Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Trump card in politics

I've watched the fuss, fun and games over Donald Trump's candidacy for the Presidency with bemused interest.  I find it hard to believe that someone with his track record should be taken seriously as a candidate . . . until I consider the other candidates, and the state of both major political parties.  With very few exceptions, he's probably a better candidate than most of them put together.


  • Elected politicians may promise the earth to their constituents, but as soon as they take office they're bribed, bullied or cajoled into doing the will of the political class and the moneybags behind them.  Witness the fuss over Obamacare, or immigration, or any other hot-button issue.  The clearly expressed will of the people is routinely ignored by Congressional representatives and Senators, who proceed to lecture us on "what's good for America".  What they really mean, of course, is that it's good for them.
  • Trump may not be a mainstream politician, but he is a self-made man.  He's made many mistakes along the way, making him almost a buffoon-like figure in the minds of many, but he's always managed to bounce back from them.  He's pretty much an 'alpha male' in human biological terms, albeit a flawed one.
  • Trump comes across as a blowhard and a braggart, becoming almost a caricature of himself in the public eye.  However, he's backed up that caricature with amazing flexibility.  He can think fast, stay on his feet through the most turbulent times, and 'bounce back' from setbacks that would have destroyed a less self-confident man.  He's been accused of being pushy, arrogant, and uncaring about the feelings of others.  All those accusations are probably true - and he doesn't give a damn.

The scariest part of his candidacy, from the point of view of the major political parties, is that he's not beholden to the 'Establishment'.  He could finance his entire presidential campaign out of his own pocket.  It'll take a billion dollars or more to win the Presidency in 2016, but he's got a billion dollars and then some.  The 'Golden Rule' has often been misquoted as "He who has the gold makes the rules".  That's why most candidates for political office are beholden to those who donate the money to make their campaigns possible.  Trump wouldn't be subject to that sort of pressure - and the Powers That Be absolutely hate that.  They're petrified at the prospect of a candidate, and possibly a President, they can't control.  If I were in his shoes I'd be taking my personal security very seriously, not because I was afraid of the public, but because I wouldn't put it past the party political machines to take desperate measures to get him off the ballot by any means necessary.  No, I'm not joking.  I wish I were.

I don't know whether or not Trump would make a good President.  His emphasis on immigration reform sounds right to me - and I say that as a (legal) immigrant myself.  We do need to secure the rule of law in this country, and that includes securing the borders and kicking out all those who've come here in defiance of the rule of law.  In other aspects of policy I suspect he might lean towards "What's good for business is good for America", rather than constitutional or other principles:  but then, the policies of our political class have been biased towards "What's good for us is good for America, whether America likes it or not".

That's the real problem here:  I don't see how a President Trump could possibly be any worse for America than 90%+ of the other candidates out there.  I'd make an exception for Scott Walker, who I regard as a principled man of proven ability in his state.  Ted Cruz shows some promise, although he, too, can be a blowhard at times, and I think he needs more experience and seasoning.  On the Democratic side, Jim Webb also has a proven track record and appears to be centrist rather than hard-left or progressive in his politics.  I suspect any of those three candidates might make a viable President.  However, looking at all the other candidates, I think Donald Trump could do a whole lot better for America than any of them.  In some ways he reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt, at least in terms of his enthusiasm.

That's a hell of a condemnation of our political class, when you think about it.



Old NFO said...

That it is, and it's absolutely correct... They are a bunch of lying, thieving bastards...

elmdorprime said...

Peter, Trump is most emphatically not a self-made man. He inherited a vast real estate portfolio from his father, somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 to $200 million.

Has Trump expanded that fortune? Yes. But he's no more a self-made man than Mitt Romney - another politician whose father was very successful and whose son did even better.

Leatherneck said...

I agree with your assessment of Mr. Trump. Bewildering to me, but he appeals. My other two favored candidates are Carly Fiorina (clearheaded and compassionate) and Dr. Ben Carson (bright, expressive and thoughtful). Virginia's son, Jim Webb, appeals slightly but I don't trust him to stay the course.

Anonymous said...

Carly Fiorina took over HP when it was a fairly strong company and sacrificed much of its long-term strength to get short-term stock price bumps. She gutted R&D, taking them from a research powerhouse to another also-ran commodity electronics company, and she pushed through the Compaq merger. The only point of the Compaq merger was to reduce competition. That gave HP the ability to raise prices a little and caused the layoff of tens of thousands of people who were now redundant instead of competing, and it reduced choice and increased prices for the consumer. Basically, she acted like a typical politician - she sacrificed the long-term good of the organization she was leading for her personal profit and accolades. I don't expect her to do differently as president if she is elected.

Thornharp said...

So if Trump becomes President, who does he select for SecDef? Someone who thinks in business terms, someone he can talk to, like maybe another McNamara. Oops.

Will said...


Hope so. First order of business: Toss that POS F-35.

Anonymous said...

Trump is no self made man, not in any sense of the word. He is a party of one and at best delusional if not a bit crazy.

It is eye opening to see Trump and Sanders getting a huge percentage of voters when neither of them has been an active member of the parties they are running for.


Anonymous said...

I cannot take Trump seriously and hope he drops out of the race. He's Hillary's best assistant.

It's gotten almost impossible to defeat the combined might of the media, the educational system, and entitlement mentality. Too many stakeholders benefiting from socialistic policies.

I'd be happy if a professional like Walker or Cruz made it to the White House and enacted somewhat semi-conservative policies, but chances of that happening are less than ten percent.

richard mcenroe said...

elmdorprime -- the difference between Trump and Romney is Romney gave away his inherited fortune and went on to make his own.

richard mcenroe said...

"I cannot take Trump seriously and hope he drops out of the race. He's Hillary's best assistant."

I'm convinced he's in there as the spoiler. Guarantee you right now if he doesn't get the GOP nod he WILL run third party.

Anonymous said...


Pete may not recall Ross Perot very well. As you know, Perot was a wealthy Texas businessman whose splitting of the vote won Bill Clinton the election. The Clintons were Arkie mafia at that point, and might've had pull with Perot by way of the good old boy network.

The wealth means Trump might be able to run third party. The Clinton connections could mean that he was ultimately incited for that reason.

Bob the fool

Brother Pilot said...

THe one thing about Trump that appeals is the same thing that appeals about Ben Carson, neither of them are political careerists. Trump appeals in that he's a successful businesman, even if he did start from wealth he greatly expaded it. We've had far too many insider career politicians...the not politician is refreshing.

Of the politicians I like Walker and Cruz best. Just would prefer a total non-politician for a change.

Where's Jack Ryan when needed?