Vote with Your What?

StatueDavidby Deana Chadwell7/23/16
I’m tired of people boasting that they are “voting with their conscience.” I was confused and appalled to hear Ted Cruz utter those words the other night. Does anyone even know what that even means? Does it mean they will never vote for anyone who commits the sins they don’t like? Does it mean they will only vote for the person whose apparent political stance matches their own 100%? Or are they saying that they will only vote for the person whose strategy and tactics match their own? (Was Cruz really meaning what Newt surmised – that it would be unconscionable to vote in such a way that Hillary got elected?)

So then, if this is what we’re going to do, where is the breaking point? If you favor the destruction of the IRS, must it be done via a flat tax or a value-added tax? If you would not dream of voting for a person who wasn’t dedicated to making all abortion illegal – where do you draw the line? Would a no-late-term candidate do? Or an only-in-the-first-trimester guy? Or will you refuse to vote unless he goes the whole nine yards? What about the voter who worries about the unfairness of illegal immigration? Will he stay home unless the candidate promises to deport all illegals or will he be willing to hold his nose and vote for the candidate who is only interested in building a wall?

Just where is that point of no return? How flexible are your principles? Or are they just preferences? As far as I can tell right now there are 15-20 major issues facing this country. Does voting one’s conscience require a candidate who agrees with you in all areas?

And what about the voter spouting the vote-my-conscience mantra, thinking not of policy issues, but of Trump’s own moral missteps? Can’t vote for him; he committed adultery. Can’t vote for him; he builds gambling casinos. Can’t vote for him: he’s been divorced. Nine times out of ten we hear this from Christians. Christians who should know all there is to know about forgiveness. We should remember that people who have logs in their own eyes should not gripe about the guy dealing with a speck. We ought to be the ones who are more aware of our own sin than we are of anyone else’s. Why aren’t these Christians remembering King David, from whom our Lord descended, King David, of whom God said, “He is a man after my own heart?” And God said that of David after he had seduced (raped?) Bathsheba, impregnated her, and then had her husband killed. Yet David was the greatest king Israel ever had. He made Israel a great nation. Many, however, in the NeverTrump faction wouldn’t have voted for David – even though God, knowing in advance all that he would do, appointed him to that office.

As Christians we’re to remember that God, being omniscient and perfectly righteous and just, has designed history and continues to control it. If Donald Trump is the Republican candidate, then it is as God wanted. This can mean that Trump has potential many can’t see right now. It may mean that God has some more lessons for America to learn and Trump or (may the Lord forbid) Hillary is to be our school master. Maybe it’s up to Trump to clear the decks, shake out the ranks, and clean things up so a Ted Cruz can come in and solidify the changes. We don’t know and we hadn’t ought to be thinking we do – God works in mysterious ways, and if it is His will Cruz be president, he will be. We don’t have to be at each other’s necks.

Neither do the candidates. Yet, we must also recall that leadership is often fueled by testosterone, sometimes a near-lethal dose. We watch in horrified amusement as Cruz and Trump fluff their feathers and bare claws at each other over who said what about whose wife. Good grief. But, strong, masculine intensity is what we’re going to need in the near future and obviously either guy has that going for him.

I do plan on voting my conscience, but it is a practical conscience. I would bear a terrible guilt if I did not vote and Hillary was elected. I know this because I still regret my vote for Ross Perot. I helped Bill Clinton into office. Yikes. The stakes in this election are far higher. If I chose to write in a name or stay home or vote for a third party candidate, of what would I be guilty? I would be partially culpable for the communizing of the Supreme Court. I would bear the responsibility for 30, maybe 40 years of anti-freedom, in-your-face anti-Christian, anti-free enterprise decisions. We were all pretty shocked by the John Roberts Obamacare decision, by the gay marriage decision. Just wait and see what things are like with Barry Sotero and his ilk filling the court. My conscience couldn’t take knowing I’d helped that happen.

My conscience demands that I vote for the man who stands the best chance of beating back Hillary Clinton. We all know she’s a traitor, taking foreign blood money, allowing top-secret information to get to our enemies. How does anyone in good conscience aid and abet her (and don’t forget that Slick Willy is coming with her) to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and make life-and-death decisions about our troops, our police, our general safety?

How, with a fully functioning moral compass, can anyone, by default, elect a person who lies more comfortably than she tells the truth? How can we allow that, knowing that she lies because for her the truth is actually headed-to-jail dangerous?

Our votes are not just effective for putting a candidate into office; they are also a vital part of keeping another person out. Each of us has one unit of say in who gets to be president and it’s a double-sided vote; you cast your ballot both for your candidate and against another. Let’s say that in a village there are 100 voters in the mayoral election. Suppose 50 voters are Republican, and 50 Democrat. If 20 of the GOP voters decide they don’t like their candidate and stay home, then the Dems win by 30 votes. The same thing happens if the disaffected voters form a third party, or write in another name. Such vacant voting allowed Obama to stay in office for 2 terms. If you turned up your nose at Romney because he’s Mormon, shame on you: you owe us all an apology and a promise never to do that again.

We are, as we all sense in our bones, at a crossroad and we will take the right turn only if we stick to biblical concepts. A friend shared this passage with me this morning: 

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,

“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech…”  1 Peter 3:8-10

Let’s do that and quit strutting about comparing our respective consciences. Let’s face the danger we’re in and make the only possible choice we have knowing that history will play out just as God intended.


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

About Deana Chadwell

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

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think it’s only fair to say, Deana, that a lot of people have been throwing away their political principles in order to scratch some vague itch of grievance and thus painting a man (Trump) — who is, at best, a political crash test dummy — as some kind of great leader.

    Any praise of Trump is deeply misguided. To say that he should be the repository of an anti-Hillary vote is about the best moral case I can make for him.

    Your article seems to be trying very hard to back-fill with a lot of rationalizations. Long story short: Cruz is a good man. Trump is a bum. That it might be sensible to vote for Trump to keep a worse bum out is one thing. But I think it’s being tainted with the corruption of Trump to continue any kind of attack on Cruz. Cruz isn’t the bad guy here. We are the bad guys, the ones who put Trump (and Hillary) into the position they are in now. To call it any differently is to get sucked into political moral relativism.

    • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

      Brad,

      This is a vital and existential moment in the life of our dear nation, which is the world’s best hope for freedom, and a Judeo-Christian creation that has been watered by the blood of many patriots. Thus I’ll take this opportunity to present my case against the inherent fallacy of the Anti-Trump position.

      I don’t really care what language is used, how irrelevant arguments are framed, or what alternate reality some may prefer, but there are some basic and immutable facts associated with the momentous decision in November.

      The decision is now binary. The time for arguments about character and such is over; the primaries are over. There is no rationale for choosing Hillary in the general. None. Yet either she or Trump will be president. Choose or not, but take personal responsibility and own the consequences for voting Hillary, not voting Trump, wasting your vote on a non-viable candidate or write-in, or abstaining entirely. All choices except voting Trump aid Hillary. When Ott and other NeverTrumpers can convince me that I’m wrong, in a logical and temperate fashion, then I’ll be surprised. No moral posturing, substitution of narrative for facts, obtuseness, snark, or logical fallacies are allowed, only coherent argument.

      There are a lot of true and powerful statements that the NeverTrumpers should not ignore. Here’s mine, informed by my Christian learning and heritage: Hillary is a manifestation of Satan, and failing to oppose evil is immoral, not to mention suicidally stupid.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        If Hillary is a manifestation of Satan, Trump is one of his minor demons.

        Again, I’ll state that it’s a rational (or at least justifiable) position to vote for Trump if only because the Democrat Party is destructive and evil. The Republican Party has not yet been totally gutted out in regards to its core principles. But the nomination of Trump is a severe erosion of them and marks the further leftward movement of the party…a real lurch leftward.

        Here’s my problem: I see very few people giving the rational argument that I’ve given. Instead, they’ve been corrupted by Trump. Instead of an obvious argument of a “hold your nose” vote, you have people apologizing for him. That is, you have people jettisoning their good sense and integrity. They seem unable to do as I do and say “Yeah, the man is a bum, but there is a slight chance he’s less of a bum than Hillary.” Instead, they are rationalizing Trump as something he is not while cherry-picking the things they want to believe about them. And these same people complain about Establishment Republicans, RINOs, the leftward movement of the party, etc. How blind and dumb can some people be?

        Again, by all means, vote against Hillary. But if anyone hasn’t the intellectual acumen to hold two ideas in their head at the same time — Trump is a bum but I’ll vote for the lesser of two evils — then please stay home. Burn your voter registration card. You are a menace to this country if you simply normalize Trump’s ideas.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Back in 2012, some actress did some sort of ad urging women to “vote for their lady parts”. A sensible Romney-backer replied on Twitter (I suppose), “You can vote with your lady parts. I’ll vote with my lady smarts.” (It wasn’t Elizabeth, who doesn’t get involved in social media. But she agreed with the sentiment.) I think this is a key aspect of “vote your conscience”. It means to think for yourself about your vote, applying one’s conscience to the decision.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Back in 2012, some actress did some sort of ad urging women to “vote for their lady parts”.

      Well, with Trump we will certainly be voting our dicks.

  3. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    I think you’re on to something here, Deana. There are, in fact, plenty of people who seem to be basking in the same kind of self-conscious virtue that is the hallmark of the progressive when they say something like “I’m voting my conscience”. No, I’m not referring to anyone here, but I think it’s a fair description of a lot of the #NeverTrump-ers that you encounter on NRO and other sites. Now it is possible to make a principled case for withholding one’s vote from Trump in November based on the man’s character, but my impression is that many of these people are simply so personally repulsed by Trump that they have lost all sense of perspective and interpret their personal dislike as a matter of “conscience”.

    What should someone with “the conscience of a conservative” (to borrow the title of a famous book) do when faced with an unpleasant choice such as Trump vs. Hillary? My answer would be my personal modification of the “Buckley Rule” – vote in such a way as to best advance the cause of Conservatism in America over the long run. If you truly believe that Trump would not only leave the country further to the Left than Hillary would, but would also damage the Conservative cause by being a nominal Republican President (i.e. leave people believing that his failures were caused by his more Conservative policies rather than his more progressive leanings), then it would be right to stay home.

    I think that’s a very hard case to make as I have explained elsewhere on ST. I can’t see how Trump can damage the Conservative cause any further by getting elected President; the damage he could do he already has – ironically enough, by dividing Conservatives on the issue of whether to support him. Any damage he’s done to the GOP Establishment – and he’s certainly done a lot if you consider how much time and effort the GOPe wasted trying to elect either ¡Jeb! or Rubio – is to the long-term gain of Conservatism as the GOPe was and is the proximate enemy in our battle with the Left. The only problem here is that the GOPe is now trying to co-opt Trump, and if they succeed, we’ll end up with something very like Jeb! anyway (but better on immigration, let us hope).

    Nor can it be plausibly argued (as some have tried) that Trump is somehow to the Left of Hillary. No Democrat in our time could have given the speech Trump did at the convention – you’d have to go back to JFK or maybe Hubert Humphrey or Henry M. Jackson. No one knows exactly what Trump would do as President, but he’d have to be better than Hillary, if for no other reason that he loves our country while Hillary, as a committed Leftist, hates it. Both the country and the Conservative moviment would be better off in 2020 if Trump rather than Hillary wins in 2016.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I can’t see how Trump can damage the Conservative cause any further by getting elected President; the damage he could do he already has – ironically enough, by dividing Conservatives on the issue of whether to support him. Any damage he’s done to the GOP Establishment – and he’s certainly done a lot if you consider how much time and effort the GOPe wasted trying to elect either ¡Jeb! or Rubio – is to the long-term gain of Conservatism as the GOPe was and is the proximate enemy in our battle with the Left.

      As someone who has, for some months, been saying Trump’s nomination has screwed conservatives no matter what, I can’t completely agree with you.

      I do agree that he has already done tremendous damage to the conservative side of the party and will not be surprised is there are a huge number of stay-at-home “voters this November. I will also not be surprised if a new party is not seriously considered.

      As to his damage to the eGOP, I do not yet know if he has actually done much. It is hard to know exactly where this man really stands as he is a fantastic liar who has taken opposite positions on many policies. I find it laughable and a sign of the gullibility of the electorate that they fell for the “Lyin’ Ted” bit as it spewed forth from the being liar on the stage.

      Trump may be a better choice than Clinton, but to think this man is in anyway honorable is delusional.

      There’s an old saying in the South when making comparisons in which one choice is obviously better than another, “There a difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.” Well our 2016 presidential choices are both chicken shit. And I see no chicken salad mixed in. Again, that these two scoundrels are the candidates for the highest office in our land is a disgrace. I weep for my country!!!

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I think that’s a very hard case to make as I have explained elsewhere on ST. I can’t see how Trump can damage the Conservative cause any further by getting elected President

      Nik, Maggie Gallagher has a good read over at NRO: Four Truths about the Party of Trump.

      I think she’s spot on, although there are other issues that I’m sure Timothy or Mr. Kung could add to that bulleted list.

      But what I won’t do here is pretend that Trump is a conservative. Nor will I bash a good man (Cruz) in order to try to normalize a bad man (Trump). And if I’m forced to turn Progressive, my inclination has always been to go with The Real Thing (which is why if I drink cola, I drink Coke, not Pepsi…and my computer of choice is Mac, not the cheap knock-off, Windows).

      Progressives do liberalism better and more honestly than Trump and his eGOP buddies. If I have to swallow down a Trump ideology, I might as well go to the source. Why not just vote Clinton if that is where we’re heading anyway (and a Hugo-Chavez-like socialist-nationalist is on the same exact road)? I think one of the most prescient statements from Maggie is this:

      I suspect one reason the GOP political class was so ready to go with Trump is they understand he is their vehicle for getting the GOP out of social issues. If he wins, they will reap the whirlwind. If he loses, they will still have achieved their blueprint on social issues. And of course, win or lose, they still make money.

      Bingo. Well analyzed. A light in the darkness.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Sounds like Maggie has been listening to us.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Indeed, Mr. Kung. She’s no Jennifer Lopez!

          But look on the bright side of this whole issue: I’m not inclined to huge vices simply because I’m generally a loner and not in those situtations. Never visited a house of prostitution. Never took one up the ass. Never robbed a bank. Never worked for Goldman Sachs. Never lobbied Congress. Never boinked a subordinate or played cigar games with an intern. Never flew to Fantasy Island to have an orgy with under-aged girls.

          I never spat on the flag. But I have read the Constitution. I have read a bit of American history. I have never called a cop a “pig.” I have never burned my bra (or underwear…is there a male equivalent to the bra?). But I do see where all this is going. And the nomination of Trump has simply further legitimized Progressivism (which is perfect for his lifestyle as well…as it was for Teddy Kennedy)

          Progressivism (and libertarianism) gives us license for all these things and more. All we have to do is believe a bunch of nonsense and you’re good to go (or blow…whatever). Trump is just another flavor of this nonsense. And as I posted earlier, I’d rather go with The Real Thing (Coke, not Pepsi) if I must imbibe Progressivism.

          Of course, I prefer the un-cola of conservatism. So did many others…or claimed to.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Well, I can share all your nevers. Growing up an Army brat probably had a lot to do with that, of course. As for Maggie Gallagher’s thesis, my only disagreement is that there are still significant elements in the GOP who will continue to support conservative views. But we’ve learned that their support among voters is less than we thought it was.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I wonder sometimes if the anti-Trump voices (Goldberg, French, and Williamson in particular at NRO) are most energized by being anti-Trump (sort of like the useful role anti-Communists played in the party, even if they’d never read the Constitution) than they are pro-conservative. I say this because more than a couple of the guys now who are giving quite good smack-downs of Trump have sat on their hands when it’s come to the RINOs.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Does anyone even know what that even means?

    I think it is pretty clear what vote your conscience means. It means that in a situation where there is much conflicting information, where the candidates are both horrible people, where the right way is not set out clearly before you and your knowledge is imperfect and when you are not a party hack, then you must reach down inside yourself and decide what is the best course to take. And one’s conscience belongs only to oneself and is, in the end, answerable only to oneself.

    • I was asking, Mr. Kung, what vote-your-conscience means in practice. The detailed examples I listed were intended to make that clear. It’s easy to have broad, general thoughts on political issues, but when the pen hits the bill, what exactly do you want signed into law? Who exactly do you want appointed to the SCOTUS? Things are accomplished one small step at a time — so where do we start? I think we start by cleaning out SCOTUS, by eliminating whole governmental departments, by strengthening the military, by closing the borders. Isn’t that what all conservatives want?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Thanks for your clarification. I am in total agreement with you that cleaning out SCOTUS, eliminating gov. depts., strengthening the military and closing borders are goals all conservatives should have.

        However, I have my doubts that Trump will do much to accomplish these goals, especially eliminating gov. depts.

        In my opinion, because of these doubts (which many conservatives have) we need to have a very clear vision of what Trump is and where he is likely to fail us.

        Although I am not sure he will pay any attention to us, we should hammer away on Trump’s shortcomings in these areas and let him and Republicans know we are watching. Maybe he will take note that people are keeping an eye on him and that will motivate him to actually do some conservative things.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, as far as SCOTUS goes, Trump has been clear. You either believe him or you don’t — and if you don’t, there’s nothing he can do to clarify his positions. (Well, at least until he acts. In the end, it all comes down to whether he will act as he says. Not to mention that what he says isn’t as conservative as we would like.)

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            As I don’t trust the Donald very much, I can only hope that by pointing out his many faults and mis-statements, people will be on alert and follow his actions very closely.

            Letting him know where he is going wrong is about the only hope of having any influence on the man. I admit that is a small hope.

            I also admit that if he actually did follow through on his promises in two areas I would be pretty happy.

            1. Built a wall and shut down illegal immigration and turned back the faucet of legal immigration,

            2. Appointed Supreme Court Justices who actually followed the intent of the constitution.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            We can imagine Mike Pence in his office over at the Naval Observatory writing careful memos to President Trump every morning that are then simply deposited in the waste bin by Trump’s chief of staff.

            What we learned from his speech at the convention is that Trump intends to rule as Trump. My analogy is not meant to be a witty rejoinder but a very possible statement of how this would play out.

            It may sound like Trump bashing, but it never hurts to reiterate the truth. Few bash us for continuing to quote Washington or delve into the biographies of Jefferson, Lincoln, Churchill, or Reagan. This is a way for a community of small-r republicans to maintain their bearings. “Because he bashed Megyn Kelly he therefore is the second coming or Reagan” doesn’t quite raise to the level of bearing-keeping, in my opinion.

  5. Steve Lancaster says:

    I have been accused by some as being a cynic or a cranky old Marine, both true. However, politics is not a game of conscience and never has been. It has been described as the art of the possible and the world’s oldest and dirtiest profession. It is all of that and more. Any politician who tells you to vote your conscience is in effect saying, “I lost I don’t feel good about it, I am angry and I want my opponent to bust into flames so I can pee on him/her to put the fire out”.

    A statesman, on the other hand, when losing seeks a way to learn from the loss, demonstrate a plan to win in the future. He may be just as angry, Nixon was livid when the Kennedy machine stole the election in 60, however, he put that aside and 8 years later won. Even in defeat Nixon won after resigning office in disgrace.

    His rehabilitation as elder statesman before his death and his legacy make him tragic, and flawed but a much more human president than our current imposter, and in the long run much better than Cruz, who may be ideologically more preferable, but does not have the skill, talent or ability to be more than he is, a junior senator from Texas.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      What you say about “vote your conscience” could be true. And, of course, I said it first in reply to a critique of Mr. Kung. I think there were more eloquent and wittier ways to flush Trump if one wanted to flush Trump (as one should do regarding refuse).

      What is deeply troubling is when “vote your conscience” becomes a scare word for Christians and conservatives.

      When creating StubbornThings, it was my hope to be a source of light in the gathering shadow of our vulgar and corrupt culture. And we have done some good things. But it’s very troubling for me to see this kind of moral relatvism. I will not be following in the footsteps of Sean Hannitiy and others who have sold out their principles to join a Chavez-like nominee.

      So now I see this little experiment in being a light source coming to an end. What I hoped would be a synergy of common sense is fracturing into nonsense. It is likely I will let this site expire August 15. It’s not taking my ball and going home. It’s not even my ball. Mr. Tarzwell has paid for a good portion of it and I will likely consult him first.

      But I’m tired of the nonsense. I may come back with a book and movie review site. Or I may change my mind and do a make-over of this one and strip out the politics.

      There are no more “social issues” in a party that has nominated Trump, thus there are no eternal values. I’m more than willing to argue that there are eternal values, but I’m not willing to spend my precious time refuting nonsense which is coming from all quarters now.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Derek Hunter has a nice piece at Town Hall on the unpalatable choice presented by the election. He pays especial attention to Trump’s continuing war on Ted Cruz, which reveals that settling personal scores (against somewhat he defeated) is more important to him (emotionally, which is what counts) than actually winning.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I saw the headline to that article (The Race to be the Least Unpopular) and just blew past it. Bad headline writing. Good article:

          One would ruin the country by continuing the failed progressive policies and animosity toward the Constitution of the past eight years; the other would ruin the country with protectionist economics and constitutional ignorance.

          Trump just accepted the Republican nomination in Cleveland –a festive event which should have launched his general election bid and turned the focus to Clinton and the difference between their visions for the future. Instead, less than 12 hours after accepting the nod, he focused on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, taking petty swipes and rehashing smears on his family.

          After winning a hard, long battle for the Republican nomination, which of you out there wouldn’t switch gears and aim your arrows toward Hillary? Eating a little shit and playing nice in order to unify your party and gain converts is the responsibility of the nominee. But Trump shows all the maturity and leadership ability of a turnip, and that is likely slandering a perfectly decent vegetable.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Elizabeth has sometimes included turnips in beef stew (they look like potatoes, but the consistency is different), though it’s been a whle.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I will consider that. Everyone who tries my beef stew loves it (except PETA, of course). And that’s kinda-sorta how tofu functions in a lot of recipes (as a substitute for meat, in this case).

              I may try some turnips (along with the potatoes at first) and see how that turns out. Thank Elizabeth for the idea.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              My wife makes a great beef stew. One thing she doesn’t use is corn and I am glad of that.

              She will make a huge pot and portion it out for freezing. We will take out a portion some days later and it tastes even better than when it is just cooked. But so do her curries. I think giving such things a few days to baste in their own juices makes them better.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                The only proper use for corn is in Doritos and on the cob. Your wife gets a thumbs-up from me, Mr. Kung.

                Maybe I could borrow one of her curry recipes (if it would work in a crock pot…note it didn’t say “crack pot” as it would be easy to misread it on this thread about Trump). My brother (with whom I work) loves curry and I regularly make us both soup or stew. A good curry recipe would be a nice addition.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I believe our family beef stew from my childhood (my mother was a good cook) mainly involved beef, potatoes, carrots, and gravy. Onions may have been included as well. Elizabeth has added celery and turnips, but it’s been a while (stew beef is expensive, and she probably doesn’t feel up to cutting up enough herself).

                As for corn, I pretty much agree (though cornbread and corn muffins can be good as well). Elizabeth thinks this is partly a result of the fact that corn is mixed with lima beans in succotash (a lot of my food tastes are psychological).

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                That recipe sounds good, Timothy. When I get a chance, I’ll post my crock pot recipe. Doesn’t sound much different regarding the basics. Making a mental note now to do so.

                Didn’t Yosemite Sam have something to do with popularizing succotash?

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        Brad,
        Politics is mankind’s original bloodsport, it is like poker: if you are not in it to cut the other guys heart out and eat it, don’t play. Any good poker player could see the bluff Cruz was attempting 6 months ago when Trump was an unknown taking down Cruz’s enemies. Trump played him beautifully by letting him speak even after he read the speech. The stench of sour grapes was evident for all to see.

        Sure we make noises about the brutality and tusk, tusk when the horrific side of human political nature comes to the surface but the idea that equal candidates will sit around and in hushed tones debating the issues of the day. Give me a frigging break! You and I can discuss issues with the general assurance of non-violence, but on a government level, local, state, or national it is about power. That has not changed since at least the time of Julius Caesar and Pompeii and I do not believe it ever will.

        The beauty of our Constitutional system is that, as Madison said, it lessens the impact faction. Rather than strive for the utopian ideal our founders sought to channel passion and until 2009 they did a pretty good job of it.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Steve, do we throw the idea of honor out the door? I’m not for dumbing-down our expectations — particularly of a president — just to try to normalize Trump. In the long run, Cruz will turn out to be right. His methods might not have been the best. But he’s going to be on the proverbial “right side of history” on this one.

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            All that and five dollars will get a piece of pie and a cup of coffee. Cruz is broken, not by losing, but of his own malformation. He will never be more than he is today. He is the John Kerry of the republican party. He did the equivalent of throwing his medals over the fence. This pissing match with Trump reflects badly on both, but more on Cruz. Why? No one expects Trump to stand on Cruz’s version of honor.

            If Cruz was looking for an honorable way to make his point he would have announced, “I honoring my pledge made a year ago.” And then he would have shut up. He didn’t and played into Trumps trap. Now it is Trump that looks like the more responsible man and Cruz is just a sore loser.

      • Bell Phillips says:

        So now I see this little experiment in being a light source coming to an end. What I hoped would be a synergy of common sense is fracturing into nonsense. It is likely I will let this site expire August 15.

        Please, Brad, don’t do that.

        If nothing else, keeping the site as an archive is valuable. There is a lot of good stuff here.

        Going forward, the kinds of discussions during the election season are much different than the in-between times. A year from now, without the all-Donald aspect to much of the conversation, you will likely find it interesting and engaging again. But dialing way back on the political content may be good for your immediate sanity. And you’ll need a forum for your “I told you so’s.”

        And, under normal circumstances, some degree of “fracturing” is a good thing. Don’t worry about it. You could point to a few heated exchanges, but the disagreements here have been quite civil and 99.99% non-personal. Something you can hardly find anywhere else. Something you should be proud of creating a space for.

        I have said for many years that you have the most to learn from people you nearly agree with. I’m unlikely to ever take seriously the ideas of someone I consider to be a complete loon, while someone I agree with 100% is not adding to my store of knowledge and thought. But when someone I usually agree with (Brad, maybe) says something I think is totally off base – I have to pause and give it careful analysis, because he’s usually right and maybe I’m the one that’s wrong.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Well, I appreciate what you’re saying, Bell. I really do want to hang it up. I’m just tired of it all. Unfortunately (depending upon how you look at it), the official Koch Brother of this site (Pat) just donated three figures to the site. I still could send the money back. But he’s voted with his checkbook even before we’ve had a chance to talk. What can I do?

          What would be nice is if the other freeloaders here chipped in. I don’t want to make any money off this, but I’m tired of spending money on it. And I will definitely be paring things back a little.

      • GHG says:

        I hope you decide to keep this site running. One of the things that this site has that most others do not is an active group who are well read and willing to engage in a respectful manner. Politics and religion will bring out the best and worst in people. It’s difficult to be on opposite sides and not get frustrated or worse. But at least there is reasoned dialogue and maybe that’s all we can expect and maybe that’s enough.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      politics is not a game of conscience and never has been. It has been described as the art of the possible and the world’s oldest and dirtiest profession

      Politics is at heart a game of competing interests. George Washington was well aware of and saddened by this. But this basic truth is made worse by party politics. The parties create and then promote a spoils system on a grand scale.

      Notwithstanding this, some people, I would say it used to be a large number in the USA, still voted “their conscience.” Now, not so much.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        When politics devolves into Trumpism or Hillaryism, there is no doubt that there is very little conscience involved.

        Again, in the Christian view of things (one I more or less support) is that the Intelligent Designer (aka “God Almighty”) of the universe embedded into our brains and souls a moral code. It is our “moral conscience.”

        To thus trivialize the idea of a moral conscience is boffo and certainly not Christian or conservative.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    If Donald Trump is the Republican candidate, then it is as God wanted. This can mean that Trump has potential many can’t see right now.

    Deana, I’m sorry, but this is one of the most nonsensical things you’ve ever written. It is in the Islamic formulation that nothing happens that is not the will of Allah. The Christian formulation is that man has free will and that if he uses that will badly, there will be repercussions.

    Trump is our repercussion.

    • M Farrell says:

      Hi Brad– In the final analysis, the election is about only one issue (from which all the rest hang), the Supreme Court– The next president will appoint 4, possibly more, justices– Picture a 7-2 liberal court– The interpretation of the Constitution (the Bill of Rights in particular) will be unrecognizable and unreconcilable to the words in the actual document– None of us will live long enough to undo the generational impact of such appointments– So it’s really a binary question– The choices are what they are– You can be a purist and declare a curse on both their houses, but in the end the curse will be on our future– I can deal with the testosterone bluster of Trump– I don’t want to deal with a 7-2 Court– I’m not sure if Deana would qualify this as “voting my conscience” , but given the facts on the ground, it’s the best I can do–

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        And what aspect of Donald Trump gives you any confidence he won’t simply finish off the court with left-of-center nominees? He just moved the party decidedly left-of-center in his convention.

        You can be a purist and declare a curse on both their houses

        For about the 100th time, I’ve said that it is a rational decision to vote against Hillary by voting for Trump. What is bizarre is people then people raising their estimation of Trump and back-filling with a bunch of gullible nonsense. It is completely arguable that Trump is as bad as Hillary, but in different ways.

        Both of these candidates would enflame our house, one using kerosene and the other gasoline. I’m just speaking the honest damn truth.

    • Lucia says:

      When Bill Clinton first ran for president I prayed that God would have His will done in the election, thinking that Bill just couldn’t be God’s choice. Needless to say, I was surprised and disappointed that he won. I prayed the same way for the next election, and the next and the next, and what has happened? The country slid continually in a downhill trajectory. I think it’s time for Christians to think about living under persecution and difficulty, like they have for most of history. Faith is refined in suffering, so we should prepare our hearts for the refiners fire.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think it’s time for Christians to think about living under persecution and difficulty, like they have for most of history.

        I appreciate your wise words, Lucia. And Christians should not be fooled by Trump who promises protections for preachers on the pulpit. No man who supports the liberal fascism of queer/gender politics can be for Christian religious freedoms, let alone Christian ethics. Supporting the Pink Mafia and defining the defense of marriage as “bigotry” is exactly what Trump is supporting with all his liberal “New York Values” stuff.

        My own experience with Christians is that they seem truly bewildered. The only ethical approach to Trump is the somewhat reasonable belief that one is choosing the lesser of two evils, particularly because (as of yet) the Republican Party isn’t quite officially the party of socialism/Progressivism and Orwellian baloney. But the Trump nomination has certainly pushed the party much closer to that permanent orientation. To vote against the Democrats and for the Republicans is at least a minimally rational choice because the Democrat Party is unequivocally evil and destructive.

        The sad thing is, we have nominated one from their side in our top slot. That creates a real problem. But you will never hear me pretending that Trump isn’t who he is as so many other supposed conservatives have done. Don’t throw away your integrity is my advice. And, yes, that will mean (whether one is a Christian or not) living with a little persecution. So, pardon my French when I say “Fuck ‘em.”

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Lucia,

        I was thinking along these lines today. My analogy is that Christianity is now in a position something like 50-100 years after the time of Constantine the Great. It is the majority religion, but not overwhelmingly so. And the main reason it picked up many adherents after Constantine is that it paid to be a Christian.

        It is now moving back in the other direction.

        I believe in a short period of time, Christianity will be in a position like that which you describe. Something like during the first 2-250 years after the crucifixion of Christ. Separating the wheat from the chaff indeed.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The late archbishop of Chicago predicted that he would die in his bed, his successor would die in jail, the next would die by public execution . . . and the next after that would help pick up the pieces of a ruined civilization.

          • Lucia says:

            I blame the Prosperity Doctrine for misguiding so many Christians in teaching them that if they lived just so-and-did-such-and-such that God would bless them and never a hair harmed no matter what happens to other people. Jesus said Christians would have trouble in the world and that if the world hated Him it would also hate His followers.

            I hope I’m around to help pick up the pieces, but it may require more courage than I could possible muster. Difficult and desperate circumstances bring out the worst as well as the best in humanity.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I have this really idea about faith, Lucia. And feel free to disagree and call me a heretic (which I am, of sorts). I know I’m mostly alone on this.

              But Christianity isn’t about Jesus Magic. It isn’t a Cosmic Entitlement for the me-centric generations. It’s not a big show of righteousness (which is why one of my favorite passages in the bible is Matthew 6:5).

              I was at a gathering today, mostly of pretty overt Christians (who at one point sort of made a big show of all gathering together in the corner and praying). They’re all nice people. And yet they spent most of the day around the campfire like a bunch of old Jews squabbling about churches and gospel. What was I doing? Well, I got bored with it so I went and played with the kids, especially with my brother’s foster child (a recovering child from drugged-out parents) who just got a new bike (with training wheels). These kids are so precious. No wonder Matthew 18:6 — an idea that Donald Trump hasn’t the balls to support (he gives Planned Parenthood a pass, for example).

              You have to live the life, not talk it to death. Faith is something you have in the background, deep and quiet. It’s not a puzzle to be solved. And it’s certainly not about material prosperity. My guess is that nearly 95% of Chrisitianity is economic-centric…either centered around the prosperity gospel or at the other end, about trying to solve the problem of “the poor.” (How? By “social justice,” of course.) Dialectic materialism runs deep.

              I basically have very little use for Christians anymore. They are as mixed up as the rest of the culture. Most of them.

              • Lucia says:

                You’re not alone at all it’s just that many people don’t advertise their piousness and live quiet lives in an honest manner. The Bible also says to live in a way that causes unbelievers to ask you why you still have peace while the world is shredding itself, why you are confident in your decisions and why you are patient and respectful to people who seem unworthy of it. Their curiosity is an open door to their heart, something rarely seen these days.

                My husband and I haven’t gone to church in years, but every morning after breakfast he reads to me from a Bible with a good commentary section and we discuss what it means to us. I do miss praying with others and good worship services, but he won’t go and I miss him too much whenever I go without him. Some people think that’s wrong, but I don’t care what they think.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Lucia, I recognize a kindred spirit even if our methods and beliefs are quite different. One can use a compass, a sextant, or a GPS to get to one’s destination. There’s also dead reckoning.

                My belief is that life is hard and not everything is going to make sense nor can we make it makes sense. You can drive yourself crazy trying to make things make sense.

                Nor do I think God requires glib, obsequious, kool-aid drinkers. I think it’s okay to curse at god and give him your list of grievances as long as that is balance by some thankfulness and appreciation as well.

                My older brother was making the point last night about how churches have fractured people into many small factions as they offer up on their store shelves a dozen versions of a soft drink (with caffeine, without caffeine, diet with caffeine, regular with caffeine, diet without, one-calorie, no calorie, sugar-filled, 8 ounce, 12 ounce, 16 ounce, and various other combinations).

                To the American consumer (including religious consumers), no value is larger than choice. Content? Well, perhaps not so much. After all, the choices may tend to be Trump, Pokemon Go, abortion, belief in crackpot science such as global warming, and “social justice.”

                The Bible also says to live in a way that causes unbelievers to ask you why you still have peace while the world is shredding itself

                I certainly don’t live in peace. But I’ve tried to counsel those involved in politics to not obsess over this stuff. Either crap or get off the pot. Support a candidate or do something material to oppose the left. But endless bitching on Facebook or online does nothing. My older brother asked me if I wanted to go to the latest Dinesh D’Souza movie about Hillary. And I told him the last thing I wanted to do was to waste an hour and a half of my life stewing in her garbage.

                And this is precisely what much of conservatism has become, a book club. They sell us books (or speeches or radio programming) that makes us feel better (or just keeps us in a constant state of grievance and unrest). And all this energy that could have been put to better uses is wasted. It’s a game of self-deception. We think we’re actually doing something but all we’re doing is obsessing in this stuff.

                I’m not saying it doesn’t pay to stay informed. But one thing Rush Limbaugh was particularly right about is how the 24 hour news cycle has become a daily drama for people. Crap happens and we need to talk about it. But there can be too much talk.

                And so it is with religion. There can be too much talk, too much ritual, to much “me me me”. Karl Marx was not wrong. Religion can become the opiate of the masses if we’re not careful.

    • Sorry to have pulled your chain so sharply, Brad. Nothing personal, I’m sure you know. As for God, your remark indicates a confusion — God and Allah are not the same. If one assumes that God (in whatever manifestation) is a human construct, then your response makes sense. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not a human invention. God Almighty is real. Allah is fictitious at best — note that he did not appear until after 4,500 years of human history, or demonic, as I suspect. Allah, according to Islamic “theology” is not real fond of human free will. God invented it. Allah has no interest in the well-being of humanity. God is not willing that any should perish (eternally). The second person of the godhead does, indeed, control history and He does so without hamstringing human volition. He can because He is omniscient and has always known what choices we will make. He is in control now. Breathe. No point in anger (which I have to remind myself of often.)

      And please don’t give up on the site. We all love it. None of us know what ripple effect we start.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Deane, you wrote “If Donald Trump is the Republican candidate, then it is as God wanted.” I said that the idea that anything that happens is automatically the will of god is more of the Islamic version of god (Allah). The Christian version of god is that, yes, Providence may intercede here and there, but that man has free will. And if he misuses that free will, he will face repercussions. I think Trump is one of those repercussions.

        This has nothing to do with me mixing up Allah and Jehovah. This was about me saying that you were doing that very thing, although I don’t believe for a minute that you believe in Allah. But it’s a real stretch in my opinion to say that if Trump is the nominee of the Republican party then god wills it. I don’t believe God willed Hitler, Mao, or Stalin. Lots of things happen that can’t be the direct will of God or else there is no free will and thus no repercussions to using that will badly.

        Your obvious rationalizing of Trump is very troubling to me, you being a generally smart and moral person. So when the best and the brightest begin to make excuses for people like Trump, I’ve got nothing left to do but utter a Trumpism myself: Whatevah. When one of the presumed moral pillars of this site becomes confused (as I think you have), for me that is a sign to just pack it in and concentrate on movie and book reviews. And that may happen. Still have to talk with this site’s Koch Brother, fresh from the convention, and see what he wants to do. But I appreciate your views in this regard.

  7. “My conscience demands that I vote for the man who stands the best chance of beating back Hillary Clinton.”

    How does Prof. Chadwell know who stands the best chance against Hillary? Opinion
    polls?

    If so, how does she know these polls reflect the opinion of individuals following their conscience? Perhaps they are the opinions of pragmatic individuals like her.

    If those polled are pragmatists, might it not make sense to advise voters to vote their conscience? For example, let’s say Bernie voters and Cruz voters — individualists who oppose crony capitalism and favor a laissez faire culture — are really libertarians at heart. If these individuals were to vote their conscience, Libertarian Gary Johnson might surge to the top of the polls and have the best chance of beating Hillary.

    Would Prof. Chadwell approve of this development? Or would she continue to advise voters to hold their nose and vote Trump?

    It’s sad that some individuals decide not to vote their conscience because they fear and assume that most other voters will do the same.

    And when it comes right down to it, why does Prof. Chadwell find me tiresome for voting my conscience or, as I prefer to look at it, voting my principles: property, freedom and peace?

    Prof. Chadwell feels guilty for casting a vote for Ross Perot according to her conscience in 1992. Why? Because it helped Bill Clinton get elected.

    Did it? Not really. No state Bill Clinton won in 1992 was decided by a single vote. Her vote wasn’t decisive then and odds are it won’t be decisive in 2016 either.

    Besides, Prof. Chadwell reminds us that “God, being omniscient and perfectly righteous and just, has designed history and continues to control it.” So by voting her conscience (dare I say ‘principles’) in 1992 Prof. Chadwell was simply playing her part in God’s plan for America. Where’s the guilt in that?

    I truly don’t understand how individuals voting their conscience — their principles! — will somehow alter God’s plan for America in 2016?

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Another logical fallacy is the statement,

      “If you don’t vote for Trump, you are supporting Hillary.”

      It could just as easily be said that “If you don’t vote for Hillary, you are supporting Trump.”

      Clearly neither statement is true. What is true in such a case is that one is not supporting either party.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    If the choice between Trump and Hillary is so clear, what’s the problem with voting your conscience?

    Perhaps some react so strongly to this choice of words (“conscience”) because they’ve been ignoring theirs. It’s not a good habit to start. The corruption of Trump has already begun.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, the booing of Cruz was reportedly started by Rep. Peter King, though it was probably planned by Trump. Does either even have a conscience? No wonder they don’t like voting that way.

      • pst4usa says:

        It was all planned and orchestrated by the Trump whips on the floor of the convention, they were the ones wearing the stupid yellow hats and voting anyway even without being delegates. But hey, cheating, is no big deal as long as you are a winner, and have no moral compass, right?

  9. GHG says:

    Donald Trump is the Republican candidate. Opinions of Trump, pro and con, will not change that. It will be either Trump or Hillary as our next president. So unless you believe Trump will be even worse than Hillary, the choice isn’t complicated, and all the blather about Trump is a waste of time.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I was going to go into a detailed reply, but decided to simply say that clearly some of us don’t agree with you. And the remedy to your comment, regarding blather and a waste of time, is not reading the posts.

      Of course, some Trumpkins might accuse you of supporting Hillary if you don’t read our blather and refute it.

      • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

        Sorry, KFZ, but blather it is.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          So everything we have written about Trump’s character, past and our fears about the man are: “rambling talk with no real substance.”

          Good to know that. I didn’t know thinking, pointing out facts and trying to analyze things was such a waste of time.

          I guess the next thing we will be told is that we must either shut up or start lying about the man in order to beat Hillary. You know, the greater good, the ends justify the means; that sort of stuff.

          Unquestioned following may be fine for some, but it is not for everyone, even if we may vote for Trump in the end.

          Frankly, I would have more faith in Trumpkins if they came out and admitted, “the man is a scoundrel, but he’s our scoundrel.” Instead, we hear from too many, what a great guy he is.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            A couple of year ago, I wrote about my term “virulent liberal” to describe those on the left who behave that way due to extreme dextrophoia. Needless to say, the same thing can happen on the right. The key is never to sacrifice truth for political expediency.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Frankly, I would have more faith in Trumpkins if they came out and admitted, “the man is a scoundrel, but he’s our scoundrel.” Instead, we hear from too many, what a great guy he is.

            Exactly. And the scary part — and, really, the offensive part — is that this normalizing of Trump is actively lurching the mindset of the people and the party leftward. Unless they take your approach and keep it at the front of their minds, they’re just dumbing themselves down.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I’m not so sure of the hopelessness of the situation. Note that while many genuinely support Trump as good, there are plenty of people in the punditocracy and elsewhere who admit his flaws but consider Slick Hilly worse.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                The best argument for not voting for Trump (and just staying home) is that at least it leaves the Republican Party in some kind of position (however marginal) to oppose the Left. You can’t oppose the Left if you adopt their principles.

                Trump is like a retrovirus that has entered the blood stream via voters having electoral sex with this candidate (a bad analogy, but all I could grab at the moment). This candidate then entered the bloodstream and started attacking our immune system. It subverted it for its own use, first by adopting a quasi-conservative protein coat over a liberal core, and then by actively hunting down and killing the conservative white blood cells.

                Look now at how people are so easily apologizing for this scoundrel. They’re unable (or unwilling) to just stop at the very simple and straightforward idea of voting against Hillary but understanding they will be voting for a bum who may not be much better.

                Instead, they’re willingly buying into the Trump propaganda. I find it amazing, and instructive. And depressing.

          • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

            My reply was too terse, KFZ. Sorry.

            What I tried to express and I failed miserably, is my dwindling ability to hear screed after argument after comment on Trump vs. Satan. What I wish for, and will probably not witness for a while, are positive and hopeful discussions about how us worried citizens can move our side forward.

            Of course Trump is human and flawed, but he is below the level of scoundrel, in my opinion. But, if you consider him a scoundrel, I’ll still own him. Pace.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Tom,

              I am on board with you regarding positive and hopeful discussions as to how to move our side forward. Unfortunately, it seems to me that our side is not nearly as good at that as the Dems.

              I know Brad had hoped this site would prove as something of a catalyst in this regard. But to move forward, I believe we must know where we truly are.

              It seems to me that so many who purport to be conservatives are anything but. They have swallowed the leftist meme, hook line and sinker.

              So until our side can get up the gumption to break out of the leftist straight-jacket called political correctness, which is in fact restriction of speech, we will be lost.

              As a parting thought, I want to point out that for conservatives, ideas and principles should be more important that personalities. It is therefore, a double failure on our part that we have not been able to compete with the left on that “vision thing” as Bush the first called it.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Lesser, simply defining Trump as “the Republican candidate” conveniently wallpapers over a host of evils. I thought we were the ideology where ideas count, not labels. If Trump was running as a “D,” you’d all unequivocally hate him. I’m just being honest. Many of the rest of you are moving with Trump to the Left and justifying his presence — all while championing Trump as the anti-Establishment, non-RINO candidate. He is neither of these things.

      These are two horrible choices and it’s not clear to me that Trump actually would be better than Hillary. I won’t vote for Hillary, but there is that very likely reality that Trump would be worse, much worse. There isn’t an honorable or sensible bone in the man’s body. Look at how he’s driven by petty third-world-dictator vindictiveness toward Cruz. And slap a banana-republic colonel suit on him (as my brother suggested) during his speech and how could you tell him from Chavez or some other authoritarian, statist loon?

  10. GHG says:

    I’m not a Trumpkin, but there isn’t a doubt in my mind that if Hillary is elected she will appoint leftist activist justices to the Supreme Court which will complete the transformation of our republic by the end of Hillary’s first term.

    That is the most important result of this election – fidelity to the Constitution or not. With Hillary you get “not”. With Trump there’s a chance he appoints a justice that will honor his oath the uphold the Constitution. There’s a chance.

    So yeah, blather on all you want, but it is just that uncomplicated – Hillary and SCOTUS becomes the rubber stamp tool of the left versus Trump and maybe SCOTUS operates as it is supposed to.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      SCOTUS is indeed the main reason for preferring Trump to Clinton. His list of proposed choices is far better than any Demagogue would consider. Will he actually name one of them to replace Scalia? Well, the odds are better than they are for any Demagogue.

      Matt Barber has a piece on Town Hall suggesting that Trump and the other GOP candidates should publicly pledge to keep the platform (and he included a lot of reasons why conservatives should be happy about this). As always, the problem is: who among them would actually keep the pledge? The link is:

      http://townhall.com/columnists/mattbarber/2016/07/24/trump-must-pledge-to-implement-gop-platform-n2196900?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=

      Rebecca Hagelin, meanwhile, had a reminder of what’s wrong with the new, Trumpified GOP. To be precise, she noted that cheers for Peter Thiel — who as head of PayPal is also a member in good standing of the Lavender Thought Police, seeking to get rid of Pat McCrory over transgender bathrooms. (I can’t do 2 links at once; sorry.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Nice list, I’ve heard. But no one can seriously believe that it’s any more than just more bait for the rubes. There’s little reason to Trust that Trump won’t pick a SCINO (strict constructionist in name only). By the way he treated (and continues to treat) the only real conservative in the race — Ted Cruz — you can get an idea for his attitude. He is liberal and apparently his family is very liberal. They are for jettisoning entirely the “social issues.” And that will mean almost certainly a squishy, left-of-center Supreme Court nominee.

        • GHG says:

          And that will mean almost certainly a squishy, left-of-center Supreme Court nominee.

          You’re right Brad – Trump’s selection for SCOTUS might be in the almost certainly category and someone true conservatives wouldn’t be pleased with. However, Hillary’s selection for SCOTUS requires the word almost to be changed to most in that statement because Hillary will most certainly appoint a social activist justice who will tip the balance of the court once and forever to a liberal progressive agent for the left’s agenda.

  11. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    Yikes! Are you critics of Trump fighting a battle that is already over? Easy to criticize Trump, but are you recommending Hillary? Once again, please choose between our binary choices. Did ya’ll actually read this essay?

    Don’t turkey for the media’s narrative about Trump. 98% of the denizens of the DC beltway, and 99% of the national media are scared shitless of Trump, because he threatens the status quo, and their comfortable sinecures.

    • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

      This is a vital and existential moment in the life of our dear nation, which is the world’s best hope for freedom, and a Judeo-Christian creation that has been watered by the blood of many patriots. Thus I’ll take this opportunity to present my case against the inherent fallacy of the Anti-Trump position.

      I don’t really care what language is used, how irrelevant arguments are framed, or what alternate reality some may prefer, but there are some basic and immutable facts associated with the momentous decision in November.

      The decision is now binary. The time for arguments about character and such is over; the primaries are over. There is no rationale for choosing Hillary in the general. None. Yet either she or Trump will be president. Choose or not, but take personal responsibility and own the consequences for voting Hillary, not voting Trump, wasting your vote on a non-viable candidate or write-in, or abstaining entirely. All choices except voting Trump aid Hillary. When Scott Ott and other NeverTrumpers can convince me that I’m wrong, in a logical and temperate fashion, then I’ll be surprised. No moral posturing, substitution of narrative for facts, obtuseness, snark, or logical fallacies are allowed, only coherent argument.

      There are a lot of true and powerful statements that the NeverTrumpers should not ignore. Here’s mine, informed by my Christian learning and heritage: Hillary is a manifestation of Satan, and failing to oppose evil is immoral, not to mention suicidally stupid.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I condemn Hillary and Trump. Happy now?

      • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

        No, I’m still not satisfied because a choice will be made between the two, and one will direct our country. The time is over for cataloging faults. The direction and basis for governing by each candidate are clear. The choice needn’t turn on which is worse, but if that’s what it takes to keep this she-devil out of office, that’s OK. For what it’s worth, I do understand that your qualms about him are reasoned and sincere, but what matters most is the outcome in November.

        Is it possible that many have been seduced or misled by the onslaught by 98% of DC and 99% of the press (sic)? They are all terrified of him.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          The time is over for cataloging faults

          Oh, Jesus Christ, Tom. The time is exactly right for cataloging faults or else we’re just going to continue ending up with Trumps and Hillarys.

          If we get acclimated to the Trumps (as people obviously did to other RINOs such as Paul Ryan and Boehner) then every election some guy like you is going to say “The time is past for thinking. Stop thinking and vote for the Republican because the Democrat Party is a threat to our way of life.”

          And thus you sound just like every other establishment Republican who tells us to stop thinking and man the ramparts because the Hildabeast is coming. Rinse and repeat.

          And this idea that because people are terrified of Trump that this then means Trump is a force for good is ludicrous. I’m terrified of Trump. Anyone should be terrified of this man who is glib, thoughtless, unwise, and just plain amateurish. He is the ascendency of the make-believe world of entertainment and entertainers. Trump is the kind of politician that those stupid labels are made for, the kind sewn into Superman outfits that say “Cape does not enable wearer to fly.”

          • GHG says:

            Oh, Jesus Christ, Tom. The time is exactly right for cataloging faults or else we’re just going to continue ending up with Trumps and Hillarys

            I couldn’t disagree more.

            There will be 4 years to catalog faults after this November. Up until this November, the only thing cataloging Trumps faults does is help convince others to not vote for Trump which obviously helps Hillary. If that’s the intention of all the negative Trump commentary – then at least admit that it means more to you to criticize Trump than it does to have Hillary defeated. Because that’s the only purpose it can serve at this time. That’s not to say anyone should go against their conscience, only that there will be ample time after Hillary is defeated to be heard.

  12. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    Pace, all commentators! This is a singularly important decision and based on my Christian education, my heritage is a Catholic, and my service as a disabled veteran, it is very difficult to imagine a manifestation of Satan like Hillary inhabiting the Oval Office. Fie!

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Tom, I don’t think you have much of an appreciation for how much of a dirtbag that Trump is.

      Surely we are all adults here. I’m not fan of Hillary. But, good god, Hillary being terrible does not justify everything. People fucked up, and fucked up badly in nominating Trump. Now we have to live with either one of these horrible people being president. So I’m not moved to horror like a little girl scared by a mouse who jumps on a chair. Yes, she’s bad. Trump could arguably be as bad or worse. Be that as it may, it gets a little tiring hearing what amounts to giving a blank check to someone because Hillary is such a bum.

      • GHG says:

        I don’t think you have much of an appreciation for how much of a dirtbag that Trump is.

        I prefer to not use the phrase agree to disagree but sometimes it gets to that point and this might be one of those times.

        I didn’t mean to be offensive when I used the word “blather” earlier but the point is it doesn’t matter what Trump is – it matters what he is not, and what he is not is Hillary. For me, nothing could be worse than another 4 years of an unscrupulous radical leftist in the White House and I should think there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that is what we’ll get if Hillary wins.

        The Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law are the foundation of our republic. Without them it matters not one bit what our foreign policy is. Hillary means certain death of our republic. Trump means a possible stay of execution.

        So I’ll just have to agree to disagree with anyone who thinks Hillary might be better than Trump.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Again, I can respect someone who counsels holding their nose (perhaps even plugging the nostrils up temporarily with epoxy glue) and pulling the lever for Trump as a vote against Hillary.

          But it is disturbing to see the party lurch leftward, whether Trump wins or loses. And there is no going back.

          I’m stubborn, hence the name of the site. I realize that conservatism has been a farce for some time. You can’t actually have a conservative people or movement with 2/3 (or more) of the Federal budget going towards “free stuff” (entitlements). And I’ve debated old codgers before on Facebook who simply wish to fiddle while Rome burns, declaring, “But I paid into it. I’ve earned these things!”

          But you haven’t earned a damn thing. You’ve been taxed and you’re part of a pyramid scheme…one that is potentially ruinous to our country because of both the debt and the corruption of the American character.

          One can fly past all of these strategic realities by just declaring “We have a binary choice.” And in a sense we do. We can do the right thing or the wrong thing. And there is no right thing in regards to our vote for president. There are only various shades of the wrong thing. Make no mistake about that. There is no stay of execution with Trump. It’s just another ratchet left with the best prospect being that he doesn’t ratchet quite as far as Hillary.

          • GHG says:

            In my opinion one aspect of this election rises above everything else – SCOTUS. As important as everything else is – if SCOTUS is completely compromised then none of the other stuff truly matters because it will just be death throes in one form and sequence or another.

            Obama set precedence for Executive Action effectively bypassing Congress and the rule of law. The only check on the Left has been SCOTUS, and even then only some of the time. If SCOTUS goes rogue, nothing short of armed rebellion will stop the leftward lurch over the cliff.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Unfortunately, that is the situation now. Let Slick Hilly appoint even the replacement for Scalia, and there goes the Bill of Rights, the rule of law, and presidential accountability.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Unfortunately, that is the situation now. Let Slick Hilly appoint even the replacement for Scalia, and there goes the Bill of Rights, the rule of law, and presidential accountability.

                I think we’ve been incrementing ourselves Leftward via both parties (sometimes via the GOP simply doing nothing to oppose the Left…other times by actively implementing Leftist/progressive ideas).

                No doubt that a President Hillary would lurch (not just ratchet) us further Left, her saving grace possibly being her shear incompetence, but I think the same can be said of Trump. They might both be such boobs that they don’t do a good job of forwarding Leftism/Progressivism. Obama (to the rubes…he never fooled me) had a smooth forked tongue and did a good job fooling people into adopting his anti-American Leftist policies. Hillary is so unlikable (even by those who like her) that it’s certainly possible she won’t be the force that either Obama or her husband was. She’ll be more like a Jimmy Carter.

                And Trump has shown all along the campaign trail that he is clueless. And when not clueless, he is deeply and dangerously wrong.

                Trump and his family have no taste for “social issues.” And Trump apparently has taken any kind of entitlement reform off the table. Given that his worldview is decidedly dangerous, if not outright crazy, it’s hard to see anything productive coming from him, domestically or internationally. And given that the institutions that move us Leftward are the media, public schools, and the entertainment culture, we see the truth of politics being downstream from culture.

                Let’s get a grip lest we miss the fact that the decisions that have led us to the bad choice of both Trump and Hillary were made long ago. We can see a ratchet or a lurch but what we’re actually seeing is the playing out of these past decisions in both parties. I know you don’t think this way, but its sheer willful blindness (or just plain ignorance) to believe this is an all-or-nothing election between the GOP and the Democrats. No matter who wins, the apparatus that got us here will still be in place, and will be strengthened by both.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                The main difference between the GOP and the Demagogues is in adjusting how long it will be until the Deluge. At my age and with my health, I can reasonably hope the Deluge will come after my death with the GOP. I have no such hope with IngSoc.

  13. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    The arguments for Trump, against Trump, and abstention are heard and understood. Apparently, for the time being, neither side will argue successfully and change minds. Given the sheer number of comments on this thread, the emoting, and last but not least, the gravity of the subject, we should be talking about how we might collapse the rigged system that perpetrated this difficult choice on us.

    (Maybe while keeping in mind GHG’s advice that the coming four year interregnum would be the more effective and appropriate time for this, not now when the Dems are firing for effect.)

  14. Well, I seem to have stirred up a hornet’s nest. I believe with all my heart and brain that a nation gets the leadership it deserves. What’s now to be seen is whether we have strayed so far from His ways that we get stuck with Wormwood, or if we’re going to be given just a ghost of a chance to change our attitudes. That’s how I see Trump — a ghost of a chnace. I thought Cruz would have been the better candidate, but I also recognize that the majority of my fellow Republicans thought otherwise and that majority is what counts in an election. So. I’m girding up my loins and voting for the only choice left. And I’m praying, keeping mind that God’s ways are not my ways, that He will guide Trump to beneficial decisions or make it clear to everyone what we need to understand His will and execute it. That attitude doesn’t make me illogical, just realistic.

  15. GHG says:

    I love my country, or at least what I believe my country is supposed to be. I am a Christian conservative but neither Hillary or Trump are either Christian in their soul or conservative in their ideology.

    What am I to do?

    It seems the logical and responsible thing to do is choose the lesser of two evils and hope and pray for the best. In my estimation the extremely flawed Trump is not as bad as Hillary.

    Maybe I’m a simpleton but it’s just that simple to me.

    • Gibblet says:

      GHG, you’ve described in a nutshell the mental approach a lot of folks I know are taking to this election. What are we to do, indeed? It’s like being in front of a firing squad and given the choice to be shot twice with a 22, or once with a 44.

      And I can’t shake that gut feeling that Trump is really just a subsidiary of the Clinton power hungry cartel. What better way to ensure a “win” but to have both major tickets covered?

      I got chills when Trump said he will establish “Law and Order”…..what kind of law, and whose version of order?

      Pray, Brother, pray!

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I don’t think either Brad or I disagree with this assessment.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        You are correct, Mr. Kung. No baloney coming out of the mouth of GHG. All I ask is that people be aware that the drink they have been handed is poison and to take only the smallest necessary sip.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And also remember that unless their state proves to be a swing state (or a swing district in Nebraska and Maine), their vote cannot decide the election — which thus allows a much greater degree of freedom. I consider Trump less bad than a Clinton, but he seems to be guaranteed a win in Kentucky.

  16. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, it looks like there will be some interesting similarities and differences between the two major party conventions. Ted Cruz was booed by devoted Trump fans for not endorsing their idol; Bernie Sanders and others are getting booed by their own fans for endorsing Slick Hilly. (Which party has a unity problem, again?) But both events have included people shouting “Lock her up” about Slick Hilly. It’s nice that she can arrange bipartisan agreement so easily.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I was sitting in the ER today for five damn hours (everything’s okay…mother has a mild spot of pneumonia) listening to Bernie Sanders. Here’s what he said, in short:

      1) Take a scissors or any sharp instrument and cut off your balls.

      2) We’ll even pay for the surgery. In fact, everything will be free.

      3) Now that you are emasculated, it’s a good time to pick a gender. Any gender will do.

      4) And them other guys are anti-science because they haven’t bought into the Church of Global Warming.

      5) Did I mention that Fidel Castro is a hero of mine? Free, free, everything will be free!!

      Jesus H. Christ, it’s like watching that spoiled little girl from the original Willy Wonka.

  17. Margaret says:

    “Let’s say that in a village there are 100 voters in the mayoral election. Suppose 50 voters are Republican, and 50 Democrat. If 20 of the GOP voters decide they don’t like their candidate and stay home, then the Dems win by 30 votes.”

    Um, no they don’t. They win by 20 votes, 50 votes for Dems and 30 votes for the GOP. 50 – 30 = 20.

    I have lost my best friend over this election as well as an admired fb acquaintance. I have been called a “traitor to the Republic” and a “Pharisee.” Issues of conscience are nothing to sneeze at.

    I was going to vote against Hillary until the big-mouthed, petty, vindictive, child-man announced that he was going to finance a super pac to ruin Cruz’s political career. That was the final straw for me.

    Enjoy your totalitarianism.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I hope not to lose any friends. But one — Deana — went from noting (correctly, in my opinion) that Trump was not a good man to Trump was chosen by God. And I agree with the latter designation if God means to destroy America for her sins, much like he supposedly did to the whole Earth during The Flood. (Okay, I stole that general analogy from Mr. Kung, and given the new standard of integrity in the conservative universe, I needn’t have noted that. But still something — something in my conscience? — prompts me to give credit where credit is due.)

      Partisanship seems to be deeply imbedded in us, for better or for worse. Sometimes it is good to snap together for a common cause. If the Indians are surrounding your covered wagons, it makes little sense to stop and parse whether or not it might be unethical to shoot back at them because the horses they are riding are blameless and could be hit, or a thousand other topics. In such instances, you all need to work together for a common cause.

      I *thought* our common cause was the saving of the Republic from the Leftist horde, no matter what uniform they wore. But tribalism can cause people to snap into covered-wagon-defense mode past all reason. Read this truly ludicrous article by Jeffrey Lord wherein in positively compares Trump to FDR (who was ruinous to the economy). I had always considered Lord an astute thinker. But, good lord, when I called Trump “FDR without the manners” I was not being complimentary.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        If the Indians are surrounding your covered wagons, it makes little sense to stop and parse whether or not it might be unethical to shoot back at them because the horses they are riding are blameless and could be hit, or a thousand other topics.

        Now, now Brad. I am sure you meant to say, “native Americans” instead of Indians. Otherwise, you would not be respecting and ascribing the proper amount of dignity to those who wish to scalp you.

        And by the way, what are you people doing in those covered wagons? Stealing the land from the native Americans. Shame on you.

        Okay, I stole that general analogy from Mr. Kung, and given the new standard of integrity in the conservative universe, I needn’t have noted that. But still something — something in my conscience? — prompts me to give credit where credit is due.

        Bless you my son! A clear conscience is its own reward.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Now, now Brad. I am sure you meant to say, “native Americans” instead of Indians.

          You prompt an interesting point, Mr. Kung.

          Given that pop culture and presidents have superseded priests and school teachers as the bastion of values, how can you criticize me for using the term, “Indian,” or someone else (Leigh, in this instance) criticize you for using the word, “queer,” in reference to homosexuals and other gender anarchists? If trashing journalists, conservatives, and being politically incorrect is the new ethic (as well as having multiple wives, slandering, fighting a “personal Vietnam” via serial fornication, etc.), then, baby, all bets are off.

          I mean, quite seriously, how can any of you hold me to a standard of ethics when you are not willing to hold your presidential candidate to those same ethics? We saw this with Bill Clinton who told us all that a blowjob was not sex. And I heard just yesterday from a friend (who was being quite serious) that the new “First base” (in that old adage of “getting to first base with a girl”) is now apparently anal sex.

          First base? And he wasn’t kidding. I don’t know how widespread that is, but he wasn’t kidding. I don’t expect our leaders to be Mr. Rogers. But they ought to be good and generally decent men. It matters.

          There was a time when honorable people built and then maintained the Statue of Liberty. But I have this picture in my mind of Trump getting to first base with her.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            There was a time when honorable people built and then maintained the Statue of Liberty. But I have this picture in my mind of Trump getting to first base with her

            Thanks for that mental vision. I can’t un-see it.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Mr. Kung, a lot of people turn to the Bible or the Constitution for answers to today’s difficult questions. And those are indeed valid sources. But let us not overlook the wisdom of Mr. S. (and Cole Porter). Let us rewrite these lyrics for modern times:

              Is it a convention or simply a show?
              Is he the good Reaganesque or merely a faux?
              Is it for real, this new hope-and-change?
              Or as I believe, the man’s deranged.

              Is he Progressive, or mostly right wing?
              Is the Constitution he reads or only trivial things?
              Is he a RINO, not worth voting for?
              Or is he our own Al Gore?

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Excellent lyrics! I don’t whether to call you Cole Nelson or Brad Porter.

                Mr. Kung, a lot of people turn to the Bible or the Constitution for answers to today’s difficult questions.

                I think this is a good thing as long as those people actually read those documents.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Very nice, and a good summation of our dilemma. But I don’t recognize the song you’re parodying.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Timothy, click on the link in “Mr. S” above and it will take you to the song. And thanks to you and Mr. Kung for the nice words. All credit goes to the superb artistry of Mr. Cole Porter. I enjoy lyrics like his that don’t contain f-bombs and phrases like “slap yo bitch.” I’m old fashioned that way.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Nice song. We don’t seem to have it on our MP3 images. My favorite Sinatra songs tend to come from the 1960s.

                Pat McCray, in his comic book parody of Atlas Shrugged (Elvis Shrugged), had Cole Porter and Dr. Tom Parker as the conflicting mentors of Elvis, and Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Weber as the 2 contrary influences on music, with Frank Sinatra in the Hank Rearden role.

              • pst4usa says:

                May I share your lyrics Brad, with credit to you of course?

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                You may share to your heart’s content, Pat. But I would be sure to link to the Sinatra song or people aren’t going to get it.

          • pst4usa says:

            I agree with Mr. Kung, I cannot un-see that image.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          No, he didn’t mean “native Americans”, he meant to say “redskins”.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      big-mouthed, petty, vindictive, child-man

      Be careful Margaret, name calling may offend the sensibilities of some tender souls.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        “Man-child” was the adjective that Rush Limbaugh often used for Obama. But stick an “R” next to a guy’s name and it’s suddenly okay. One wonders if blowing with the wind is the way to success (I would argue it very well can be) or if people such as Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and many others will pay a price for their obvious collaborator sensibilities.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The true test will come if Trump does win (as he very well could) and then starts ignoring all his conservative promises. How will Limbaugh and Hannity react then? If they aren’t totally corrupted, they will criticize him just as they did the Bushes.

  18. GHG says:

    It astounds and frustrates me no end why fellow conservatives continue to focus on Donald Trump without the disclaimer but at least he isn’t as bad as Hillary. Unless, or course, they truly believe he is as bad or worse than Hillary, and I can’t imagine anyone paying attention could come to that conclusion. One of the two of them will be the next president. Is it really the proper response to this ugly situation to take your ball and go home. Is checking out of the presidential race really worth whatever self satisfaction you get from flipping your middle finger at Trump?

    It’s going to be one or the other of them. Do you really not care which of them is your next president?

    For as bad as Trump is with his bombastic, braggadocious, Mussolini-esque personality, with all the baggage he brings from divorces to bankruptcies and more – he is still not as bad as Hillary. Where Obama is a narcissistic radical leftist, Hillary is a pure evil radical leftist. She has done everything imaginable (and then some) to promote herself including, but not limited to, ruining people’s lives (see Travelgate and Bimbo eruptions to get started on this category), corrupting every level of government (see recent email non-indictment as a starter here), selling state secrets (see the Clinton crime family ledgers for this), blaming others for her failures (Bengazi and others), serially lying to the American people (just watch any interview or speech). And on and on.

    So, if you think it doesn’t matter whether Hillary or Trump is our next president, then there’s nothing left to discuss.

    And lest I be impugned with the “Trumpkin” tag – I will state again that I think the guy is a creep (at best) – but I don’t think he is evil and I do think he loves his country (just maybe not ahead of himself). I dare anyone to make the same two statements about Hillary.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      At least he’s probably not as bad as Hillary. Certainly the surrounding cocoon of the Republican Party is not yet anti-American and Marxist, so maybe the Constitutional caterpillar that Trump is (he would eat that parchment paper like a moth) will be moderated by the fact that the GOP butterfly is not yet a complete pest.

  19. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a terrific article by Rachel Lu: Donald Trump — Religious Freedom is Not a Priority for Him

    It’s always been hard to say what Donald Trump thinks about Jesus. His stance on religious conservatives is, unfortunately, much clearer. He doesn’t care about us. He has no interest in religious freedom or in any of our other “fake culture wars.”

    When there’s a choice to be made between the pious and the progressive, Trump reflexively looks left. All the overtones of his convention reinforced what we already basically knew: He isn’t planning to stick up for religious conservatives. He’ll accept our votes, but in the cultural arena, we’re on our own.

    We need to digest this hard truth right now. If a President Trump were to approve every invasive request the LGBT community laid at his door (veto power over sermons? sanctions for pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples?), we wouldn’t even be able to complain that he had betrayed us. He’s made no pretense of being on our side.

    Even as we try to climb out of this frying pan, we should note that the fire is crackling right beneath us. As Trump’s coronation ensued, another brand of Republican strategists were already exploring the contours of their own post-Trump dream party. Socially liberal fiscal conservatives are hoping that the wrenching events of 2016 might offer a silver lining: an opportunity to offload some of their least-favored fellow travelers. Who do you suppose is on that list?

    And…

    Philosophically, we have deep roots in ancient wisdom and are equipped to recommend real alternatives to the soul-crushing, narcissistic path of expressive individualism. Our communities stand as visible evidence that such alternatives can still be realized today.

    And…

    In short, it’s right to worry but wrong to despair. Religious traditionalists still hold many cards, but we need to play them carefully. That begins by distancing ourselves from the toxin of Trumpism while energetically supporting solid candidates on the state and local levels.

    And…

    Instead of retreating to our bunkers (as some are inclined to do), we need to be actively engaged, both in our communities and in politics. Trumpism is too emotion-heavy and content-light to endure, which means that a period of rebuilding lies ahead.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Note that Peter Thiel isn’t just an open homosexual. His company, PayPal, was one of those that pulled out of North Carolina over the bathroom issue. Trump and his more ardent acolytes (who cheered Thiel’s speech at the RNC) have no problem with that.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        But you must treat him and his queer mafia with respect and dignity. It matters not that they wish to crush freedom of religion and speech.

        Repeat after me, “Words are more hurtful than the imposition of laws which deny us our rights.”

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        My opinion is there’s no turning back. The younger generations have been programmed into this stuff and the older generations don’t have the stomach for a fight…just don’t touch their Social Security.

        Those who think Trump is some sort of short-term Sulla dictator who will set the American republic straight — even if there could be a bit of blood on the walls — are fooling themselves. Trump is like the pouring of cement so that the ratchets Left can never be turned back.

        I don’t see why fooling ourselves about this has become such a grand sport. That there are things we might still be able to do about it, however feeble, should still be on the table. And let’s talk (and write) about them. But the time for navel-gazing and philosophizing are over. Either come up with a marketable approach for how to confront the Pink Mafia on the issue of the enforced ratification of someone else’s gender role-playing or stick to movie and book reviews.

        And that’s what occurs to me watching some of these old Marilyn Monroe movies. This present set of perverts and pervert-enablers think they are the cat’s meow of sexuality. But they’ve simply dumbed it down and vulgarized it, not made it any better. When creating a great work of art such as the Mona Lisa, you still have to draw between the lines. Get rid of the lines (as is the wont of the Left) and you haven’t actually made anything better. As with modern art, the results are demonstrably worse.

        So a lot of the Progressive flakes and useful idiots out there may see someone who opposes this gender-role-playing stuff as a prude. But I can make a better case that I have a much better sense of the power, mystery, and sensuality of sex than some stupid ass guy with an Adam’s apple who dresses up like a woman and expects to be able to use the ladies room.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Those who think Trump is some sort of short-term Sulla dictator who will set the American republic straight — even if there could be a bit of blood on the walls — are fooling themselves.

          This time it is I who must chuckle. Sulla??? I am impressed with your knowledge of pre-Empire history, but are there Americans who know about Sulla?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            If Trump was Sulla, would that make Ted Cruz Marius?

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Marius from Les Miz? I’d put Cruz as more of a Marcus Tullius Cicero (there’s a great portrayal of him by David Bamber in HBO’s “Rome” series).

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Goldwater’s famous “Extremism in dfense of liberty is no vice” (written by Karl Hess) supposedly comes from Cicero’s oration against Catiline.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Perhaps Cruz is something like Julius Caesar who had to high-tail it for a while under Sulla.

              I think Ted could come back a little humbled, which would not be bad. I would be for it just so long as he doesn’t cross the Po.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I suspect you mean the Rubicon.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I suspect you mean the Rubicon.

                You suspect correctly.

                I can only guess I thought of the Po as it is the strict boundary between Northern Italians and the low-lives south of it. (At least that was the impression I got from the Northern Italians I have met, especially those from Lombardy.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            …are there Americans who know about Sulla?

            Isn’t “Sulla” one of those new electric cars? You know, sort of like “solar”?

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Sounds like Rachel Lu is doing what we have been doing, i.e. pointing out the huge faults inherent in Trump in order to learn from them in order to counter these faults now and in the future.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        In the spirit of the “piss or get off the pot” new guidelines of this site, I wish she would have included a list of ten things that people in their own communities could do. But I thought her analysis was pretty good. And I somewhat object to Christians and conservatives like us being pigeon-holed as “traditionalists.” Forget theism and politics. I think this is more and more becoming an issue of the crazy people vs. the sane people.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      It’s always been hard to say what Donald Trump thinks about Jesus. His stance on religious conservatives is, unfortunately, much clearer. He doesn’t care about us. He has no interest in religious freedom or in any of our other “fake culture wars.”

      I have seen nothing to indicate that Trump is anything other than another progressive-light materialist.

    • Bell Phillips says:

      Even with the new submission rules, you can’t help yourself, can you?

      You remind me of one of my elderly relatives who would not own a television set, yet when she would visit someone, she couldn’t look away.

      No criticism of you or her. There are some things that are just mesmerizing, no matter how disgusting they are.

      I think I’ll have beef stew for lunch.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        What in heck are you talking about, Bell? Are you just having a fit of crotchety or do you have a point?

        • Bell Phillips says:

          Well, I’ve always behaved a few years ahead of my chronological age, so I suppose crotchety isn’t out of the question.

          If I may say something completely sacrilegious, Walmart’s canned stew is excellent.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I can believe it. One of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever had (although it’s fairly heavy) is one from Costco.

  20. GHG says:

    America is doomed. That’s not hyperbole, it’s what I truly and unfortunately believe. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Is it that some wish for a quicker execution such as is inevitable with Hillary or a slower execution such as with Trump. Myself, I’m not in favor of hastening the inevitability as so many in the supposed conservative camp appear to be. Or maybe they’re still looking for a third way?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

       I’m of the mind of Mark Steyn who says that there will still be an America — it will still have a zip code at that address — but it will in no way be spiritually, socially, artistically, politically, or economically the America that the founders would have had a passing familiarity with. Get in a time machine today and have it materialize in the oval office inhabited by President George Washington. Inform him that the big issue of the day is the “right” of men to use the women’s bathroom. He’d think you’re from some lunatic asylum, not the America of the future.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Inform him that the big issue of the day is the “right” of men to use the women’s bathroom. He’d think you’re from some lunatic asylum, not the America of the future.

        How dare you treat these poor people with such contempt?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’m glad my contempt shows. Jonah has a good line from his current article:

          If you detect a note of bitterness on my part, I’m not being clear enough: I contain symphonies of bitterness.

  21. GHG says:

    I’m searching for a way to understand how so many of my fellow conservatives seem to be going out of their way to proclaim their disdain for Trump all the while knowing that their opinion may dissuade others from voting for Trump which helps Hillary to become our next president. I understand their disdain but not why they feel compelled to do something that could potentially help elect Hillary.

    The only thing I come up with is perhaps they think it’s better in the long run to purify the conservative brand even if it means taking our lumps for the next 4 or 8 years. Ordinarily I would be in favor of that “long game” strategy because I share their hopes and dreams that a true conservative would be elected president and lead the country back to our conservative roots, and Trump is not a conservative. But I simply don’t believe there is time to play the long game because I believe these next 4 years will be enough time for a Hillary presidency to do irreparable damage, such as:

    (1) complete the progressive transformation of the judicial branch (formerly known as SCOTUS)

    (2) neuter our 1st Amendment rights to effectively silence opposition views

    (3) effectively abolish or redefine our 2nd Amendments rights to disarm the American people

    (4) cede our sovereignty to a global government body by way of treaties

    (5) further erode the quality of health care by forcing more and more people into Obama/Hillary Care

    (6) further lower the standard of living by wealth redistribution schemes like Climate Change regulations, and last but certainly not least

    (7) shift the electorate with handouts to millions of new immigrant voters to effectively eliminate our two party system.

    Or maybe I’m just an alarmist and a Hillary presidency won’t be so bad after all.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re an alarmist. She might, once in power, back away on a few issues (reflecting who has bought her), but not many, and certainly not the key Bill of Rights issues.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m searching for a way to understand how so many of my fellow conservatives seem to be going out of their way to proclaim their disdain for Trump all the while knowing that their opinion may dissuade others from voting for Trump which helps Hillary to become our next president.

      Easy. Trump’s a bum, a progressive, a “New York Values” liberal. Win or lose, he’s ratcheting the party Left. And a case can easily be made that the erratic man could be as bad as Hillary.

      We’re supposed to be the party of ideas. Chicken Little politics is unbecoming. There has to be more than just “If you don’t vote for X then Y will get in.” That’s the exact same thing that the Establishment Republicans have been telling us for decades and look where we are now.

      There are advantages to Hillary winning, one of them would be to preserve the conservative political immune system. But if the opposition party is taken over by the opposition, then opposition itself to socialism and big government is neutered. Trump is like a retrovirus, the equivalent of AIDS to constitutional, limited government. Once inserted into the Republican Party, there can be no principled opposition. Ever. One would have to start a new party and that presents enormous challenges.

      Let’s go point by point:

      1) It’s foolish to believe that Trump will nominate conservative, strict-constructionist judges. The message you should get from Trump is that he hates conservatives as much as the Establishment Republicans. He *is* an Establishment Republican.

      2) Trump has called for more liberal liable laws so that he can silence those who criticize him.

      3) Trump can’t even defend bathroom rights. What makes you believe he could defend something even more important such as the Second Amendment?

      4) Trump’s naive view of the world and economics doesn’t presage smarter treaties.

      5) We’re screwed no matter who is president in this regard. And Jeffrey Lord’s latest article hails Trump as an FDR. Trump is a Big Government guy. He’s never going to introduce market-based principles to health care. He’ll do nothing to try to halt Obamacare. And the one guy who did (Ted Cruz) is routinely demonized by nearly everyone.

      6) It’s not our standard of living that is the problem. It’s our standard of morals. Our standard of work ethic. Our standard of moocherism. We have it very very good materially. And we’re pissing it all away. And has Trump come out against the fraud of global warming? That would be news to me. He wants a trade war with China. He wants protectionist tariffs. Good luck improving the standard of living with this dumb-ass running things. And if, as I believe, the degradation of our society which leads to embracing the false promises of socialism is a moral issue, this immoral man is no antidote. He’s the disease.

      7) Trump won’t build a wall. He won’t do anything that he said in this regard. Here’s the problem: Trump is not a conservative. He is not anchored in honor, integrity, decency, or the American Constitution. To do what needs to be done regarding illegal immigration will unleash a shit-storm from the Left’s many rent-a-mobs. Do you think Trump will stand up to that bad publicity? After all, he is a product of image, not substance. There’s no chance this man will make painful choices.

      A Hillary presidency will be bad. And here’s the thing: It will be bad in almost the same way that a Trump presidency will be bad.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        this immoral man is no antidote. He’s the disease.

        I think he is simply the pustule which finally erupts after a disease has been present in the body for some time, i.e. the illness was already well established before Trump surfaced.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Like Tim, I don’t think you are being alarmist about Hillary. But like Brad, I don’t think you are being nearing enough alarmist about Trump.

      When the best that can be said about a candidate is, “he might not be as bad as Hillary”, that is a pretty thin gruel to feed one’s hopes.

      Of the points which concern you, I seriously doubt Trump will be much better than Hillary, except on possibly points 3 and 7 and I am somewhat dubious as regards those two points.

      To my mind, Trump is a clear sign that much of the country has moved toward a type of mass insanity. After almost eight years of the scoundrel presently in the White House, a sane country would have sought out someone who stood for our constitutional liberties. The voters would not have looked for a demagogue after almost eight years of listening to another demagogue. The voters would have pined for someone who spoke hard truths, not a congenital liar.

      I couldn’t agree more with Brad that it is not our standard of living that is the problem.

      A large portion of Americans, perhaps a majority, have bought into the materialist dogma as preached by the Left. Today’s Americans are rich beyond Croesus in terms of historical standards. The majority of Americans, even the “poor” have more material wealth than most of the world. Yet they bitch about not having enough and are quite happy to let the government supply them with further loot. Of course, there are those who need assistance, but I am convinced that a large percentage of these people are simply free-loaders. And that is not a question of money, rather it is a question of culture.

      Let me focus on Trump’s speech at the convention. He basically promised everything to everyone. The majority of promises he made are unkeepable. I am not talking about the standard lies politicians tell gullible voters. I am talking about lies on par with those told by some of the worst politicians you have ever heard of. Please tell me how he is more honest than Clinton.

      The only thing which he did not lie about was regarding how he would re-introduce the constitution as the law of the land and how he would fight for that as no one else. And the reason he did not lie about that was that he didn’t even mention it.

      Trump is as big a liar as the Clintons, he is simply less discerning and lies more off the cuff.

      So while I used to compare the Republicans and Democrats to pneumonia and lung cancer, respectively, I now compare Trump and Hillary to stage 3 and stage 4 lung cancer. Sorry if I can’t get too excited about the chances of survival with either.

      Of course, I can hope I am 100% wrong. I would love for my crystal ball to cracked.

      As someone once said, “The last thing to die is hope.” That being the case, I will probably vote for the bastard, but that doesn’t mean I have to shut up and like it.

  22. GHG says:

    A Hillary presidency will be bad. And here’s the thing: It will be bad in almost the same way that a Trump presidency will be bad.

    With Trump there’s a chance. With Hillary there is none. If you don’t agree with that then stop going half way and just come out and endorse Hillary for the good of the conservative soul.

  23. GHG says:

    Are we honorable people? I hope I am. I try to be. I believe the friends I’ve made here at ST are honorable people too. I believe we all want what’s best for our families and our country. So I’ll end this by simply saying I believe you come to your position on Trump versus Hillary because you honestly believe what you’ve written here – that Trump provides no better hope for America than does Hillary and therefore you believe it better to persuade others to not vote for Trump because to do so will only further darken the soul of America. You believe America is lost either way – better to go to the gallows with a clear conscience.

    I can respect that, but I just can’t agree with it. As I said earlier, it’s time for me to end this because for me to belabor this any further serves no good purpose.

    On a positive note, I know God is in His Heaven and my Lord Jesus will usher me Home one day and all this turmoil and division shall be no more.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Nice ending, right out of Browning’s “Pippa’s Song”: “God’s in His Heaven,/All’s right with the world.” Of course, there’s also the version a Hardy character used in one of the many dark moments of Tess of the D’Urbervilles: “God’s not ni His Heaven, all’s wrong with the world.” These days, I’m more inclined that way.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      So I’ll end this by simply saying I believe you come to your position on Trump versus Hillary because you honestly believe what you’ve written here – that Trump provides no better hope for America than does Hillary and therefore you believe it better to persuade others to not vote for Trump because to do so will only further darken the soul of America.

      First off, I’m not trying to persuade anyone. I’m just giving my opinion. Second, I have stated over and over and over again: It is a rational (or at least justifiable) thing to vote against Hillary. But just sip the poison carefully. Don’t drink it down. That is, be aware that Trump is a big government east coast inside-baseball progressive who is not a man off knowledge or good character. He’s lying to you. But at least the party apparatus he presumably will suck into his power void will be Republican and this party is not yet Marxist and completely anti-American like the Left.

      But please, no one should believe Trump isn’t anything but a big government opportunistic liar. Another Republican in Name Only. A creep. Many are willfully blinded to this fact by their one-dimensional anti-Hillaryism.

      Mr. Lesser, I have no idea why you are dissatisfied with this explanation. Do you really want us to like this creep, Trump? Do you want us to pretend he is something that he is not? Do we have to lie to ourselves and others all in an effort to defeat Hillary who will likely wipe the floor with the guy (electorally) anyway? And if Trump wins the the problems for America and the Republican Party are just beginnning.

  24. GHG says:

    Do you really want us to like this creep, Trump? NO

    Do you want us to pretend he is something that he is not? NO

    Do we have to lie to ourselves and others all in an effort to defeat Hillary … NO

    Brad, I’m not sure if your intention is to persuade others or not. Nor am I sure of the intentions of other conservatives in voicing their disapproval of Trump. But intended or not, the effect of the continuous Trump bashing could be to discourage others from voting for Trump and thereby improve Hillary’s chances to win.

    I’m not questioning the (possible) validity of everything you (and others) say about Trump. I’m questioning the point of this clarion call at this time. Is it really important to get out in front of what you fear a Trump presidency will be knowing a Hillary presidency will be at least as bad. Is it for the purpose of having your record show that you warned everyone about Trump? I don’t see how that helps anything or anyone at this time because it’s going to be either Trump or Hillary, regardless who is on record of saying this, that or something else.

    I stated I would back out of this conversation in my previous post so I apologize for not having enough self control to just let it go. I wanted to respond to your questions because they made me think you mischaracterized my position. I don’t think you or anyone should lie about Trump or try to gloss over his faults – but it seems to me the words and effort spent beating up Trump would be better spent beating up Hillary or doing a crossword puzzle, or any number of things that won’t possibly help Hillary get elected.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      But intended or not, the effect of the continuous Trump bashing could be to discourage others from voting for Trump and thereby improve Hillary’s chances to win.

      So you don’t want me to pretend that Trump is other than what he is but I should cease and desist from doing so. I mean, StubbornThings has at least a few readers. But we’re not quite for force yet where I Tweet “Trump’s a bum” and millions then vote for Hillary.

      I’m going to call it like I see it. I think what you and other Trump supporters fail to do is separate the cause from the political parties and personages. Here’s a guy who obviously detests conservatives and conservatism, almost never mentions liberty or the Constitution or America’s founding principles, can’t bash Planned Parenthood, makes nice with homosexuals, is fine with men using the women’s room, and thinks economic isolationism is the way to make America great again, not to mention his foreign policy views that are boffo (he has a man-crush on Putin but hates Ted Cruz, for instance).

      The man is a flake of the first caliber. And I won’t be boxed into the false “If you don’t promote Trump you’re enabling Hillary” shtick. This issue is way larger than that. We’re fighting a battle far larger than one election. And I can make a very good case that Trump would be worse for the long-term cause of preserving America, as founded. (Alexander Hamilton: “If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures.”)

      But whatever the case may be, you can expect Trump not to actually oppose the things that you and I oppose. The guy who was always chummy with Hillary and the Democrats is playing us. We’re so full of “anyone but Hillary” angst that we’ve missed the true point: It’s the ideas that matter, not the people. And if Trump holds 90% of the ideas of the Left, excuse me for not seeing the point of getting bipolarly hysterical about this election.

      I think Mr. Kung has nailed it: “I think he is simply the pustule which finally erupts after a disease has been present in the body for some time, i.e. the illness was already well established before Trump surfaced.” And if there is any hope of changing course, we must not blur the boundaries. We must be able to speak clearly about the America we want and the one that we don’t want. I don’t want the America that either one of these clowns envision. So pick your poison.

      And for many people, that is a feature not a bug in regards to Trump. The preponderance of the attitude of Trump supporters is that they simply want to set fire to things. They don’t care that Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. They only care that he seems to offer payback for grievances, real or imagined.

      And I get a little bit of that from you as well. You ended your previous post with “I know God is in His Heaven and my Lord Jesus will usher me Home one day and all this turmoil and division shall be no more.” That sounds all nice and Jesus Christy, but I think what you’re hoping for is payback now. And if you can’t get it now, you’ll be fine if it at least comes later.

      Deana voice a similar attitude: Trump is chosen by God. Well, forgive me for wanting to call a spade a spade in the here and now and hoping to get people to see the error of their ways so that they don’t keep choosing Donald Trumps (or Hillary Clintons). My job here is not to be a party hack.

  25. GHG says:

    Brad, I would have preferred someone else over Trump, almost anyone else from the “right side of the aisle”. I was a Cruz supporter even though I had my doubts he would be effective in implementing his true conservative agenda because both sides of the aisle were arrayed against him.

    But that ship has sailed. I don’t like the choice we’re left with anymore than you do. And while I’m a little more optimistic than you about whether or not Trump will try to do some of the things he says, I don’t harbor any delusions that he won’t piss off a lot of conservatives, me included.

    As for starting fires and looking for retribution, I will admit that I don’t think that’s a bad thing and in fact it’s long overdue that the GOPe gets a little comeuppance, if for no other reason that it sheds some light into who is more concerned with their elite country club membership than the rubes in flyover country, not to mention letting them know something they seemed to have forgotten, that us rubes still have a voice capable of rattling their cushy world.

    The one thing I have stated I appreciate about Trump, and it’s related to the previous paragrapgh, is his utter contempt for political correctness. What so many of my fellow conservatives see as crude and boorish behavior not worthy to hold high office, I see as necessary to cut through the crap for as crude and boorish as it is, it’s long overdue that someone on “our side” stops using Marquess of Queensberry rules to defeat the cheating back biting alley fighters on the other side, which includes the compliant media. Reagan had the unique ability to land knockout punches while not giving anyone the vapors but Reagan is gone and we’ve had nothing but a conga line of milquetoast “nice guys” ever since. It’s about time someone took the gloves off and started trying to win the fight no holds barred. Is that looking for grievance retribution simply for the purpose of grievance retribution? No, it’s an acknowledgement that the only way to beat the enemy is to beat the enemy. No more Mr. Nice Guy and that fits Trump to a tee.

    I wish it weren’t so, I do. But here we are. Beat Hillary with any and everything we’ve got. That’s the mission. Like him or not, our guy is Trump and at least he isn’t another Mr Nice Guy loser.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I have no problem with the Republican Party getting a comeuppance. But Trump isn’t it. A conservative comeuppance is what we need. But comeuppance for the sake of comeuppance will probably accomplish nothing.

      What so many of my fellow conservatives see as crude and boorish behavior not worthy to hold high office, I see as necessary to cut through the crap for as crude and boorish as it is, it’s long overdue that someone on “our side” stops using Marquess of Queensberry rules to defeat the cheating back biting alley fighters on the other side, which includes the compliant media.

      That’s precisely why so many conservatives and Christians like Trump. It’s the instinct for the “strong man” that we have. Deana stated pretty much that very thing.

      And the world is full of tears because of the populace (an unthoughtful mob) going for the “strong man” who promises to stick it to the big guys on behalf of the little guys.

      I just have two things to say about that, and they are highly relevant and crucial: One, we fly-over country guys (anyone who isn’t an agitator or part of the ruling class) may have no other recourse but indirect, second-hand action. And that seems to be people’s attitudes and I’m quite sure this is correct. So people have pulled the pin on a stink bomb in hopes that one or two vermin will be extinguished even if we mess our own selves up a bit.

      Two, if the above is that state of affairs (both perceptual and real), then by all means vote Trump. Vote Hillary. Vote for Al Franken. Vote Arnold Schwarzenegger. It really won’t matter anyway. The fix is in. And under this paradigm, it’s pretty obvious that Trump is part of that fix even while he throw us fly-over country bumpkins a few pieces of red meat which are not in his own diet.

      Face it, we’ve nominated a gameshow host, one with a sketchy past, and one who is obvious way left-of-center as his natural starting point. We’re so desperate that we’re even willing to interpret boorish behavior as “politically incorrect.” A politically incorrect guy would not have let Bruce Jenner use the ladies room, would not have refrained from criticizing Planned Parenthood, would not have regular demeaned people for simply disagreeing with him. Trump is an egomaniacal boor, not a politically incorrect Tribune of the people.

      Reagan could indeed land knockout punches. But his rhetoric was the hand and glove. The muscle for his punch came from his conservative ideology and his deeply traditional American outlook. Trump has none of that. All his punches are merely the punches of a boorish man. And many are so desperate for a fighter they have blurred this distinction.

      Yes, we need to beat the enemy. But what do we do when the enemy has become the head of the party?

  26. GHG says:

    Playing ring around the rosy with each other is probably getting as tiring for you as it is for me. Both of us stake our position based on what we believe to be the truth. We just disagree. I hope you respect my view as much as I respect yours.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Here’s an interesting article about Truman completely gutting and rebuilding the White House. More photos can be found here.

      That is the job for any future president. The old White House was in disrepair, rotted from the inside, and many things were in danger of collapsing. The entire structure had been weakened by the wooden supports being drilled into for adding wiring and such over the years.

      What the old White House didn’t need was a fresh coat of paint, new drapery, or a new glib occupant who would fix things via mere bombast. We are crumbling as a nation and bitch-slapping Megyn Kelly isn’t the equivalent of building the ideological scaffolding required of a major overhaul. Trump is just more of the same degredation.

      You can’t rebuild something without a principle and a plan. The irony is, Hillary Clinton and her ilk have a plan, more or less. Their vision isn’t often clearly stated because, as Limbaugh often notes, if they told people what their end goal was, few would vote for them. But they do have a plan.

      Republicans don’t have a plan other than to supposedly manage the existing bureaucracy better. The plan for conservatives (assuming with these open primaries that they had much of a say at all) is to nominate a glib gameshow host of dubious character and fitness to govern. He’s going to “make America great again.” Fine. As they say, the rest is details. And the only detail that seems to matter is the hope-and-change vibrations emanating from his rhetoric that enliven people’s sense of grievance or purpose or comeuppance.

      We are headed to a fully socialist state and the only question I have is how viciously oppressive will it be. Will we all be cake-bakers in Oregon on some issue or another?

      The basic problem with Trump is that he was forwarded by the same kind of emotional and ideological vibe that propels the Left. An American is supposed to be true, brave, thoughtful, wise, and respectful of tradition. It’s what makes us a republic and separates us from the Democratic mob. Trump has tapped into the mob instincts. That is deeply troubling.

  27. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a terrific article by David French that applies here. His concluding paragraph:

    Honestly, it’s pitiful. Is the Christian conservative movement so weak and so insecure that it will throw away its vote so easily? A vote for Trump is a declaration of irrelevance, a declaration that Christian support is unconditional so long as one can argue that the other side is marginally worse. The cultural Left shows no such weakness. Not coincidentally, it is winning. The Christian Right would do well to learn from its opponents’ resolve.

    French writes in regards to Christians. But his reasoning speaks to many people who are appalled by Trump.

    I dare say, this should be the thoughtful Christian reply to the existence of Trump.

  28. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Rich Lowry has an interesting article which says that Hillary is running as the safe, stolid, even boring socialist candidate as in contrast to the erratic Trump who is all over the board. It’s likely a winning strategy for her if she can stick to it and not cackle like a maniac or go into that nag mode that sounds like everyone’s ex wife. Good analysis by Lowry.

  29. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Love this bit from Kevin Williamson’s latest article:

    Dennis Prager, who in January insisted that “Trump is unfit to be president” and that arguments about Supreme Court appointments were mostly baloney because there is no reason to have “confidence that he would nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court,” is lecturing Trump critics that we must support him in order to “prevent a left-wing Supreme Court.” Prager should read Prager.

    And love this bit from David French’s recent article:

    This is Civics 101, of course, but the obligation to check government — to step up when it fails — also applies to citizens. Democracy fails when the people fail. And, yes, the people can fail. In fact, it was not long ago that it was fashionable for Republicans to bemoan the “low-information voters” who put Obama over the top. They’d e-mail around YouTube clips, chortling at Democratic voters who thought Sarah Palin or Paul Ryan were Obama’s vice-presidential picks or had no idea that Osama bin Laden was dead. They snorted at the Obama-worship and laughed at people who thought he’d make it easier to pay their mortgage.

    Citizens have a responsibility to stay reasonably informed, to actually know something about a candidate’s positions and character. Who’s laughing now? GOP primary voters, including many of the same people who mocked the Democrats, actually selected a low-information nominee.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      It is often said that a people get the government they deserve.

      In the present case, this is absolutely true. The majority of the populace has opted for a sorry representative and will get what they deserve. Sadly, you and I will also get it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I was talking to my older brother today, Mr. Kung. As my younger brother reminded me, I must be patient because my older brother doesn’t have many people to talk to about this stuff…politics. I find myself doing the equivalent of “See Spot run. See Spot chase the ball. See Spot chase the big ball. See Spot chase the big red ball.” You’ve got to start somewhere with low-information voters.

        One thing I’ve recognized is the need to draw that line in the sand: Do something, or shut up. Either we learn to live with the changing times or we do something about them. Bitching about it, while perhaps entertaining and possibly therapeutic, is useless. Worse, I think (as a pastor remarked to me the other day) that politics can be kind of a religion. And I would add, it becomes the rightwing avenue for grievance…regarding things political and personal, and the two are often inextricably linked.

        Like I say, my life hasn’t always been a bed a roses (although the “easy care” roses I bought this season are doing splendidly). Let’s all catch ourselves before we use politics as a substitute for shortcomings in our personal lives. I hate Hillary. But I don’t hate her because my girlfriend dumped me, by boss fired me, or my dog ran away.

        Here we refer to all that stuff as “the daily drama” and, for the most part, I want out. Still, I’m truly perplexed as to what to tell people about today’s situation as best exemplified by Trump-vs-Hillary. All my older brother can do is voice incredulity, shock, and revulsion.

        I take it that we experts here, while channeling those things in our writing when appropriate, are neither incredulous, shocked, nor revolted by the daily assaults on common sense, decency, and truth.

        So what do I say? We’ve got a web site here where we can say a lot, and have. But what can I say? My older brother is enamored with Bob Dylan, for example, and I’ve basically told him, “Thar’s your problem. When the sixties shat on every good value and notion, elevated ignorant yutes to the supposedly all-wise class of people, and rejected wisdom simply because they hadn’t invented it, what the fuck did you expect would come of that?”

        Of course, nobody thought in those terms while grappling for sex, drugs, and the proverbial rock-n-roll. Still, I admit being at least a little surprised that so many people went for such an obvious con man such as Trump. Yes, I get that the Establishment keeps selling us out. I get that Ted Cruz is not quite yet the second coming or Ronald Reagan. But was the only choice then to nominate a bozo?

        I tried to concentrate my brother’s thinking by telling him that, yes, it is indeed natural to parse things into right-vs-wrong and wonder how so many people can be so wrong (not just about Trump but about all the ludicrous stuff going on). I told him he had to recalibrate his political lens. Although right-and-wrong aren’t going away anytime soon, it’s a different calculus needed when over 2/3 of the Federal budget is given over to to various entitlements and welfare. That changes the very meaning of being a citizen.

        I told him that people are now voting to maximize their entitlements which especially includes backing candidates who reaffirm their sense of grievance and victimhood (which sets the stage for the transfer of wealth from the producers to the moochers).

        And I told him it ain’t just welfare queens voting via this paradigm. Ever wonder why Establishment Republicans have been so successful? Because they promise “free stuff” to the generally elder (read: conservative) slice of the population. If you want Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to be there for you, then the greatest threat is arguable the pie being sliced up and being given away to illegal aliens, queers, and whoever makes enough noise to be the victim of the week. There’s a reason George W. Bush expanded Medicare. He knows his political base. They are “free stuff” advocates on the other end.

        So show me honor and virtue in any of this. We are indeed getting exactly what we deserve, Mr. Kung.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Once you start getting “free stuff”, it’s hard to vote against receiving more of it. That’s why Cruz wanted to prevent the disaster of Obamacare from becoming entrenched in the lives of its new dependents.

          One good rule would be to try to hate as few politicians as possible. I will admit that this very difficult with Slick Hilly (or Slick Barry). But I don’t think I actually hate Elizabeth Warren, if only because it’s nice having a Taxachusetts Senator who refers to her “papaw”. Makes up for Bobby Kennedy, I suppose.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            For a Democrat to even know their papa is a huge plus in my book.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              When she was born (remember, she’s about Hillary’s age), liberals still had normal families.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Where’s the scare quotes around “normal.” 😀

                I was thinking of writing a tongue-in-cheek article about how to cope with an increasingly Progressive society. It’s not all bad. There are some good points.

                But like it or not, that’s what we’re faced with. The conservative movement has pretty much shot its wad, whatever wad it had post-Reagan.

                I think one of the core problems is that the right has not forwarded a coherent and compelling vision of how they see The Good Society. We know the Leftist vision. And no matter how false it is (Communism is the real goal), it’s superficially a pleasing vision and one that can be easily understood.

                But that’s covering old ground. The wooden stake was driven into the conservative heart when George W. Bush ran as a “compassionate conservative.” He basically accepted the slander of the Left that a free market, effort-based, family-based society is not compassionate.

                The Romans new full well that once they started the “bread and circuses” they had created a monster. They couldn’t stop feeding it. And Americans are, to various degrees, monsters.

                So how do you live in this Progressive world? One thing I vow not to do is to pretend it away. Oh, I might, and will, create my own little conservative bubble. But not to distort reality but to act like a roof over my head. You don’t deny rain by building a roof. You just keep it off you.

                They’ll be no “Trump is anointed by God” coming from me. I won’t pretend at it. We can certainly work to forward our point of view. But we have to understand that we no longer have a political party that represents that view. The GOP is hostile to that view.

                So we work the underground. We are the real subversives. Let’s subvert.

  30. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Ian Tuttle, no particular favorite of mine, has two concluding paragraphs in his latest article that make a lot of sense:

    Finally, all of this will combine to damage, perhaps beyond repair, the only major party that continues to care about constitutional limits on government power. Although Trump supporters are loath to admit it, as of now there still remains one party in the United States that wants the Constitution to be the ultimate framework for, and the animating spirit of, the country’s public life. But the last year has seen many of the defenders of that aim sideline their principles to back Donald Trump. And what has become undeniably clear is that anyone who gets into the business of defending Donald Trump ends up parroting him. This has been the story of Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pence and dozens of other elected officials and television personalities and talk-radio hosts who had for so long waxed eloquent about limited government and the importance of the Constitution.

    Trump’s warped and deeply un-conservative view of government is contagious. After four years, it is almost a guarantee that the Republican party will have been warped beyond recognition. Too many Republican congressmen, too many Republican senators, too many Republican governors, will have spent four years defending, excusing, and becoming anesthetized to Trump’s abuses to be the Constitution’s champions when he is gone. It is not at all implausible that he will excise the heart of the party — he’s already doing so — and it is not at all difficult to imagine that after four years, we will have two parties that view the Constitution as dispensable.

    And Buttle (Tuttle, whatever) makes a killer argument as to why that piece of paper Trump waved in the air, Chamberlain-like, with a list of conservative justices is worthless:

    Moreover, the only real insight we have into Donald Trump’s judicial philosophy (such as it is) is from the week he spent savaging Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge who is presiding over two lawsuits against Trump University. The takeaway from that deplorable episode was that, as with everything else, Donald Trump likes judges who like Donald Trump; he wanted a judge who would put his interests above the law. What reason is there to believe that he would behave differently as president?

    Trump, like Hillary, will not not bend his ego to the Constitution.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I like that Brazil reference. It isn’t hard to guess what made you think of it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Well, in the back of my mind I was counting on you being the one and only to get the Brazil reference. Made my day, Timothy.

        That’s a funny shtick that runs through that movie. You can hear Hillary: “Buttle? Tuttle? What differences does it make?”

        Speaking of which, Kevin Williamson has an interesting article where he makes the distinction between socialism and the welfare state. He makes some good points.

        The main point I think he missed is that both systems undermine and weaken the character of people, tending to turn them from producers into — well — serfs. I don’t think the distinction that Williamson makes is insignificant. And I give him credit for explaining it well. But I wonder if the distinction is between the early stages of the flu and coming down with the flu. Is the idea of entitlements inherently corrosive to a freedom-based, productivity-based, rule-of-law-based society?

        I think it’s great the Sweden hasn’t yet turned into Venezuela. But what Williamson fails to note is that a different kind of degradation is coming to Europe (Eurabia, for instance). Different degradation, same socialism.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      For those critical of constant criticisms of Trump, I would like to point out that the man is doing a good job of deconstructing himself.He doesn’t need help from anyone else. In fact, any potential damage which our comments might cause the Donald are a pittance when compared to the self-inflicted wounds the man has visited upon himself. This phenomenon is something which the Trumpkins cannot blame on Cruz or the rest of us. It is one of the things I predicted some months back.

      All Hillary has to do is stay out of sight and watch the Donald blow himself up.

      This race is surreal.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Good points, Mr. Kung.

        Let me give you some completely fair and unbiased observations of my latest readings:

        + Trump is fading in the polls. One article (Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator,) noted that the polls in 1980 showed Reagan losing. I think we need to take the polls with a grain of salt. But I do think turnout will severely hurt Trump, no matter the polls.

        + As one author or commenter said, it’s easy for Trump supporters to interpret a few thousand zealots at a rally as a national movement. Come out of the bubble for a moment. The latest polls on Trump show that few think he is competent to be president.

        + They say in politics that you need to stick to three issues and keep hammering away. Let’s assume this is true, or just good sense. Certainly Trump has been handed clear dishonesty and competency issues in regards to Hillary but still this insane man keeps going off on tangents. There are those who truly believe the man is working for the Clintons. I think his ego is way too big to be anyone’s lapdog. But he’s certainly functioning in that regard. For all the bullshit from Trump zealots that not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary, they have missed the main point: The very presence of Trump is the biggest boost of all for Hillary who otherwise would likely be buried by a non-RINO Republican with some ability to dish the dirt. Trump supporters thought that was Trump’s strength. But the dirt is flying indiscriminately everywhere. Hillary remains relative clean.

        + That is, thanks to the low standard and character of Trump, Hillary is actually looking reasonable to a lot of voters.

        + I may yet agree with Deana. Perhaps God did put Trump in the position he is in now. As a joke. Even the Almighty must have a sense of humor.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Michael Barone noted that what Trump is really losing is time — time he needs to pillory Slick Hillary. He hasn’t lost yet, but his inability to focus on his opponent is costing him badly.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Yes, I read that article as well in my morning briefing. Barone said he’s wasted 6% of his time. But still the debates are coming and could change things.

            I suspect those debates will be for the worse for Trump. Hillary is not on trial, per se. It was either Barone or someone else who said it, but all that Reagan had to do in 1980 debates vs. Carter was to show that he was a stable, competent, likable man. The nation was more than willing to ditch Carter but needed reassurance that Reagan wasn’t the crazy man portrayed by the media and the Democrats.

            He did that in spades. It’s almost assured that Trump will simply scare voters even more. And if Hillary has even two brain cells to rub together she will play it cool, play it presidential, and look sane (for her) and let Trump look like the crazy person that he is as he keeps self-destructing (which is to assume that he actually constructed anything at all in the first place…I can’t really think of anything).

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I suspect a lot of people said something like that about the 1980 debates. Jeff Greenfield certainly made much the same points in his account (the first book-length study of the race I read).

              But I’m not sure Trump will fail in debates. During the GOP debates, the pundits always said he failed — but viewers thought otherwise. Of course, the viewership here will probably be somewhat different.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Yes, the viewership will be much different. The one and only reason Trump gained credence amongst GOP viewers was because of their past history with the eGOP (“e” standing for “eunuch”). It would seem likely that voters-at-large don’t have the kind of built-in grievance that would translate into interpreting Trump’s bitch-slapping Megyn Kelly as being “politically incorrect.” They might rightly simply see a brute of a man.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        In fact, any potential damage which our comments might cause the Donald are a pittance when compared to the self-inflicted wounds the man has visited upon himself.

        Mr. Kung, I couldn’t agree more. An example.

        [entering daily drama]

        Sean Hannity has flippin’ lost it. Jim Geraghty has an article that quotes Hannity as saying:

        “If in 96 days Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and John McCain and John Kasich and Ted Cruz if he won’t endorse — and Jeb Bush and everybody else that made promises they’re not keeping.”

        JHC, Hannity thinks these mere endorsements (or lack of same) are Trump’s problem? This is a different type of thinking than “magical thinking.” I’m not sure what to call it.

        Geraghty continues:

        This is a fascinating perspective and one that is common to Trump fans. If their man loses, it cannot possibly reflect any flawed judgment, statement, strategy, or decisions on his part. They have already decided this. They don’t think anything he’s done so far has reduced his chances of victory. He has run as close to a perfect campaign as anyone can possibly ask, and the only thing standing between him and at least 270 locked-up-take-it-to-the-bank electoral votes is insufficient enthusiasm from Ryan, McConnell, Graham, etc.

        [/exiting daily drama]

        • Timothy Lane says:

          This is one of the things that we don’t do here — we don’t think of any candidate as perfect. (There are some we think of as the exact opposite, such as Slick Hilly. Even that probably isn’t ideal. No one is wrong about everything — e.g., Obama did finally take out Bin Laden.)

  31. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Jonah Goldberg reliably engages in more descriptive journalism, kinda-sort making the case that we ought to dump Donald Trump. But he fails to mention who should replace him. Standard for NRO. God forbid someone state an opinion on something substantial.

    Some think it should be Paul Ryan. I think that would be a horrible choice because we’d be back at square one. Trump is a Bull in a China shop. Paul Ryan is the shopkeeper who makes sure all the delicate little porcelain liberal initiatives, laws, and ideals are not scratch or smashed — ever. A basic status-quo conservative.

    That leaves us probably with few choices (I would still choose Cruz). Whoever it is, they have to be combative enough to hold Hillary’s feet to the fire. Even Trump can’t do this as he’s constantly going off on tangents. Whoever the GOP comes up with if they make this necessary body-swap, the candidate must be able to focus on these three things, as eloquently stated by the often bizarre Ross Kaminsky who states this in regards to what Trump should do but could easily be modified to another candidate:

    Only three primary messages must be reiterated until they are deeply ingrained in voters’ minds:

    • “Your ability to get a good, high-paying job will never improve if you elect another Democrat. If you don’t believe me, look at what nearly 8 years of Barack Obama has gotten you and ask if you want four more years of that. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton has ever created a private sector job. I, on the other hand, have a demonstrated record of success creating jobs, and I know that government is not the answer because I believe in you.”

    • “Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, self-dealing liar who believes that the law does not apply to her and who has sold influence to foreign governments. She lied about her e-mail server. She lied about Benghazi. In your heart, you know she’s not qualified to hold any political office, much less the most important political office on Earth.”

    • “If you don’t want another four or eight years of losing the war on terror by consistently misunderstanding and underestimating the enemy, your life may literally depend on your ensuring that Hillary Clinton is not elected president.”

    Besides the institutionalized noncommittalism of yet another NRO writer, I like Jonah’s shot at Sean Hannity. He calls him “Trump’s praetorian guard.” Perfect.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      If the goal is someone who can hit the Fire Witch while espousing conservatism, perhaps the best choice would be Carly Fiorina. But given how her campaign ultimately went, I don’t see her as possible even if one can somehow get Trump out of the way (which can probably only happen if he dies).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Jonah did mention that it would only work if Trump agreed to stepping down. It’s possible he would do so to save face if it’s clear to his inside polling that he’s going to lose. And I think most understand now that this is the case.

        At this point, Carly would be a definite upgrade. Count me in even while I think my eyes are wide open as to what her ideology really is. It’s a form of “girl power.” She’s mostly Progressive in the same way that Chris Christie is. Her drive for power gives the illusion of being conservative because (for whatever reason) to gain power she has run against Democrats.

  32. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I like Jonah’s shot at Sean Hannity. He calls him “Trump’s praetorian guard.” Perfect.

    I think Goldberg gives Hannity too much credit. I see Hannity as “Trump’s toothless yet vicious Shih Tzu”. You could substitute Chihuahua or Pomeranian for Shih Tzu if you wish.

  33. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    It must also be said that the anti-Trump forces are humorless. What is being trumpeted as “Trump jousting with a baby” is just a bit of harmless, even humanizing, whimsy. It’s a crazy election cycle. There’s no need for Trump Derangement Syndrome when there are enough reasons to abhor him as the GOP nominee.

    The same thing regarding his jousting with the Islamist at the Democrat convention. I think it’s about time that these people be confronted. But it takes some care and skill to do so. But I’m not one of those who damns Trump as a bigot just because he’s confronted the latest victim that the Democrats have rolled onto the stage in the proverbial wheelchair.

    But to confront these disingenuous Leftist (or Islamic) activists takes knowledge, skill, humor, subtlety, panache, and a polished verve — all qualities that Reagan had, for example. Trump has none of that. He simply has coarse, non-specific bluster.

    So what you have in the GOP universe is people either apologizing for this Trump schmuck or siding with the Left and damning him as the Left would do (which is why Paul Ryan would make such a poor choice as a substitute should Trump drop out — both Trump and Paul Ryan are different methods to kill conservatism and the Constitution).

  34. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Just a reminder of what politically incorrect looks like. (Hint: It’s not Donald Trump.)

    Teaching Tolerance by Mike Adams.

    By the way, an article such as this easily meets the new submission guidelines. Apparently these words are actually what he says to his students on day one for his courses at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.

  35. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I read two article this morning at National Review. You might agree or disagree with them, but they go together like bookends. First, the article:

    Under the Dark Spell of Trump, Jerry Falwell Jr. Is Damaging Public Christian Witness.

    I think it’s a good and fair article. The other bookend article is David French’s Never Trump Isn’t ‘Preening’ — It’s Mourning. French recounts a interesting episode from his past:

    The Kentucky church my wife and I frequented early in our marriage was one of the best churches I’ve ever attended. Never before or since have I seen such zeal for the Gospel or such a desire to reach the most desperate and vulnerable members of society. It wasn’t a wealthy church. I was the only lawyer in the congregation, and there was only one doctor. Many people struggled to make ends meet.

    Sadly, that rendered them vulnerable to scams, and when a diet-pill pyramid scheme started racing through the congregation, I was aghast. People were spending money they didn’t have to join networks and create “down lines,” firmly believing that economic salvation was at hand. The sales pitch was slick, but the pills scarcely disguised the pyramid. One presenter even said, “You can get rich without even selling any pills.”

    I’d worked on consumer fraud cases before, and I thought that I could help stop the madness. I went to the presentations, I researched the materials, and then I started talking to friends. Some listened, but most got mad and a few got furious. To this day, those are some of the most painful conversations I’ve ever had, and I realize now why: My friends were hearing two voices. One of them was speaking authoritatively about numbers and dollars and selling hope. The other was speaking with the same degree of assurance about numbers and dollars but was instead trying to extinguish hope. I never stood a chance.

    Yes, voters have a responsibility to exercise good judgment. But the greatest responsibility lies with the con artist and his knowing enablers. Trump — like Obama before him — is selling hope. But that hope is a false hope, and all those “establishment” figures who scorn the alleged “moral preening” of Never Trump know it. They’re aware of the pyramid scheme, and they choose to further it anyway, like the minions who circulate to cheap hotels across the land, pitching scams in meeting rooms. They’re co-conspirators.

    For Christians to throw in with Trump as anything but a “lesser of two evils” is to buy into a con. I wonder if this is just an extension of the con of Establishment Republicans, for Trump is also a “Republican in name only.” Or it’s an extension of the gullibility of Christian/conservative voters who keep voting for their own brand of “hope-and-change” only to have Lucy keep taking away the football at the last moment. You’d think people would learn. They haven’t.

    I think the result of Trump is that he has exposed the soft underbelly of the rank-and-file right. I think he will severely tarnish conservatism by the time he is done, but I don’t think he’s the ultimate cause. He’s just the beneficiary of our laziness, if not perfidy.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I read an article in Die Welt today about Prof. Ray Fair’s voting model which has been accurate something like 80% of the time in presidential elections.

      According to his latest analysis, Clinton should receive something like 44% of the November vote, i.e. she should lose. But the professor observes that Trump is such an unusual candidate that Clinton could still win.

      https://fairmodel.econ.yale.edu/vote2016/index2.htm

  36. pst4usa says:

    I have to disagree Brad, Trump is not a “RINO” he is exactly what the Republican Party has become. And if Trump is a Republican, than I must take on the monicker of Republican In Name Only, because if he is what it means to be a Republican, than I am clearly, one in name only.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I find it hard to disagree with you, Pat, even taking into consideration your Koch Brother status for this site.

      Let me just say, and I think I speak somewhat for you as well, that it is not for us to gain our identity through the Republican Party…not in the way that Progressives do with the Democrat Party whereby their party leader is their Pope. A pox on both houses, as far as I’m concerned. Just let us to live our lives peacefully and productively.

      But look at both major candidates. They are either con men or criminals. We live in the very country that these clowns can bring down around us, even if our main interest is minding our own damn business. So they make politics our business whether we like it or not. And I know your attitude about this is about as healthy as I’ve come across.

      Still, I believe it’s time to disengage from this stuff to some extent and take care of ourselves, our friends, and our families. In an increasing vulgar socialistic culture, how does one maintain one’s bearings? No man is an island. We all gain a large sense of who we are via the commonalities of culture. But what do you do when the culture is a mess? How do you wear an analogous cultural condom?

      That’s where I am. Show me George Washington and I’ll pick up my gun and follow him. Until then all we have are con men, hucksters, liars, assholes, bastards, and criminals. I think Ted Cruz was an exception to that rule but he was still way too much of a political tactician instead of a relatable human. He had Reagan’s ideas but without his warmth and relatability. Maybe he’ll learn something, but only if he comes to the Kung & Nelson political consultants agency.

      The Republican Party is lost. The idea of limited government is lost. Hell, the idea of integrity in government officials is lost. I don’t know what to do but call it like it is and try to fashion a cultural condom of some sort and put on a happy face.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I liked that ending; one of the CDs I play (and, because of its position in my sequence, did recently) is Bye, Bye, Birdy.

        I’ve compared rooting for a party to rooting for a baseball team, so I will continue to root for the GOP. But unlike Ann Coulter, I won’t let myself become so wrapped up in any candidate that I face mental collapse when the candidate doesn’t live up to his billing.

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