I thought these were all interesting observations. STANDARD DISCLAIMER WHENEVER I BLOG ABOUT TRUMP: I do not like the guy, I am not voting for him (or anyone else). But much of the commentary about him has been nonsensical, and the followings bloggers (like me) don’t like the guy either, but are pointing out oddities in the commentary.
==> Scott Adams (the Dilbert guy) writes a kinda-sorta defense of Trump that admittedly could apply to just about anyone, but still–I thought this was profound:
What exactly is the risk of a Trump presidency? Beats me. But let’s talk about it anyway.
Your Abysmal Track Record
For starters, ask yourself how well you predicted the performance of past presidents. Have your psychic powers been accurate?
I’m not good at predicting the performance of presidents. I thought Reagan would be dangerous, but he presided over the end of the Cold War. And I thought George W. Bush would be unlikely to start a war, much less two of them.
And how about your ability to predict the future of your own relationships? Most relationships end badly, so we know that the majority of Americans are not good at predicting the future. Have all of your relationships worked out the way you expected? Mine haven’t.
==> I am pleasantly surprised by how “conspiracy theorist” (though he explains in the post that his view does not rest on any closed-door meeting or secret memo) Gene Callahan has become lately:
When Howard Dean’s candidacy was sabotaged by the spread of the “Dean is crazy” meme, I began to recognize that although America ostensibly has two political parties, the goal of our elites is to make sure that each party runs a presidential candidate acceptable to them. Sure, the two parties are not identical, and there is plenty of room for disagreement so long as that disagreement is not on issues important to our elite class:
1) globalism and the gradual destruction of nation-states (so that trans-national corporations gain power);
2) continual low-level warfare around the world (so military contractors make more and more money); and
3) continued macroeconomic turbulence (so top investment banks become richer and richer).
When a candidate who is not “on board” on these issues seems to be a threat, there are certain standard ways to deal with him or her. They involve spreading the memes that:
1) that candidate is a racist;
2) that candidate is crazy; and
3) that candidate is dangerous.
==> And finally, Steve Landsburg put his finger on what has been bothering me about the recent outrage over “OMG Trump is so racist for saying the ‘Mexican’ judge is biased against him!!”
(I’m going to make the point a little differently from how Steve made it.) First of all, I’ve seen National Review-type guys pretending to be outraged that Trump called the judge Mexican, when the judge is American, you big racist jerk!! OK, this is ridiculous. If I say Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant, am I making a claim about geography? If someone says to me, “Murphy, that’s Irish right?” I’m not going to go ballistic.
Second, and more relevant: If you think it’s racist for Trump to argue that a judge of Mexican heritage might retaliate against Trump for his provocative views on illegal immigration, then you also would have a problem if a Republican strategist said the GOP was shooting itself in the foot for nominating Trump, since “Women and Hispanic voters do not appreciate his insulting remarks.”
Right? I’m assuming every single person who said Trump’s comments about the judge were racist, also condemned every political analyst who said Trump’s remarks alienate women and minorities, right?
Now of course, really what’s going on is that Trump has said things that are arguably racist, and so his critics don’t mind throwing the term around even when it doesn’t make sense. But still, if you want that term to retain any moral force, you can’t use it when it doesn’t make sense.
Last thing: For people who sincerely fear a Trump presidency as being qualitatively more dangerous than a Clinton (or Romney or Obama) presidency, let me point something out. The kind of person who is planning on voting for Trump, is certainly NOT going to change his or her mind when you loudly call him a racist, especially in a situation where the term doesn’t even make sense. You are truly hurting your own cause by doing that. To repeat something I’ve said for months now: In the beginning, I strongly disliked Trump and was amazed/appalled at the stuff he was saying. But after seeing self-righteous condemnations from people I knew didn’t actually deploy those same criteria (with which they denounced Trump) in previous elections, I started sympathizing with him. (Note, sympathize is not the same as support.)