What I Actually Think About Trump

I realize that I never actually spelled it out. So here it is:

I’m getting more and more sympathetic, as time goes on, to Zippy’s arguments that we shouldn’t be voting at all, though I’m not sold (or not yet). I am going to vote and, yes, for Trump.

Trump is a populist. I know it. You know it. Everybody does. He says SOME stuff to get elected, but remember, when he started, he was a joke…and he was already saying some of this stuff. That’s why he was a joke.

But – lo and behold – what he was saying actually connected with people. I am not rich. I’m paying my own way through college with a part-time retail job and massive loan debt (A good idea? Well, if the degree helps me out…). And my dad has worked in programming – the field I’m entering – for over 20 years now. And guess what? We really are losing jobs to immigrants.

Trump’s position of “Hey, these people are breaking the law and entering the country illegally, we should not let them be here” is considered radical, but it’s not. It’s common sense. Keeping an eye on muslims and banning muslim immigration? Well, yeah, good idea. Building a wall? Let’s try it. What we’re doing now obviously isn’t working.

Trump might be saying all of this stuff just to be elected. It’s extremely possible. But remember, Trump is a populist. Even if he is elected, it’s in spite of the establishment, not because of them. Why is he going to care what the elite thinks when he’s in office? They haven’t hurt him so far. His best bet is to actually try and do what he’s said he’ll do and what the people want him to do, because that’s where he draws his power from: Actually listening to people.

Even so, does it mean he’ll do all of this? No, of course not. I’m not an idiot. But he was the first guy who said he would. For all the talk about opportunism and saying what he has to in order to get elected, the only reason the other politicians started saying anything like what he was saying is because they realized that people liked what he was saying…not because it was any of their ideas originally.

And honestly? I lost all of my respect for Ted Cruz when he started soliciting delegates. Here’s the thing – and I promise you this is the truth – no matter who the candidate was, including Trump, if they had won because of a contested convention – let alone one they only managed to force because they solicited delegates – I would absolutely, positively, 100% not vote for them. Not a chance. Most likely I’d just sit out the election. If the party wants to go against what the people actually decide, then fuck the party and everything it stands for.

Sure, there are issues he isn’t conservative on…but let’s fix the heart attack first. Is he not strong on abortion? Probably not, but neither are supposed pro-lifers anyway.

So, yes, since I’m voting at all, I’m voting for Trump. Maybe it’ll be a disaster, but at least he’s changing the culture and saying more of the right stuff than any President has in decades. I think that’s worth the risk rather than more of the same “one step forward, two step back” style conservatism we’ve gotten so far.

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24 Responses to What I Actually Think About Trump

  1. Crude says:

    A chunk of the positive effect that Trump is having can be summed up as ‘He’s treating common sense, reasonable views as common sense, reasonable views, whereas until now they were treated like horrible hate-views of monster-racists.’ Including by many Republicans.

  2. Craig N. says:

    I largely agree about Trump, though I rate him as more of a gamble than you do. But I can see why the voters found it a gamble worth taking. And of course at this point, when the other option on the table is Hillary, it’s not a hard choice.

    I’ve got no problem with Cruz gaming the convention process, as long as he played by the rules everybody knew about going in. Where I did start to hesitate on Cruz — whom I broadly supported — was when he chimed in on the anti-Trump attacks of convenience.

    • Crude says:

      Craig,

      Where I did start to hesitate on Cruz — whom I broadly supported — was when he chimed in on the anti-Trump attacks of convenience.

      Are you referring to when Cruz started echoing media attacks, like ‘Trump’s protesters are getting attacked because Trump’s rhetoric is violent!’ and such?

      • Craig N. says:

        Exactly. I first noticed it with the Chicago rally shutdown, but there were several other instances.

      • Crude says:

        Exactly. I first noticed it with the Chicago rally shutdown, but there were several other instances.

        I’m on the same page as you then, somewhat. That was the moment Cruz went from ‘Guy who I liked, but who I thought wasn’t as good as Trump’ to ‘Guy who I had serious trouble trusting.’ In particular because a lot of my investment in Trump comes because I see him as an absolutely fantastic gamble for cultural reasons (which I think are superior to policy reasons), and with Cruz echoing the SJW sentiment… well, that was one way to make things drop like a stone for me.

    • I’ve got no problem with Cruz gaming the convention process, as long as he played by the rules everybody knew about going in.

      My issue is that, while those were *technically* the rules up until The Trumpening everybody agreed they were a technicality. You go with the people’s choice. That is, after all, supposedly what the government is based on. But Trump was apparently so evil-Hitler-ful that the little principle of “Elect who the people actually want to run” was worth being abandoned.

      The authoritarian, the second coming of Hitler, the tyrannical nutjob Donald Trump is the only person between him, Cruz, Kasich, and Hilary not to solicit delegates.

      (Bernie hasn’t either, but he’s an idiot for other, econ 101 type reasons anyway.)

      • Craig N. says:

        No, it’s only pretty recently* that the conventions started farming out their job to state primaries, and a lot of states have been lagging — hence the caucus states. The rule “everybody knew” was that if you went into the convention with an absolute majority, you’d get the nomination. (An actual rule if it was a majority of delegates, an informal rule if it was a majority of votes.) For a while there, it was looking very plausible that Trump would have a plurality but not a majority of both delegates and votes, since his support looked like it was hitting a limit somewhere around 40%.

        * I’m a historian by avocation, so my definition of “pretty recently” is different from many people’s. But Ted Kennedy made a serious attempt to take the nomination away from Jimmy Carter in 1980, even though Carter had just over 50% of the primary votes (and was, of course, the sitting president).

        As it turns out, Trump took the common sentiment that democracy *demands* giving it to the winner of a plurality, and parleyed that into a majority. But I still don’t share the sentiment. On the other hand, I admire the political skill he showed in using it — that sort of appeal is also part of the game.

      • Well, “For awhile there” then turned into a literal alliance between Kasich and Cruz specifically to take down Trump.

        I get that you’re not really disagreeing with me, but the way he went about it, trying to force a contested convention through backroom politicking and dealmaking, stank to high heaven with me.

  3. vishmehr24 says:

    What does the word “populist” actually mean?
    And why does “backroom politicking and dealmaking” stink to high heaven? Isn’t Trump a master of deal-making himself?
    And didn’t America had a better politics when it was mostly “backroom politicking and dealmaking”?

    • Crude says:

      And why does “backroom politicking and dealmaking” stink to high heaven? Isn’t Trump a master of deal-making himself?

      I remember when this line was trotted out during the height of the scheming shenanigans. What amazes me is that people think it’s not just a zinger, but is rationally compelling.

      “Trump boasts that he’s a deal-maker! Well, Cruz and Kasich are making deals! Same thing! Why are you complaining/getting ready to riot?”

      As the sudden anchor-like drop in the polls indicated, to the apparent amazement of some Republicans – people who like aggressive deal-making on their behalf do not love deals being made to absolutely screw them.

      But this is an election cycle where GOPe types were convinced that George W Bush and Mitt Romney were base favorites with a svengali-like hold on the rank and file, so I guess confusion runs deep.

    • And didn’t America had a better politics when it was mostly “backroom politicking and dealmaking”?

      What on earth makes you think that?

      I will never understand people’s longing for the good old days of the Teapot Dome Scandal and FDR’s attempts to stuff the Supreme Court with his justices. Let alone all of the nonsense that occurred during Reconstruction.

      And why does “backroom politicking and dealmaking” stink to high heaven? Isn’t Trump a master of deal-making himself?

      What Crude said.

    • By the way, by populist I mean that his strategy is to appeal to what he thinks the people actually want – hence the frequent position-morphing as he fine tunes himself to the people’s tastes.

      • vishmehr24 says:

        A problem with alt-right or the reaction is a disparagement of the deliberative function of elections. The machinary of representative government is NOT direct democracy. We elect representatives to deliberate among themselves on our behalf.

        This answers even those that swear by the Arrow’s impossiblity theorem that reveals that elections do not satisfy all preferences. But this is not what elections are for. They are meant to elect people for deliberations, and not for satisfying voter preferences.

      • Crude says:

        A problem with alt-right or the reaction is a disparagement of the deliberative function of elections. The machinary of representative government is NOT direct democracy. We elect representatives to deliberate among themselves on our behalf.

        Apparently, the ‘our’ in ‘our behalf’ means ‘a tiny minority of people, over the far-more-numerous who object to the representative’s views and decisions who weren’t privy to the often intentionally labyrinthine process of delegate selection’.

        This is where Ted Cruz smirked at the camera and went ‘The rules are the rules’ and then was shocked when his popularity cratered and his negatives went through the roof. Don’t these people realize that voter’s preferences are irrelevant!? It’s Republics 101 people!

  4. GJ says:

    And why does “backroom politicking and dealmaking” stink to high heaven?

    Because the masses want power, or at least the appearance of it.

    • Because the masses want power, or at least the appearance of it.

      Because in an election the person people vote for is supposed to be the guy who wins.

      • vishmehr24 says:

        Did he? He was winning just a plurality, and not a majority. The rules said winner must win a majority.

  5. GJ says:

    vishmehr24:

    And didn’t America had a better politics when it was mostly “backroom politicking and dealmaking”?

    The machinary of representative government is NOT direct democracy. We elect representatives to deliberate among themselves on our behalf.

    I had sketched out a few preliminary thoughts about the whole mess originating from the American attempt to fuse aristocracy and democracy here (and in subsequent comments). A complete treatment is beyond me and would fill at least one book, but suffice it to say that this election cycle has especially revealed the intrinsic instability in the mass suffrage-aristocracy fusion, most evidently through the fact that the main choice has been between aristocrats (Clinton, Bush) and demagogues (Trump, Sanders). Another very revealing aspect has been the frequent clash between actual structure (by which the aristocracy through (super)delegates retain final control) and the democratic ideal, of which the above comments form but one example.

    • I actually. Don’t think you’re really wrong, which is the reason, among others, I’m getting more disenchanted with voting in general.

      • GJ says:

        Many of the people were already fed up with the aristocrats and therefore supported the demagogues. Alarmed, the aristocrats dialed up (super)delegate tactics and others (e.g. media manipulation, vote fraud). This in turn infuriated and drove more people to the demagogues.

        Things are escalating.

      • Crude says:

        Many of the people were already fed up with the aristocrats and therefore supported the demagogues. Alarmed, the aristocrats dialed up (super)delegate tactics and others (e.g. media manipulation, vote fraud). This in turn infuriated and drove more people to the demagogues.

        What’s odd here is that the only people who did anything wrong in that description are the aristocrats. The aristocrats tried to manipulate the voting process, manipulated the media, and engaged in voting fraud.

        The “demagogues'” crime: being called ‘demagogues’, largely by aristocrats, and being angry at what the aristocrats have done.

        My view? The aristocrats were typically demagogues too. And the people the aristocrats are calling ‘demagogues’ aren’t doing much that’s actually wrong – their main crimes are ‘not being aristocrats’ and ‘criticizing the aristocrats’.

    • GJ says:

      The aristocrats were typically demagogues too.

      Right. The de facto function of the masses in such ‘democracies’ are pawns for aristocrats to fight it out both amongst themselves and with would-be aristocrats.

  6. Aethelfrith says:

    Have you considered that your dad and his friends are losing their jobs because they’re not price-competitive?
    That’s the Invisible Hand Shoe going on the other foot, if you get my mixed metaphor.

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