Trump the Politician

I noted yesterday that Trump appears to have trademarked “Make America Great Again” as early as 2012 – right after Romney lost. This indicates to me that Trump’s decision to run for President wasn’t some seat-of-the-pants decision and would also indicate that what he’s saying on the stump is not just whatever pops into his head at the moment but is, instead, a careful script designed to get Trump to where he wishes to be. As an aside, that slogan isn’t brand new – it was used before. By Reagan, in 1980. Reagan, for those old enough to remember, won by bringing over to the GOP large numbers of people who had been voting Democrat.

Almost all polling so far shows that Hillary would beat Trump. Some Trumpsters try to argue against the polls, but no serious person is going to dispute a trend which has something like 10 out of 11 national polls showing Hillary ahead. Bottom line, this is pretty much a fact – if the election were held today, Hillary would beat Trump (do keep in mind that the GOP establishment keeps hyping this fact because they want to scare GOP voters away from Trump…as if “electability” is something which can be known prior to election day). But the election isn’t going to be held today; it will be held at bit less than 11 months from now. Trump when he entered the GOP primary was a bizarre candidate no one in the GOP took seriously – and then over the past 5 months, Trump hammered on his themes and now is securely in first place for the GOP nomination. It takes no great stretch of the imagination to understand that if Trump is following a plan (and he probably is), then he’s also got a plan for what to do against Hillary – and I think that the past couple days as Trump has started to open fire on Hillary are the start of his beat-Hillary plan. Trump managed to clear the field of two stellar GOP governors (Jindal and Walker), and has forced the Establishment candidates (Buch, Kasich and Christie) into also-ran status. That is not a bad bit of politicking, if you ask me. In fact, what he’s done is about the most astonishing political effort I’ve seen in all my life…and that includes Reagan’s masterful plan for 1980. Polls show Hillary ahead – but the man who has done what Trump has done in the GOP primary is probably going to do pretty well against Hillary.

Trump still has to win the primary, of course. Not a single vote has been cast and Cruz is leading in Iowa. A win there for Cruz could propel him to a decent showing in New Hampshire which would, in turn, allow him to do well in South Carolina. Cruz wins Iowa and South Carolin and that would put a massive hole in Trump’s prospects. Other things could also come up. But Trump isn’t going to lose because he says something – he’s winning because of what he says. Our leaders don’t feel we’re in a crisis because wealth and power have sealed them off from the reality of the United States and the world – but millions of Americans are feeling the heat; they don’t like it; they want it fixed…and only Trump is speaking to them as if there is a crisis. If Cruz or Rubio want to be the nominee, then over the next two to three weeks, they are going to have to let the voters know that they are on their side. Trump is perceived as on their side because he attacks, relentlessly, all those persons and institutions the American people believe are ranged against them: the political class; the corporate class; the media class. No one will beat Trump except by convincing people that they, too, are fighting the enemy – and fighting them tooth and nail, with no apologies.

But if no one steps up to beat Trump at his own game, then Trump will almost certainly be the nominee. If Trump does win the nomination, what does he do against Hillary? Anything he wants. Trump, one way or another, figured out that what the people want is a leader who will go for the jugular. Don’t hold back. If the other guy lies, call him/her a liar. If the other guy says or does something stupid, call it stupid. If the other guy is awash in corruption, point that out. If the other guy is weak and wishy-washy, say just that. Don’t try to snow the people – don’t try to rise above and be polite. Don’t, that is, sit there worrying about what the establishment is going to think – care about what the people care about.

Hillary is a bundle of corruption and dishonesty – there’s nothing in her background which cannot be successfully attacked. Think about this: probably 75% of the American people are unfamiliar with the events surrounding the Clinton’s “charity” organization. We know that someone like, say, Jeb would never attack that aspect of Hillary. Trump, I believe, will. Why not? What’s to stop him? The only reason Jeb wouldn’t is because he’d feel it rude to do so…but Trump, I’ll bet, doesn’t believe it rude. And, truth be told, it wouldn’t be rude – it would be completely acceptable and, indeed, a service to the nation to bring before the American people just what the Clintons have been up to. Let Hillary try to explain it all away – the millions of dollars in donations from unsavory, foreign donors. And that is just one relatively small aspect of the whole Clinton mess. A candidate willing to relentlessly hammer on Clinton’s weaknesses will force the nation to pay attention to those weaknesses and take them into consideration when it is time to decide whom to vote for. Trump is a rich man and the son of a rich man – but Clinton has gotten rich, quite recently, by parlaying access to herself into a plush lifestyle. No matter what slick deals might be discovered in Trump’s background, none of them will quite have the stench of Clinton garnering donations to her “foundation” from Arab oil princes and Russian mobsters-turned-businessmen.

Of course, even with those sort of attacks, it could be that Clinton emerges victorious. She will have the MSM as much in the tank for her as they are for Obama. But, I wonder: will that work? An interesting article over at the Washington Post indicates that when people are allowed to back Trump without everyone knowing about it, plenty of people do just that. Trump is speaking out loud what is on a lot of minds…and minds which are afraid to speak for fear of losing jobs or social standing. What I find most remarkable about the Trumpsters I come across is just how many of them simply shouldn’t be. The most recent Trump convert I’ve come across is an older guy I know – not at all a political person, generally patriotic, Army veteran…voted once for Obama. Moderate in his views. But here he is – think I’ll vote Trump. This goes along with the youngsters, African-Americans and single moms who are also trending towards Trump. Why? Because things are loused up – and I mean really badly. People know things are loused up. Who is acknowledging this? Only Trump.

Of course, I could be wrong. Trump could just be an accident. Decided to run, made his outrageous statement and here we are…and if he does win the nomination, he goes down to flaming defeat next November. I acknowledge this could be the case. I also acknowledge that I haven’t the foggiest notion of what he’d really do, supposing he won. Trump will not get my vote in the primary. I just don’t know enough of his actual plans to cast my vote that way – but I do know that in the general he is almost certain to face a Hillary Clinton who definitely would be an utter disaster as President. In that case, I’ve got no choice – I’d have to vote Trump. But I’m starting to suspect that we’re seeing unfold before us a very carefully crafted plan by a man who, turns out, is a masterful politician – and unless someone comes up with a counter-plan, then Trump will be around for a long while to come…

13 thoughts on “Trump the Politician

  1. Bob Eisenhower December 22, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    I’m sorry Mark but didn’t you just put yourself still firmly in the anybody-but-Trump camp?

    Again, I am fascinated at the slow but steady turn of this site to (register the domain now!)

    • M. Noonan December 22, 2015 / 11:05 pm

      I said anybody but Trump in the primaries…in the general, I really have no choice. Even if it wound up being Sanders, who I could not in good moral conscience vote for on the Life issue. I’m merely pointing out that Trump is doing an amazing political act…

  2. M. Noonan December 22, 2015 / 11:06 pm

    Neither Trump nor Cruz would confirm nor refute my views.

  3. Shawny Lee December 23, 2015 / 5:51 am

    [b]Ben Sasse on Executive Unilateralism – Full Speech[/b]

    He nails the problem we face no matter who is elected president in 2016. Unfortunately, a large part of Trumps popularity may be in the actual notion that he will unilaterally roll back much of what Obama and G.W. Bush both have done that he (and many others) vehemently disagree with as he has stated. I remember thinking I really liked that Executive Order list that Newt Gingrich had when he was running, That list of the things he would do on his first day in office. As much as I personally would like for much of what has happened to be easily removed with the wave of a pen, it just isn’t the way our government is meant to work. We cannot allow any president to have the kind of power Obama and others have wielded. Part of that was gained by unconstitutional laws being passed and a lot by treaty, executive orders and back door regulations by departments overreaching their mandates and authority. Hillary Clinton having that kind of power would be an absolute nightmare, but even a good president with the best of intentions could be tempted to use that kind of power if we continue to allow it to go unchecked as it has been.

    • Amazona December 23, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      Great speech–thanks, Shawny, for posting it. Once again it seems that it takes Flyover Country to make sense.

      Of many great lines, one of my favorites was his description of Congress as “Rs and Ds, shirts and skins, Kabuki theater”. And this, by the way, is a view from inside the posturing but impotent Congress.

      I was on the receiving end of ear-piercing howls of outrage a few years back when I pointed out, during a presidential election (or runup to) that the real power lies not in the presidential election but more locally, in the states. I did acknowledge that this is when the country is governed according to our Constitution.

      I still think that if we were to pay more attention to who we put in Congress, and put our money and energy into electing good Senators and Representatives, we could accomplish a lot more of what we want to achieve than by concentrating so much on the presidency. Even with a power-mad Obama making laws and ignoring Congress, Congress has had the power to defund his schemes, and pass laws he doesn’t like.

      You say “As much as I personally would like for much of what has happened to be easily removed with the wave of a pen, it just isn’t the way our government is meant to work.” and I agree—-except when the wave of a pen simply overturns what was put in place with the wave of a pen.

  4. Cluster December 23, 2015 / 9:34 am

    In fact, what he’s done is about the most astonishing political effort I’ve seen in all my life

    I disagree with the “masterful” definition of the Trump campaign. In my opinion, Trump is running the least cerebral campaign I have ever witnessed, and is simply tapping into the base emotions of a lot of angry people. Trump reminds me of a less articulate, less intelligent Newt Gingrich, who I thought was the much better “outsider” candidate back in 2012. I can’t even listen to Trump anymore because he has become too predictable and is now just boring. He has never elevated the conversation and I am a little dismayed that people still find him interesting, although that phenomena does speak to our dumbed down populace.

    In the end I still believe and hope that it comes down to Cruz and Rubio, and either one of these two candidates can, and will take the fight to Hillary and win.

    • Amazona December 23, 2015 / 11:58 am

      I agree. I don’t see Trump as a politician—something that I would usually find to be a virtue, by the way—but as a demagogue. He is very much like Obama, and I dislike him for many of the same reasons I dislike Obama–they are two sides of the same coin. As inexperienced egomaniacal power-seekers, convinced that if they can just be handed the reins of power they can, just because of who they ARE, make the changes they have decided must be made.

      I don’t want a pastier, squintier, pudgier Obama with a prettier wife telling us what he is going to do next, come hell or high water, Congress or no Congress. I don’t want a political Messiah, even if he claims to be a conservative Messiah. I’ve already seen what happens when lemmings voters are irresistibly drawn to some vague promise of “change”.

      BTW, I see no comparison whatsoever between Trump and Gingrich. I don’t think Newt ever tried to convince us that he could make things happen (the seas recede, Mexico building a fence, whatever) just because of the inherent power of Newtness.

      I admit to, in periods of despondency, wondering if briefly having a bull-in-the-china-shop kind of president, Trump, knocking down a lot of the things I find offensive, might not be a completely bad thing—but ONLY if the alternative is Hillary or Bernie. And even then the prospect of him dismissing Angela Merkel, if she were to disagree with him, as being at the wrong time of the month (or worse) or some other crass, crude, disgusting kind of reference, makes me cringe.

      When Cruz said that on his first day in the Oval Office he would rescind the Obama Executive Orders that used the Executive Branch to legislate, I did not see that as Cruz saying he would use the Executive Branch the way Obama has. Knowing Cruz’s commitment to the Constitution, I saw it as the first step in reestablishing the essential Balance of Powers the Founders established, what Sasse describes, not in continuing to expand the powers of the Executive Branch. I saw it as a promise to kick legislation back to where it belongs, which is in Congress.

      • M. Noonan December 23, 2015 / 11:25 pm

        Trump is definitely a demagogue – so, of course, is Obama…just with a softer voice. I’m still not certain he’s a masterful politician, but he’s doing things a masterful politician does; clearing Jindal and Walker from the race is mind-boggling, in and of itself. To be sure, both those candidates for all their fine qualities also dropped the ball…but, still, that they are out and Trump is still in says something. The proof, as usual, will be in the pudding – if Trump can win the GOP nomination and then get to the White House, it will be clear that, amateur or not, he’s a first-rate politician. Whether he’ll have first-rate policies will still remain to be seen.

    • M. Noonan December 23, 2015 / 11:33 pm

      Tapping emotions is what politicians do – it is all they can do in the act of winning elections. Trump is doing very crudely what Reagan did with great style; but Reagan had the benefit of theatrical training and years on the road speaking about politics before he ever ran for office.

      It is good to keep in mind that everyone underestimated Reagan – and even after he had swept to two crushing victories in Presidential elections, people were still writing him off as a dimwit who got lucky. As years went on and Reagan’s papers came into the open, it became clear that far from being manipulated by political experts, Reagan was manipulating them to get to his goals.

      Being a political leader is an art – to get anywhere in politics, you must have a fine sense of timing and know what to say and when to say it. Most people who go into politics, because of the nature of how you get ahead, are self-absorbed power-grabbers…every now and again, however, you get someone who isn’t…or, at least, eventually learns not to be like that. A classic example of this was Churchill…he rose very far, very fast. He switched parties to get ahead. He was clearly brilliant, but just as clearly in it for power…from the first, he wanted to be Prime Minister and even as a sub-cabinet member he was already eyeing the prize. Trouble is, his power-grabbed rubbed many the wrong way…he didn’t know how to mask naked desire behind a facade of indifference. When push came to shove, he found that he had no friends in politics and when a sacrificial lamb was needed for the Gallipoli fiasco, he was picked for it. Later on, he learned – the hard way, by being exiled from the ranks of power for a decade.

      • Cluster December 24, 2015 / 9:32 am

        My main complaint with Trump is how crass he is. I want him to be more polished. I largely agree with his positions, although I do not want to deport 12 million people, preferring Rubio’s prescription of sealing the border, tightening visa entries, and streamlining legal immigration, and then dealing with those here illegally instead, but Trump does run a multi billion dollar company which requires the ability to process a lot of information and multi task problems, a task of which the President is also charged with. Trump would also surround himself with people who get things done, rather than the Ivy League elitist who Obama surrounds himself with, and of whom believe that talking about an issue is doing something about it, see Samantha Powers.

        I have always said that I would like to see this country run as a business with efficient use of tax payer money, clear objectives that are Constitutional, and accountability. We have none of that now. Unfortunately, this country has been reduced to a corrupt daycare led by a narcissistic authoritarian.

  5. Amazona December 23, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    The latest entry in the “Just How Stupid ARE They?” sweepstakes is the Leftist screeching that when Trump said Hillary got “schlonged” he was not only being crude, he was being a misogynist and a—wait for it—-racist.

    Well, it is common to hear that someone got “screwed” when an outcome is seen to be unfair, and Trump, being Trump, had to expand on that by making it a little cruder, using a Yiddish term that is more explicit.

    Now this is being seen as “humiliating” to all women. Thanks, but I think I’ll pass on that mass-victimization squeal. The comment had nothing at all to do with me, and even if it was about me it would be a criticism of the schlongER, not the schlongEE. Are all woman “humiliated” every time a woman is raped? Sees a flasher?


    The wild-eyed screeching goes on to try to include some reference to black rapists, calling a black(ish) man (Obama) a rapist, wahh wahh wahh.

    And here we thought the race card was worn out and back on the bottom of the deck, and the WAR ON WOMENNNNN!! meme had been retired. Now we are supposed to see a crudified comment that Hillary got screwed out of the nomination in ’12 as a revival of that sad silly whine.

    Give me a break.

    • M. Noonan December 23, 2015 / 11:22 pm

      My Mrs wasn’t particularly offended by it – and after 40 years of the left deliberately coarsening popular culture, I’m not about to take lectures on manners from them, anyway.

    • Cluster December 24, 2015 / 9:39 am

      Here’s another one for the sweepstakes. From the Paris climate deal:

      As many analysts have pointed out, the plans—known as nationally determined contributions, or N.D.C.s—are, collectively, not nearly enough to avert catastrophic climate change. Nor are they necessarily going to be realized.”

      So the elites are celebrating an accord that does not resolve the “contrived” problem, and that has benchmarks that admittedly will not be realized. However this does make sense considering the Iran deal which was never signed by Iran and has already been violated, yet is still celebrated amongst the clueless elites.


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