Trump: Our Knight in Shining Tin Foil Armor

by Brad Nelson3/11/16

Dan Flynn has a good summing-up article: Donald Trump vs. The Establishment:

He comes across as presidential only in a nation weaned on reality television (though he looked more reserved and respectful last night).

But Trump speaks plain English. The rest of the field speaks Politician, a scripted, nails-on-the-chalkboard language slightly less popular than Arabic in the Republican Party right now.

Flynn also notes:

The more party brahmins endorse Florida’s junior senator, the fewer votes he receives.

It’s ironic that the guy best know for being a fly in the ointment of the Establishment — Ted Cruz — has become the object of inflated and bombastic reasons not to vote for him…as opposed to the other guy (Trump) who has done nothing substantial to fight the status quo and has instead lived his life steeped in it.

Still, that’s how cults of personality work wherein this election cycle’s “hope and change” is Donald Trump. One writer noted that he is like Pelosi: “You have to vote for him to see what’s in him.”

And the thing that occurred to me about this is that this lack of discernment regarding Trump reflects the same lack of discernment regarding the “conservative” politicians we’ve been electing for decades now who have presented themselves as one thing but governed as another.

We either didn’t notice, didn’t care, or were not politically astute enough to see beyond the Barnum-and-Bailey exterior of the con. We elected these guys, and they didn’t do what they said they would do, but we kept electing them anyway. And having now noticed after decades that the eGOP is a fraud, we then jump to another.

It’s like we’re suffering from battered-wife syndrome. We’ve got to get out of the same house that the drunken husband lives in. So who cares if the new guy promising shelter is a dope user? He seems nice enough and talks a good game.

We’ve become a shallow, senseless people who seemingly can’t deal with political issues and must, by needs, turn the whole process into a reality TV show…which is Trump’s calling-card. And our inattention and gullibility is going to have a terrible price…as it already has with Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the socialists-lite in the eGOP.

Perhaps we like Trump because he’s safe to like, just as the other GOP Establishment guys were safe. We could vote for them, thinking in our hearts that George Washington would be proud of us, and yet knowing deep-down that these guys will not do anything as earth-shattering as paring back or knocking down the gathering socialist state whose promises so far out-strip the traditional Catholic Church that no wonder Catholicism has embraced socialism.

People like lofty promises with the veneer of sanctity that acts to hide them from their own perfidy. Note that Donald Trump has promised, as Flynn noted, to take care of us through universal health care. No wonder so many of the supposed contradictions of Trump don’t bother people. They like the bluster of pretending this guy is Ronald Reagan without having to give up the “free stuff.”

The one virtue of Trump — for his politics are hopelessly shallow — is that he is the knight in shining armor who has swooped in to protect America’s honor. And few have been as dishonorable as the American mainstream media which Trump trashes to everyone’s delight, including my own.

Trump also gives us the hope-and-change feeling that we may break the back of political correctness — even if Trump himself is rude rather than political incorrect for he actually challenges few of the societal wisdoms received from Cultural Marxism.

This desire to finally have someone champion the virtue of America rather than run it down has understandably led many people to trust in a man associated with being outside of a very broken and corrupt system. However, I strongly urge people to support Ted Cruz, and not because Donald Trump is “unelectable” but because he probably is. And although I can foresee many feeling emotionally better about not having Hillary or some eGOP toady as president, we get back to the original weakness of Trump: ideas matter, and his are broad generalities. And even if some of them are good generalities, Trump’s background, career, and present-moment rhetoric provide no support that this is a thoughtful man even marginally grounded in conservative principles — the only kind that can fix what is currently broken.

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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19 Responses to Trump: Our Knight in Shining Tin Foil Armor

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Even the GOP leadership isn’t as bad as the Demagogues. Charles C. W. Cooke had a piece (“The Right Ascendant”) in the February 29 NR. He points out many Obama policies that the GOP succeeded in blocking: eliminating the Bush tax cuts (instead, most of them were kept, and made permanent), a ban on “assault weapons” and a federal firearm registry (and soon, eliminating gun rights for people on a vague watch list, though Cooke doesn’t mention that), “free” college tuition, union selection by card check rather than secret balloting, and even higher domestic spending. At a state level we would have seen less progress in right-to-work laws (at least 4 new states since 2010) and school choice, no new restrictions on abortion, and more states expanding Medicaid and trying to do their own Obamacare websites.

    Cooke does admit to their failures as well: the resuscitation of the Export-Import Bank, the approvals of Loretta Lynch and Sonia Sotomayor, the Gang of 8 bill (which, however, eventually failed to become law), and the 2015 (and 2016) budget. Those are indeed severe flaws, and especially their failure to challenge Obama since they finally won the Senate. But they’re still a heck of a lot better than the Plunderbund.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The thing that galvanized a lot of people against the eGOP was their crude, gutless, and vulgar unwillingness to defund Planned Parenthood. This is also why I’m fairly sure the Trump supporters are a mixed bag, at best. Trump is for universal health care. Trump is very complimentary of Planned Parenthood. He also gives off a few wafts of Mussolini which is enormously attractive to the many people who have not seen much leadership from the GOP. Pendulums tend to swing from one extreme to another.

      But it’s hard for me to see Trump as merely a reaction against the Establishment, for his current policies, and his present and past stated beliefs, are pretty much Big Government status quo.

      Whatever the successes of the GOP, they are token, at best. The two civilization-changing forces we face are the illegal alien invasion and our debt/deficit caused by top-heavy and unsustainable socialism. And the GOP has done scant little about either. They have not even tried (outside of Ted Cruz and a few others) to make the moral case for limited government and fiscal sanity.

      I can understand why. Feminism, and the drive for security-uber-alles, is the largest unstated factor in politics. Pleasing the desires of women — who I think by their nature would pull down civilization around them if their sense of security could be but marginally increased — is the elephant in the living room that not even the supposedly un-PC Donald Trump will talk about.

      The expectation now is that government will do all kinds of enormous things for us and that to expect people to do things for themselves is cold and heartless. I propose that the schizophrenia of the eGOP (say one thing, do another) simply mirrors the voters schizophrenia. When measuring the character of the people to fix was is broken — to add their photo next to that of any of our Founders — it is obscene to even imagine Donald Trump in that mix. But I guess we like the show. We like the fact that he flatters our egos. And it doesn’t matter much that this guy will likely break far more than he will fix.


    Brad – I think your analysis is basically spot-on. I would, however, cut Republican voters a little more slack on the grounds that the civil war within the GOP hasn’t been going on that long, and that therefore there simply hasn’t been enough time for a Conservative insurgency to take hold and offer real alternatives to business-as-usual – or Donald Trump. I offer as proof the fact it is now obvious that out of 17 candidates, we had exactly one Conservative – Ted Cruz! (I struck Carson off the Conservative list once he endorsed Trump).

    It is true, though, that we were very slow to see through the GOPe, and it’s probably worth some self-examination to see why that was. Perhaps we Conservatives were so desperate for someone to champion our cause we kept seeing Republicans as Conservative who were anything but.

    Now let’s inject some late-breaking news: Trump is having a very big night on Super Tuesday. He’s won in Illinois (where I did my duty by voting for Cruz), Florida (knocking out Rubio), and North Carolina, with Ohio going to Kasich and Missouri not yet decided. Trump now has a 226-delegate lead over Cruz. I don’t suppose there’s any shortage of pundits to tell us what it all means, but here are a few observations to remind the world that we can do punditry here at ST as well.

    1. Ohio is a weird place, and it disturbs me that to stop Hillary Clinton we have to win it. Kasich won it tonight, being a strangely-popular Governor there, but why (in a double-sense)? I mean, why is Kasich popular? He certainly hasn’t done anything as Governor particularly meritorious, whereas he has caved on the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid and thrown religious liberty and the freedom of conscience under the bus. And why didn’t Ohio voters realize that Kasich has no chance to win the nomination and probably very little chance of winning even the more progressive-leaning states remaining?

    Kasich’s self-centeredness is appalling. His victory speech meandered all over the map – he told us all for the 1000th time that he was the son of a mailman, apropos of nothing (my rejoinder at my television was that he was certainly a son-of-a-something-or-other) – and he promised to stay in the race all the way until it ended with him victorious and accepting the Republican nomination. Can he really be that delusional? Can he think that a divided convention in August will turn to him, John Kasich, the probable 4th-place finisher, for salvation? He did at least look less like the karate-robot he imitated in the past.

    2. Kasich did accidentally accomplish something useful – he stopped Trump from winning Ohio’s 66 delegates. If Trump is ultimately prevented from obtaining a majority of delegates on the first ballot, we may have to accept Kasich or Rubio as VP in order to get Cruz nominated on the 2nd or 3rd ballot. I loathe both men so I shudder at the thought, but it may come to that.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Ohio had 66 delegates to 99 for Florida, 72 for North Carolina, 69 for Illinois, 52 for Missouri, and 9 for the Northern Marianas (which Trump took early in the day). North Carolina is purely proportional and fairly close. Cruz may yet pull Missouri out.


        Thanks, Tim – I’ll correct my post. I must have been thinking of Florida’s 99 delegates for some reason.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    And the thing that occurred to me about this is that this lack of discernment regarding Trump reflects the same lack of discernment regarding the “conservative” politicians we’ve been electing for decades now who have presented themselves as one thing but governed as another.

    To take a travel analogy, many Trumpkins are like passengers who, about seven years ago, booked tickets to Hell and gladly got on an airliner. After some distance they had second thoughts and took the controls from the pilot (Obama) and asked the co-pilot (Republican Congress) to take over and change course.

    Some miles later, they figured out the co-pilot did not change direction. So they have decided to mutiny and appoint one of the passengers (Trump) to take over the controls. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know how to fly the plane.

    Sadly, they didn’t check to see if there was someone on board with a pilot’s license. (Cruz)

    I know, it is a somewhat tortured analogy.

  4. Timothy Lane says:

    Kurt Schlichter has a delightful satire at Town Hall on the result of a Trump nomination. The essence is that liberal thuggery turns off a lot of voters, enabling Trump (with the help of the Cruz data machine) to win decisively. This leads to such results as (later) Chief Justice Ted Cruz, a prospect I’m sure we’d all like (maybe even Ann Coulter would). But there’s a lot of humor mixed in with the serious. The link is:

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a great article from Any McCarthy that mirrors my own spiel: Donald Trump Backers Vote for the Washington Establishment

    Donald Trump is the Washington establishment. The fact that he has not previously held public office does not make him an “outsider.” Hell, Reince Priebus — the head of the Republican National Committee — has never held public office. If the ruling class were just the officeholders, it would be short-lived. The Donald Trumps who pay the freight are the Washington establishment’s lifeblood. They are joined to the officeholders at the hip . . . or hadn’t you noticed Governor Christie shadowing The Donald?

    When Trump leans Republican, he leans with the Republicans who play ball with Democrats. It is Democrats, predominantly, who have been lavished with Trump’s material and moral support over the decades. There is plenty of room at the Trump trough, though, for the kind of Republicans that primary voters thought they had deep-sixed. Take John Boehner, former House speaker, GOP establishment pillar . . . and longtime Trump golf pal.

    When last seen, in his Capitol Hill swan song, Boehner was courting Democrats and slamming through a budget that forfeited all Republican leverage against Obama. But with Trump kicking off his California campaign this week, there was Boehner, thrilling the campus Left at Stanford University with snipes at Ted Cruz. The Texas senator is “Lucifer in the flesh,” chortled the former speaker, and “a more miserable son of a bitch” than anyone with whom Boehner had worked in his entire life. Remember: Boehner spent the last decade working with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. Yet, it’s Ted Cruz he can’t abide.

    As it happens, Cruz and Boehner barely know each other. They overlapped in Washington for a little over one congressional term, in different chambers. They’ve exchanged few words (none of them cross, apparently) in the few times they’ve spoken, and they’ve never worked together — at least not directly. Cruz, however, is a principled conservative, who fought Obamacare to the bitter end; Boehner brought about the bitter end by pushing to fund Obamacare while pretending to oppose it. That experience is enough for Boehner to spew his bile and count himself as #NeverCruz . . . though he’d gladly vote for Trump, with whom he bragged of being “texting buddies.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This does bring up an important point: the Establishment of each party not only has the top office-holders (and probably most others, but determining which fits in has to be done individually), but also party leadership and the ranks of K Street lobbyists, lawyers, and such — and those who rely on them to succeed by way of crony capitalism (i.e., fascism).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Prager was talking with Randy Barnett, author of Our Republican Constitution, on his show today. He gave these three reasons for why he think people are backing Trump

        1) Disgust with the Establishment
        2) Falling prey to demagoguery
        3) Want to identify with a winner

        That’s one way to look at it. But we have to understand the backdrop of this. Why are people repeatedly “falling” for candidates who say one thing and do another? Is this perhaps what we want?

        This is a potential psychological issue, always dangerous when talking politics because the Left habitually considers those who don’t drink their Kool-aid as mentally incapacitated.

        But clearly the RINO phenomenon is not a new thing. In many cases, we vote for people who say the right things prior to being elected. We might even have had a chance to talk to them ourselves personally. But then they go to Washington (or the state Capital) and get sucked into a machine. We’ve done due-diligence and have been screwed anyway.

        And credit the Tea Party movement for being an overt and relatively clear expression of the awareness of this fact. It’s not that this dishonesty, or inherent ability of Washington to change people, hasn’t been noticed by a great number of people.

        But now we have Trump who is as insider-politics as you can get. As Andy McCarthy notes, you don’t have to be in office to be part of the Establishment. And Trump has been a big supporter of that Establishment. If we can’t be sure of people who swear to conservatism before going into the mill, how in the world can anyone suppose that someone already in the mill, and for decades, will act any differently than he has?

        And this confusion of mind or motives is all very clear. It’s amplified because we do have a viable, real-life conservative running: Ted Cruz. There is no need to squint and play mind-games with Donald Trump and suppose he will be somebody that we want him to be. We have Ted Cruz. If Cruz wasn’t in the race, I’ll admit that our choices would tend to propel us to doing a great deal of squinting.

        With this being the case (Cruz indeed in the contest), it’s only fair to question the ideology and motives of those who support Trump — or at least to question their wisdom and judgment. And I think Andy McCarthy is spot-on that you are being particularly foolish if illegal aliens are your #1 issue. Trump isn’t even on both sides of the issue. He’s been on the Establishment side of looking the other way. And it’s a fair bet that the only reason he brought it up as an issue is that he though it was a winning one. That’s how demagoguery works. They play to what people want to hear while not meaning a word they are saying.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      If the ruling class were just the officeholders, it would be short-lived. The Donald Trumps who pay the freight are the Washington establishment’s lifeblood. They are joined to the officeholders at the hip

      This is why I call it the “NYC/D.C. Axis”.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, I would differentiate between those businesses who pay the freight because they’re being extorted, and those who do so as legalized bribery for rent-seeking purposes. The former are really victims of the Establishment.

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