Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Trump - Most Dangerous or Least Dangerous?

I usually say "just tell me whoever the Republicans nominated come November.  That'll be good enough." I'm half-serious. With a criminal set to take the Democratic nomination, that should be even more automatic.

That approach is going to be challenged this year.

I expect that it's all going to blow over somehow. I also shrug and say I don't understand the Trump phenomenon.  As is to be expected from anyone who has read Haidt, the mainstream/liberal explanations of why this is occurring are simply insane.  There are in fact mirror images in some way - people who are so narcissistic and angry that any hateful explanation which says bad things about their enemies seems plausible.  Yet the conservative press is not very satisfying either. Those writers seem to apprehend a piece here and there, but not the whole package.  The best explanations I have seen so far focus on Trump's support as a reaction to the last x number of years. Some imperfectly defined but vaguely recognisable group of people are angry at Obama (and Hillary and Kerry and Holder and Jon Stewart and the MSM) - and may I say they are angry at their imperiousness, their tone, and their forcing things down throats more than their positions - and have gradually become fever-pitch angry at Republicans for not doing enough about it.

Okay, maybe.  I admit I don't get it.  I thought a friend at work who said she is a Trump supporter would be out once he said he would send more money to Planned Parenthood. (Did he really?  I don't follow this.) I mentioned this but she's still on board for Trump.  She wants Change.

But what about me? How do I navigate this?

First we step back.  That is the first AVI rule when I recognise that I am confused and uncertain. My usual measures are Positions and Character tied for first, Effectiveness a bit behind.  I'm not sure I've got much else.

Well, those aren't much help.  Trump can only win those in comparison to Hillary or Sanders, not by any objective measurement of doing well. So here's a thought that occurred to me today: how much harm is he going to do really? What bad thing will happen if Trump gets his way? There's a lot of wild card here. Because the future is unknown, I rely on character to help me estimate what might happen in various emergencies. That's not good for The Donald, but I am still left with that blank space.  What specific bad thing do I think will happen?  I can come up with answers for that for the two leading Democrats.  The lesser Democrats not so much, and James Webb could absolutely get me to break my 20-year rule and vote for him. Not going to happen, though.

I can imagine bad things that are more likely under Trump than under President Walker or President Rubio, but nothing other than a wall that seems far more likely.

Here's an irony: Obama has set down a lot of markers for things a president can simply order to be done, and stonewall, threaten, or wait out anyone who challenges that. Congress?  SCOTUS? Who cares? Democrats are really going to dislike that table setting for Donald Trump.  So will I, and not just for blowhards like him, but even for measured, reasonable presidents.  But they're going to hate it more.  Wind.  Whirlwind.


Sam L. said...

If the Republican establishment would republicate, we wouldn't NEED to like Trump.

Anonymous said...

Trump's positions are pretty middle of the road centrist, on the face of them. But everyone knows that when a regular Republican says he is going to build a fence, he means he is not going to build a fence, and if a fence should somehow get built, he is not going to let anyone defend it against people cutting holes in it.

All the republicans say they are going to build a fence, and from time to time Democrats say it also - but what drives them wild with red hot outrage, is that they suspect that when Trump says he will build a fence, he will actually build a fence.

Trump is hated and despised by all the people that hate and despise me. I like that the people who hate me, who hate all Americans, who would destroy all Americans if they could, hate him.

Roy Lofquist said...


If you are not confused by the current political mishmash then you just don't understand it.

Awkward paraphrase of Neils Bohr: "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."


Texan99 said...

Could Trump's appeal be that he looks like someone who will adopt the current playbook of abusing executive privilege and daring anyone to stop him? A sense that we have to fight fire with fire?

I confess that this tactic would work distressingly well on me if I believed in his principles. If he's just going to end up fighting fire with fire in aid of something like raising taxes on the rich, then I'm not nearly so tempted. More and more he's reminding me of Dana Carvey's hilarious imitation of Ross Perot: the guy feared by our enemies because you can have no possible idea what he might do: "Take all the terrorists, shave their balls off, and set 'em down in a bucket of witchhazel." With that nutty glint in the eye. Will he pursue crazy liberal policies? crazy conservative ones? Who could guess?

My very earliest impression of Trump must be from nearly 1990, when he was reported to have looked down from his penthouse window in annoyance at the pathetically slow progress of the construction of an outdoor skating rink in Central Park, and impulsively offered the city to build it at his own expense just so it would get done already. Everything he's done since has eroded that initial good impression, but it still sneaks back into my consciousness. I am so tired of ineffectual conservatives. I still like Walker, just because I don't think he's ineffectual, but unfortunately he also can't seem to keep national attention on himself. He needs a little of the Donald's irresponsible showmanship.

Donna B. said...

It's the perverse part of my nature that would like to see the response when Trump as president calls Kim Jong-un or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or whoever an idiot. The rational part of me cringes... a bit.

Sam L. said...

Still, those guys ought to be called idiots.

Christopher B said...

Trump is certainly less dangerous than Hillary, and probably even than Sanders, if only because like BHO he's likely to prove mostly incapable of using all but the crudest tools of Presidential power. Yes, I know BHO has done plenty of damage but look at what Reagan, Clinton, and even GWB achieved while working into the headwind of effectively organized opposition. BHO's partisans are celebrating the Phone and the Pen because that's really all he has had to work with since 2010.

Anonymous said...

Trump can do many things if he gets power, just look at Hussein. All Trump has to do is to ignore precedent and limits on Presidential power. Since Hussein already has, that's not so much of an issue. And as for the air support from the MSewerM, that can always be dealt with asymetrically.

Trump's support comes in main part because Americans are frightened, scared, and also full of hate, finally. They have seen peaceful conservative legal attempts at reform, destroyed with no mercy. Atrocities beget atrocities, it is a natural cycle of violence.

4th generational warfare is happening right here, right now in America. Trump is merely some guy that took the opportunity, he didn't set the strategic climate. Neither did Hussein in 2007, the Left set that.

A lot of people are tired, too stupid and weak to fight the System on their own. So they want to put into power a Hero King that'll do it for them. Conservatives were always going on about Reagan this or Reagan that, if only we had "Reagan", on and on and on. Their spirits were already cracked, they just didn't know it. In a fourth gen warfare system, there are no leaders, only people who are very good at tactics and logistics from the grassroots on. And with the internet, the "grassroots" reaches a lot farther than people think.