time when the Dem candidate appears to be more mature than the Pubbie candidate. His infantile behavior as much as his past immorality and present status as an ignoramus makes it difficult for many conservative Republicans to support him.

    Because Hillary is a conniving, lying Chavez-wannabe doesn’t make Trump a viable alternative. He’s still a fecal sandwich with a little catsup on him.

    LOL. Gotta give the guy credit for not sugar-coating it.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The Loyola article at least partially articulates the reasons why I see Trump having done tremendous damage to the Republican party.

      I agree with most of what Loyola writes. Although he moves in the right direction, he still does not get to the bottom of what truly ails this country. It is not a question of free-trade or protectionism.

      Given the the combination of Federal Reserve built-in inflation, welfare programs, third-rate education, insane regulation and the cultural dissolution of our country, “Free Trade” will not make everything “hunky-dory” again. I do tire of the so-called “Free Traders” pretending that it is the be-all and end-all solution to our problems.

      And I say that as one who has made his living on international trade.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I agree with most of what Loyola writes. Although he moves in the right direction, he still does not get to the bottom of what truly ails this country. It is not a question of free-trade or protectionism.

        I’m inclined to agree with you, Mr. Kung. I’m sure we’ll find something to differ about soon, but not just yet. But I do think there will be a lot of spaghetti thrown at the wall (to see if something sticks) in regards to figuring out what Trump means (win or lose) and what comes next (win or lose).

        Trump supporters have a lot bound up in this candidate. I’m more inclined to see them as wayward (for whatever reason), as David French notes in his article about young Christians holding to their faith while older Christian seem to be selling out.

        However one “feels” about Trump (or Establishment Republicans, for that matter), I have the definite feeling that it’s not going to be so easy to put Humpty Dumpty back together again…if only because it’s such a clusterf**k of ideas coming from the intelligentsia (and the rank-and-file) about what went wrong. Everyone has their pet theory, and most of them are quite myopic, as you seem to suggest about this one from Loyola.

        At the end of the day, there can be no getting around the fact that there will be a banquet of shit-sandwiches for Trump supporters to eat. And they can try to delay this feast by blaming never-Trumpers and (in Hitleresque fashion) going on and on about how they were stabbed in the back by the Establishment.

        But the reality is is that they backed a bad man…one of the few who could make Hillary look sane and reasonable.

        I’ll end it there, because we still have to take in more data in regards to the aftermath…such as the looming election.

        And I agree with your analysis. I think the fixation on free trade is attractive because it sidesteps all the knotty moral question inherent to our situation in America. It’s a bit gutless to try to say it’s all a matter of trade. Hell, in absolute terms, we’ve never been richer. Trade is not our problem.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        In reviewing ‘Joseph Stiglitz’s study of the 2008 economic crisis for Salem Press, I mentioned my idea that economic theoreticians are like “The Six Blind Men and the Elephant” — “For each was partly in the right, and each was in the wrong.”

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I think that old Hindu or Buddhist analogy is a good one in this case. Perhaps this is a clue to the entire problem. Maybe we’ve become a bunch of energized cranky little factions, all with very narrow interests. And because intellectual integrity was never a strength of mankind, particularly regarding his politics, the solutions are easy in each case: Just do the things exactly as every faction prescribes and all will be well. But don’t listen to them other guys, all of whom are wrong and destructive.

          I really doubt there can be much cross-pollination between these factions now. I mean, if you’re an Establishment Republican, your ideas of oligarchy seem all the more rational given that the rank-and-file have gone for a demagogue. And if you’re a Trumpkin, it’s likely you’ll forever be talking about how you were “stabbed in the back” by the Establishment and fake “never-Trump” conservatives (instead of realizing, of course, that even if every single one of us voted for Trump, it wouldn’t cure his real problem which is to appeal to a broad spectrum of people).

          And if you’re someone like me (and I’m not saying there are just three factions — the Establishment, Trumpkins, and diaspora Conservatives), you may be beginning to wonder if there can be any further alignment across generally conservative lines, those lines having been shown to be so easily redrawn by many people.

          So, I really don’t know how all this will wash out. But I do think the broad trends will continue…particularly that of the increasing gulf between the government and the governed, the lords and the tattooed serfs, if you will.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          “For each was partly in the right, and each was in the wrong.”

          Ain’t it the truth. But I would surmise that given the size of the elephant to be studied, and the fact that each Wise Man was only able to study a small part of the elephant, each was more wrong than right.

  17. Timothy Lane says:

    Town Hall has an article today on a poll that found that Trump voters are more knowledgeable about policy issues than Hillary voters, getting 43% of 16 questions right on average compared to 31%. They also checked other groups (men, women, certain age groups, and independents), and found them between the two (mostly in the mid-30s). The link is:

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2016/10/28/trump-voters-found-to-be-more-knowledgeable-than-clinton-voters-in-new-poll-n2236992

  18. Anniel says:

    KFZ:

    Just returned from early voting. Lines out the wazoo, but at least it’s paper ballots here.

    About Cruz. I hadn’t been aware at first that he accompanied Glenn Beck to the border to pass out the teddy bears and soccer balls to the “children” crossing into the US, but, just prior to the rush on the border, Beck had been raising money for a group finding and rescuing “kidnapped, missing and sexually exploited children,” some of whom were from the US, who were being shipped all over the world. So, just what are we doing on the border passing little, and not quite so little, children into uncertain futures? Were they really going to “family” or simply claimed by strangers for exploitation? I hear that one of the reason so many of the young drug mules are so heavily tattooed is so that they can be easily ID’d by the cartels, then they are marked forever and cannot escape the life they are forced into.

    I wonder how many of those children met by Beck and Cruz met terrible fates. We have no way of knowing, and Cruz was there, not Donald Trump. By whose authority did Beck say that Cruz was the “Anointed One”, but he is now “dead” to him since he, more or less, endorsed Trump?

    As I said, when someone can tell me where those children are, I might, just might reconsider Cruz. Right now, tough, he allied himself to Beck and is paying the price for it.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I have read that the children were usually handed over to family members, who may not actually have been family. And even if they were, Latin Americans are far too amenable to child sexual abuse (as Ann Coulter has pointed out frequently).

      • Anniel says:

        Timothy,

        I was beginning to think I was the only one who heard the stories. It’s a shame when you hear what happens to unprotected children all over the world, like the Rotherham rapes in the UK and no one seems to really care. Close your eyes, and your hearts and what do you have left? Cultural rot at its worst.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Annie,

      Do you have a feel for what the long voter lines portend? I am not sure about those I saw in Texas, but I am slightly inclined to read into them a little more Dems showing up than usual.

      As to your reply about Cruz, I fear I do not understand what you wish to say. If I recall the situation, it was that the Obama administration was aiding and abetting the movement of something like 50 or 60,000 children from Central America (mainly) to the USA. Despite the open nature and loud criticism by conservatives of this criminal procedure, no one but Obama have could stopped it.

      Regardless what one thinks of Cruz and Beck, I believe their attempt to alleviate any suffering these children may have been experiencing as kind/useful. I would say the same even if it was done for only political reasons, which I don’t think would be the main reason for Cruz, as most Texans don’t support illegal immigration.

      What Cruz and/or Beck had to do with helping these children to “terrible fates”, I do not understand. This whole episode was orchestrated by Obama and the Left.

      • Anniel says:

        …?. Well, I guess if Beck and Cruz’s intentions were good it’s OK to send such children on to uncertain destinations. IF some of them were snagged up by gangs, and/or human trafficking, they may have taken comfort from their bears. Maybe some of them even got rescued by the group Beck was promoting just before the advent of these children on the scene.

        There is plenty of guilt to go around in matters concerning the abuse of children. The innocent children of our age seem to be just more of the spoils of war. Yes, I think Obama, Pelosie, et. al., are probably the most guilty group in the nation. But how many people even remember the children or consider their fate? Was it Pelosi who took candy suckers down for a photo op with washed and cleaned up little ones? Where did they all go from her helpful hands?

        If my little grandchildren were taken away and treated as pawns BY EITHER SIDE OF THE POLITICAL AISLE in such a cavalier fashion. . . I really could not forgive the perpetrators. That is how I understand everyone involved in this sordid affair.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Beck and Cruz had nothing to do with what happened to the children after they were in the camps. They were only trying to ameliorate their situation while there.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          If my little grandchildren were taken away and treated as pawns BY EITHER SIDE OF THE POLITICAL AISLE in such a cavalier fashion. . . I really could not forgive the perpetrators. That is how I understand everyone involved in this sordid affair.

          I must reiterate what Tim says. I have never heard even an intimation that either Beck or Cruz had anything WHATSOEVER to do with the transportation of those children to the USA or even within the USA once they had arrived here.

          As I recall, the whole episode was instigated by the Obama administration putting the word out that such children would not be turned back at the border. This was the predicate for those who arranged to approach many parents and other relatives in Central America to get their children on these trains in the direction of the north.

          Beck and Cruz certainly did not advertise to the Central Americans asking them to send the children here. This was done by the American Left.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          The link is to Ann Coulter’s latest article which lays out the reasons to vote for Trump as opposed to Clinton. As usual, some of her comments are very funny.

          But I specifically thought her comments on Miss Venezuela would be of interest to you Annie.

          http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2016-11-02.html

  19. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Funny – I never thought of my work as being “same-old, same-old”

    Nik, I’m sensing the lack of even a basic willingness at introspection or trying something new, let alone admitting one might have room for improvement. I’ve been pretty damn clear about what I want, but I’ll try again.

    There are many ways to describe what I want. One is to stop being an armchair quarterback and get out there and report from the field. Another way to say this is to not bore us (Im guilty of the same thing) with fine-toothed analysis and instead write something that is moving, human, and persuasive.

    Hey, do you love Donald Trump anyone? Fine. Then go to a friggin’ rally and report on what people are saying. Become a reporter. Be objective. Tell us something we ought to know.

    Do you know someone whose been screwed over by Progressivism in some way? Get their story. Do an interview. Or write your own story. Go volunteer for a candidate and tell of your adventures, positive and negative, what you’re learned, etc.

    But enough of the inside-the-bubble armchair analysis. If anyone here desires to climb the greasy poll of the conservative press, then put on your Charles Krauthammer hat and do the same-old, same old. Submit your articles to National Review or wherever.

    But if instead of a conservative factbot or analysisbot you desire to be a real human writer who might be read and even might be persuasive, then dare to stretch yourself a little and break out of the box. Tell a story of real life out there, not endless parsing of the daily drama of politics.

  20. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Maybe Trump has a chance. We moved my mother into another assisted living place last Thursday. It’s a really nice one. She’s half out of her mind, both in terms of memory and reasoning. But I had to laugh when she told me today she hoped that one guy (Trump) doesn’t win because of all the nasty things she said of Hillary. I have no idea how she even knew about that. She doesn’t watch TV anymore and was pretty isolated at the previous group home she was in.

    Granted, Mrs. Nelson is half out of her mind, and I state that medically not cynically. And yet you wonder if women really should vote. Normally she is a one-issue voter: abortion. But all she knows is that “guy” was mean to a lady. And I can’t help thinking she is highly representative of legions of Vagina Voters. Good grief.

    The good news (relatively speaking) is that reports are that Hillary’s corruption is sinking her in the polls. Nothing would make my heart more buoyant than seeing that crooked bitch in jail where she belongs. I don’t believe for a moment Trump has the attention span or inclination to do so. He’s merely a demagogue. But wouldn’t that be something.

  21. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Julian “WikiLeaks” Assange believes Trump cannot win.

    “My analysis is that Trump would not be permitted to win. Why do I say that? Because he has had every establishment off his side. Trump does not have one establishment, maybe with the exception of the Evangelicals, if you can call them an establishment,” said Assange. “Banks, intelligence, arms companies, foreign money, etc. are all united behind Hillary Clinton. And the media as well. Media owners, and the journalists themselves.”

    Who knows what will happen, but he is certainly correct in his analysis as regards who the establishment supports.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The Great American Mind-Fucking that is going on concerns “the nice and tolerant people” having Hillary as their standard bearer and “the moral, Christian, and Constitutional” people having Trump as theirs. What could possibly go wrong or be wrong?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Col. Ralph Peters, no raging leftist, has an interesting take on why Clinton would be a better choice for president.

        http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2016/11/04/ralph-peters-clinton-is-safer-bet-than-trump.html

        I detect a note of the typical “change is not so great” mentality which one often meets in government and big business.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And a lot of the GOP-oriented foreign policy establishment is oriented toward the Bushes, who hate Trump (and several of whom, at least, plan to vote for the Fire Witch).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Col. Peters makes some good points. “Better” is highly relative in this case. But Trump’s bizarre ego and bravado means he might be Putin’s spanking-boy if he became president. Just invite him to the Kremlin, ply him with vodka, compliments, and women, and who really needs to defend Western Europe?

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Boy have times changed. Rosy Grier the man who broke Sirhan Sirhan’s fingers to get the gun from him, is going to vote for Trump.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3902016/NFL-legend-Rosey-Grier-says-s-backing-Donald-Trump-strong-takes-immigration-terrorism.html

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            On the other hand, as I have said before, the foreign policy of the USA over the last decade or more is pretty much insane. Americans, in general, have little understanding of the rest of the world and this included our “leaders”. That even people like Peters seems to believe that more of the same is preferable to a change of course, shows petrified thinking.

            I believe our “leaders'” thinking on foreign policy, like too much other “thought” in this country is based on wishes as opposed to reality. Like those pink ribbons and shoes one sees NFL players wear for certain games.

            Of course, the alternative might be that our “leaders” are only thinking of their own positions and welfare, in which case they are both delusional and criminal.

            The link is to another piece on the subject.

            http://www.atimes.com/sleepwalkers-mr-trump/

            Basically, it states that one should vote for Trump to blow up the present foreign-policy elites. I can’t disagree with the thought.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              That article suggests that Trump would be guided by sane and realistic advisors. Maybe. We’ll see. Or not. Who knows who will win? But we have tied ourselves into pretzels trying to distinguish between the “good” Muslims and that bad ones, all while being guided with a “Progressive” mindset that we should not do what is in America’s best interest.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              The main point I take from the article is that we know Hillary and the foreign-policy establishment are completely corrupt and need to be stopped at all costs.

              Having Trump act sane, if he is elected, would just be icing on the cake.

              I just watched part of a speech Trump gave in Minnesota and must say he is getting better. The message is more refined and even if it is written for him, he is getting better at delivery and is more believable.

              Did you see that Comey now saws the FBI review is complete? How can that be if the FBI had to review thousands of emails on Weiner’s computer?

              Comey is either a complete nut, liar or his family is being threatened.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                The claim is that most of the e-mails from Huma were dupblicates. This made it easy to check things out quickly. But I agree that the whole affair is suspicious.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Mr. Kung, I take your word for the praise for Trump’s speech. I generally trust your opinion. This is where integrity matters and is such a time-saver. No one has time to read and see everything so we can’t help depend upon experts and specialists. You thus see how tragic it is that the news media is little more than a mouthpiece for one political party.

                I won’t say, “Gee, I wish Trump had started out with this discipline.” I think at this point a Clinton route has turned into more of a squeaker. Trump’s best and only chance is the phenomenon of Clinton Fatigue. If he can keep his big fat stupid mouth shut regarding trivialities, he could make further gains from this, although there isn’t much time left.

                A couple observations about this whole thing:

                I believe many Christians have jumped on the Trump bandwagon for two reasons: A) They are becoming aware, if only unconsciously, of the growing irrelevance of Christianity in Western societies thus they glom onto Trump as their “Daniel” and instead of faulting him for his obvious sins, they prop him up. And, B) Christianity arguable went off the tracks a long time ago when instead of concentrating on creating better individuals they tried to make a better “society.” Both the “social gospel” and “social justice” are examples of this. Thus, again, Trumps sin’s are irrelevant if he is sort of a “Daniel” in opposition to the Great Atheistic Satan, Hillary Clinton. One of my early observations about Trump in regards to a Christian worldview is what I think is the correct observation: Repeated sins will have consequences.

                There is, of course, opportunity here for Christians to regain their bearings. Another observation is that I think the Trump Phenomenon (and not just personally Donald Trump) will irretrievably change the GOP into a Progressive Party (which is what it has wanted to be for some time). Rush Limbaugh has often pointed out that the GOP Establishment wanted a new base. And with the base going for Trump (who, win or lose, will de-legitimize the grassroots base of white, Christian, conservative voters), the GOP Establishment can be expected to swing wildly now to amnesty and do everything they can to show they are “diverse.” Heck, that clown (and this was a clownish statement) who is running on the Conservative ticket (or whatever) said recently that the thinks the GOP is inherently racist. And that’s a very weird thing for someone to say who is offering himself as an alternative to the GOP Establishment…for whom it is high on their list to both distance themselves from their base and to prove to minorities that they, gosh, really like them.

                Yours truly no longer has much faith in those who purport to be either Christians or conservatives. I will not engage in endless babble about this. People either need to get out there and work for the kind of change they want or, frankly, do a book or movie review and share their interests and expertise. But all the analysis in the world won’t change things. And I will no longer play the fool in this regard.

                Still, what a clusterf**k, eh? It will be interesting to watch the results Tuesday night. We’ll then certainly have much to talk about and I’ll likely just put up a post-election article for general chatter about this.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Mr. Kung, I take your word for the praise for Trump’s speech.

                I have no idea whether or not Trump believes anything he says, but he is finally getting good at articulating a message as if he does.

                Had he been doing this earlier, I think he would not have fallen behind in the months of Sept/Oct.

                (I am looking at this from a functional, not political, point of view.)

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Apparently Trump’s earlier rally was caused by his similarly staying on point. He fell at least partly by going off on tangents placed in his way by Slick Hilly as traps. Now he’s gotten back on point, and it shows. And this time, I don’t think he’s going to lapse — at least pre-election.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Speaking of controlling the message, this is hilarious if true: Trump Aids Block Him From Twitter

                Several advisers warned him that he risked becoming like a wild animal chasing its prey so zealously that it raced over a cliff — a reminder that he could pursue his grievances and his eagerness to fling insults, but that the cost would be a plunge into an electoral abyss.

                Who would control his impulses once he became president?

  22. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Here is some illegal alien asking will illegals have problems if they vote and the Obamanation basically says no.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfgEvgVC6Qs&feature=youtu.be

  23. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One thing I hope we never do here is the kind of thumb-sucking so common at American Thinker. If you need to take comfort, pet your dog, pray to God, or go help those in need.

    I think we’ve given Trump a fair hearing here. The conclusion is: Hold your nose and vote against Hillary, but be well aware that you may be the frog crossing the river with the scorpion on your back.

    Anyone who must delude themselves that Trump is any more than a means to defeat Hillary ought really to buy that dog and take that walk. But aside from a doofus such as David Brooks, it’s a pathetic thing to castigate so-called “never-Trumpers” because they recognize that the man is highly problematic, even if many don’t.

    If Trump wins it will be a good-news/bad-news situation. Here at StubbornThings, we would certainly hope for the best and it would not be our pleasure to say “I told you so” even though it is likely that opportunity would come up time and again. We would not wish for misfortune for our country just to rub other people’s noses in the errors of their partisan delusions.

  24. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Janet Reno is dead. Is this sort of a “Rot in hell killer of 60 innocents at Waco” moment or do you just write a bland obituary and move on?

  25. Stuart Whitman Stuart Whitman says:

    “And so my question to the Trump detractors … how can your Donald Trump be so different from ours?”

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Not only has the election focused too much on personality rather than policy, so to has the psychoanalysis of each candidate to the unsurprising result that divisions and camps abound.

    But these miss the point. Just a America is an idea as much as a place, so is Donald Trump. Supporters acknowledge as much by being willing to overlook flaws. But detractors are doing the same, withholding support not because of his flaws, but as a lack of confidence that he can win.

    Conservatives have been waging a battle for legitimacy for a long time, comfortable as a minority and opposition force for many years. Finally poised to govern, as demonstrated by statewide electoral victories in recent years, the fear is (was) that the opportunity will be lost forever.

    The civil war will continue in the GOP. There’s a contradictory mission in calling for small limited government but needing to win majorities to make it happen. And that dilemma isn’t something Donald Trump is going to vanquish.

    But I think it’s important to see Trump as an idea, as much as a man. That idea is clearly nationalist which has it’s pluses and minuses which can and will debated. And it’s important to realize America hasn’t voted for Nationalism as an end in itself. It’s the necessary first step to moving forward by eliminating the corrupting influences that are killing the country, and whose elimination will allow us to have honest debates and set policy to preserve the republic.

    In this respect, the supporters and detractors aren’t really that far apart. Some are (were) just realistic than others.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Certainly the general vibe of nationalism is like wolfsbane to the Dracula of Marxism and its penchant for dissolving any red-blooded tie to love of country. We’ll just see if, in the long run, Trump helps to jump-start love-of-country in replacement of all these weird people of the left getting turned on by thoughts of the United Nations and such. Stay tuned, I guess. Thanks for your thoughts, Stuart. Love ya in “The Longest Day” and “The Comancheros” among other works.

      • Stuart Whitman Stuart Whitman says:

        You’re dating yourself. Not many know of these things. And I’m from the puritan strain (1632) as opposed to the chocholate or poetic line. As is obvious by my lack of editing.

        Long time observer of American political philosophy and reader of Stubborn Things among others. Conservervative as in the preservation of liberty. Contrarian in most things social and economic. And sworn enemy of tyranny in all forms.

        Planning on commenting here more often going forward both to impart and import ideas of merit with venues for respectful discourse being harder and harder to find these days. Perhaps a submission of my own if I can stop the world from spinning long enough to capture the thoughts and do the editing. Thanks for the opportunity provided.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Stuart, you seem like a reasonable fellow. It would be our gain if you posted here and/or submitted an article. Regarding purely political articles, I’m asking writers to spare us endless analysis and to go out there in the field, as it were, and write about where liberal policies are hurting people and/or where conservative ones (and values) are helping. Or tell us what you, or someone you know, is working to change things for the better.

          Less armchair, more real-world impressions and stories. Does that make sense? I hope to heck Trump does well. And I certainly don’t have high expectations and will try to judge him reasonably. One must be fair and note that any president faces enormous obstacles in regards to anything resembling conservative policies because The Beast is very very good at resisting having even one itty bitty puny hair pulled from its enormously bloated body.

          I don’t want to read from anyone a list of grievances against Trump (or Harry Reid, for that matter). (And I’m talking about articles. In the comments you can say whatever you want.) But if someone has information, say, on health saving accounts, it would be do us and others a tremendous favor if they could give us the skinny on that. Most people now “get” what the Left is about and what their goals are (or they should know). Endless expositions of political philosophy or simply dissatisfaction in the guise of a scholarly article isn’t going to cut it.

          We’re not populists here, but you can think of us as the Sarah Palin of web sites. Hopefully we tell it like it is without the filter of a lot of ulterior motives, and we keep it light and with a sense of humor and proportion (or should). And in the case of “telling it like it is,” I think we all need to keep in mind not to get caught in the endless hamster-wheel of constantly turning the political soil over and over and over again. Certainly nothing of significance will ever grow that way.

          As for grammar and spelling, only fools care about such things more than substance. One doesn’t have to be perfect around her, just meaningful and hopefully interesting. Welcome.

          Another way of saying all that is, give us all the political philosophy that you (or anyone else) wants in an article. Just express it through real-world examples (at the very least) instead of sitting in one’s armchair.

          Is socialism bad? Is capitalism better? What do you suppose is more effect and persuasive, yet another intellectual argument comparing the two or a real-life story of a small business owner (perhaps an ex kumbaya Marxist…even better!) who made a success of him or herself, sometimes despite a sometimes hostile anti-business government (state, local, Federal). Make the point that there are many forces arrayed against a father or mother simply making a living for themselves and their children. Do not let these Marxist bastards get away with always demonizing business. But to do so, we need better marketing. We need to make it personal.

          That small business story could be the story of many here, if they will only tell it. Political philosophy expressed through examples makes it alive and relevant. It pops up in 3D from an otherwise dusty and dull page.

          Sorry to go on and on, Stuart. This isn’t meant for you as much as it is for the other readers, many who still can’t understand what I’m striving for.

          • Stuart Whitman says:

            Understood. Real examples that validate the ideas. I’m no Rand or Hayak but will do my best. Thank you.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Thanks for going with the spirit of it. And this applies only to purely politic stuff, not book reviews, movie reviews, etc. If you’ve read a book by Rand or Hayak that you like, by all means review it, and in the midst of doing so, do all the political analysis Jujutsu that you want.

              And special and extraordinary events that pop up (such as the election of Trump) are exempt. It’s a judgment call (mine) but at the end of the day, if it’s good, concise, interesting writing, it will be published no matter what.

              And all of one’s writing (in the case of the purely political) needn’t be exclusively about the description of real-world examples, events, or stories. Such stories can be complete unto themselves but they can also be jumping-off points to expositions of political or social philosophy or analysis. I want freedom for people to do good stuff. There is not set formula. I just don’t want anyone to get caught on that hamster wheel of endless armchair analysis.

  26. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    How do you spell “Demagogue”? Trump won’t pursue charges against Clinton. Whatever his reasons, chock up one “I told you so.”

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I always thought this was the promise he was least likely to keep.

      There is a tradition in the USA that new administrations do not go after previous administrations through judicial means. The thought is that to do so would set bad precedent and criminalize political actions.

      I realize that Hillary is a special case, but I can understand Trump’s advisors telling him to drop this.

      Hopefully, one of the reasons Trump dropped it is because he believes Congress will go after her. According to Jason Chaffetz, she is not out of the woods.

      I suspect that Clinton will walk free in the end. Perhaps one or two of her lackeys will get their hands slapped.

      This will reconfirm the message that there are two laws in the USA, one for the elites and one for the rest of us. I believe that message is very corrosive and it would be better for Trump to address it.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There are reports that Trump wants Congress to forget about all those hearings. Realistically, they won’t accomplish anything anyway. But I hope this doesn’t mean Trump isn’t going after all the corruption and criminality at the VA, EPA, DOJ, IRS, GSA . . .

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          But I hope this doesn’t mean Trump isn’t going after all the corruption and criminality at the VA, EPA, DOJ, IRS, GSA

          Cleaning up these departments would make the Labors of Hercules look like child’s play.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I doubt that Congress will go after her. There’s no upside to it. Trump was supposed to be the lightning rod for this. And if he won’t do it, why should they? The Clintons have so often proved to be poison to both friends and foe alike.

        Who really expected a man with gold-plated bathroom fixtures to go after his fellow ruling class members? By electing Trump we have proven ourselves to be “the little people.” Instead of doing the hard work of citizens, we believe the quick promises of a demagogue. Trump could still do a lot of good. But hanging over us always now is the view of ourselves as the little people who have vested our self-respect and our country in just another flavor of The Blue Bloods.

        My older brother thinks Trump should appear in a Gaddafi-like uniform just to piss of the Left. But in many ways, it would be appropriate. Or maybe a Saddam-like uniform makes more sense. Scroll to the bottom of that latter link where they do a comparison between Saddam’s palace and Trump’s.

  27. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I was reading an article a day old, so maybe things have changed. I think Kellyanne Conway has outed herself as a petty and deranged zealot. I think it would indeed signal something good about Trump if he picked Romney as Secretary of State. Not only is Romney a good fit, it would show that Trump is above holding petty grudges.

    Anyway. No matter what happens, so-called never-Trumpers will have plenty of opportunity to say “I told you so.” Perhaps less expected (by those less savvy than the people at this site) are the deranged zealots who wish payback for those who did not early bend a need and insert their nose up Trump’s backside like they did early-on.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I admit, I also don’t want Romney as Secretary of State. I do not know that he has any particular expertise in the area. I don’t think he would sell out the country, but after watching him fold in 2012, I don’t think he has the steel which the position will require.

      That said, I think Giuliani would also be a poor choice. I can never forget him abusing the RICO statue as a federal prosecutor.

      John Bolton is too much of a Neo-Con for me.

      But the absolute worst possibility would be Senator Corker who basically erased the “Advise and Consent” clause as regards treaties.

      Of those mentioned so far, Petraeus would be my choice.

      As to Kellyanne Conway, I don’t believe she is acting in a vacuum. Does anyone believe that Trump wouldn’t swat her down if he disapproved of what she is saying?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m with Trump. Romney “looks the part.” And because, as someone noted, reality TV and reality are so intermixed, why not?

        What I’ve ready about Conway is that Trump indeed is pissed at her for this. But who knows? I just think it’s time to bury the hatchets in the Left, not fellow Republicans. I kinda figured that anyone who sided with Trump had visions of dollar signs, power, and hero-worship. She proves it.

        I just think Romney would be above that. He would be impartial. He would be, dare I said, a rock of integrity in a department that needs that. Enough kool-aid, Kellyanne. It’s now time to govern.

  28. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Some good structural thinking by Lowry. It won’t matter. Still, I think he nails it:

    A proper anti-swamp agenda should consist of two things. First, and most fundamentally, it should seek to reduce the size of the federal government, and cut regulations and make them as simple as possible. The more government does, the more incentive every special interest has to hire swamp creatures, for both protection and advantage. And the more complex government is, the more opportunity those creatures have to thrive in niches unknown or poorly understood by everyone except insiders.

    Second, and more specifically, the federal government should be wrenched out of its cozy relationship with large, established businesses and institutions in areas ranging from health care to finance to education.

    This agenda would have the advantage of uniting the conservatives (whose animating passion is reducing the size of government) and the populists (whose animating passion is combating a “rigged” system). A number of Trump’s cabinet picks point in this direction. But it’s not clear where Trump will ultimately go. If he replaces Obama’s liberal industrial policy focused on green energy with his own populist industrial policy focused on traditional manufacturing, as suggested by the Carrier deal, he will just spend and subsidize in different ways.

    In other words, he won’t truly drain the swamp, but simply feed different alligators.

  29. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Here is an interesting article which gives one Singaporean’s view on Donald Trump’s potential.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/deng-xiaopings-cats-and-donald-trump

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Interesting analysis. A pragmatic government would certainly be FAR superior to an ideologically leftist one, especially if it worked with the ideological right when it counted (e.g., judicial nominees). Much as we might wish otherwise, in the long run government must serve the people, and they (unfortunately) aren’t right-wing ideologues. But they still lean more conservative than liberal overall, I think.

  30. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    If this is true, it would be nice. Anything to cut back the overreach of the EPA is welcome.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/donald-trump-to-pick-foe-of-obama-climate-agenda-to-run-epa-source

    I would have liked Greg Abbot, but he is governor of Texas and I think he should stay where he is.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, he has an excellent record and the right enemies — just like Betsy DeVos at Education (though there are reports that she likes Common Core), Jeff Sessions as AG, and Tom Price at HHS.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Sounds as if Trump has not found a Green useful idiot for the position.

      Let me give you my overall evaluation of Trump so far, keeping in my the warning of Sherlock Holmes about theorizing without ample evidence:

      There are a lot of people hyperventilating about his words (not any official actions, mind you) regarding Carrier. Yes, crony capitalism and picking winners and losers is something that could become a habit. But let’s not forget the symbolism. I’m not one of those useful idiots of Trump who will parse any of his diatribes or impulses as part of some deep, careful, laid-out plan. Frankly, who can really read the tea leaves regarding this man?

      But as a general signal to business that his administration is going to be business-friendly, I think there is power in such symbolism, and just a little bit of peer pressure being added to have the default expectation to keep your jobs here. Whether or not Trump follows through on his bluster of a 35% (or whatever) tax on outsourced products coming back into America…well, again, we face the difficult task of separating his bluster from what will happen. And no one I know can do that.

      Rip the EPA up by the roots. I read someone who noted (perhaps the nominee himself) that it is insane to have environmental standards on water (or whatever) when nature herself typically has higher natural levels of a substance (arsenic or whatever). What you or I understand is that “environmentalism” has become, in the hands of the extremists, a way to punish business. And whether it stems (as it surely does) from a sort of Environmental Religion (combined with a deep hatred of mankind) is perhaps beside the point. But I do think it does help to understand that much of the regulations are punitive and not about safety or health.

      Still, who knows? Trump keeps rhetorically softening his stance on illegal aliens…the one issue, if there was any, that got him elected.

      Is Trump our Daniel from the Bible or is he the bizarre person who said that Ted Cruz’s father took part in the Kennedy assassination? It’s hard to read Trump because he fundamentally dishonest and fundamentally pompous. But if he gives power to some of these men in the cabinet posts to overturn the Left’s excesses, that would be great news.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        If “personnel are policy” then I would say Trump is showing his policy to be reasonably conservative, so far.

        As we have discussed, until the man takes office it is impossible to know what he will do. But by the end of January we should have a very clear indication of how he will govern.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Elementary, my dear Mr. Kung.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Absolutely, my dear Holmes, or perhaps Dr. Thorndyke would be better.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I don’t presume to be the superior, although I’m more a Holmes than a Watson. But come to think of it, you seem a good fit for Thorndyke in his calm, methodical logic. And around the net you can find more than a few Inspector Gadgets. Who shall claim that title? 😀

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                you seem a good fit for Thorndyke in his calm, methodical logic.

                High praise indeed. I should only be so lucky.

                On the other hand, it seems Gibblet holds you in much higher esteem. Very rarefied air.

                Is that cross getting heavy?

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

                And it really is quite easy to be the smartest person in the room these days. Just don’t blather baloney, nor grind the world into the dust with cynicism. Have you not heard, Mr. Kung? The world has gone mad, particularly our end of it. Simple, plain sanity in an age of “micro-aggression,” political correctness, and Snowflakism can make anyone seem like Solomon. And my thanks to Gibblet for her inherent assumption that yours truly is, at the very least, not insane.

                Maybe that bible verse makes some sense now. Just don’t be a rat-bastard. Don’t be the typical inflamed idiot. Don’t go out of your way to stir up trouble. The yoke is indeed light. One must only put down the drama, the egotism, the various internally-wound destructive and unnecessary impulses.

                Gibblet obviously has very good taste as well. 😀

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Those choices are very important. I find it hard to believe that all of those staunch conservatives are being fooled into thinking that they will actually run their departments when in reality Trump plans to use them as concealment. After all, the liberals attacking Trump have claimed he’s a dilettante who neither knows nor cares about policy. So why wouldn’t he largely leave things up to his appointees?

        Note that this was the main reason I always preferred Trump to Hillary: he would be picking personnel from the GOP, not the Plunderbund.

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