Is it Real?

“That’s why we call him lyin’ Ted,” the GOP front-runner [Trump] told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” program. “The people are smart people. And they haven’t been taken properly care of by the government.”

Let that quote from The Donald soak in just a minute.

“…they haven’t been taken properly care of by the government.”

Sounds just like something a staunch conservative would say, doesn’t it?


Whether you believe this is a Freudian slip on the candidate’s part or simply another example of him putting his mouth in gear before engaging his brain, it’s actually not him I am thinking about. What amazes me is the total lack of reaction from his supposedly “conservative” base to the suggestion that government should be “taking proper care” of anyone.

This lack of reaction suggests to me that there is no real reasoning going on in the Trump ranks other than “we are going to win so much, you will be sick of winning.” Trump is riding a wave of populism so tall that it washes out all reason and ends with “Build the wall!” Therein lies the problem. Populism has emotion for a base and emotion eschews reason and principle. Populism may well be caused by issues related to reason or principle, but those are secondary to any populist movement. Emotion primarily fuels populist revolts – to such a degree that the followers of such a movement will disregard any fact or comment that seems to disagree with the way they feel.

An interesting exchange of ideas occurred this morning between yours truly and FB friend Per Weslien that “triggered” (as all the cool kids say) a thought about the Trump “movement” and I think some relevant questions that should be asked at this point, given that we face the real possibility of seeing Trump as the presumptive nominee after the polls close in Indiana today.

It would seem that some fundamental points to consider are these: Is the Trump “movement” real or is it simply an emotional explosion with a significant blast radius, a reaction to the failures and disappointment of the past? Does it posses independent motility derived from a lasting philosophical and ideological foundation – or is it a sort of an amoebic Brownian movement, wandering about the Petri dish, subject to the most powerful stimuli of the moment?

In short, is the Trump phenomenon a true movement with staying power or is it a fad based on raw emotion that will quickly pass?

Viewed critically, Trump’s principal “issues” are not new – all have been around for years, many attacked by the GOP with limited success, and many have been approached from a “let’s not do anything and just say we did” perspective. The only real difference is that Trump yells about them in 140 character bursts and through anger, either feigned or real, he seems to have convinced people, at least on an emotional level, that he will actually do something about it this time.

Cutting through the layers of emotion, it is difficult to see any solid foundation lending confidence that Trumpmentum has a very long half-life. Trumpmentum seems to be based on solely on anger over points all conservatives agree on, we just disagree about the way we get there and the speed at which travel. One would be hard pressed to find a conservative/classical liberal who didn’t believe that porous borders, terrorism, government fraud and waste and the economy weren’t killer issues – and that all of them aren’t interrelated. Most of my intellectual discussion partners would note that solving one is a start but the system cannot be repaired until all of them are addressed (for example, unemployment rates of young Americans and the black community cannot be resolved unless illegal immigration is resolved).

It is no secret that one can’t reform an inertia driven Leviathan in 4 (or even 8) years without some serious help from the citizens, Congress and SCOTUS – without them, one can nibble around the periphery and start the reform process – but that process has to be based on a solid ideological foundation shared by a majority (and lasting more than a couple of election cycles) or successive administrations, congresses and judicial appointments will erode any changes that are made. One cannot simply slow Leviathan and expect change, one must grab the levers and force it on a different path and lest we forget, progressivism has been Leviathan’s driving force since FDR institutionalized it as the official operating system of US government in the post-Great Depression years. For true, lasting change, adding a few patches isn’t going to work – the hard drives have to be erased and reformatted, a new operating system installed and the whole thing rebooted.

One can agree or disagree – but in my mind, the greatest weakness of Trump’s so-called “movement” is that if he is elected and doesn’t deliver immediately, the popular opinion will shift just as rapidly against him as it coalesced behind him. A populist movement based on emotional energy is volatile and causes the political pendulum to swing to the opposite side with little or no warning. Only classical liberalism, applied constantly, year after year, as progressivism has been, will make the changes America needs. I fear Trump’s populist “movement” is but a flash in the pan based on emotional responses to hard problems. It is a great fear that his brand of populism and its actions (reactions, actually) based on Adult Attention Deficit Disorder will not be sustainable.

24 thoughts on “Is it Real?

  1. OK, can I ask a question (and maybe hope for an answer)?

    Seriously. Is it possible that all of these people who claim to be “conservative” really aren’t and have never been? Is it possible they are the flip side of the Obama coin? You know, Communist on Obama’s side — Fascist on Trumps? Yes, I know it sounds harsh, but think about this. If they are upset when Obama says he wants to ‘take care of people,’ but don’t say a peep when Trump says it, then they are not upset about being cared for, they just want “THEIR GUY” to be doing the caring. The Communist/Fascist split has always divided along similar lines so, while I am NOT calling Obama’s and Trumps people Communist/Fascist, I am suggesting they are of the same mindset, only divided along Party (tribal?) lines.

    IF this is the case, it explains why “Conservatives” have never been liked in the GOP< and why the GOP has never been able to advance the Conservative cause — because the GOP is and has always been the flip side of a coin at odds with Conservatism every bit as much as it is with the Democrats on the other side of that coin.

    But then, I'm sure I am all wet. Maybe Trumps people are just as crazy as Obama's, in which case…. Well, we're screwed!

    • Many of “Trump’s people” are former “Obama people”. Engaging them in multiple forums and websites shows this clearly by their comments and responses. BUT….I’ve had many openly ADMIT to it.

      They viscerally voted for Obammy and against Bush. They are doing the exact same thing this time….only they call it voting against the Establishment which they now see Obammy Hussein as being a part of.

      • I suspected as much, myself. That is why I ask whether or not the support coming from the ranks of the GOP is from those people who would normally fall on the opposite side of the nationalist/internationalist split in socialism? (was that better than using communism/fascism)

        • Opposite side of Nationalist/internationalist split in Socialism ?
          The split is a non entity in reality. 1932-1943 shows that. If by opposite of Socialism you mean those on the side of Liberty as expressed in our Republican form of gov’t , This is problematic due to understanding and education.

          Communism/fascism/Socialism ( in whatever color) is a real life example of Transitivity. ( A=b, B=C therefore A = C ).

            • Where you and I differ is in the “real world crap” as you call it. The affect on real people is the same irrespective of what the perpetrators call themselves or “define” themselves as doing and being a part of.

              • true, but that does not make the VEHICLE the same — unless you are now going to tell me that a boat, plane, car and horse are all the same because they all transport us.

          • OK, I think I have come around to your way of thinking. So, ‘in the real world:’

            A — Rush wanted to stay neutral in the campaign.

            B — Staying neutral helped get us Trump.

            C — Trump is a fascist

            Therefore, Rush wanted a fascist candidate.

            OK, I got it. The Liberal/Progressive way of thinking has been right all along. Glad you cleared that up for me 🙂

            • Except Rush wasn’t neutral. He said multiple times that Cruz was the most Conservative candidate by far. And he identifies as a Conservative.

              In order to understand what I am saying, you would have to have to understand the real world difference between formal Logic and epistemology and most importantly definition defined in a formal system from that of definition defined through language used in a political context.

              ***Your A,B,C btw are all different kinds algebraic expressions and mixed math beyond Algebra. In fact B is more of an embedded equation implying a result ( of the form N > or = to T ) Whereas A is more of a Set Theory expression where the Equation “neutral” is a member of the set called ‘Campaign’, where ‘R’ ( Rush) is a proposition trying for identity in the Set Campaign…..which would require a proof showing identity of R with some elements of the equation neutral…..which requires further sub-indentity statements.

              C of course is a simple equivalence relationship.( which requires its own identities and because you have brought in Set Theory…..relationships to the sets specifically defined.) Once that is done the identities have to shown to have ordinal relationships or some Topological equivalences. Further the term “wanted” is problematical and can perhaps best be represented as “approaching”… in asymptotically approaching as in differential/integral calculus for one example. And this by formal definition is NOT equivalence.***

              So to un-pack this we need to go back to my original statement about the Real world versus the attempt to force definition made by political actors as being valid based on these Political actors own ‘self-defined’ definitions. Because that kind of reckoning has little to no value for the people living with the results. In your above it could be called the “Null Set “…. :- )).

              Thus Transitivity is valid when considering RESULTS as they effect people forced to live under the Self-defined systems of dictators calling themselves variously Communist-Socialist-Fascist. Since the larger issue is the theft of Natural Rights, a more apropos relationship is loss of life ( Life , liberty, Property) rather than transportation. To a citizen who looses his/her life is matters little if the vehicle was a Gun, knife or gas….or if the wielder of those vehicles called themselves Communist, Socialist or Fascist. They are equivalent in their Effect on those whove lost their Natural Right.

              This is all really a subset of the set called ” Common Sense” BTW…… ;- ).

                • No. your ABC”definitions” above are the special case.

                  And you can’t look for Validity in distinguishing between belief and opinion by appeals to mathematical or deductive logic.

                  • See, you are denying the dictionary definition in favor of your ‘real world’ definitions. That means you are guilty of the thing you accuse me of doing. THAT, my friend, makes you a Progressive (it also means you are wrong — not that you will see it).

                    • To view the dictionary as truth is Progressive….as is defining the world into the categories they have arbitrarily defined. The Progressives are the ones Demanding that Communism is different from Socialism is different from Fascism……..that there is a Right and a Left Etc.

                      You are aping this.

  2. You hit it there – ‘tribal’ thinking. It is in both political parties, and every self-identified group, and it is deadly. God wants responsible individuals, acting freely, with respect for the rights and responsibilities of other individuals. We do not go into the afterlife as groups or tribes. This nation has fallen far, and seems to be at the point that it must be torn down and started over without a central government. A global banking collapse could do that, but an EMP attack on the U.S.would be more effective by taking away all our electronic toys and their corrupting influence. Surely we are near the completeness of our iniquity (Gen. 15:16), as were the Amorites in their time.

    • Amen, billc, and thank you for the reply.

      I know how many view me on the RNL, but this one is something I am struggling to understand. The only answer I have found that describes what we’re seeing AND makes sense seems to be that many people who called themselves ‘Conservative’ really aren’t. Or they mean something entirely different from what I think ‘Conservative’ means. Not to start a fight, but if you look up Limbaugh’s definition of ‘Conservative,’ it is significantly different from that of Goldwater, and very different from what our founders were (i.e. Classic Liberals). So I find myself wondering if the Trump supporter never really was ‘Conservative’ in the sense that we “constitutionalists” understand the term???

      However, as for the extent of our depravity: yes, we are nearly to the point of complete depravity. We both know what happens next, and I tremble because of it.

  3. “..It would seem that some fundamental points to consider are these: Is the Trump “movement” real or is it simply an emotional explosion with a significant blast radius, a reaction to the failures and disappointment of the past? Does it posses independent motility derived from a lasting philosophical and ideological foundation – or is it a sort of an amoebic Brownian movement, wandering about the Petri dish, subject to the most powerful stimuli of the moment?

    In short, is the Trump phenomenon a true movement with staying power or is it a fad based on raw emotion that will quickly pass?..”

    The “movement” is not Donald Centric IMO.
    Feelings of frustration, anger and exasperation have been building for a long time as you say…… building on “the failures and disappointment of the past”. The difference between the Obammy “movement” and the Donald “movement” is the confluence of former democratic voters with some republican supporters. They are swimming in the same waters because of similar feelings of estrangement from the Establishment. This aspect, this feeling of estrangement, will not quickly pass. As to how this group will react to Donald’s inevitable failure as Chief Executive, if he wins in November, it’s hard to gauge because of the different backrounds that make up Trump followers.

    My guess is that Trump’s actions will be eventually associated with typical insider establishment politics. The anger will then be intensified and ALL associations of the recent past will be repudiated as hopeless for affecting any change.

    • His inevitable failure? He just beat out 16 GOP candidates. I think you boys are missing the obvious: Trump and Sanders are doing so well because the middle class is hurting. The masses believe Trump is their champion to battle the democrat (Hillary) and win. Personally, I believe any of them could have, but this is not the general thinking (according to polls).

      As to why the majority didn’t go with the conservative, Cruz? I can only guess it is his delivery. I believe people are more drawn to a conversational tone than a rehearsed tone. ??

      • No I meant his failure as a President. Because I don’t believe he will do what he says and I don’t believe he will use the Executive Constitutionally….thus he will also be an extension of Obama in that regard. His failure will be on delivery of his promises.

        He will NOT build the Wall…..and he has already broadcasted that he will give de facto AMNESTY vis his Touch-back scheme. That’s what I meant by failure.

        • The reality is that Trump has not done what Obama and Hillary have done. I believe things are going to get very ugly at the debates as Trump has a way of playing by Alinsky’s rules better than his democrat opposition.

          • I agree that the debate will be a wild spectacle eagerly anticipated by the Media as….”the show of shows”. All that’s missing this time is Ed Sullivan. Trump does indeed use Alinsky methods, I agree.

            He hasn’t done yet what Obama and Hillary have done because he hasn’t had to power to do so. But as the Crow flies…yes you are right.

          • Unfortunately THIS is what we will get with Trump …. ENDLESS Liberal policies taken directly from the Democrat/Socialist list of goals.

            Hillary has and would enact the EXACT same ……so it is looking unfortunately like the suspicians about Trump were and are correct…….He is a typical New York/ East Coast liberal. That’s why he counts Reid, Pelosi, Clinton and Schumer as his friends….and stated TODAY in fact that he will NOT move to re-move Paul Ryan.

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