This is a collaborative post by Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire (TOTWTYTR) and me. It started from an email exchange and then we decided write a post that will appear on both blogs. I’m not sure exactly how this will work out, but it’s worth a try.
TOTWTYTR: I will say that I’m not sure how much Presidential election blogging I will do this time around. Neither of the “presumptive” candidates are ideal by any definition of the word. One is a brash entrepreneur and reality TV show host with no political experience. The other is the epitome of the political insider. Who also happens to have little in the way of achievement that isn’t tied to her former President husband. Trump is (or was) hated by the GOP establishment, while Clinton is the darling of the Donkey set.
Those are my preliminary thoughts outside of the collaborative portion of the post. The parts in regular fonts are from the original email from The Ambulance Chaser. My comments are in red interspersed.
ME: So, since we’re among friends and for the most part, relatively like-minded
ones at that, I figure I’ll share my insights as to how we’ve ended up with
Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee.
Let me first say that, in the words of Marc Antony, I come to bury Trump,
not praise him.  I cast my vote for Cruz not out of support
of him, but at least knowing who he is and what he stands for.   Like some
of us here, I too share the disgust at the Republican Party’s current
fascination with bedroom and bathroom habits.  It’s unseemly,
narrow-minded, and especially hypocritical coming from a party that
supposedly is the champion of limited government.
TOTWTYTR: Which is the common perception, but the Democrats seem far more interested of
late in peoples’ sex lives and bathroom habits. After all, it’s they that are proposing “affirmative consent” laws
on campuses and trying to change the public bathroom habits of the American public.
Trump has for the most part totally ignored those issues and the pressure to discuss them. Wise move.
My major complaint with the Republican Party, which I share with you, is that they aren’t acting like conservatives.
This despite the fact that most Americans are politically center-right, not left.
ME: So, how’d we get to Trump?  Well, for one thing, I do think that social
conservatism has a limited appeal.  There’s only so many voters out there
for whom homosexuality, abortion, and school prayer are their core,
fundamental issues.  Bluntly, if it was me, I wouldn’t even make an effort
to appeal to them.  And by and large, Trump really hasn’t.
TOTWTYTR: See? We agree.
ME: What has Trump done?  He’s appealed to blue collar Reagan Democrats.  The
comments about foreign trade and “making America great again” appeal to
blue collar, Rust Belt voters.  For all of the talk about the Republicans
being “politically incorrect,” the Republicans really aren’t all that
willing to offend or speak painful truths.  Trump has said what many people
are afraid to say in “polite company” about immigration and Islamic
terrorism. And in that “everyman” appeal, he scores more points with
voters.  While I don’t have the statistical analysis, I’d hazard a guess
that Trump is doing especially well with independent and previously
unengaged voters.
TOTWTYTR: This is one point on which we disagree.
Trump is drawing support from broad segments of the population. For the
most part it’s people who are fed up with the establishments of both
parties. That was part of the appeal of Ted Cruz and is a large part of
the appeal of Bernie Sanders.
My sister, who is at least on the surface a liberal Democrat, is a self
described “Bernie Girl”. I’m not sure what his appeal to her is, because
chances are she’ll be negatively impacted by his communist financial
policies.
My son has a MBA and is a Trump supporter. Trump is hugely popular in
the southern state in which he lives. My daughter in law says that if it comes
down to Trump vs Hillary, she’ll stay home. Which is okay, because
that’s in effect a vote for Trump. She is pretty conservative. No
college, but she’s a sharp young women.
Mrs. EMS Artifact didn’t like Cruz, but likes Trump. If anything, she is far more
conservative than people think I am. She can’t stand Hillary or Bernie, especially Hillary.
My friend Peg, a former Canadian and former left leaning Democrat, hates
Obama, Hillary, and Bernie. She likes Trump, but not Cruz.
Women not liking Cruz seems to be a trend, at least in my not very scientific polling.
I have several friends who are life long Republicans who like Trump.
They’re tired of the GOP establishment bending over for the Democrats.
They want conservative fiscal policies, don’t care about social issues either way, do care about immigration.
I could go on and on in this vein, but I think the point is clear.
ME: In all fairness, Trump is remarkably naive on foreign and defense affairs.
His comments about making NATO, South Korea, and Japan pay for more of
their defense are short-sighted and, if enacted, could well lead to the USA
losing leverage there and those nations asserting a more independent
foreign policy that might not align with US interests.  As for his domestic
policies, he makes vague promises that make for great soundbites.  For
those that mock and dismiss him, I’ll note that Obama got elected on vague
promises of “hope and change.” That worked for enough voters.  It might
just well for Trump.
TOTWTYTR: I don’t know if Trump is a conservative or not. I think he’s more of a
populist than anything else. If he wins, I hop he’ll make good choices
for his cabinet, national security adviser, head of the CIA, etc… The
big question with Trump is federal judges, especially SCOTUS.
This is my biggest question mark about Trump. What will he do if he wins? Will he govern from the center,
the right, or the left? Or a mix?
Of course he won’t be the first candidate that was elected with the electorate not knowing where he
stands on some crucial issues.
Of course, I could be wrong about that. He might pick judges that are more liberal than would Hillary.
I doubt it, though.
Obama has proposed that our allies pick up more
of the funding for NATO and their own defense. Which is one reason we
don’t have nearly as many allies as we did a few years ago.
Japan has increased defense spending, as have other of our allies. They have
zero faith in Obama fulfilling any of the US obligations to defend them if it
comes to that. T: aiwan and South Korea share that, as do allied countries in Europe.
Our so called allies in the Middle East are also very concerned about this election.
I’m not suggesting that we pay for all of our allies defense forces, but there is value
in having a strong military of our own. Helping other nations is part of that, but they are going
to have to increase their commitment to defending themselves. Especially Europe, which I expect
is once again going to be defending the gates of Vienna from the Islamic hoards. Or maybe London,
Paris and Berlin.
ME: Both parties are to blame for the Trump phenomenon. The Republicans talk a tough game,
especially on immigration, and routinely fail to deliver — primarily because many of
their large business supporters depend on immigration. All the Republicans have delivered
during the Obama administration, with congressional majorities for six of eight years, are
press releases, showboating, grandstanding, and pandering to a small fringe of evangelical
voters who wouldn’t vote for the Democrats anyway. The Democrats have delivered more government
entitlements, more wealth transfer, a near Communist fascination with class envy, and a naked,
brazen attempt to appeal to every identity group out there.
TOTWTYTR: Trump is expressing the disgust of people in both parties with the
status quo. You’ll notice that no one has asked Obama to go out and
campaign with or for them. For good reason, President Jug Ears is not
particularly popular.
ME: The media?  Well, they have some fault too. They bemoan the lack of
substance in politics, yet they engage in “gotcha” journalism designed to
dig up past mistakes and foibles, thus eliminating anyone except those
bland candidates who, since fifth grade, have strove to avoid anything
controversial or embarrassing.  They’ve turned politics into a horserace
and a reality show.  In fact, “Who Wants To Be President” might well turn
out a better candidate than the primary process has this year.
The media is in the bag for the Democrats. Very few people in the media
identify as Republicans and even a casual perusal of the news will show
that the main stream media does all it can to cover for Obama and
Hillary. I expect that the attacks on Trump in the MSM will intensify
now that he’s the presumptive nominee.
The modern left and the modern right are both incredibly out of touch with
most Americans.  Both parties engage in “crony capitalism” where free
enterprise is a myth.  Rather, big business plays both parties for
subsidies.  The Republicans fund “economic development” and grant subsidies
to corporate agriculture.  Meanwhile the Democrats will fund “green energy”
and want to address economic justice by giving money to people with bad
credit and build nice things in areas where people are rioting.
So, when modern liberalism helps us “feel the Bern” in our “safe spaces”
and modern conservatism is worried about the bathroom at Target, yet fails
to seriously address terrorism or an economy that works for what the modern
left and the Wall Street crowd calls “flyover country,” we can look in the
mirror and realize that the sad state of American politics and the American
media have given us Donald Trump.  We’ve ended up with a self-funded
billionaire who, by his sheer wealth, is perceived to not have to pander to
any donors and says the first thing on his mind.  America, meet your
reality show presidential candidate.
TOTWTYTR: Thus, we have the rise of a neo populist candidate that has been remarkably non specific
about what he actually plans to do to “Make America Great Again”.
Obama gave rise to Trump’s model of campaigning. He too ran as a neo populist who was remarkably
non specific about what he would actually do. We’ve had eight years of fundamental transformation and
it appears that much of the voting public is tired of that.
I’m not sure if the public knows that they want in the next President, but they have made it very clear what they
DON’T want.

Comments

  1. Mcgyver says:

    Great and insightful exchange!

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