Trump is Not What I Expected

by Brad Nelson4/4/16

One of the premises I had regarding Donald Trump in the early going was that of “a diamond in the rough.” Going into this election season, I knew very little about the man. I don’t read People magazine, I don’t watch MS-NBC, and I’ve never watched The Apprentice. In fact, I don’t watch any “reality” shows. First off, they are not reality. Second, they are stupid. And it’s frankly creepy and just a bit immoral to sit around getting your jollies out of watching other people fail.

But I figured that Trump was an accomplished man. He’d built some casinos. He had a beautiful wife (wives). He had a gazillion dollars. Etc. You don’t tend to achieve these things unless you have something going for you.

What he was saying early on the campaign trail could simply have been the result of being a bit unpolished in the nitty gritty of economics, foreign policy, the Constitution, etc. But because he was talking frank about a few non-PC topics, we assumed the nitty-gritty would follow. Surely, given time, he would get up to speed for it was always thought that Trump surrounded himself with the best counselors and would eventually tackle the problem, issue lots of solid policy statements, and get beyond his “bad boy” persona and get to the beef.

But Trump is reminiscent of a Seinfeld episode wherein Newman had dated a pretty girl who was now dating Jerry. When Jerry learns of her prior connection to Newman, he’s concerned that he could date a girl who would have liked Newman. Particularly odd was that it was Newman who broke it off:

Jerry: But why, did HE, Newman, stop seeing her?

Elaine: Perhaps there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Jerry: No, there’s less.

And now that we’ve seen Trump say idiotic things on every subject under the sun, I am justified in saying, “No, there’s less.” There is less to Trump than I ever supposed there could be. And I don’t know why there is so much magical thinking going on in regards to his supporters thinking there is something more.

No. There’s less.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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32 Responses to Trump is Not What I Expected

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Surely, given time, he would get up to speed for it was always thought that Trump surrounded himself with the best counselors and would eventually tackle the problem, issue lots of solid policy statements, and get beyond his “bad boy” persona and get to the beef.

    I also expected this. Sadly, Trump has shown that, too often, he simply wings it.

    I talked to an ex-New Yorker about this and he told me that Trump had a reputation of being cheap, and that he did not pay his employees well. Maybe Trump has been saving his money on this campaign, instead of hiring the best and the brightest.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      First off, let me just say that I’m not embarrassed by Trump in the way Establishment Republicans are. Given the outrages that are daily committed against our country by the Left, it would be ludicrous for me to get all in a huff because someone said a bad word or threw an insult grenade.

      But enough time has gone by, it’s not Trump’s style that bothers me, as single-mindedly shallow as it seems to be. It’s his shallowness regarding any and all policies. His answers are fluff. And if someone can’t recognize that by now, they’re simply doing what people did with Obama and filling in the blanks with their own hope-and-change illusions.

      The man is not suited to president, and not because he’s had a tiff with Megyn, the journalistic tramp, Kelly, but because he’s an ignoramus — if not solidly to the Left — on any issue I’ve ever heard him discuss or be asked about. Good god this looks like a man who is either delusional about his abilities or has simply been surrounded by yes-men. He looks no less narcissistic and destructively egotistical than Obama.

      And Rush can say that this is about “beating Hillary” all he wants. But what a sell-out Rush is if he doesn’t recognize that replacing Hillary with just another Progressive statist is no victory at all just because the last name is not “Clinton.” I had to turn him off today. I have to admit, I’ve lost a lot of respect for the man in the last couple of months.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        First off, let me just say that I’m not embarrassed by Trump in the way Establishment Republicans are. Given the outrages that are daily committed against our country by the Left, it would be ludicrous for me to get all in a huff because someone said a bad word or threw an insult grenade.

        But enough time has gone by, it’s not Trump’s style that bothers me, as single-mindedly shallow as it seems to be. It’s his shallowness regarding any and all policies.

        I think the two are connected, and I believe they have to do with his character. Everything leaving Trump’s lips seems to be shallow. He doesn’t seem to believe he needs to give much consideration to what he does or says. He just seems to be an all around shallow guy. Perhaps worse, he might actually believe all the nonsense he spouts and that he really does understand everything.

        I hope my belief that he is a complete cynic and playing everyone for fools, is at least partially true. If not, we could be in trouble.

      • David N. says:

        This is how I’m breaking it down. There is never a candidate that will give us 100% of what we wish for, never has been, not one. The one candidate however that has been consistent about getting at least one critical thing done, ‘building the wall’ (and I believe he will do it if elected), is Trump.

        To me, getting one important thing accomplished is 100% more than the ‘nothing’ that is promised by all the other republican and democrat status quo hacks.

        The wall is a very significant move that could positively effect the security and economy of our nation for generations to come. None of the other candidates have had the guts to pick this issue up and barely even talk of it, unless they are deriding Trump about it.

        Trump in many respects is still a wild card as to how much he will be willing and able to accomplish if he wins the election. He has answered many policy questions (listen to his interviews with Michael Savage for instance) directly, but has kept the details simple. This I understand is how many successful executives communicate, in a type of ‘shorthand’.

        Even though he is an egomaniac at times (what presidential candidate isn’t), I can’t see why Trump would put himself, and more importantly his family, through the stress and danger of this political run, unless, like he has stated time and again, he really cares about the nation, and wants to save America from this slide into cultural Marxism and globalism.

        Trump neither needs the stress of the death threats nor the money, he’s set for life already, which is another reason why I think he is sincere about wanting to pay back America for all the good he has received in life, which is the complete antithesis of the America hating Obama for example.

        And speaking of Obama, I’m not entirely convinced that he was swept in to the white house merely because ‘the masses’ hysterically believed he was the ‘savior’ America had been waiting for. His rise to power was methodically planned and executed, and it would not surprise me at all to find out that rigged voting played a significant part in his ‘ascension’.

        As many of the state’s primaries have already revealed, Trumps campaign has rattled the status quo so much that they have shown their propensity to cheat in the voting booths as part of their strategy to control the process no matter what.
        The fact that the mainstream (and the not so mainstream) media, along with so many political factions on both the right and left, have joined forces to discredit Trump and destroy his campaign is an indication to me of how rotten the system is.

        To me it is very revealing that something isn’t right about this whole process; if you don’t like a particular candidate, then support and vote for the candidate that you do like. Why is it necessary to spend so much time and energy tearing down this other person who is not your choice and is ‘obviously not presidential material’?

        In all of this mess called an electoral process, it is also revealing to see how the establishment now openly talks about taking the choice of a republican candidate out of the hands of the people – who obviously don’t know what they are doing by supporting a ‘man like Trump’ – and will pick their own party’s candidate at the RNC instead…to hell with what the people want.

        Get ready Cleveland!

        If Trump is the one that the people choose to try and dig America out of this mess, and his campaign is thwarted by the status quo, or worse, heaven forbid, he is assasinated, then I think that America will descend into a very dark period indeed.

        I don’t see any light in a Hillary, Bernie, Ted, or whoever the establishment throws in at the last minute, presidency.

        Do you?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          This is basically the approach Ann Coulter has taken — a single-issue approach based on restricting illegal immigration. Like you, I’m inclined to think Trump will indeed act, though I’m less confident than you are — and much less confident that he will act wisely. In any case, while I consider immigration control very important, I don’t vote solely on that.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    For all of Trump’s talk about hiring the best people, his campaign has repeatedly been blindsided by Cruz (who did hire the best people available to him). He lacked a good GOTV effort in Iowa (and perhaps elsewhere), and as late as this past weekend, he had no good organization for making sure delegate selection went his way — hence Cruz’s victories in North Dakota and Colorado over the weekend. And his reflexive attacks on those who criticize him may hurt him in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker is very popular among GOP voters.

    But also there’s the narcissistic personality. This is hardly surprising in a politician, but the fact remains that Trump in his way is as bad as Obama. His obsessive attacks on Megyn Kelly most of a year after that first debate are unhealthy, and Mona Charen recently reported a similar incident going back to the first reporter (back in the 1980s) who referred to Trump as having short fingers — and still gets retorts from him today. He seems to hold such grudges as obsessively as LBJ.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Clearly, Trump is a man who does not like being crossed or contradicted.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        But he isn’t always wrong. The mayor of West Hollywood is now posturing about denying Trump permission to hold a rally there, a blatant violation of the First Amendment. Presumably Trump will try to do so, and if the mayor really does try to block it, this would lead to a court case in which Trump would be standing up for the First Amendment — hopefully with the support of Cruz (and also Kasich, for that matter). The link is:

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          But he isn’t always wrong

          The German’s say, “Even a blind chicken finds a piece of grain now and again.”

          What is important is having the judgement to know when one is wrong and when one is correct. Trump just seems to lash out without giving things much thought. Discriminating, he ain’t.


    “I don’t know why there is so much magical thinking going on in regards to his supporters thinking there is something more.”

    I’ll take a brief whack at that one, Brad. It’s because they’re so desperate – these are people driven beyond their limits by the betrayals and dishonesty of the GOP Establishment which ignored and derided them. They wanted and needed a champion, someone who would talk about issues that actually mattered to them and someone to challenge the stifling political correctness all around them. They were drowning men who above all wanted to see someone holding a life preserver and getting ready to toss it.

    Under those conditions, you can see how Trump, with his bold if not thought-out attacks on mass-immigration and complete disregard for political correctness, could be taken for the man they’d been waiting for. Cruz, even though the better man, by contrast was far less bold and in fact left many of us believing he favored increased immigration – a fatal campaign error with such a charged issue.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      When I stub my toe, my first thought is to kick the sidewalk that caused it. But it’s just a momentary urge. I certainly don’t stay there. I don’t return to the sidewalk and curse it.

      But to me it’s obvious that Donald Trump is extremely unfit to be president. Being pissed off as an ideology is the sign of an immature child. Yeah, I’m mad as well. But not crazy mad. It’s a simmering anger that feeds a determination to get the right thing done, not go off crazy half-cocked like so many Trumpkins have.

      Besides, there is absolutely no reason to believe he would follow through on the two issues that attracted people to him — halting Muslim immigration and halting illegal immigration. Any reasonable look at the man shows he’s on both side of the issues, shoots from the hip without much thought, and has some kind of unhealthy narcissistic or bully psychology whereby he lashes out at anyone who dares to puncture what appears to be his own delusion of multi-competence.

      This isn’t picking nits. Taken as a whole — all of the things he’s said…good and bad — this guy is a nut that you wouldn’t want anywhere near the nuclear button.

      And whatever Cruz’s faults, they rise nowhere near the level that any sane person wouldn’t see him as worthy successor to Ronald Reagan, or at the very least a clear, stable, and thoughtful alternative to this nut. Plus, he’s the only conservative in the race. He’s not perfect, but he’s pretty good.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s an interesting report from the field: Ted Cruz hailed, Sarah Palin flops at Wisconsin GOP event.

    I never had any kind of a hero worship thing going for Palin. But she is, and was, a breath of fresh air. But she has flown too close to the pop-culture sun and her celebrity wax is melting even as we speak.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I have long been of the opinion that Palin was less than many people thought. And her continuous national exposure has given all an opportunity to view her substantial faults.

      Furthermore, I believe that the political/entertainment culture which she inhabits tends to exacerbate these faults. This is why it is always wise to be careful in one’s associations. Bad friends make for bad influence.

      It should also probably be said that those of us who are serious about politics and saving the nation, (not to mention living in Texas) saw how Palin praised Cruz in his run for the Senate. So her pretty harsh criticism of Cruz now is somewhat jarring.

      Her actions have shown her to be a typical politician who will say most anything at any given time. The natural question arises, “Was she lying then or is she lying now?” That this question pops up, is not good for her reputation. I suspect any influence she may have had, it fading fast.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        One of my basic premises, Mr. Kung, is that we are a pop-oriented culture. This may be good for sharing info on iPhones but not a very good mindset for choosing leaders. There is always a certain amount of celebrity to political figures. But we’ve put way too much emphasis on that aspect of it.

        A conservative is not a cold-blooded reptile, nor should he be. But a certain amount of distance and circumspection is required. Always in our minds should be “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” This especially applies to Trump. Fooling us two dozen times makes the calculus on him fairly easy.

        With Palin I lament her passing fully into the celebrity-as-politician mode. But given celebrity-conservatism vs. compassionate-conservatism, I’ll take the former. But god only knows what she sees in Trump.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          One of my basic premises, Mr. Kung, is that we are a pop-oriented culture.

          Sadly, I believe you are correct. It was bad enough that people’s attention spans shrank to coincide with the 10 minute periods between TV commercials. Now, it seems that 140 characters is the most one can expect from most people.

          Technology and culture seem to move in tandem in this case.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Says the guy who loves Sinatra. But, criminy, Sinatra is Beethoven compared to what we have now in pop culture. But Frank was arguably the first mass-appeal pop star.

            Culture defines who we are. It’s where we get our bearings and even our sense of meaning. Culture, like doctors, is necessary. But what if your doctor is a quack? That’s what we have with pop-culture, that bubbling, shallow, always-changing, lowest-common-denominator mover and shape-shifter.

            I believe a kind of cultural schizophrenia can seep in after a while. We become enamored to complete nonsense. Popularity becomes truth. And popularity is often rooted in little more than fleeting emotion driven by fad desires. Cognitive craziness is thus built in.

  5. David N. says:

    Trump is not what I expected either.

    Full of bombast and angry rhetoric at times, he is not perfect by any means.

    However I appreciate his strength and resolve, because it has forced the political establishment, left AND right, to clearly reveal how little they care about America and her people, and that they are really more interested in protecting their money, status, and power.

    He is nothing like the milk-toast, forked tongue, slippery skinned politicians that we are used to being offered to us as a serious candidate for president.

    He is the only candidate, republican or democrat, who has from the beginning, swung hard at the lefts ‘shield’ of political correctness. He has knocked their shield out of their hands and onto to the ground. He has out-bullied the bully’s, and their response has been to double down in their efforts to defame him, marginalize him, smear him, and lie about him at every turn.

    Unfortunately the mud-slinging match between him and Cruz, which only helps the democrat candidates, has veered him away from his destination, but there is still time to right the ship and true the course.

    I never expected anyone to stand up against the leftist bully’s on the playground, but he has, and his presence, like a strong teacher monitoring to keep the peace, has brought the possibility of all of us being able to share and play together again without threat.

    More and more ‘children’ are feeling emboldened to come out from under the slides, and out from the bushes they’ve been hiding in for so long, to speak out against the tyranny they have witnessed and experienced under the current gang of progressive bullies.

    Considering the fact that he is still ‘only’ a candidate, this is a major accomplishment in many peoples eyes, including my own.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      David, you’re in good company. One of my favorite writers and conservatives, Jeffrey Lord, is an “unabashed Trump supporter.” Me thinks he, and others, should be a bit abashed.

      One of the problems regarding Trump is we suppose that because he’s taking swings at the media and political correctness that he’s the opposite of these things. That’s a bit like saying that because Trotsky was in conflict with Lenin that he was therefore the opposite.

      The thing to know about Trump is that he is a statist. He is Teddy Roosevelt without the resume. He is FDR without the manners. Every answer is going to include government, not clearing government away (which also inherently requires an appeal to a moral grounding…something Trump lacks decisively). He has no conservative philosophy to speak of, therefore he cannot fix any of the problems that plague us.

      But if we squint just right, and guide ourselves merely by frustration and anger, we might find a compatriot in Trump. I don’t, but some do. I think the bottom line on Trump is that he is not a Leftist, like Hillary, but he is a second-hand Leftist like so many others. They talk big, but at the end of the day, they parse things through the lens of the predominant progressive mindset…aka “political correctness.” Don’t confuse Trumps bombast, rudeness, and just plain vulgarity with breaking out of the mindsphere of political correctness. He’s not Dennis Prager, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, or even Sarah Palin (rhetorically, at least).

      Trump is not disqualified for having a big ego or being a self-promoter. Shrinking violets don’t reach the office of the presidency. But the problem with Trump is his lack of thoughtfulness. He’s spews half-baked, ill-considered ideas as a habit, expecting his confidence and bravado to carry him through. Incredibly, it has for many people.

      But I still think regarding Trump that “No, there’s less” applies to him. And I’m not talking about you, David, but I wonder how many former red diaper doper babies (who have generally left that orientation, but most of us here were either young or had our college days) don’t realize that they’re making the same mistake again? Many Trump supporters seem to be the mirror image of Obama supporters. They are looking for a political messiah, a super-ego for their own sense of helplessness and frustration, if you will.

      But we’re supposed to be conservatives. As much as I like Ted Cruz, the man is just a politician. He’s not perfect. I think he’s terrific, but not perfect or blameless. But I shall try to refrain from reading into Cruz what I want the man to be. This does not seem to be the case for Trump supporters who conflate his rudeness with some sort of brave, game-changing ideology…something that most of us have longed for.

      But what if the man is simply a run-of-the-mill statist/Progressive? And merely pricking the status quo is no guaranteed that he disagrees with the status quo. Those who seek power inevitably demonize those who are in power (or, in regards to Ted Cruz) are rivals for that power. But what does the man really believe? What does he really want to do? What is mere throw-away rhetoric designed — as the Establishment Republicans have become expert in — to deceive us?

      If there was nobody else in the race but weak candidates and Establishment Republicans, I’d be a Trump supporter as well. I’d roll the dice and hope that there was more to him. But we have a kinda-sorta second coming of Ronald Reagan in the likes of Ted Cruz. We have no excuse for our political delusions regarding Trump. We then have to ask ourselves, Why am I running off half-cocked with excitement for a man who has shown he’s on every side of every issue and uses insults as a way to parry reasonable critique?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Those who seek power inevitably demonize those who are in power (or, in regards to Ted Cruz) are rivals for that power.

        This statement is very timely. Did you see the man Trump hired to get his campaign in order, Manafort, accuse Ted Cruz of using “Gestapo” tactics today?

        This is from a man who is supposed to be an expert at corralling delegates for Trump, and who being an ex partner of Roger Stone is not likely to be overly ethical as to how he does it.

        To accuse Cruz or any other candidate of being like the Gestapo disqualifies the accuser from any serious conversation. Trump seems to have the knack of attracting thugs and rats to work for his campaign.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Trump’s “strength” is his unlimited capacity to abuse others, many of whom deserve it. But he doesn’t care how much they deserve it or on what basis, hence his lack of interest in facts (e.g., his accusation that Cruz won Wisconsin — liberals never admit the legitimacy of their defeats — by illegally coordinating with a super PAC). When he fails to get the job done, either in a primary of a state convention, he whines about unfairness and being cheated. It’s so much easier than learning the rules beforehand and making sure he has a team in place to use them in his favor.

        Incidentally, it seems that the donations made at his Iowa even for veterans (which he did instead of facing Megyn Kelly’s questions) went to his account and somehow haven’t yet been sent to the veterans’ groups that were supposed to get them.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          One of the degraded aspects of this campaign season are the typical questions asked by journalists. But it makes for ratings. And you’ll find relatively few people today who will put the good of their country over personal gain.

          As a friend told me yesterday, this is likely one reason Trump is getting so much media attention. They pine for the big dollars that would come from a Trump/Hillary matchup.

          And, truly, Trump acts like a liberal (blaming defeat on others) because he is a liberal. If I wanted a liberal Republican I would have preferred Christie. Christie, like Trump, is a man of his time…that is, he’s been indoctrinated in the “Progressive” mindset. That’s why I find it funny when Trump is thought to be politically incorrect. He’s not. He’s not rebutting the myriad of Leftist/liberal assumptions.

          Certainly Bill Clinton did recently when talking to some Black Lives Matter fascist:

          I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens …. You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. 

          Apparently he later apologized. But is Trump speaking like that? I’m amazed that people cannot discern between being mindlessly bombastic and actually saying something substantive.

          And whether that was a carefully scripted moment by Clinton is a good question. As I think that article stated (or someone in the comments section), these are the people who poll-tested where to go on vacation.

  6. Timothy Lane says:

    Erick Erickson pointed out that Trump’s voters, for all that they claim to oppose the Establishment, have so far not supported challengers to GOP incumbents, partly because they consider any organization to be “establishment” if it fails to bow down before Trump Almighty — including many, such as the Club for Growth, with a long history of supporting such challengers.

    In addition, I will note that over the past week or so, Cruz has done well even aside from his big victory in Wisconsin. Last weekend in North Dakota, he won 18 of 25 delegates, with Trump getting 1. Over a series of days starting last weekend and concluding today, he swept the 34 Colorado delegates. However, not all of these 52 delegates are legally committed (though many are); some are pledged (and were chosen by the Cruz organization), but could change their minds.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Erick Erickson pointed out that Trump’s voters, for all that they claim to oppose the Establishment, have so far not supported challengers to GOP incumbents, partly because they consider any organization to be “establishment” if it fails to bow down before Trump Almighty — including many, such as the Club for Growth, with a long history of supporting such challengers.

      Many of Trump’s supporters appear to be singularly uninformed and furious. This is a bad combination.

      Something I have long suspected is coming to light. Polls are showing that around 30% of Trump supporters claim they will not vote for any other Republican candidate. Some of these even go so far as to say they will vote for the Democrat if the nomination is “stolen” from Trump. Sounds like they really have what’s best for the country at heart.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think it’s crystal-clear by now that a Trump presidency would be a disaster. David French has some good thoughts on why it still makes sense to oppose Trump: Why the Never-Trump Movement Still Matters.

    Some further thoughts as this awful spectacle of the GOP convention unfolds:

    + I find it hilarious the amateurishness of the Trumps…to the point of plagiarizing Michelle Obama.

    + As Jonah Goldberg notes in GOP Convention Has Become a Stomach-Churning Affair:

    The Trump campaign tried to fix this problem by selecting Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, but Trump stomped on that message by fumbling his announcement and then, in a joint interview with 60 Minutes, treating Pence like a glorified intern. The message for many conservatives wasn’t that Trump was embracing conservatism, but that he was willing to condescend to it.

    + I thought “The Addams Family” was a pretty funny show. It was fiction. It was okay for it to be odd. But it is downright creepy that the GOP convention isn’t about Republicanism it’s about glorifying Trump and his family.

    + I listened to a bit of the convention on the radio. And it struck me (certainly not for the first time) how politics is simply a ritualized arena of lying. With Trump in the mix, this becomes even more so. Now you have people such as Rush Limbaugh basically, certainly unintentionally, outing themselves as never having been serious about anything but making money. For a man who is supposedly a near genius regarding the articulation of conservative principles, it is painful hearing him defend a scallawag such as Trump. And many other Republicans are going to be tainted before this is all over. Perhaps Chris Christie has regained a bit of integrity with the apparently good speech he gave at the convention. But all will be tainted by Trump before this is over.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      After watching Donald Jr.’s speech last night, I am even more convinced that a fundamental reason Trump is running is to prepare the ground for his son.

      Jr.’s speech was completely different from the performance art style of daddy. The speech was calmly delivered and full of specific conservative policy points. If only daddy would speak this way.

      And Ben Carson gained back a little credibility last night. He pointed out Hillary’s admiration of Saul Alinsky, and through this, linked her to Lucifer. It was great.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Even if Little Trump Jr. is the real conservative of the family, can the Trump name survive in politics after Donald Trump?

        Regarding Carson’s speech, I didn’t hear it. I read a few bits and pieces of Christie’s speech which also was supposedly quite rousing and critical of the opposition (the opposition in this case being Hillary, not Ted Cruz).

        But this is all a dog-and-pony show. Carson showed his lack of depth and character during the campaign, culminating in selling himself to Trump in the end for the likely post of Surgeon General. Carson’s rhetoric can be seen as the red meat you throw at conservatives to fool them for yet one more election cycle.

        And although I would suppose that Christie has no love for Hillary, he’s but a political prostitute himself. The GOP world is full of rousing speeches. In fact, that’s all we ever have. We rarely have the actions based upon the ideas given in those speeches.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          can the Trump name survive in politics after Donald Trump?

          Surely you jest. It was Mencken who said, “You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.”

          Even honest Abe said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time.”

          It was interesting to watch Carson last night. He was much more energetic and forceful than during his run in the primaries. Perhaps he is better when reading a teleprompter or, as I suspect, perhaps his heart was not in running for the presidency. But I do agree he screwed the pooch early on. I even wrote a piece about it.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            That reminds me, Mr. Kung. As tired and old as this expression sometimes gets, it’s common for conservatives to remind us: “We’re a republic, not a democracy.”

            That is certainly functionally true. Our government is not constructed so that it is majority-rule in all cases. Even where democracy most intersects the national government (the House of Representatives), it is a representative democracy. There is still some distance (less than the Senate) between popular passions and political action. An elected representative (unlike the mob of Trump delegates) is free to vote his conscience (more likely the conscience of the donor class, but that’s a different story).

            There’s also a much more important meaning to the distinction between republic and democracy. A republican is a man of measured passions. He is educated, aims for wisdom, is sure of his values but not so sure that he foams from the mouth and would shout down others as a manner of debate. He is clear in his thought but aware of the often fuzzy complexities of real life. Ideals and principles are very important, even sacred, and yet he knows that life is often lived in areas where those rules don’t apply or where their strict application would smother one’s humanity. Still, he is not untethered. He starts from bedrock and softens from there if need be instead of being a mindless puffball from the get-go.

            One who has “democratic” sensibilities, on the other hand, is driven by passions that are often fueled by a sense of grievance, anchored in whatever animates the group at the moment, not by what makes sense or can be defended by reason and facts. He is sure of himself to the point of hubris. His passions are king and any restraints on them are considered illegitimate. Such doubts that he has are drowned out by belligerence and arrogance. He is his own god and you must bow down to him. The validation of his doctrines are not in reason but in grievance, high emotion, and because he can find ten others just as mad as himself.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Christie ran through a series of Hillary failures and asked the attendees if she was guilty or not guilty. (He was, after all, a US attorney pursuing corrupt politicians before becoming governor.) The Trump, Jr. speech was impressive, particularly his stirring call for school choice. Carson said he doesn’t want a specific government position, though he would like to serve as a consultant on remaking healthcare after the Obamacare debacle.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            The Trump, Jr. speech was impressive, particularly his stirring call for school choice.

            Maybe Mr. Kung has taught me too well. 🙂 But I’m now cynical about this kind of rhetoric. The GOP has been talking like this for decades and yet still we have the Dept. of Education. Still we have “No Child Left Behind” and other Federal intrusion into what should be, at worst, a state issue (at best a very local issue).

            I think Junior is just as full of shit as his father. But to be fair, as you might say, who hasn’t served us empty rhetoric on the GOP side for decades now?

            We’ll see about Carson. He’s obviously a top-notch surgeon. But he hasn’t show much else. I wouldn’t trust him to take a scalpel to the health care system.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              They are all politicians.

              I had this discussion many years ago with an ex-government minister in Singapore. (He occupied one of the most powerful ministries for many years.)

              I observed that politicians mainly traded in blah, blah, blah. As he was a good man, he did not get offended and countered me by saying it was a politician’s job to convince and unite people for good governance.

              I guess the difference is that although the founders of Singapore, particularly Lee Kwan Yew, might not have been democrats in the sense of the word as we understand it, they did have a vision for their country and the vision has been brought about very successfully.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I continue to read some of the comments at the end of pro-Trump and anti-Trump articles. It’s depressing because of the lack of intellectual acuity and integrity of the Trump mob. If someone disagrees with Trump — or logically just sees him as lacking credibility in what he says — one is a lackey for the establishment, a conservative purist, or is one of the legions of “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” supporters suffering from sour grapes.

    Oh, and if we don’t swallow down this guy’s nonsense, it will be our fault if Hillary wins. No mention is made for Trump to up his game and act like a presidential candidate instead of a lunatic.

    There’s that old public service announcement that says: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” And we Americans, right or left, show evidence of a great wasting.

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