Monday, May 9, 2016

Trump L'oeil

No matter where you stand on Donald Trump, we hope you'll read the entire commentary today. We have a message for both sides.

First, something for the passionately pro-Trump voters who are angry with those still on the fence...

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In "The Art of the Deal," we're pretty sure that Donald Trump didn't suggest "scream at the other person and call them a traitor until they agree to your terms." Yelling doesn't help. Yes, a plurality of Republican voters has said they want Trump to be the nominee, and he clearly will be.

But for him to have even a chance of winning, people who don't yet support The Donald will have to find reasons to like him (or at least accept him). And they'll need reasons to believe that he no longer supports the political positions he's espoused and/or funded in the past.

If you support Trump, then why not have faith that in the coming months his good qualities will become apparent to everyone? And why not turn down the volume on your attacks on other conservatives so we can hear what Mr. Trump has to say?

Now, for all of those who define themselves as "Never Trump"...

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Not to be unsubtle, but with Hillary Clinton cackling in the wings, declaring yourself to be in the "Never Trump" camp is insane.  If you don't want to support Trump on election day, so be it (we're still unsure about it ourselves). But why make up your mind now and declare that you'll reject all further evidence and developments?

A lot can happen in half a year. Legal troubles could take Hillary out of the race. Obama might (and surely will) further degrade the country. The economy could crash, and terror might again scar our nation.

Or on a more positive note, over the next 6 months we might see The Donald assemble a stellar team to take into the White House, hear refinements to his bold plans that make them practicable, and get greater insight to his character and complexity of thought.

Hope n' Change doesn't know which way things will go and neither does anyone else. So let's all take a deep, cleansing breath and agree that unity will be necessary to beat Hillary, but such unity will take time to develop naturally.

Neither adversarial aggressiveness nor intractable close-mindedness will help that process.


If our punning title left you scratching your head, allow us to explain. There is a style of art (traditionally murals) called Trompe L'oeil - which is French for "Deceive the Eye."

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The idea is to create a nearly 3-dimensional illusion of grandeur, when the reality is that the decorative urn, Greek columns, or window looking onto a magnificent Mediterranean vista is only the depth of a coat of paint.

And that's where we're at right now with Trump L'oeil - trying to separate the illusion from the reality.


Joseph ET said...

The cartoon character states “The voters chose Obama twice. Did that make you support him?” My answer is, of course not, because I stand fully against his agenda! But, Obama’s democratic party united behind him. And there should always be some loyal opposition to all politicians.

The real question now is, can we get united behind this candidate, like him or not, he’s still going to be OUR guy! If we fail to unite, we will get four or eight more years of Obama policy. It was impossible to impeach Obama because of race. It will be impossible to impeach Clinton because of gender.

For the record, I had not decided on Trump one way or another. In past elections I held my nose and voted for McCain and Romney. If more people had held their noses and voted instead of staying home we would have a better country today.

I trust the Trump knows how to recruit and hire top people that know how to get the job done. That’s how he built his empire. A good leader knows how to delegate and assign duties and responsibilities. One of his bankruptcies was the casinos mostly because he lost five people, including three high-level executives killed when their helicopter crashed.

Most of us have had set backs in life that were beyond our control.

I think we should give Trump our benefit of doubt and full support and see what he can accomplish.

REM1875 said...

Hear. Hear Doc!!! Well said!!! My sentiment exactly. Let me warm up to the candidate on my own.

Jim Irre said...

We're going to hear, "If you don't vote for Trump, you have effectively voted for the other side." Bull-feathers. People who make that argument live in a world of guilt and try to drag others down to that level. If I decide not to support Trump, it will be out of conscience borne of a thoughtful study of his positions.

I'll give him the benefit of paying attention to his positions and make my decision. Anyone corralled by the specious, fatuous argument of the "anything but Hillary" crowd is obviously someone who can't think for themselves.

It's going to be an ugly six months with more chaffe than wheat. I pray it will go quickly.

Russ White said...

You should vote for someone, not against them -- if you can't truly say "I think Trump will be a good president," then don't vote for him -- just vote for one of the "third parties." So long as everyone says, "voting third party is useless, because they'll never win," guess what -- they'll never win.

We can't change things if we keep voting against someone rather than for them.

As for me, I'm not voting for Trump because it will, in fact, be 4 more years of Obama.

Cat Whisperer said...

As a supporter of Ted Cruz, I spent the last week hoping that the SMOD would enter the race. Since then, a couple of things happened which made me a fledgling Trumpster:
1. John McCain and Lindsey Graham announced they will not vote for Trump.
2. Trump’s Twitter war with Elizabeth Warren reminded me that New Yorkers are born with the innate ability to insult and make comebacks. I am looking forward to Trump calling Hillary the “Old Bag that offed Vincent Foster and Ambassador Stevens” during the debates. Will it demean the Office of the Presidency? After 8 years of Obama, who cares.

Geoff King said...

If everyone that plans on voting for Trump because he is the lesser of two evils voted for the Libertarian candidate instead, it would at least send the message to Washington that we are sick and tired of politics as usual.
While probably not enough to win, I expect the LP candidate to recieve an amazing amount of votes this time around.
The so-called two party system has failed us as there is now very little difference between them. Why should we be the only western country that doesn't have several parties to choose from?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Joseph ET- I agree with most of what you're saying, but I've got to throw in a big codicil. Before I can "get behind our guy" in good conscience, I need to be as sure as possible that there's no chance he could end up being worse than Hillary. Currently, I'm not sure of that - and it's not the sort of thing I'm willing to take on faith. The Donald has 6 months to convince me that he wouldn't be a disaster in office...and I sincerely hope he can do that.

@REM1875- I have a friend on Facebook who keeps shrieking that anyone who isn't supporting Trump at this point is a TRAITOR (it's so important to use ALL CAPS when you're especially right). I think he's unaware that he's pushing away people who'd like to hear Trump's good points rather than being told that their conservative principles make them enemies of the state.

@Jim Irre- You say "I'll give him the benefit of paying attention to his positions and make my decision". That should be enough for any candidate of substance: a voter with a genuinely open mind. At the point anyone demands I stop thinking and fall into lockstep, they're trying to take away my freedom. And I get pretty touchy about things like that.

@Russ White- I agree with all of your post except the last line. I'm recommending that none of us say we're "not voting for Trump" until we've had a chance to look at him for awhile in a setting other than the Rockem Sockem Robot ring of the primaries.

@Cat Whisperer- One thing I can absolutely agree with you on: the dignity of the Presidency is a thing of the past. Obama had already destroyed it, but neither Hillary the Felon nor Donald "King of Twitter" Trump can possibly restore it.

But let me be clear, I loathe political correctness and have no problems with Trump's bluntness and willingness to offend those with delicate sensibilities. I'm just looking for evidence that there's more to him than those qualities.

@Geoff King- I completely agree that the two-party system has failed us big time and needs replacing. Why not 3, 4 or 5 parties? Coalition governments? Competition is the lifeblood of all things American, but the two dominant parties have become so fat and happy with their market share of voters as to be indistinguishable from each other.

By the way, when election day rolls around I just might vote for the Libertarian if The Donald hasn't proved he'd be better than Hillary. I can't set the bar any lower than that.

Fred Ciampi said...

I'm waiting to see who The Donald chooses for his cabinet and defense staff. I am also looking forward to the debates. Both McCain and Romney were milquetoasts in their debates against obama. I could go on but 'all of the above' have stated what I feel ... pretty much.

Boligat said...

@Geoff King. The only reason we don't have more viable parties is that we do not have a national primary to narrow down the competing parties to two. We are constantly told by the Dems and the Repubs, that we shouldn't "waste" our vote on the minority parties.

They have a point; look what happened because of Perot. And in more dramatic fashion, look what happened in Chile. (Allende's two opponents fell to the right of him and split the opposition vote, allowing Allende to win with a plurality. Eventually his government was overthrown by Pinochet.)

Though they have a point, we don't really get a good look at how strong the minority parties really could be since so many voters decide not to "waste" their vote. A national primary would go a long way toward allowing the emergence of third and fourth parties. Vote your preference in the primary, but in the general election you have only two parties to choose from. Of course, this is exactly how the Dems and the Repubs want it, so don't look for any reform to come from them.

Stuart Brogden said...

Those minions who voted for the man known as Obama had the additional burden of voting for a man who was/is not eligible to hold the office. No matter how many people voted for him, he is not the President; only an usurper.

Trump, on the other hand, has no known or suspected disqualification.

I am not really happy with the GOP; haven't been in years. Am somewhat happy that Trump has caused apoplexy amongst the GOP but told his campaign this weekend that if he continues to make noise about increasing the national minimum wage and raising national income taxes on any group (rather than making them flat - equal - for all) that I would NOT vote for him.

I am likely to vote Libertarian as they are on the ballot in my state.

CenTexTim said...

I'm on the fence about Trump, but, as Manfred pointed out, his post-primary statements regarding increasing the minimum wage and raising taxes on the wealthy, along with his 'new' positions on admitting Syrian refugees, supporting universal healthcare, and ending the self-funding of his campaign make me wonder just how much substantive difference there is between him and She Who Shall Not Be Named.

Toss in his abrasive and unstable personality and it leaves me with an urgent need for 'coffee'...

Geoff King said...

@Manfred: Actually, for the very first time, the LP will be on the ballot in all 50 states.
I have been a card-carrying Libertarian for two decades now, and was once one of five State Committeemen here in Arizona. I am quite excited to see what percent of the vote we get this time around.

DaughterJarlsberg said...

I love the way you paint with words

It's No Gouda said...

@REM1875 If you want to "warm up" to a candidate, maybe you should "Feel the Bern" (grin)

CenTexTim said...

@Geoff King - For a far-fetched but possible scenario of how Gary Johnson (presumptive Libertarian candidate for president) could become our next prez check this out.

Hint: it involves the 12th Amendment.

John the Econ said...

I don't even know the name of the Libertarian candidate, and yet I'm already supporting him or her.

Meanwhile, I've noticed a subtle change of tone among my Democrat friends. For the last year, they've taken much glee in watching the chaos within the Republican party. But now they're having to face the reality that their assigned candidate is every bit as repugnant as Trump is, if not more so. If they lose to him, they'll have nobody to blame but Hillary and themselves for allowing a Hillary to remain viable for the last 20 years.

At least the GOP has the "Never Trump" constituency. Beyond Bernie's kids, there is no equivalent on the Democrat side. What does that tell you? Which party is really in crisis?

Here's another thought: Have you considered that Trump may be more of a Democrat that Hillary effectively would be? After all, until very recently, he actually was one. Meanwhile, Hillary is more about greed and power than ideology, and has a long history of lying to people's faces over the most trivial of things. It's not possible for even the least educated to take Hillary's swing to the left of Sanders the least bit seriously. The Clintons will cash anyone's check regardless of where it comes from. Deep inside, if anything, Hillary is a corporatist, which is actually a form of fascism. I've long argued that if the price was right, Hillary would by happy to do a three-way with the Koch Brothers, and recently at least one of the Koch Brothers agreed.

So is it actually possible that we're going to see the GOP run a Democrat against Democrats running a fascist?

IGnatius T Foobar said...

Lifelong libertarian here. I've never voted "against" anyone, always "for." And I'm enthusiastically supporting Donald Trump. He's the only one with any sensible policy positions and plans to get them accomplished. It's also going to be our responsibility to hold him to those positions once he enters office. I know the Bush Republicans are all quite butthurt right now but I think over the next couple of months they'll warm up to Mr. Trump.

GenEarly said...

I am always amazed by people who want a choice and when given one don't like it. Chamberpot Repubs campaigned since Reagan on faux conservatism all he while being ineffectual, offering Bushies, McCain, and Romney, but always voting to help implement the Obamy spending and pogroms.
Now Trump comes along, a true outsider that never played the Repub "wait your turn" game and attacked the twin pillars of the NWO conquest of America....Illegal Invasion and World Trade policies that since NAFTA have destroyed any domestic productivity and wealth for the middle class. Trump offers the Repub "Big Tent" of independent and Reagan democrats that we have been told is necessary for party survival, but now that the nominee hasn't been pre-selected by der party elites, the Trump Big Tent is bad.......(for them).
This election is between the Dem-Repub insiders and the peasants. Trump is a nationalist-
populist or you can have a NWO Marxist with Hilarity.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Fred Ciampi- I can already tell you that I'd have a tough time voting for Donald Trump, but I might be downright enthusiastic about voting for Team Trump once we can see it.

@Boligat- Sadly, the Dems and GOP seem to have things so tightly tied up that the emergence of successful third parties seems unlikely in the near future.

@Manfred- Exactly. I'm trying to keep an open mind on Trump, but increasing the minimum wage, defaulting on our nation's loans (ie, "renegotiating the amounts"), dramatically changing the cost of living by adding a 35% surcharge to Chinese goods, and forcibly deporting 12 million people all suggest a pretty bumpy road under a president Trump.

But again, I'm not saying "Never Trump." I'm saying let's listen. And if what he puts out is consistently bilge, well, we did our part.

@CenTexTim- Yep. There's at least a chance that Trump has a yuuuuuge policy overlap with Hillary, plus a streak of potentially dangerous unpredictability. I don't care how bombastic he continues to be, but I need to see some smarts, subtlety, and stability too.

@Geoff King- There may indeed be a Libertarian message sent this election day, although if Hillary wins Libertarians may find themselves being sent to Guantanamo.

@DaughterJarlsberg- And yet when paint spills all over my shirt while I'm talking, everybody acts like there's something wrong with me. (grin)

@It's No Gouda- Or gather some kindling...

@John the Econ- Good perspective and highly plausible.

@Ignatius T Foobar- I've heard a number of Trump's policy positions, but have yet to encounter those "plans to get them accomplished" that you mention (with very few exceptions). Those are the sort of details that I'm hoping to hear, and am encouraging other people to listen for.

@GenEarly- Good points, but part of the problem with that "big tent" isn't that Trump is attracting new people to a conservative ideology, but rather by embracing a number of policies which run contrary to that ideology.

No question that Hillary would be a terrible choice for president. But I'm having trouble accepting that Trump is who he claims to be at this specific moment, since that means ignoring so much that he's done, said, and funded over many years. Plus, he made news yesterday by saying that he's "free to change (his) mind" on some of the positions he's run on and alter them according to whatever his current whimsy is.

Shelly said...

All you Trumpsters go on about his policies as if he had some! Maybe by the time of the election and his flip flopping on a daily basis, we might have an idea of what he has settled on to be his policies but I think none of them will be principled because he doesn't have any principles!!

Judi King said...

@ Russ White: I can't truly say "I think Trump will be a good president" I doubt if I can vote for him. I believe I should vote but am at a loss on this election.

NVRick said...

When Trump first announced his candidacy, I thought there was little or no chance he would win the nomination. I thought his brash attitude was refreshing, and liked the fact he brought immigration to the fore.
As time passed, and I learned more about his liberal history, combined with his increasingly mean and angry tone, the less I found him to be an acceptable choice. I thought that the sober and consistent message that Ted Cruz was sending would prevail in the end. Alas, it was not to be.
I am not a #NeverTrump fan, but it will take more than bombastic rhetoric to EARN my vote. And that is what Trump must do. His message from here on must be practical (make Mexico pay for the wall?) as well as in line with conservative values.
He has six months to persuade me.

Stuart Brogden said...

Cruz being a natural born Canadian rather than a natural born US citizen is not qualified for the office. He has shown his politics to be just as unstable as Trump's. Much of Trump's liberal history relates to his business life, not his political life. He has commented on the fact that a businessman has different liberties and requirements than does a politician.

I am not a Trump fan, but he has six months to persuade me.

Jon said...

After enduring eight years of Muhammad Obama and having the prospect of the Bitch Witch Hillary, I don't know why so many people are intent on trashing Trump. Lighten up and give the guy a chance.

Em said...

@Jon, I agree. Whether you are a Trump fan or not, how could he possibly be worse than Hillary and Obama!

Geoff King said...

We should not elect someone because we think they MAY not be as bad as the other candidate. We should elect someone because we believe they will actually be good for our country.
Here's why I am excited about the LP this year:

Dan said...

And what do the Libertarians stand for once they get marijuana legalized? That seems to be the only thing binding them together.

Bush 43 got in because Ralph Nader blocked some electoral votes for (ugh) Algore.

Clinton got in because 19 percent went to Ross Perot.

Third parties, in my lifetime, act more as spoilers than valid choices.

Geoff King said...

Libertarians stand for the Constitution verbatim. It is the law of the land and congress has absolutely no business regulating, restricting, or otherwise impingeing upon our Constitutional rights. We have the right to live our lives anyway we see fit, as long as we harm no one else or their property. Yes, that does include smoking a plant or using any drug for that matter, as long as you remain responsible for your own actions. If you do drugs and cannot perform at work, you get fired. If you do drugs and screw up driving, you lose your license. If you do drugs and have to rob someone to support your habit, you go to prison. These laws already exist. There is no reason whatsoever to have laws against victimless crimes such as the current drug laws prohibiting responsible recreational use of any substance, especially something as benign as Marijuana.

Anonymous said...

"If you support Trump, then why not have faith that in the coming months his good qualities will become apparent to everyone?"

He already HAS, in many, MANY ways.

Many of his detractors - looking at YOU, Stilton - seem to not want to hear it.

ASK YOURSELF: is it a BAD "quality" to want to

* stop Common Core
* stop Obamacare
* stop Trans Pacific Trade Deal shnanigans
* enforce immigration laws and,yes, build a border wall with Mexico


SPEAKING OF "trompe l'oeil" is Trump's detractors *alone*
who choose to make such things "disappear."
You just have to be willing to ACCEPT his positives.

Is he human? Yes. I accept him warts and all.

To consider: perhaps the only reason I and so many other
Trump supporters may *sound* like we think he's perfect
is we have had to "scream" to have our voices heard
over the din of the GOP Establishment and
its media lapdogs (including the more rabid Cruz clinging Rightwing sites).

And we've been doing this since at least December...if not summer 2015.

Anonymous said...

Enough, Already, Stilton!

”Many of these [anti-Trump] posts came with the disclaimer that if Hillary won the presidency, it would not be the fault of the NeverTrump dissenters, but of the presumed idiots who voted for Trump in the first place.

Nonsense. It is as if a conscientious objector announced his principled resistance to a particular war and then continued to boast about his principles once or more a day until the enemy prevailed. That resister could say he did help the enemy win, but no one would believe him.”


Rod said...

He's STILL not my preferred choice but I must say that IMO Trump IS and has been acting like most national leaders on the international scene in that he doesn't take a lot of crap off of anyone. Well, Obama excepted. Yes, Trump could be smoother and should be in public. But we also see what nice & smooth gets us; nice smooth lies. I'd like to hear more about his ways, means,& team. THAT would go a long way. HOWEVER, that said, there's demonstrated reason to not disclose these things early. The professional lairs & biased media will focus on and shred any detail. Meanwhile it's clear what Trump thinks is stupid, crooked & BS is closely aligned with what I think is crooked, stupid, & BS.

It's also interesting that a lot so-called charitable and good works organizations that are supposedly non-political and usually afford one or two mailed solicitations a year; this year are sending a "gimme money" letter every month. Stealing the routine from Church Lady: Hmmmm. I wonder why? Could it beeeee, AN ELECTION YEAR?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Shelly- I'm willing (albeit not enthusiastically) to wait a bit longer to see what kind of principles Trump has when not competing for the candidacy. He needs to start telling us why and how he would make a good president.

@Judi King- That's why I'm reminding folks that we don't have to make up our minds yet. We just need to pay attention and let the candidates reveal themselves.

@NVRick- I don't think it's too much to ask for any candidate to actually earn our vote.

@Manfred- I acknowledge that as a businessman, it made sense for Trump to curry favor (usually with money) by politicians of all stripes. It's Trump's other actions and pronouncements which concern me.

@Jon- Giving the guy a chance is the whole point of today's commentary. I'm not saying to overlook or forget his faults - just suggesting we keep an open mind during this critical race.

@Em- That's the very low bar I'm setting: I want Trump to convince me that he wouldn't be worse than Hillary or Obama. I'm not sure why that simple standard should inflame Trump supporters.

@Geoff King- Thanks for the link. I agree that it would be nice to vote for someone we believe will actually be good instead of the "least bad."

@Dan- I'm one of those who voted for Ross Perot and lived to immediately regret it. And I'll note that Perot's appeal back then was much what Trump's appeal is now: a successful, non-PC businessman intending to break up Washington's traditional way of doing things. Mind you, I still like that idea - the object lesson here is the danger of third parties.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Geoff King- I agree with pretty much everything you're saying there. I think the main reason that Libertarianism is unlikely to ever become the dominant political philosophy is that it requires self-reliance from people. And sadly, that's a trait which seems increasingly rare.

@Anonymous- Now, now- we've spoken about the ALL CAPS thing, haven't we? (grin)

Before jumping into the gist of our discussion, let's talk about semantics because they're important here. You ask if it's a bad "quality" if Trump "wants" to do certain things. Let's throw out the word "quality" because it has no meaning here- there are only goals (what he aims to achieve) and policies (how he plans to achieve those goals). I need to hear both to be impressed. Without those specifics, what Trump "wants" to do is meaningless. As Yoda once said to Luke Skywalker, "It matters not what you want, fail you will if policy specifics you lack."

And now on to your points:

• If Trump wants to stop Common Core, that's fine. I believe that curriculum should be a matter left to the states. I also believe that Common Core is an overrated issue, and the more significant problem in education is teachers unions. Does Trump intend to bust unions, or just make a peachy deal with them? And on a side note, I'm a little worried about education policy being set by someone who gets his information from the National Enquirer and wants to "get to the bottom of who really knocked down the World Trade Center."

• Trump wants to stop Obamacare. Fine. But his replacement sounds suspiciously like nationalized single payer health insurance, which will actually be worse than Obamacare (Obamacare is, in fact, deliberately designed to fail - forcing our nation into single payer). I've read Trump's "plan" to replace Obamacare and there were very few specifics. Simply promises which can't be met without policy.

• Stopping Trans Pacific Trade Deal shenanigans is fine...but if Trump actually instituted his 35% tariff on all goods from China, the buying power of most American families would plummet and economic chaos would ensue. "Better deals" are a good idea. "Trade wars" aren't.

• Enforcing immigration laws and building a wall are great in my book. But I don't believe America is ready for the reality of what mass deportations will look like. Individuals and families pulled from their homes and workplaces, at gunpoint if necessary, and shipped out of the country leaving their belongings behind. Mind you, I'm not against deportation- I'm just saying this country doesn't have the stomach for it, and while deportation is Trump's goal he hasn't shared an actual policy for getting the job done.

In summary, I'm absolutely willing to accept The Donald's positives - but they have to have actual substance. Hearing him belch out "We're gonna win because we're winners, and winners win!" or "I'll solve that problem by making such a beautiful deal" doesn't impress me.

You explain that you're screaming just to make yourself heard over what you perceive as negativity. But it's hard to scream and listen at the same time. I've suggested here today that all the "Never Trump" people calm down and listen (which should have made you happy). Now let's see if you can do the same thing: turn down the volume and start listening for Trump's policies and specifics and not unsubstantiated goals, wants, wishes, and ego trips. Then get back to us.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Rod- Good points, and I also agree on most of what Trump thinks is BS. And I don't give a rat's ass about him being smooth or politically correct - his lack of those qualities is a definite part of his appeal.

But I want to hear more about his "ways, means, and team" ASAP. I don't care if this would open him up to attacks from the Left (and they would). If his people and policies are good enough, then they'll unify the GOP enough to defeat Hillary. The author of "The Art of the Deal" should know that he's not going to close a deal until he puts aside his splashy sales pitch and demonstrates the actual value of his product.

Anonymous said...

TO Stilton:

1) "quality" was your choice of words:

"If you support Trump, then why not have faith that in the coming months his good qualities will become apparent to everyone?" - Mr. Jarlsberg

2) His "winning" rhetoric is that and nothing else. EVERY candidate does that!
It's an innate (if unnatural!) part of politicking!
That's NO excuse not to vote for him,
unless you're "looking" for excuses not to vote for him.

3) I seem to be one of the few who DOES listen (and has listened) to Trump's policies, so please spare me the snide "pay attention" silliness.
It's your choice to believe him or not...
...just be honest with yourself whether you're applying that same standard to EACH candidate.
From what I've read, you were and - huffy protestations aside - still are anti-Trump.

WalrusMN said...

If I'm remembering my college French correctly, "Trump l'oeil" would rhyme w/ "Trump? Oy!" n'est ce pas?

Betsy Ross said...

Never Trump, Never Clinton

The GOP was the last vestige of either party that believed in liberty, the Constitution, the values of the Enlightenment.

The GOP is now dead with the ascendency of this disgusting moron.

The Dems are the party of disgusting morons.

I am through with it. I will vote Libertarian or not vote. It is perfectly acceptable to not vote. These parties have abandoned me.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-T. Jefferson

Stilton Jarlsberg said...


1) Yes, I used the word "quality" in the, um, qualitative sense. You used it as a synonym for practicable policy, which ain't the same animal.

2) I'm glad you agree that The Donald's "winning" rhetoric "is that and nothing else. EVERY candidate does that!" So you've established that he's acting like every other candidate (ouch!) and that such empty rhetoric is that and nothing else. Okay, let's put all that nothingness aside and hear specific and practicable plans and policies. Feel free to quote such specifics here yourself if you wish - it's a great opportunity for you to win votes for Mr. Trump!

3) Yes, I'm paying attention to what he says and what he doesn't say...yes, I'm applying the same standards to everyone...and you need to get it through your head (if you want a prayer of beating Hillary) that there's a difference between being anti-Trump and not yet being pro-Trump.

I've gone out of my way to ask everyone to give Trump a fair chance to prove himself to be substantial and (oh yeah!) no longer a screaming progressive. I haven't spent 8 years on this blog to give away my vote to this year's "Yes We Can!" candidate.

@WalrusMN- Everything sounds better in Yiddish. Fact.

@Betsy Ross- I'm not going to try to change your mind. I'm only suggesting that we don't have to decide how we'll vote 6 months from now until we see what the next 6 months brings.

John the Econ said...

Oh geeze, I know better than to do this, but...

What makes anybody think that Trump will live up to his rhetoric any more than Hillary will?

During election seasons, I rarely elevate my opinion of any politician based upon what they say. If anything, what they say can only lower my opinion of them as they sell themselvs to pander for every extra vote. What I'm interested in is how they behaved before they decided to run for office. That's the true indication of how someone will act in the future.

And what was Trump before his opinion of himself achieved Presidential proportions? A Democrat.

So why is a recent former Democrat the most popular Republican in the country at the moment? Simply because he was willing to push the buttons that the establishment Republicans have long since no longer dared to touch, like on immigration and political correctness. It's merely a demonstration of how out-of-tough the GOP has drifted over the last 20 years, that a former Democrat can take over the nomination process simply by talking about the issues that conservatives feel strongly about.

So what would a Trump presidency really be like? I really don't know. But I'm willing to predict that it's not going to be anything like conservatives would like it to be, any more than a Hillary presidency would be anything like the left would like it to be.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Wonderfully said and exactly effing right.

Shelly said...

It is obvious that Trump loves only two things: himself and winning. He will say and do anything to promote both and has stated publicly that everything is negotiable. This would include our hallowed Bill of Rights, in case you are not watching. He has never known any other thing than being the top dog and ruling those below him. There is no indication that he would treat the presidency any other way, checks and balances be damned. For those of us in Texas, it makes no difference if we vote or not. I cannot bear the choice between the criminal and the con man.

Anonymous said...

You want facts? OK, here goes;
The Democrats were pretty much destroyed in 2014. They are a minority in the House, Senate, Governorships and State legislatures. That is a fact. That is happened by accident is conjecture. So now all the Donks have is the White House and half the Supreme court.
That the GOP is finished is not yet a fact. The GOP establishment cannot survive. They either go Democrat and vote for Hill-de-Beast or they go to the back of the bus.
The same voters that put the GOP in charge of Congress is now backing Trump. The purpose of this 'stealth' revolution is to restore government of the people by the people for the people to the USA.
Right now we have government of the government by the government for the government. It is controlled by a small group of self styled elites. That is why changing parties in charge doesn't make a difference.
In systems terms, the OS is old, creaky and buggy. It's flaws are being exploited by the unscrupulous. So it is time for a new OS. That will be designed at an Article V convention.
The establishment is upset because their favorites parts will be coded out.
-Committee for Public Safety
P.S. Luv ur toons, but U need to open ur eyes. When citizens are stalking and killing police officers, it is a civil war. No neutrals in a civil war. You pick a side or a side picks you. That is a historical fact. Wait until the flash mobs start bringing weapons.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Shelly- Trump has said that he doesn't need a unified GOP and doesn't need the votes of those who aren't already on the bandwagon. That being the case, no guilt is necessary for anyone on the Right who takes him at his word.

@Anonymous- Guess what? I agree with damn near everything you say, with one critical omission. I don't need facts to know how effed up the system is, and how the GOP has betrayed those of us who've slogged through the Obama years and energized the mid-terms. That's why I'm here!

But what I asked you for are any believable specifics that Trump is the man who can rectify the problems and change things, and instead you tell me what I've already been screaming from the rooftop for 8 years.

If you're a regular reader you'll know that I've always conceded that, despite any other reservations, Trump might be exactly the right guy (or hand grenade) for the current dysfunctional system. But I can't just hope that, and I can't ignore it when he says troubling things - and I don't mean calling Elizabeth Warren a "goofus," I mean having him say that the federal minimum wage should be enough that people can live on it.

Truth be told, I don't expect civil war if Hillary wins (and not just because I'd hang myself on election day and wouldn't be around to see it). But I'm not yet convinced that a Trump presidency might not devolve into anarchy and widespread battles in the street.

All I'm asking is for Trump, you, or anyone else to give evidence (not opinion) that he'll be better than Hillary in the White House. But I might as well be asking for cool, cool water under the baking sun of an endless desert.

Joseph ET said...

For those that say they won't vote for either presidential candidate. Okay fine. But please don't stay home as there will be many other offices and issues on federal, state and local levels that need our input.

On another note: the next president will be appointing several Supreme Court Justices. This maybe the most important issue this decade. I will vote with this in mind, as all other issues will be affected by the new court.

Geoff King said...

@Shelly: I must agree with everything you said about Trump. Is it now a matter of "vote for him so she doesn't win"? If everyone who is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs and the current two mainline candidates would simply choose option 3 (the Libertarian candidate), we would take our country back.
Sadly, that is unlikely as most believe their vote only counts if it is cast for evil number 1 or evil number 2.
I say your vote counts more if you do not go with the other sheep.

Geoff King said...

In closing, all I can say is look up the political record of Gary Johnson (the most likely Libertarian Candidate). He has never changed his point of view on any single issue.
Can that be said about the Republican or Democrat front runners?
You get what you vote for.

Geoff King said...

Addendum: If you vote for evil number 1 over evil number 2, you are still part of the problem and not part of the solution.

John the Econ said...

Amen, Geoff King. Continually voting for the lesser of two evils has only resulted in a race to the bottom, which is where we now find ourselves.

Quite frankly, I'd rather people voted for a whackjob party like the Greens over the two choices we have now.

Anonymous said...

"But what I asked you for are any believable specifics that Trump is the man who can rectify the problems and change things, and instead you tell me what I've already been screaming from the rooftop for 8 years."

I go by General George Patton's thoughts on that;
"Perfect is the enemy of good enough".
Is Trump perfect? No, although Melania gets pretty close. Is he good enough? We will see.
Meanwhile, I'm not going to just sit and watch 8 more years of Wreck and Ruin from the White House. Three kinds of people play politics;
Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that go "What just happened?" The GOP establishment is almost completely category Threes. Most are several brain cells short of idiot grade. The entire program to move them out of the drivers seat of the clown car has been underway for a while. Over a decade. That they are standing around going "what just happened" shows how important it is they go. Away. Far away.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- I can't really take exception to anything you're saying here, and lord knows I'm not looking for perfection in Trump or anyone else. I'm barely even looking for him to be "good enough" - I just need to feel confident that he won't be a disaster. When that happens, it's likely I can vote for him. As I've said above, if he starts assembling "team Trump" it could go a long way towards assuaging my worries.

Anonymous said...

That team Trump thingie is a trap. The establishment which got America into this mess in the first place, wants to make sure their theft by fraud of US tax dollars continues unabated.
Trump's support is built on stopping that theft. So if Trump allows the establishment to control the agenda by controlling Team Trump, then Trump will not need a team. I think on Wall Street that is called a poison pill or something like that.
No, Trump needs to play it close to his vest. The Jersey Blimp is doing his transition work, so he needs to say something like, within 2 months of the convention we will have a Cabinet proposal ready.
When did Mitt the loser propose his cabinet? Here is a URL from September 2012;
It is all speculation because as of September, 2012 Mitt the loser had not proposed a Cabinet.
So why the double standard?
It's a trap, one without bait. The establishment has nothing to bait a trap with. They have lost. They can surrender or die, their choice. Die being vote democrat or start a 3rd party.
They cannot stop trump from getting the nomination. I doubt they can do anything to help Trump win the White House. The establishment claims they can help Trump win. They have claimed many things over the decades, none of which were delivered.
Yes, we read Bush's lips. Then we watched taxes go up. Yes we heard smaller government. Then we watched huge (or is that HUUUUUGH) appropriations bills get passed by a GOP Congress. No beaten wife syndrome here. Those turds are gone. Out the door. I hope they leave skid marks when they hit the pavement.

Anonymous said...

Beware those who demand "specifics" or "details" now:

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- You seem to stipulate that the "Team Trump" I'd like to see would be created, controlled, and put in place by establishment Republicans. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We're also having an apples and oranges discussion in regard to when most candidates should reveal cabinet choices. While it seems like I'm applying a double standard, I'm actually not - because Trump isn't like other nominees. Usually, a candidate has a long enough history that we know, more or less, what he or she will do. Trump, to put it charitably, has no such demonstrable history. To put it uncharitably, and more accurately, his history is that of a progressive democrat and fan of big government, but we're suddenly supposed to believe that within the past couple of years he's become a changed man.

Fine - if he's willing to present some proof. And for me, that proof would be assembling a team that reflects limited government, constitutionalism, and fiscal conservatism.

Currently, all Trump is offering are words which you yourself describe as meaning nothing. I want more than that and, oddly, it seems you don't.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- By the way, the Scott Adams blog post was interesting (he always is), and I agree with him generally. I'm not asking to see wildly detailed specifics of Trump's plans - just enough hints to make me believe that he has actual plans for policy, and that they're achievable.

I wouldn't require the same level of specificity from a candidate who had an actual track record which we're not being told to ignore by his supporters.