Some More Takes on Trump

Elizabeth Price Foley at InstaPundit:
What is the GOP establishment smoking? They’re behaving like they’re zoned out on crack–hypersensitive, overheated, paranoid, and filled with anxiety. Why do they not gracefully accept the decision of their own voters?

The rise of Donald Trump is a direct result of the GOP’s failure to listen to, or even care about, the issues of concern to ordinary (i.e., beyond the Beltway) voters. They want a leader who ardently defends U.S. sovereignty, security, and economic interests, and who overtly snubs stifling political correctness. They don’t want a patrician like Mitt Romney, whose speech today smacks of a controlling, wealthy father chastising his upstart children for their foolish attempts at independence.
Nick Gillespie at Reason:
People—even or especially Trump supporters—aren't idiots. They know political grandstanding when they see it, and they fully understand that conservatives and Republicans don't really believe in the things they talk about. Or, same thing, that everything can and will change in the blink of the eye or in ways that just don't make sense. Didn't Mitt Romney beg Donald Trump for an endorsement a few years ago? Romney, whom every conservative news org endorsed and approved, ran for president by attacking Obamacare and the incumbent for spending too much money. He also promised to keep the parts of Obamacare "he liked" and refused to name a single big-ticket spending program he would cut or even trim. Upon becoming Speaker of the House after a million years in waiting, John Boehner was incapable of naming a single program or department he would get rid of.

You can hear it already: But...but...but...Romney and Boehner and all the rest aren't real conservatives or Republicans or whatever. No, that would be Paul Ryan, whose first big act as Boehner's replacement was to sign off on a deal that increased spending on defense and social programs. Whatevs, buddy, whatevs.


Unknown said...

The ZBlog offers up something similar:
"The shocking part for many Americans is seeing people who have spent decades claiming to be their champion, suddenly turn on them and call them morons and fascists. But, it’s what happens when the lines break down and there is no longer anyone around to maintain order(on a battle ground). We see the true nature of the combatants. In this case, most of the people in conservative media never cared much for their customers. The audience is just there to be farmed, like cattle.

Scrape away the ranting and raving and what you see is that all of them have been committed to the open borders project. Mickey Kaus pointed out a year ago that the simplest way to derail Donald Trump was for the party to adopt the polices of Jeff Sessions. These are wildly popular with voters and well within the traditions of America. They could not do it. They were willing to go to war with their own voters in order to save the open borders dream."

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Except that Romney is one politician who has actually done something about illegal immigration.

Oops, no matter. Romney feels like someone who can't relate to us, while Trump feels like someone who can.

I remember too well the online discussions with people who stayed home because they didn't think McCain or Romney were real conservatives. I remain unconvinced that the Trump phenomenon is about issues at all, but about tribal feeling.

Grim said...

I managed to get out to vote for Romney/Ryan, but it was very hard for me to do. I suppose I'm guilty of having a tribal aversion to Romney, but it's built on an objection to him apparently thinking I'm stupid enough to believe all the reversals of position he 'suddenly came to in true faith' right about the time he decided to run for President instead of governor of some liberal state.

Well, I suppose I was allowed to be fool enough to believe his transparent lies, or wise enough to accept that it was OK as the price for power. I'm neither so foolish nor so wise as that.

McCain was easy for me, though. I disagreed with him about a lot, including some core Constitutional issues. But he showed his steel in the cause of America, once, and I had no problem pulling the lever for him.

Texan99 said...

I should be one of those people who are prepared to detonate the whole system in rage and despair over how every single so-called conservative acts once he gets into power, getting rolled by the likes of Harry Reid and signing off on any expensive large-government idiocy someone drops onto his desk. It was my problem with George W. Bush, whom I otherwise quite liked, it was my problem with McCain and Romney as candidates, who almost certainly would have made me grind my teeth for the same reasons if they'd been elected, and it certainly describes my disdain for Cantor, Boehner, McConnell, and Ryan. And yet I can't escape the belief that all those guys at least wanted to move somewhat in the direction I prefer, even if they weren't skilled or gutsy enough to get there over the serious obstacles in their path.

With Trump, I just don't know. The man doesn't have a small-government bone in his body. He's a contrarian, and therefore will oppose some ridiculous progressive or PC nonsense in a way that probably will gratify me, but he seems equally drawn to big-government solutions in areas like healthcare. There is literally no position he could take on any subject that I could claim to be surprised by. Nor could I be surprised if he adopted a completely opposite one the very next day. I think he goes entirely by gut and has no interest whatever in what's likely to achieve any particular result or what it might cost if he's guessing wrong. I don't think he knows how to take responsibility for his own decisions. Well, I mean, who does, but he appears to me an extreme case.

Joel Leggett said...

I am at a loss for how Jacksonian conservatives could support someone like Trump. He is a rude, demonstrably dishonest, Wall Street con-man. Also, he's a liberal New Yorker to boot. His being a Yankee isn't an automatic disqualifier but you think that everything taken together would make him unpalatable to Jacksonians. He brags about what a star athelete he was in high school but then explains that he never served in the military because he suffered from bone spurs. Convenient, just like his many reversals on policy and opinion. This man is the living embodiment of everything me and mine detest. I simply don't get it.

Cassandra said...

Amen, AVI.


Grim said...

Joel's right, though, in a way that seriously complicates the idea that 'tribal feeling' is behind Trump. Trump's exactly the wrong kind of candidate for the 'tribe' that is apparently rallying behind him. He's a New York Yankee liar.

He's also born to money, which Joel didn't say, but which is true: he's from the inheritor class, same as Romney. Only for some reason he lacks self-confidence -- he's spent his whole career trying and failing to make big things that say "TRUMP" in big letters, because he can't be satisfied with who he is as a man. Along the way he's lied more and more about every one of those things, from his 'university' -- who could be less qualified to make a university? -- to his steaks.

I was with Erik Erikson when he threw Trump out of the Red State Gathering just because the way Trump talks about women isn't the way we do down South. A man who acts like that has no place here. Whatever else he is, he isn't one of us.

Texan99 said...

The one thing he seemed to have going for him was his electrifying un-PC view of immigration policy. Even that now seems up for grabs, not only in light of the soon-to-be-released NY Times tapes but his statements in last night's debate. Here's how an Ace commenter put it:

"When Trump first started saying he would build a wall and deport illegal aliens, and too many criminals have been swarming across our southern border from Mexico and that Mexico is complicit in this, and that Mexico should pay for the border wall -- voters responded. They were thrilled that some politician was finally saying what they've been thinking and saying for years now. But Trump seemed to believe that the voters were thrilled by him personally, instead of just by what he was saying about immigration and border security. He convinced himself that voters were in love with him, instead of with his hard-line stance on illegal immigration, and he started thinking he could do no wrong.

"If he keeps back-pedaling on immigration, he'll start losing primaries. And he probably still won't understand why."

But I don't know if voters will react this way or not. I don't understand what's going on. No one seems to care what a candidate is really likely to do, or whether that action is really likely to lead to the result they claim to want. Dangers of a broad franchise, I guess. We get the government we deserve.

Grim said...

Charles Krauthammer has a similar anti-tribalism argument on the subject of Evangelicals.

"The message is clear: I may not be one of you. I can’t recite or even correctly cite Scripture. But I will patrol the borders of Christendom on your behalf. After all, who do you want out there — a choir boy or a tough guy with a loaded gun and a kick-ass demeanor?"

Unknown said...

I started out this election cycle assuming that I would likely be voting for Walker or Kasich. I realize now that they would never have gotten the traction that has been achieved by Trump, That is the catch 22. It is Trump's bombastic bluntness/crudeness that brought the interests of forgotten people to the table. I don't know if he meant to champion them or not. A mealy mouthed milquetoast couldn't have done so, nor inadvertently exposed the malice of the GOPe and the skimming class to the people who have been left behind. Lest we forget, Trump did not create this constituency. they were up for grabs, and he coopted them. Do I think these voters are over invested in him; heck yes.
I don't exactly know where you are going with tribalism. Do I think some Trump supporters are racist and xenophobes? I suppose some are, but I don't think that it completely accounts for this phenomenon.

Texan99 said...

I know what you mean about the relief that he's not a milquetoast. Romney was on TV talking tough about Trump, and all I could think was, "So carrying water for the GOPe energizes you enough to make forceful points, but you couldn't summon up any passion for explaining why your policies were better than those of Obama or any other doctrinaire progressive?"

Grim said...

What is being discussed under the heading of "tribalism" is a theory that people don't really consider arguments rationally, but rather favor arguments unreasonably when they come from a member of a group they feel membership with. Vice versa, they reject arguments unfairly and unreasonably when they are advanced by people for whom they feel no kinship, and even moreso when the arguments are advanced by someone who belongs to a 'tribe' they reject as alien and/or hostile.

So, there's good evidence that this happens sometimes -- even quite a bit. Trump is a strange case, though, because as Joel points out, he is being favored by many Southern Jacksonians who don't like his "kind" at all.

Krauthammer offers another example that runs counter to the 'tribe' hypothesis. Evangelicals have no reason to think of Trump as 'one of ours,' and in fact many excellent and clear reasons to think he's not at all like them. But they are also going for him strongly, even though there were candidates in the race who were much more like them.

So it's an interesting question. The discussion isn't about whether the 'tribal' thesis is ever true -- it is very often true. It's about how useful it is in explaining this case.

douglas said...

They're in the same 'tribe'- the ones the GOPe sees as the 'great unwashed'. Apparently, that's a good enough tie for this cycle.

douglas said...

It reminds me of the Arab saying about 'I would fight the foreigner to defend my country, I would fight my countryman to defend my tribe, I would fight my tribesman to defend my cousin, I would fight y cousin to defend my brother'.

Ymar Sakar said...

I told people online that the Republican party needed to be purged before the Left could be purged, even before Hussein Obola took the Throne in America.

It was nothing worth offloading to the pundits about to this day.

Ymar Sakar said...

Southern Jacksonians are still Democrats due to indoctrination. The generations have not all died out. What people call the Dixiecrats, the people who moved over to Reagan's side of things, might be different.

Trump is pulling on 3 pillars of support.

The Alternative Right, Red Pill, sub cultures, etc.

The former, current, and new Democrats, because Democrats have a common culture, irregardless of what Yankee vs South is about. The South was for FDR as well.

Angry life long conservatives and Republicans, who feel betrayed at the company level policies made way above their heads, but have not found independence of economy or power for themselves to avoid political desires/solutions/help.

The tribalism of Trump's class makes him natural allies with Chris Christie and Reid over in Nevada's casinos. But it doesn't particularly mean tribalism is a big thing in American culture. Democrat and Leftist culture has destroyed much of mainstream American culture to the point where the only tribes that now has enough influence are the two contesting tribes: Patriots vs Leftists.

The neutrals, the fence sitters, are going to get hit by both sides, and probably already have. The smaller sub cultures, like biker clubs, are getting wiped out, along with the ranchers. They have more immediate personal problems, one in which politics isn't going to help them with. The middle neutral fence sitters, will be forced to pick one side over the other however, sooner or later.

Right now, people are confused because they only recently woke up to the threat of the Leftist alliance. In order to harness power to fight the Left, humans naturally cannibalize organizations like the GOP. Just as people picked apart the stone foundations of Roman civilization, to build their own.

Evangelicals are splintered as well, between heretical Christians that believe in liberation theology and equality, with the Catholic Pope, and the other Christians who believe in the message of Christ, not temporal power.

The reason why civil war is inevitable is because it's not about 1 faction vs another. It's about everyone vs everyone. When the Left demolitioned America's foundations... what did people expect, that they could hold up an Empire of 300 million humans with nothing but elections?