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  • The Quality of Your Enemies

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on May 27th, 2016 (All posts by )

    … or the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie Donald Trump.
    Paraphrasing the motto across the front of a favorite tee shirt that I wore out years ago, “I used to be disgusted; now I’m only amused.” I’ll cop to being both amused and disgusted when Donald Trump first hove into sight as a potential GOP nominee earlier in this election cycle. The whole thing was a joke, and I was certain he was playing it as such, playing it for the laughs and as an ego boost. Yes, The Donald of the bright orange tan and hopelessly fake comb-over, a crass, loudmouth East Coast real-estate speculator, with vulgar and over-the-top tastes in everything from interior to exterior decoration, in the words of the writer at Zero Anthropology, a “mountain of Grade A Beef in a $10,000 suit,” significant other of one Marla Maples back in the day when he first became an enduring feature on the front pages of national tabloids – that Donald Trump did not strike me as likely presidential timber. Still really doesn’t, but then I never thought a no-name minor Chicago machine pol with precisely nothing on his professional resume save being the editor of the Harvard Law review and identifying as black was presidential timber either, yet the post turtle got elected to that high office twice.

    I did, however, believe that Trump’s value as a potential candidate was that he demonstrated that there was no downside to speaking the unspeakable, and touching on the topic of the untouchable. He went out there, openly voicing unhappiness with the problem of criminal illegal aliens, with the Ruling Class inclination to welcome Islamic refugees, with closing down American industries and outsourcing jobs which had supported working class Americans, and with frankly and openly – even combatively – to critics. This had to count for something, in demonstrating to other potential nominees that there was no downside in going “there” and I hoped very much that more of them would have followed to excellent effect. Ah well – it takes considerable nerve to go against the habit and training of – if not a lifetime in politics, at last a few years in the “elect me-me-me!” game. So, here we are, us small-government, fiscally responsible, free-market enthusiasts, looking at and probably supporting (with varying degrees of un-enthusiasm) a nominee who has never given much indication of allegiance to those standards, or even two of the three; being in fact one of those reality TV stars, more famous for being famous. So – how come the political popularity?

    At this point, I have to say that it’s a mixture of the blunt-speaking – and the fact that the Donald has collected all the right enemies. Not only collected enemies, but driven them into a fine frothing fury. Lefty intellectuals and activists, movie stars of more than the usual degree of political vapidity, media personalities and commentators, self-important writers … they are all going absolutely mad. And frankly – it’s as amusing as anything to watch, especially as many of them have been nastily condescending to ordinary, non-minority, working-class, flyover-country citizens for years.

    Discuss, and add your own reasons for the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie Donald Trump.

     

    25 Responses to “The Quality of Your Enemies”

    1. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Another factor in his rise has been the absolute fact that those who have claimed to be our champions for what we want and believe have proven every time to be lying to us. Not only have they lied about what they would do, they have a perfect record of doing the exact opposite . . . and then mocking and insulting us when the truth comes out for being stupid enough to believe them.

      When the GOPe tries to make us follow a JEB! or a JEB!-clone thus guaranteeing a Hillary presidency; what reason is there to listen to them any more? Indeed, today the #NeverTrump parts of the GOPe punditocracy are actively pursuing a 3rd Party candidate to deliberately give the presidency to Hillary.

      We have a choice of voting for our open Marxist enemy. Or for our Marxist enemy’s proven collaborator who is not even lying credibly about being on our side any more. Or for an outsider who is arguing forcefully for what we believe, and actually might mean it, or at least some of it.

      Add in the fact that things cannot last much longer and this may literally be the LAST chance to fix things electorally; and a whole bunch of people are going to take that chance.

      Whether he can beat what will probably be a bipartisan margin of fraud against him [we have all seen the Republicans work with the Democrats against their own voters] is still up in the air.

    2. Mike K Says:

      “being the editor of the Harvard Law review”

      Being the editor usually implies you have written for it.

      Obama was “President” of the Law Review, a position akin to affirmative action president of the US.

      He never to my knowledge submitted an article, let alone had one published

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      “Another factor in his rise has been the absolute fact that those who have claimed to be our champions for what we want and believe have proven every time to be lying to us. Not only have they lied about what they would do, they have a perfect record of doing the exact opposite . . . and then mocking and insulting us when the truth comes out for being stupid enough to believe them.”

      And, SB – not only doing that – but absolutely destroying those persons and parties inimical to the Ruling Party, when it pleased them to do so.

      Sarah Palin was an effective and well-thought-of politician in Alaska. Up from the grass-roots, independent … and the establishment GOP threw her to the wolves, and the establishment media and various intellectuals turned her into a laughing-stock. Mitt Romney was one of those in good-odor with the establishment GOP, a decent and accomplished man … and yet the establishment media/intellectual powers also savaged him when the opportunity arose. The various Tea Parties – earnest, sober and engaged responsible citizens, savaged by the establishment media/intellectual powers as stupid, racist hicks … yeah, they’ve earned The Donald. May they have their joy of him.

      I’ll make popcorn – what’s your favored flavor?

    4. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Lots of butter. Real butter.

      And the tears of Tyrant-wanna-be’s for salt.

      Subotai Bahadur

    5. Xennady Says:

      He never to my knowledge submitted an article, let alone had one published

      If true- and I don’t doubt it is- this displays yet another of the myriad failures of the Republican party.

      As an effective political leader- Nancy Pelosi- once noted, the duty of an opposition party is to oppose.

      As an opposition party, the hallmark of the GOP is its stunning inability to effectively do so.

      One way this manifests is its strange unwillingness to make note of damaging details about its opponents, such as Barry’s lack of actual accomplishments, or his deep entanglement with anti-American radicals.

      This is one failing Trump does not share. He has already been far more partisan and far more effectively partisan against Hillary Clinton than the entire GOP has been against essentially every democrat since Reagan left office. When Bush 41 managed to lose to the ethically-challenged governor of an obscure Southern state, or when Mitt Romney was unwilling to say anything harsher about Obama other than that he was a nice guy in over his head, this was a sign of a deeper rot that set the stage for Trump.

      In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king. When presented with an endless parade of the politically blind, the desperate right-leaning voters lost faith in the sightless establishment swarm, and went with the one-eyed guy who was willing to be partisan.

      I call him one-eyed because I think he could be a lot better as a practicing politician- but so far he’s been good enough to beat the best the hapless GOP threw against him.

      That matters, I think.

    6. Gringo Says:

      Lefty intellectuals and activists, movie stars of more than the usual degree of political vapidity, media personalities and commentators, self-important writers … they are all going absolutely mad.

      For another example of authors and other intellectuals using mass signing of a letter to show the masses how enlightened they are, consider the Open Letter of the 400 [August 14,1939] As Published in Soviet Russia Today, Sept 1939. The Non Aggression Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union was signed on August 23,1939, and the invasion of Poland began on September 1,1939.

      On the international scene the Fascists and their friends have tried to prevent a united anti-aggression front by sowing suspicion between the Soviet Union and other nations interested in maintaining peace…. .
      With the aim of turning anti-fascist feeling against the Soviet Union they have encouraged the fantastic falsehood that the USSR and the totalitarian states are basically alike.

      Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy are totalitarian, but Stalin’s Russia is not? What planet did these enlightened intellectuals reside on?

      By this strategy they hope to create dissension among the progressive forces whose united strength is a first necessity for the defeat of fascism.

      When Germany and the Soviet Union united for the dismemberment of Poland, how many of those enlightened intellectuals considered themselves played for fools?


      Some sincere American liberals have fallen into this trap and unwittingly aided a cause to which they are essentially opposed. Thus, a number of them have carelessly lent their signatures to the recent manifesto issued by the so-called Committee for Cultural Freedom.
      This manifesto denounces in vague, undefined terms all forms of “Dictatorship” and asserts that the Fascist states and Soviet Russia equally menace American institutions and the democratic way of life…
      To this end we should like to stress ten basic points in which Soviet socialism differs fundamentally from totalitarian fascism.
      1. The Soviet Union continues as always to be a consistent bulwark against war and aggression, and works unceasingly for the goal of a peaceful international order.

      The Poles, Lithuanians, Letts, and Estonians subjected to Soviet invasion as a result of the signing of the Non Aggression Pact would undoubtedly have agreed with the enlightened 400 intellectuals.

      7. From the viewpoint of cultural freedom, the difference between the Soviet Union and the Fascist countries is most striking. …Those writers and thinkers whose books have been burned by the Nazis are published in the Soviet Union. The best literature from Homer to Thomas Mann, the best thought from Aristotle to Lenin, is available to the masses of the Soviet people, who themselves actively participate in the creation of culture

      And the Soviet Union didn’t censor?

      9. The Soviet Union considers political dictatorship a transitional form and has shown a steadily expanding democracy in every sphere. Its epoch-making new Constitution guarantees Soviet citizens universal suffrage, civil liberties, the right to employment, to leisure, to free education, to free medical care, to material security in sickness and old age, to equality of the sexes in all fields of activity, and to equality of all races and nationalities.

      Very transitional,as that transition was far from being completed 50 years later. What “transition” to democracy occurred didn’t happen until the demise of the Soviet Union.

      10. In relation to Russia’s past, the country has been advancing rapidly along the road of material and cultural progress in ways that the American people can understand and appreciate.

      Summation: shortly before the signing of the Non Aggression Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, a group of 400 prominent American intellectuals beclowned themselves. Among the 400 signer, mostly writers and academics, we find the following writers.

      Dashiell Hammett, writer
      Ernest Hemmingway
      Granville Hicks, writer
      Langston Hughes, poet
      Rockwell Kent, artist
      Corliss Lamont, writer, lecturer
      Clifford Odets, playwright
      S.J. Perelman, writer
      James Thurber, artist, writer
      Jean Starr Untermeyer, poet
      Louis Untermeyer, poet

      Different people, different cause, but the same idiotic virtue signaling 77 years later. Moral: any time you see a horde of authors or intellectuals sign an open letter, run away as fast as you can.

      Shortly after the letter was signed, the Soviet Union participated with Germany in carving up Poland. How many of those 400 would have wanted to take their names off the letter as a consequence of the Non Aggression Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union?

      [Ned Lamont, the great-nephew of Corliss Lamont, was the Democratic Party Candidate for US Senate in 2006. Senator Joe Lieberman,running as an Independent, defeated him.]

    7. Bill Brandt Says:

      I think his supporters (of which I, given the choice between Hillary and The Donald, have become) – his supporters forgive a lot of his transgressions and flip flops (what was that promise to debate Bernie in CA?) – they forgive a lot because of his candor and absolutely no fear of saying anything “un PC) from referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” to talking about the illegal immigration.

      To tell you the truth his candor is damned refreshing after a parade of milquetoast politicians. His lack of any kind of a record showing me that he a actually will try to carry out what he says has made me hesitant but given the choice now I am on the “Trump Train”.

    8. Roy Lofquist Says:

      What is happening is not, as many have maintained, a reaction by the right against the left or vice versa. Bernie is shredding the Democrat establishment too.

      What it is is the heartbeat of America. It pumps mightily once a generation. In the last century we have had four major “change” elections: 1932, 1952, 1980 and 2008. Hope and change came a cropper so we’re doing it again. Where we are headed is hard to tell but it will assuredly be a different direction. Hope it’s the right one.

    9. Anonymous Says:

      The only hope I hold for a Trump win is that he will be marginally better than the Hildebeast. That is in no way certain, but it is at least a possibility. His chances of being elected are doubtful (regardless of the current polling reflecting a contest between two of the most untrusted people we might have nominated.

      So say Barry notices that the Hildebeast might likely lose. Could he give her the choice of resigning the nomination (or whatever that would be called) or being indicted? Could the party then pick someone less damaged. It wouldn’t be Bern it down Sanders, but they could find someone with lower dislikable ratings.

      Never mind the treat of a conservative/libertarian viable candidate with some reputation and financial backing.

      Hold on, it could get wilder than even these possibilities.

      Death6

    10. TangoMan Says:

      . So, here we are, us small-government, fiscally responsible, free-market enthusiasts, looking at and probably supporting (with varying degrees of un-enthusiasm)

      Too bad that chess isn’t as large in the public consciousness as it used to be. Sacrifice a pawn to advance your rook to threaten the opponent’s queen.

      Changing the political environment now helps you move your ball down the field later. Trump doesn’t have to be the one to move the ball down the field, he can be very useful to you by clearing a path for your ally to move the ball down the field.

      So – how come the political popularity?

      I like fiscal responsibility, free markets (in the James Goldsmith fashion), liberty but if forced to choose I like cultural homogeneity, strong families, racial homogeneity far more.

      Trump’s appeal is due more to his policies not his persona. Ban the Muslims, deport the infiltrators, bring back jobs, don’t send American soldiers to be killed in pointless wars. These are all extremely popular positions. The Muslim ban was getting 85% support in one poll I saw, over twice the level of support for Trump, meaning that voters liked the idea but voted for Cruz or Kasich or Rubio instead of the guy who proposed the idea, suggesting that the messenger was putting people off.

    11. Mike K Says:

      “What it is is the heartbeat of America. It pumps mightily once a generation.”

      Yes, Fernandez, as usual, knows what is happening. Here is his analysis.

      “Trump is the purest expression of the politics of “NO!” that I personally can recall. He’s the candidate for people who think the conventional wisdom of the American establishment is hopelessly out of touch with the real world. He’s the little boy saying that the emperor, or in this case, the aspiring empress, has no clothes. What energizes the Trump phenomenon is the very power of rejection: people who think the train is about to head off a cliff want to pull the emergency cord that stops the train even if they don’t know what happens next.”

      That’s it. I have no idea what he will do, although I am a bit more optimistic than I was a couple of months ago.

      All my life, the Republican Party has been my political home. Helping it succeed has been my work for decades. It was never perfect, but families never are.

      Flawed, and given to wrong turns from time to time, we had good years and terrible years. We elected presidents, took back Congress after decades, lost it, and took it back again. Our leaders ranged from bad to extraordinary. But through it all, the GOP was the one party even vaguely amenable to limited-government conservatism, to at least some adherence to the Constitution over the social preferences of the moment, and to the constraints on government power that our Founding Fathers so cherished. It was nice while it lasted.

      Today the Republican Party has two choices before it: It can either reform itself, or fracture and surrender to the Troll Party.

      I think that states it succinctly. I remember a whole segment of the Republican Party that was horrified by the prospect of Ronald Reagan. Maybe Mr Wilson was one or maybe he is too young to remember. Wilson certainly finds an eager audience on the left.

      I am just a spectator but I voted for Trump absentee.

    12. Roy Lofquist Says:

      Mike K,

      I was around for the 1952 election. There was a similar schism in the party with the “establishment” solidly behind Robert Taft. It’s a time of changes, great or small, but change nonetheless.

    13. Mike K Says:

      “I was around for the 1952 election. ”

      I was a Democrat supporter then and I can remember thinking “If the world could vote in this election, they would vote for Stevenson.”

      I am sure I was correct but I was 14. In 1960, I was 22 and had taken an economics class. I voted for Nixon, which enraged my family.

    14. Roy Lofquist Says:

      Mike, it looks like you’ve got me by 4 years or so but I had my first economics class when I was 10. We lived in a suburb north of Boston. I had a paper route. I delivered the Boston Globe, known as the Democrat’s paper, and the Herald Traveler to the Republicans. The subscription price was 32 cents per week. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what that meant but when I went to collect I’d get 32 or 35 cents from my Globe customers and 40 or 45 or sometimes 50 cents from the Traveler customers. That’s when I became a Republican.

    15. Anonymous Says:

      I remember 1964 and the huge fracture in the Republican Party between the Goldwater and Rockefeller factions. And that led to Ronald Reagan which I believe in 1980 was a true revolution. Problem was that nobody followed Reagan.

      Anybody remember John Anderson?

    16. Roy Lofquist Says:

      Anonymous,

      The factional struggles within each party make for interesting stories but are of little interest to society in general. I was trying to point out that there is an underlying generational imperative to change the course of the ship of state. People get bored or restless or both. Just change the scenery.

    17. Bill Brandt Says:

      @Roy – that was me. Was trying to post on an iPhone.

      I would submit that the choice between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller in 1964 was an effort to change the party’s direction and it was so resented by the Rockefeller wing (mainly the northeast) that the split helped in his route in the general election.

      I was actually a precinct worker and I can remember first how few volunteers there were for Goldwater and how many doors were slammed in my face.

      Goldwater definitely changed the GOP scenery and set the stage for Ronald Reagan although he wouldn’t win until 16 years later. He came close to toppling the sitting GOP President, Gerald Ford, in 1976 and gained the national spotlight at that 1964 convention.

    18. Roy Lofquist Says:

      Bill,

      My first vote was for Goldwater. And William Miller. I don’t think that any, and I mean no, Republican could have won in 1964. They murdered Camelot and they weren’t going to get away with it. I think the Rockefeller wing was glad for the opportunity to throw Goldwater to the wolves.

      Again, this is fun but it’s inside baseball. It doesn’t matter which party is ascendant when the tide comes in, they’re the ones gonna be swept away. FDR in a landslide and the Dems for 20 years, Eisenhower in a landslide then close elections for 28 years then Reagan in a landslide then meh for 28 years then Obama won decisively. Hope and change came a cropper so we’re doing it again.

      The Dems own the problem this time, and all they can muster is old war horses who have been around forever. Trump won because, and only because, he don’t stink. He may smell bad but he don’t Washington stink.

      I think it was Otto Von Bismarck who said that God looks after small children, drunks and the United States of America. Sure hope he was right.

    19. Grurray Says:

      The GOP Eastern Establishment backed Ike in 1952. Eisenhower was drafted by Dewey and Henry Cabot Lodge, who managed to persuade him to run for the GOP instead of the Democrats, which was a real possibility. The Establishment cleverly maneuvered during the convention to shift delegates from Taft to get Ike elected. It culminated in Everett Dirksen’s infamous Path to Defeat speech

      Taft was an isolationist who wanted us to stay out of NATO, vehemently opposed the New Deal, and reined in unions with his signature legislation the Taft-Hartley Act (passed despite Truman’s veto). He was the stalwart of the Old Right and a forebear to modern libertarians. A man simultaneously ahead and behind the times, he lost because of the post-war GOP was focused on the Cold War and global economic expansion.

    20. Grurray Says:

      The GOP Eastern Establishment backed Ike in 1952. Eisenhower was drafted by Dewey and Henry Cabot Lodge, who managed to persuade him to run for the GOP instead of the Democrats, which was a real possibility. The Establishment cleverly maneuvered during the convention to shift delegates from Taft to get Ike elected. It culminated in Everett Dirksen’s infamous Path to Defeat speech

      Taft was an isolationist who wanted us to stay out of NATO, vehemently opposed the New Deal, and reined in unions with his signature legislation the Taft-Hartley Act (passed despite Truman’s veto). He was the stalwart of the Old Right and a forebear to modern libertarians. A man simultaneously ahead and behind the times, he lost because of the post-war GOP was focused on the Cold War and global economic expansion.

    21. Grurray Says:

      Sorry for the double post. Phone typing. For some reason the comment box doesn’t work very well on the mobile Chrome browser. I use Dolphin which has other problems like being laggy.

    22. Mike K Says:

      “how few volunteers there were for Goldwater and how many doors were slammed in my face.”

      I thought at the time and still do that Goldwater was a lousy candidate. He was just virtue signaling for the time and never expected to win. If you’ll recall, he stopped buying ads before the election, to save money. After Kennedy’s assassination, he may have been correct that nobody could beat Johnson but he didn’t try.

      Some of the #NeverTrump people remind of him.

    23. TangoMan Says:

      Goldwater was correct about the Civil Rights Act. I don’t know what the mood of the country was back then, but how on earth did voters believe that Goldwater would be worse than Johnson? I’m, to this day, trying to wrap my head around that.

    24. Rich Rostrom Says:

      Subotai Bahadur Says: Indeed, today the #NeverTrump parts of the GOPe punditocracy are actively pursuing a 3rd Party candidate to deliberately give the presidency to Hillary.

      Or because they are certain Trump will lose to Clinton and that a third-party candidate is the only hope of stopping the Democrats. (And there are quite a few people who look at Trump’s history, and conclude that his candidacy is a put-up to throw the election to Clinton.)

      Or because they view the election of either of them as a disaster. Clinton is grotesquely unfit to be President, but her unfitness is somewhat veiled by the smokescreen of her media/academy allies. Trump is visibly, blatantly unfit to be President; his election in spite or even because of his bad character could be disaster of a different quality in itself: it would represent deep rot in the American character. (Plus all the bad practices he would bring to the office. Clinton, however, would bring not only bad practice but wrong policies that are embraced by the media/academy.)

      I have no doubt that these concerns will be dismissed. I will vote for Trump over Clinton, and if Trump wins, Republicans will probably retain control of Congress. That would be less bad than Clinton sweeping in a permanent Democrat majority.

    25. mrsizer Says:

      Plus all the bad practices he would bring to the office.

      I consider this a bonus. The “imperial presidency” is getting out of control and Trump will (probably) be even worse than Obama. The difference is: The media will bring it up – over and over and over and over again.

      Congress might actually grow a backbone. I know, it’s unlikely, but so is President Trump. Strange times.