Monday, November 02, 2020

Dan McLaughlin on Voting For Trump

I was sent a lengthy analysis by Dan "Baseball Crank" McLaughlin on exactly what his vote will be and why. It is very evenhanded and though long, summarises the issues nicely. The way I counted it up as I read, he was going to reluctantly vote for Trump. That's not how it ended. Yet I think that even a little undercutting of his reasoning would reasonably turn the tide.  I recommend the article. 

I think he makes four errors. They are all small, partial errors but in aggregate are decisive.

1. He rightly deplores Trump's vulgar attitude toward women as disposable. However, I think it important that we have not seen anything of that over the last four years. Even if he is unchanged in thought, he is changed in behavior, and we can expect that going forward.

2. He makes as good a case as I've seen for tactical losing now, when SCOTUS retirees and other issues are in favor of Republicans, yet he still does not convince me. He states he doesn't like "winning by losing" but...maybe this time...Biden's not gonna he winces and comes out in favor of it.  I grant him I don't feel as badly about the prospect as I did before reading his essay.  But I still don't like it. Losing is losing, with bad consequences.

3. McLaughlin looks only at the knowns, and what actually did happen.  Real life isn't like this, and "what might have happened but didn't" can be as important as evaluating a leaders response to actual events. I will state that more strongly and state that it is as important, and deserves a look. If bad things did not happen, that may or may not be due to Trump's actions, but the base fact of possible bad things that did not happen should be at least provisionally to his credit. It's not visible in any of his analysis.

4. He believes the long-term associations of Republicans embracing Trump will haunt the party with younger voters for years. That very well may be so.  Thirty years from now there still might be a taint, even if undeserved, that hampers the GOP.  Yet I am not convinced by such projections of what we guess other people will think ten, twenty, thirty years from now. I don't think we know remotely well enough to bring it up as more than a passing reference.


james said...

Will it be a "taint" for the young people? It might depend on which young people we are thinking of. Andrew Jackson was both loved and hated. It's not obvious that the political parties are done with their reorganizations yet.

Aggie said...

Tally up all the egregious things Trump is supposed to have said. Disqualify those that have, with time, proven to be false (the over-whelming majority). Examine the small set of remaining things and place them into the context they originally resided. Suddenly Trump is a different person. Now compare all those 'terrible things' this one person said, and stack it up against the mountain of even more odious, contemptuous, foul and even obscene things that have been leveled, unfairly, against Trump and his family. And yet, Trump is the problem; not the legion of other, more treacherous and diabolical characters.

Those who cannot bring themselves to vote for anybody, well.....that is, to me, cause for contemplating contempt. Principles, huh? Is virtue one of them, by any chance? Isn't that precious.

Matt Taibbi is another example. His detestation of Trump is Orange-level derangement, focused solely on the Trump public persona. I wonder at the resilience of this thing that defies reasoned assessment by such a talented journalist.

Donald Trump was set up for destruction from Day 1 of his campaign. The outraged, continuous ambush of his administration from Day 1 of his Presidency should be a source of deep shame and embarrassment for any US citizen, in particular those who enjoyed the spectacle with relish. Be careful what you wish for, people - that's the eternal lesson for the Democratic Party. Their comeuppance is coming.

Christopher B said...

Who would have guessed in 1964 that the GOP of Barry Goldwater was going to nominate the guy who created the phenomenon of 'Reagan Democrats' in 1980?

Christopher B said...

Also, this sounds like every 'voting for Kerry' explainer from 2004 that compared things which actually happened and were deemed failures to Kerry's aspirations.

Donna B. said...

In 2016, I remember only that I didn't want Jeb Bush or Donald Trump to be the nominee for one reason only -- I didn't think either of them had a chance at beating Hillary Clinton. Bush, because of the basic American dislike of 'dynasties' and Trump because I thought he was running as a lark. I wasn't convinced that any of the Republican primary candidates could beat her, but I was sure those two couldn't.

Well, I was wrong on two counts: Trump beat her and he is apparently in it for something besides his own amusement and adventure.

I scoff at everyone who says they are voting for a politician because they think their candidate possesses or portrays their version of good morals or acceptable appearance more so than the opponent. Vulgarity? Have we forgotten LBJ? Women as disposable? Have we forgotten Clinton and Kennedy?

Sam L. said...

The Left hates everyone but themselves.