The scariest frontrunner in history

I’m floored by how lowbrow the Republican side of the presidential election has become. I read that Trump opened the debate today by talking about the size of his penis, while referring to Marco Rubio as “Little Marco.” Whenever I think the level of puerile insults can’t get any lower, Trump manages to drag it down further. It’s mindboggling how this slimy con-artist has managed to hijack this election. He once said that he could shoot someone and not lose votes. After watching him refuse to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, I’m beginning to believe it.

Today I watched both Romney’s speech and Trump’s speech. I was happy that Romney was finally calling out Trump on his lies and vulgar lack of class, but it may be too little too late. Trump’s speech was once again exactly what I expected–lots of low-class personal attacks against Romney, many of which were probably untrue. It’s scary to think that this guy could get the codes to the nukes. It’s frightening to me to think that this could be the man that my children will see in the White House as the leader of the free world, and that they could learn that this is the kind of person that they should aspire to be. It’s sad that after Obama has led with dignity and soft power for eight years that we’re now possibly looking at getting a snake oil salesman in the White House.

I’ve got a theory about this. I hope it’s correct. My theory is that the Republican field is so bad that Trump wins by default. I think most people who follow politics probably feel deep down inside that Cruz would be the worst choice of all the people who have run so far–Republican, Democrat, or Green. He’d be dangerous because of his evangelically-influenced beliefs which allow no flexibility at all, and he’s clearly not interested in working with anyone who doesn’t share these beliefs. He’d be ineffective and dangerous. It’s reflected in his endorsements–not a single Senator has endorsed Cruz. His colleagues know how dangerous he is. Rubio is too young and inexperienced and gets flustered too easily. He doesn’t debate very well, and I’m having trouble buying into his doom-and-gloom portrayal of America–I really don’t think it’s as bad as he makes it seem. Kasich is the best choice from the standpoint of policy, leadership qualities, and moral character, but he doesn’t have a chance of winning. If you want to prevent Cruz from becoming the nominee, you vote Trump instead of Kasich. My theory is that many are supporting Trump because they don’t want Cruz or Rubio. If Trump wins,he’ll no longer have these votes since Cruz and Rubio will be gone. That’s my theory and hope.

We live in scary, scary times. I think both Republican and Democrat races have been decided: it’s going to be Trump, and it’s going to be Hilary. I’m not a Hilary fan, but god help us if we get Trump in the White House.

31 thoughts on “The scariest frontrunner in history

  1. This is a great passage:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/03/rubio-trump-is-a-con-man-and-hell-have-my-vote.html

    The strength and weakness of Trump’s campaign is his ability to create a separate reality. In Trump’s world, there are no logical principles other than “Donald Trump is a winner,” no concrete facts that cannot be bent to suit the maximal principle. This is a limitation because anybody who refuses to enter Trump’s alternate reality — say, a person who is reasonably well-informed about public policy — finds it terrifying. But it is also a strength because, for those who choose to live in Trump’s world, literally nothing he says can reflect badly upon him, because if it was bad, Trump wouldn’t be doing it.

  2. Ha-ha, I like this election. It’s so fun to watch. Trump may be low, but others are not much better. He made them all look like hypocrites. Even the New York Times broke its ethical rules to take him down (http://nypost.com/2016/03/02/the-new-york-times-abandoned-its-ethics-to-take-down-trump/).

    I think people vote for Trump because they are fed up with years of political correctness and like Trump who speak their mind. Trump is crazy, but how bad he could be compares to Bush who started the Iraq war or Hillary who further destabilized Middle East? Their war and policies bankrupted the US, destroyed lives of millions people, caused the rise of ISIS and the current refugee crisis.

    I won’t vote for anyone. But I’m happy to see that Republican is destroyed by Trump, and am waiting the imploding of Democrat. It’s frightening to me to think that my children have to live in a country ruled by two parties which are dominated by the rich and extremists on the two poles. Trump ends the politics as we know it. That’s what is great about him.

  3. Also, democracy, human rights and all the political correctness craps that preached by the Western elites only work when people have good lives. Now the economics is not good for ordinary people anymore and middle class is disappearing, then the political correctness craps become too expensive for ordinary citizens. Trump phenomenon is just Western values showing it true face.

  4. I said here a couple of years ago that the demographic change and the division between the rich and poor would cause problems in this country. Thirty years from now, non-Hispanic white will become the racial minority of this country. The “equality” pursued by the liberal needs money – which is disappearing fast- and common cultural values- which we never had. This demographic change will further bankrupt this country and cause chaos – because the democracy system and the sense of equality in people.

    Mark my word, Trump phenomenon is just the beginning of the acceleration of this downward spiral. Those good values of democracy, human rights and political correctness which made this country great in the past will destroy it in the future – we call it in Chinese “成也萧何败也萧何” (success because of Xiao He, failure because of Xiao He too)

  5. In the current European refugee crisis, the dilemma for European leaders is that they have to choose between the death of their countries or the death of their values of humanity and political correctness. Those values have become not only part of western identity, but also the best weapons which have long been used by western governments against other countries like China, Iraq and etc. Now many people in European countries choose the death of the values, but elites don’t get it and don’t want to give those values up easily. That’s why we see the division between people and the governments in Europe.

    It is the same in this country, only it is not as obvious as in Europe yet. Trump supporters say death to political correctness and etc. They choose their livelihood over those sound good values. Elites just can’t get it.

  6. We have had populists before in the US. I think people forget how diverse the US is. We have had an overload of diversity based on race and ethnicity, but there is diversity of based on geography. There will be large groups who go without a strong voice for some time, eventually come up and start a new movement that goes against the current narrative. The structure of the US government is not on that built for efficiency; however it does have the ability to not blow itself up.

    I think we have made the office of the president bigger that it actually is. The life of most people will probably not have much of a change depending on who is president. World events and the change in culture will be for more determinate. There has been a tendency to say this candidate will bring about a new utopia while the other will bring a new apocalypse. That is a little too hyperbolic. Every four years we have the same reminder that the middle class is shrinking, the other party is evil, and we have been going to hell in a hand basket.

  7. “There has been a tendency to say this candidate will bring about a new utopia while the other will bring a new apocalypse. That is a little too hyperbolic. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2016/03/the-scariest-frontrunner-in-history/#comment-322134

    I used to feel that Bush Jr despite everything was known about him wouldn’t do much damage because the office of the President is bigger than a person. That Bush Jr would be constrained by the people around him. I don’t feel so confident anymore. That nut job did a good job in engaging in wars that were not necessary, and without any clear objective, and nothing to show for except make a bad situation worse.

    This will be the prompt for Eric to tell us how there was an UN mandate to start the OIL (Operation Iraqi Liberation) wars, and how it was just.

  8. Well were is the apocalypse? Were is the new utopia? The problems in the Mid-East were there no matter if there was a war or not. The fundamental problems in Yugoslavia did not disappear once Tito came to power.

    The stablity of the US is that you can have a Trump. Many compare him to the fascist, but the difference is that he is unlikely to change the integrety of the US government. The US is not that homogenous as the states in Europe are, and he will be checked. He will force others to rethink to address the concerns of his supporters. And other concerns will go away, because at least they feel they have an impact on the process.

  9. “Well were is the apocalypse?”

    Really, is that what you were promised. I was promised WMD, and spread of democracy as the reason for spending on wars that to my untrained eyes seemed without a good cause. Oh, yes, the UN resolutions that are selectively implemented. Anyhoo, according to Wiki “The most recent major report on these costs come from Brown University in the form of the Costs of War, which totaled just over $1.1 trillion.” But my math is week, I can’t count that high.

    So, from surplus to a deficit Bush Jr took us, and now you are asking why there was no apocalypse? I don’t know Bush Jr. personally, but do tell us where he promised apocalypse. Its not for me to provide one when I was promised WMD, and flowering of democracy. What little flowered in Egypt was snuffed, and US govt didn’t protest much if I recall.

    So, your analysis is Bush Jr didn’t do a nutty enough job for you? The situation is not worse in Iraq? The deficit is not big enough, so we need to spend more on wars? Okey dokey.

    For me, I wish there was something else besides Trump and Hillary to cheer for.

  10. @King,

    “The wars will continue, no matter who is elected.”

    Not sure which wars you are referring to but Iraq war was over under Obama’s watch.

  11. Of all the articles out there about Trump and Trumpism, I found the one written by Charles Murray and the two by Peggy Noonan make sense the most, all published in the WSJ originally:
    https://www.aei.org/publication/trumps-america/
    http://patriotpost.us/opinion/41107
    http://patriotpost.us/opinion/40958

    This one by Buchanan is good too:
    http://buchanan.org/blog/an-establishment-in-panic-2-124906

    And I agree with all these Trump voters:
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/03/secret-donald-trump-voters-speak-out

  12. @ John Doe

    Was it?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-led_intervention_in_Iraq_(2014–present)

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/politics/iraq-isis-military-combat/

    And how about Afghanistan? And we also added Libya and a coup d’état in Egypt against the elected President, Mohamed Morsi. Not to mention that, although we are not saying so, we are also funding war is Syria, and are fighting both ISIS and Al Qaida.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/3/the_libya_gamble_inside_hillary_clinton

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/18/obama-drone-war-isis-recruitment-tool-air-force-whistleblowers

    Oh no… I’m afraid nothing has changed…

    http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2016/03/03/stennis-strike-group-deployed-to-south-china-sea/81270736/

  13. I think the radicals on the left also helped in creating the Trumpism.

    I close with a thought about an aspect of modern leftism that is part of the context here.

    There is something increasingly unappeasable in the left. This is something conservatives and others have come to fear, that progressives now accept no limits. We can’t just have court-ordered legalized abortion across the land, we have to have it up to the point of birth, and taxpayers have to pay for it. It’s not enough to win same-sex marriage, you’ve got to personally approve of it and if you publicly resist you’ll be ruined. It’s not enough that we have publicly funded contraceptives, the nuns have to provide them.

    This unappeasable spirit always turns to the courts to have its way.

    If progressives were wise they would step back, accept their victories, take a breath and turn to the idea of solidifying gains, of heroic patience, of being peaceable.

    Don’t make them bake the cake. Don’t make them accept the progressive replacement for Scalia. Leave the nuns alone.

    Progressives have no idea how fragile it all is. That’s why they feel free to be unappeasable. They don’t know what they’re grinding down.

    They think America has endless give. But America is composed of humans, and they do not have endless give.

    Isn’t that what we’re seeing this year in the political realm? That they don’t have endless give? And we’ll be seeing more of it.

    http://patriotpost.us/opinion/40808

  14. The point is Bush was not as bad as his critics made him out to be, nor as good as his supports claimed he was going to be. The same is true of Obama. How did Hope and Change turn out? The point of comparison I would use is the Europe of the early twentieth century. That was real damage.

    The problem I see is that the loudest voices on the left and the right have been too polarizing in there attempt to bring bring about their grand utopian ideas. As tried they look like hypocrites. If half the country don’t like your ideas, how do you think it is going to end? Eventually you will turn off even your own supporters.

    I have a feeling there now are a lot of disaffected voters who have felt left out of the current rhetoric of the ideological leaders of the left and right. When the right populist comes along, such as Trump, he is going to pick up a lot of suport. Typically the feeling will weaken in the next elections. Right now the accepted political narratives, may not be adequately adressing the concerns of the entire voting public.

  15. King,

    What do you really feel about Obama’s foreign policy?

    I’ve seen you playing devil’s advocate once or twice, but mostly to trolls. I would be surprised if this is really your assessment of his foreign policy, and not just something you thought up just to be contrarian.

  16. @King, Jman,

    I see you moving the goal posts, and just redefining things. A bit busy right now, “I will be buck”

  17. @ Sengge Rinchen

    I think that any president has a more limited effect on U.S. foreign policy than most people realize. Honestly, I can’t say that Obama has had many big successes with foreign policy. Looking one by one at what has been done rather than comparing him to Bush doesn’t leave a lot of accomplishments I can point to.

    His campaign ran on the idea that his foreign policy would be no less than transformative. I can’t see that… can you?

  18. Actually I can and do see it.

    I don’t fully agree with all his actions but there is a mind behind the overall goal, among them to prevent overcommitment and restore credibility to the American military involvement that was lost by George W’s invasion and dereliction of Iraq.

    A Republican presidency would see America at heightened Defcon states as you are drawn deep into a very close Israeli and Gulf State/Arab grand plan for MENA, while at the same time deterring moves in Ukraine and the South China Sea purely through military escalation.

    The president chooses which cabals he hands the levers of American power to and the wrong cabal will sadly bring the chickens home to roost.

  19. The problem I see is that everything is incredibly complicated. While Bush took actions that hurt the way the US looks, credibility may just as much depend upon what is going on with one’s neighboring countries. If you neighbor Russia, what matters more the situation in Iraq or in the Ukraine?

    I wanted to avoid in my comments a rehash of Bush, but one thing I would say is that it was a trillion dollar mistake and costs a lot of human lives. However, in the long run I will disagree that it made a bad situation worse. We could have left Iraq and Iran counter balancing each other, but it would only delay the inevitable. There had been scores of bad development since the fall of the Ottomans. Bush might have been stupid for thinking democracy could really be brought to the region, but the status quo wasn’t working either. There might have been a sense of stability but that was only pseudo-stablity.

    As time goes on I’m beginning to believe there have been a lot of problems created in the world due to the competing ideologies of the cold war provided by the US and USSR. Both sides really missed key issues that plagued development of the world. Also strategic decisions aimed at containment hurt too, and provided an sense of both countries being hypocritical.

    Sure a president can support this cabal or some other one, but at a certain point the president cannot control the underlying forces at hand. There are things to screw up, but in the long scheme this is something that gets buried in the sand of everything else that happens.

    When it comes to Trump, I might look at someone like Andrew Jackson. At the time people thought his winning was a major blow to the country, but after time things moved on. He changed somethings, but was generally a blip on the continuity of the country.

    Sorry, I’m thinking out loud with these posts.

  20. “There are things to screw up, but in the long scheme this is something that gets buried in the sand of everything else that happens.”

    That’s what they said, actually, and what was quoted in textbooks for hundreds of millions around the world.

    “In the long run, we are all dead! Har har har!”

    Har har har indeed. I am observing the effects of that joke taught to hundreds of millions since decades ago.

  21. Is this supposed to be an insult or are you making a point? Both? Anyway it is about as confusing as Chris Rock’s Asian joke at the Oscars. I don’t know what your point is.

    The quote seems to be the one give by John Maynard Kaynes. “But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.”

    I could maybe simplify that down to saying “you cannot get to the long run, if you perish in the short run.” This might not be perfect, but it seems to fit a counter to my point.

    What I’d say to this is that as much as one could compare Trump to a fascist. I don’t think Trump could repeat what was done in that time. Trump will be facing a hostile Congress. He can only serve for 4 to 8 years.

    If we look at the case of him getting the US into a large scale war, first he has to get it through Congress. He will not have the approval rating of Bush at the time. The public be thinking about the success of Desert Storm, but the problems of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also part of his base is protectionist, and likely won’t be enthusiastic about a war.

    On social issues he will likely be in the center. The left and the right will find something to like about him, as well as something to hate about him.

    If there is damage it would be done on the international economic front. His policies could cause disruptions. I am sure there could be trouble with China.

    Overall this election cycle seems to have a lot of people on the left and right disillusioned with the establishment filled with energy. It is a democratic republic, and these people have a right to voice and vote with their frustration. As much as I don’t like Trump, one of my ideas at the front of my mind is that putting up with some instability helps avoid the system from breaking.

  22. I’m surprised. That wasn’t meant to be an insult at all.

    Perhaps my sardonic manner was confusing but that was just a cynical response, to a cynical interpretation of Keynes’s quote used to justify maximum profits – because that was firmly within the ambit of the corporation – at the expense of everything else that wasn’t “their responsibility”, what more the long term.

    It is a counter to your broader point, both ways. That firstly, “the sun will always rise” is just something people tell themselves to feel good but that has little bearing on actual everyday life. That secondly, things really can get progressively worse. Life can get worse and worse for millions of people over the long term, over decades, and there actually are points of no return for mankind, such as nuclear contamination, genetic damage from nuclear war, groundwater contamination, heavy metals pollution, deforestation and loss of pollinators, loss of seed stock and seed diversity, etc, and saying that the sun will always rise is just preparing the groundwork to shift the goal posts so that you never have to make the decision of when is too much really too much. What you’ve written might be good as a little spot of self-indulgent philosophizing, but it is neither relevant nor actually true.

    “There are things to screw up, but in the long scheme this is something that gets buried in the sand of everything else that happens.”

    If this were actually true then you could do away with elections all together. Since that’s not going to happen… well you know cynical old me. If I happen to see variations of this theme running across blogs and discussion forums, I would guess that there’s a concerted move to shift potential backlash votes away from motivation and into apathy, so they will sit out being forced to tolerate lousy choices, instead of mobilizing to take extremely disruptive action as spoilers.

  23. Thank you for the explanation.

    I think you do not understand what I am writing about. I would not agree that things will get better and better nor even stay generally the same. If you look at the election of Andrew Jackson vs. the Russian Revolution, one had major implications and the other one did not. The US keep being the US despite what the establishment thought of Andrew Jackson. He lead to some changes, but not on the same level as the Russian Revolution.

    If Trump is elected there might be a political shake up, but nothing major. We are not in the same major turmoil and change present when the Fascists and Communist of Europe were starting in the 30’s and 40’s. Also an election doesn’t matter doesn’t mean we can do away with them. It simply means in a series of elections, one doesn’t matters given the way the government of the US is set up constitutionally.

    As far as the Middle East, it is more like the case of the Russian Revolution. The current system was probably going to blow up regardless of what Bush did. It was not very stable to begin with. Authoritarian regimes only give a sense of psuedostablity.

    I’ll grant you I might have a variation up a theme that is cropping up do to the lousy choices, however it is a theme for me that is more important than this election. Perturbations are good for the system, even when I don’t like them. I found the use of them when studying biological systems, so why not in political systems?

  24. Jman, comparing Andrew Jackson’s election with the Russian Revolution is essentially comparing a presidential election with a civil war. If you wanted to compare apples with apples, you would have to compare the American Civil War with the Russian Revolution or Trump’s election with I don’t know… Yeltsin’s. It doesn’t even make sense of you to compare a shitty presidency to a civil war. That would be like saying the Amy Tan and Maxine Kingston club have had no effect on Asian male and female relations because CHINA is unaffected. This is what John Doe means when he says you shift the goal posts. Apparently one of the ways you do so is by making nonsensical comparisons.

    Your assertion that the Middle East would “blow up” “regardless” of what Bush did is also very funny. How would it have blown up? By magic? You are sweeping all the gory details of what has happened in Iraq post-Saddam – an Iraq where America was the BIGGEST player – in favor of some kind of self-indulgent grand theory that probably has zero bearing on reality or contemporary or historical facts.

    Let me tell the interested reader (I suppose you are not one of them) how JUST ONE election can matter. You can get the whole population being led into a war that should never have happened in the first place, and you can get thousands of Americans dead, even MORE who subsequently kill themselves or others in rampages than any have died in that war, and uncountable numbers of injured that you daren’t even admit exists because their injuries are too gruesome… at least until a decade later when your news feeds are abuzz about the latest hypes in cutting edge medicine.

    Your corporations, offshore accounts and slush funds can get flushed with cash from black market oil, and with so much money, they ask “Hey what can I do with this money. I know. I’ll USE IT TO MAKE EVEN MORE MONEY!” and then you get some really funny practices that threaten the ENTIRE financial system like a contagion.

    You can have more instability in a region and that instability breeds more and more killers, it breeds a xenophobia that threatens the very values entire countries claim to be founded upon, killers stream from one region to another to destabilize your allies, refugees swamp your shores and show you up as hypocrites, et cetera ad nauseum,

    What do you get in exchange for all that?

    The chance to sip on some chardonnay in the evening while making some comment about how the sun never sets on America, and it’s just an election, not a civil war, and that even when the rest of the world burns America still stands, or that even when others die, get killed, get poorer, at least I alone am still alive? LOL

  25. Great call on Yeltsin, Snegge. I like your thinking. Trump is closer to a Jackson type presidency than Yeltsin’s presidency of the Russian Federation. Yeltsin was a sign of something more revolutionary for Russia, than Trump could be for the United States.

    Just because I am pessimistic about the state of the Middle East does not mean I enjoy it. It is much easier for me to be much closer to the exaggeration that the sun will always come up in the United States, than the exaggeration that the sun was always going to come up in Iraq until Bush came along.

    The factions of the civil war were already present in Iraq and had been kept in check by Saddam. If the strength of the government slipped, the country could quickly be put at risk for a civil war. In these cases, everything appears stable until it falls apart. Iraq may have avoided this, but with the number of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East the likelihood of it happening in one of the countries in the region. Once that occurs it would provide more support for the opposition in Iraq.

    Another issue is that a radical and militant Islam was growing in response to the repression by the many authoritarian governments present in the Middle East. This was going to be a factor that was going to bubble up. As much as they may not like the West, they have problems with their own governments. It was much the same for Liberation Theology that became popular in Latin America.

    The numbers of American lives hurt by the war are terrible, and I am glad you feel that way. I know people affected by that war. There is something very human to care far more about the lives you know when they are affected than the people you don’t know. It is a sort of emotional thinking. That may be understandable, but you do have to realize that a number of regimes in the Middle East are doing these sorts of horrific things to their own people. The status quo was not fine there, but at the same time I’ll also say starting a war to sort it out was foolish. A top down nation building effort wasn’t going to work. It was an utter waste.

    Now as to why I’m closer to saying the sun will always come up in the United States is because it can control its political movements. A populist movement in an authoritarian regime is most likely going to be brutally oppressed. In the US you can have groups like BLM or Trump supports. People may not like them, but they still get a voice. These movements like any movements will have their problems, but often they do have legitimate points about real political problems. There points are incorporated into the process. It may not always be pretty, but it isn’t prone to blowing up either. The sun may not come up one day in the US, but that is not because political problems.

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